As an avid reader, I had once read a biography of one of the most glamorous duchess of the twentieth Century. There I was first introduced to the concept of ‘paying dinner guests’ which was one of the modes of livelihood of the mother of duchess. And to say the least, it was a total disaster at that time.
But this made me think that food industry is perhaps one of the most ubiquitous industries that allow wide experimentation. From a home cooked meal to scientific methods of cooking food, everything is in demand and everything sells.
So, this time TimesCity decided to do a piece on new breed of gastronauts or food entrepreneurs who are changing the rules of food industry through their innovative offerings. See what the young dare devils have in store:
Vedant Kanoi and Shamit Khemka, Co-Founders, FoodCloud.in
They say that ‘creativity comes in all shapes and sizes’. Ask Vedant Kanoi and Shamit Khemka, the co-founders of FoodCloud.in, who have given all new direction to this statement. The two have been the masterminds behind an innovative food based platform – FoodCloud.in. An alumnus of Carnegie Mellon University, Vedant is a serial entrepreneur who rolled out his first venture at the age of 12 while Shamit Khemka is a technology enthusiast who started his own web and software development company – SynapseIndia.
Started in September last year, the idea for FoodCloud.in first came to Shamit. The young entrepreneur wanted to bridge the gap of connectivity between home chefs and people who are constantly on the search for good food options. Since the food offered on FoodCloud.in is cooked at home, it’s absolutely delicious and can be customized as per the taste also. Foodies can place an order for the whole menu of a party or just two-three dishes to complement their home cooked meal. The model of FoodCloud.in is similar to the concept of cloud storage, where one is able to store information online.
Currently operating in Delhi/NCR region, FoodCloud.in offers a bevy of scrumptious cuisines from all parts of the country. From spicy Rajasthani Marwari cuisine to non-vegetarian Goan cuisine, aromatic Kashmiri cuisine to international favourites like Italian, Thai, Mexican and Lebanese, FoodCloud.in takes care of vivid palates of its customers. For Food lovers with a sweet tooth, the website offers a plethora of baking delicacies like cupcakes, cakes and other desserts to choose from. Some of their top sellers are scrumptious creations like Chocoholic Kit Kat cake, Paneer cutlet, Carbonara Fettucine and Prawn Curry.
As of now, FoodCloud.in boasts 30+ culinary masters in its kitchen. Any home cook with a skill and aptitude to cook can sign up for free as chef on FoodCloud.in and display their culinary skills to the world.
While Barkha Jain is a Marwari food expert, Estelle Desai is known for her delicious Prawn Curry. Some of the other chefs on the current roaster of FoodCloud.in are Nupur Kanudia for Chocoholic Kit Kat cake, Anandna Bhasin for Butterscotch Ice cream Cake, Maya-Lisa Shanker for Hummus and Neha Lakhani for Cupcake, Pastries and Macroons.
Explaining her association with FoodCloud, Yamini Khemka, a New Friends Colony based home chef says, “I feel this is the next thing in the food industry, people have become more health conscious and do not want to eat in restaurants all the time, yet they want a change from eating home food daily and FoodCloud.in provides them that opportunity.” A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu & Wilton School of Cake Decoration, Yamini takes a minimum order of 1.5 kgs of regular cakes with three to four days of delivery time. Her offerings like red velvet cake for Rs 1,800, custom made cake for Rs 2,000 and cupcakes for Rs 2,000 are a huge hit among the foodies.
Following suit is another culinary wizard, Chef Ridhima Khanna from Panchsheel Enclave. A passionate dessertarian who loves to create little pieces of heaven in the form of cupcakes, she also runs her own brand –Addicted. Ridhima shares one of her most special customer feedback with FoodCloud.in when one of her clients called from the hospital and ordered cupcakes to ease her labour pains. She chuckles, ‘I’ve got repeat consumer clientele which is the best form of experience/appreciation in the food industry.”
Ordering food or connecting with a Chef is absolutely easy on FoodCloud.in. All you have to do is to log on to the website, enter your area pin code and choose from the list of chefs available in your locality. Or the other way is to browse through the list of cuisine or the profile of the chefs. One can also go through the prices and pictures of the dishes. Once you zero in for a particular dish, place the order and fill in details like quantity and delivery date. They follow cash on delivery mode of payment.
Contact Number: 011-40604995
Ranjith Rajasekharan and Sheetal Bhonsle Rajasekharan, Co-Founders, Once Upon My Kitchen
Telling the ‘story of every kitchen’ to the world are two bright entrepreneurs- Ranjith Rajasekharan and Sheetal Bhonsle Rajasekharan. The germ for incubating Once Upon My Kitchen originated during Sheetal’s stay at Cayman Islands, US. Her stay in a foreign land made her realize that people have a special affinity for home cooked food irrespective of culture or geography. Thus their platform – Once Upon My Kitchen ensures that the age old recipes or the culinary experiments in kitchen come alive to passionate foodies.
Launched in February this year, Once Upon My Kitchen is a like a market place where a guest can choose from a host’s profiles and the menu offered by them. For a host, it’s like owing your own pop up restaurant at home with a menu of your choice. The website offers a lip smacking fare ranging from Assamese, Greek, South Indian, Bengali, Sindhi, Marwari, Thai, Italian; Fusion and Medierranean cuisine.
Any fervent foodie with a genuine love for food can register with Once Upon My Kitchen. The first step of the process is to fill up the details of the profile and answer few interesting but interactive questions. One can also add photographs and make the profile live by listing a menu for a future date. Each menu requires a title, date and time along with details of the menu like cuisine and description of each dish. Finally, the last step is to provide a tentative number of guests along with the price of the meal.
Once a booking is made by a guest, a request comes to the host for approval. The host can review the guest profile and decide to accept or reject the booking. If accepted then the personal details like the phone number and address are shared with the guest so that they can correspond directly leading up to the meal.
With a multi-pronged strategy, Once Upon My Kitchen works on a commission based model where both the host and guest pay a 10 per cent commission for each meal booked. In addition, they also pay a 3 per cent convenience charge along with a standard service tax of 12.36 per cent
With current operations in Mumbai, Delhi NCR and Pune, the online food platform has already started recruiting hosts in cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Goa, Hyderabad, Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kochi and Kolkata. They also plan to expand to overseas markets like Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore and London. As Ranjith explains, “We are targeting the tourists coming into the respective cities, business travelers, locals and expats looking for a differentiated experience. To reach these clusters we are engaging with city hotel, concierges, bloggers, food communities to generate awareness.”
Contact Number: 91-9820088927