Today I’d like to introduce you to a food stylist and a food blogger, Himanshu Taneja, whose work speaks for his passion for food. His gorgeous blog, “The White Ramekins”, is filled with rustic pictures and earthy style photography with simple recipes. To me his blog is just… therapeutic…
Let’s get to know more from Himanshu himself. Please scroll down to view his beautiful pictures and read the interview.
Tell us something about yourself. And what inspired you to start your food blog? And why the name "The White Ramekins”?
I am an easy going and fun loving person who likes to spend his time with his friends and family. At the hindsight I am a hardcore techie guy who works for a finance company. My connection from food start from the days of my early years, when I used to help out my mother in kitchen. I got my learning from her, observing her making food for the family. But I never cooked my meal on my own until I moved to another city and started living by myself. The White Ramekins started a couple of years ago out of a sheer encouragement from a very dear friend, while we both were baking some muffins at home (all by trial and error) in my convection microwave. We were so thrilled to see that we could also have baked. And we baked the same recipe again and again for next few weeks. By that time, I had started following Nigella Lawson and Rachel Allen on television. And also, I had been reading a couple of very good food blogs such as 101Cookbooks, La Tartine Gourmand, Tartlette and Passionate About Baking. There style of food writing and food photography has always remained an inspiration. While I created my blog, I wanted to give it a name which defines what I am really passionate about doing. It had to be related to food, or baking if I be more precise. So, I named my blog on the name of the white ceramic ramekins in which I baked my first trial of those muffins. And it just clicked that way.
As I say, I am a hardcore techie person, who loves to write those endless lines of code with same amount of passion the way he likes to bake, style and shoot his creations in the kitchen. So I have never found it challenging switching the hats of a programmer and a food blogger, however crazy it might sound. :) Honestly speaking, I generally spend my weekends around blogging, which includes, deciding onto recipes, sourcing of ingredients, cooking/baking, prop shopping, planning about photo shoot, food styling, photography, editing and finally pushing that onto the blog.
Have you had any formal training in Cooking or Food Styling?
No, I haven’t had any formal training in cooking or food styling. I get inspired from so many amazing food bloggers and other artists’s whose work I follow. The web is full of inspirations and learning resources.
Your photographs depict your passion for food and food styling. And you have a great eye for colour. How important is food presentation?
Thank you. You are very sweet. I think food presentation is as important as the taste of the dish. It perks up the experience of having an awesome preparation, if it is aesthetically appealing too. And it becomes all the more important for the virtual world, where your audience are experiencing the taste of your preparations through their eyes only. Present the dish in not so pleasing appearance, chances are that your effort and hard work you have put into bringing it up together will not be noticed.
How do you innovate in your cooking? Do you mostly experiment in your cooking?
My style of cooking is completely inspired by the seasonal produce available. I am very much into idea of adding seasonal fruits and vegetables in my cakes and bakes. And I am on constant lookout for new fruits and vegetables which appear in the market by the change in season. I think the magic a seasonal and fresh produce can bring to your food and the styling is unmatched.
Do you have other passions or hobbies apart from cooking, blogging and photography?
Apart from cooking, blogging and photography, I like to listen to classical music and sometimes can hum a tune or a song, if my friends insist.
What is your advice for someone who wants to start a food blog? And any photography tips for fellow bloggers?
Follow your heart and dive in, are my two cents for the fellow bloggers. As far as photography is concerned, I am still a learner. I am not sure, if I am right person to talk about on this subject. But to start with, I think one should be clear about handling a DSLR camera in manual mode. That gives one enough comfort in playing with light, which is a crucial thing to consider in food photography. The texture and the appearance of food is what makes an image stand out and light is the key factor to bring in that magic. It can’t be neglected. And the other thing is about getting inspired, which will help you identify your own style one day.
Any future plans? Can we expect a cookbook?
I have many plans which keep on playing on my mind. That varies from running food styling workshops to writing a cookbook, but nothing is conclusive right now. Let’s see what destiny has in store for me.
Click here to head over to The White Ramekins and here to get updates from facebook.
Thanks Himanshu for sharing your passion with us and more importantly for being an inspiration!
Images copyright/credit The White Ramekins