Travel + Leisure - India & South Asia




WITH NEARLY A million followers on social media, a food blog, and two cookbooks under his belt, self-taught baker Shivesh Bhatia is one of the most popular content creators in the country, and also T+L India & SA’s Food Blogger of the Year. The 25-year-old influencer talks to BAYAR JAIN about the pressures of staying relevant on social media, love for desserts, and more.

How and why did you get into food blogging?

I started by posting random pictures on Instagram. Gradually, I got into baking and started sharing pictures of my desserts. Those pictures started garnering response outside of my immediate circle, and people started asking for recipes. Slowly, my Instagram [following] grew. That’s when I decided to create a blog for all the recipes.

How challengin­g was it to transition to shortand long-form videos?

I’ve never been a video person. Understand­ing the changing needs of my audience compelled me to change my content strategy.

The biggest challenge was getting rid of my own blocks. I had to convince myself that I need to present content in a manner that my audiences will consume.

What is your creative process like?

I like to plan. I set aside days to brainstorm, analyse trending recipes, research what people have been searching on the internet, and make a list of recipes for the upcoming months.

How do you deal with the pressure of staying relevant on social media?

I’m always overthinki­ng. Even eight years later, the numbers and views affect me, especially when I put a lot of effort into something and it doesn’t perform well. I remind myself to take breaks and that it’s okay to not post every day.

You’ve written two cookbooks. How different was it compared to your regular blogging?

Blogs are more personal. I can edit and erase posts and images on blogs. When it comes to publishing, there’s no room for errors. It is a lot more hectic as well. There’s an entire team at the backend for editing, marketing, and design. That experience is very different from what I do with blogs.

How does travelling inspire your baking?

Whenever I travel, I get introduced to new ingredient­s and desserts. I come back inspired, which is why I feel travelling is the best kind of break. It allows me to take a step back and approach my cooking with a fresher perspectiv­e.

What is your favourite dessert?

Cookies to eat and eclairs to bake.

 ?? ?? Bhatia’s Classic French Toast recipe is quick and easy.
Bhatia’s Classic French Toast recipe is quick and easy.
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