From filling cavities to fulfilling cravings, this dentist-turned-blogger will make you go wow

28th Oct 2017
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This dentist is now a successful blogger and food consultant. Her blog and YouTube channel Whisk Affair generate a six-figure revenue every month. Read her inspiring #PassionToPaycheck story below.

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” – George Bernard Shaw

Food is an emotion, evoking memories of tasty morsels from a beloved grandmother’s kitchen or the giggles shared while trying to finish fast-melting ice lollies with the gang of school friends. For Pune-based Neha Mathur, whose father hails from Rajasthan’s Mathur community and whose mother is a Saxena from Uttar Pradesh, food was an integral part of childhood.

The Mathur cuisine, different from typical Rajasthani food, is highly influenced by the style of cooking practised by Muslims of Old Delhi. With several unique, spicy non-vegetarian dishes, the food is radically different from Neha’s maternal food heritage, which is vegetarian and milder in flavour.

Neha Mathur

These contrasting styles served the purpose of polishing and whetting Neha’s palate. Neha, 37, says,

My dad is a foodie and he used to cook a lot when I was growing up. We would frequently travel to my dad’s hometown in Rajasthan, where family gatherings and even conversations were incomplete without food. An interesting dish, for instance, is kele ki machli, which is raw banana cooked like a seafood dish. I never cooked during those days but food is in my genes.

Since Neha’s parents are doctors, they hoped she would pursue a professional course as well. She says with a laugh, “I did what was expected of me and pursued my BDS and then got married to a very suitable Mathur boy!” After practising at MS Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru, for a year, Neha trailed along on her husband’s international postings to countries as diverse as Malaysia, the Czech Republic, and the USA. Apart from travelling to interesting places, the foodie was thrilled about experimenting with several new cuisines.

From amateur cook to food pro

It was Neha’s husband who suggested translating her love for cooking into a blog and helped set up Whisk Affair in 2012. Today, what started off as a hobby has grown into a couple of YouTube channels and the blog itself is a platform that is invested in by several big brands and has a loyal following of over 2 lakh visitors a month.

In the initial days, Whisk Affair featured recipes painstakingly cooked and photographed by Neha. Since she would post every day and had a versatile repertoire — traditional Indian as well as international dishes, beverages, and desserts — her blog quickly became popular.

Another key attraction of her blog was the beautifully photographed food images. A self-taught photographer, Neha today has a team of four who support her with content and social media but she continues to manage the photography herself. She explains,

My followers recognise my style from the images and I receive much appreciation for the same. For me, presentation matters as much as the taste and quality of the food. As the saying goes, you taste food with your eyes first.

 


Also read: This jewellery designer left her corporate career to make magic with silver and semi-precious stones


Money matters

The first step towards monetisation was when Whisk Affair started getting noticed by brands and Neha started doing product reviews on her blog. Many brands are also featured on the Whisk Affair social media pages. As the number of visitors rose steadily, ad revenues started streaming in as well from the YouTube channels called 'Kuch Khatta Kuch Meetha by Neha Mathur' and 'Whisk Affair'. Shooting for videos on YouTube posed another challenge since facing the camera did not come naturally to Neha. However, over the past two years, she has become a bit of a veteran. Of late, she has been doing several tabletop videos (featuring only the cook’s hands), which are faster to create and very popular. For this, she can shoot by herself with the help of a tripod and does not have to depend on a videographer.

Neha has also worked as food consultant and photographer for several corporate brands and startups. From training the kitchen staff to creating the menu for food startup EatFresh to crafting customised recipes for Saffola Fit Foodie, Nestle, and Golden Harvest, Neha has associated with several brands. She also undertook photo shoots for restaurants for a while but has cut down on the same to focus on Whisk Affair.

To my query on what she does with all the food she cooks on a daily basis, Neha says, “Obviously the amount of food is too much for just my family to consume. I ensure that food is not wasted. I pack it up for neighbours or my husband’s colleagues.”

Neha’s biggest satisfaction has been the feedback she gets from people who try out her recipes. After all, being responsible for the good food on thousands of tables is worth all the hard work that goes into it.

Read other such inspiring #PassionToPaycheck stories brought to you by Signature Startup here.

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