(The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one's personality. It has its origins in a parlour game popularized by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.)
Rachel Goenka is the founder and CEO of The Chocolate Spoon Company which operates award-winning restaurants, patisseries and two central kitchens in Mumbai and Pune. Her brands include The Sassy Spoon, House of Mandarin, Baraza Bars and Bites and the Sassy Teaspoon, a chain of patisseries and bakeries. A young and seasoned entrepreneur, Rachel is best known for her trademark desserts. Her motto is ‘Food is the one love you will never fall out of.’ Rachel graduated from The Pennsylvania State University and later studied at The Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland, where she trained under celebrity chef Rachel Allen. After graduating, she moved to Le Cordon Bleu in London to specialize in patisserie. Here are her answers to our Proust questionnaire…
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
What is your greatest fear?
What is your motto?
Always strive to be the best version of yourself.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
A casual, laid-back attitude.
Which living person do you most admire?
What is your greatest extravagance?
Bags and shoes.
What is your current state of mind?
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
On what occasion do you lie?
I am a terrible liar. I can't lie to save my life. I start laughing immediately.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Which living person do you most despise?
No one has made me care enough to warrant such expenditure of energy.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I tend to say 'na' a lot.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My husband and son.
Which talent would you most like to have?
To be a hyper-polyglot.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My height. I could use a few inches.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Becoming a mother.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Any one of my dogs. They have the best life!
Where would you most like to live?
What is your most treasured possession?
My engagement ring.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
The loss of a loved one.
What is your favourite occupation?
Being a zoologist.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I am very outspoken.
What do you most value in your friends?
Who are your favourite writers?
PG Wodehouse and JK Rowling.
Who is your hero of fiction?
Florentyna Kane from The Prodigal Daughter.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Who are your heroes in real life?
Angela Merkel, Queen Rania and Pope Francis.
What is your favourite name?
My son's name, Kabir.
What is it that you most dislike?
What is your greatest regret?
Not exercising more.
How would you like to die?
What is your favourite journey?
The one I am currently on.