Stepping into Shazia’s Cooking Studio in Bangalore might remind you of the colourful land of toffees in the Magic Faraway Tree fairy tale!
Sweet childhood memories can stay with us forever, and for Bangalore-based Shazia Khan, the kitchen in her childhood home was among the most joyful, happy and exciting place of all! As a kid, she was lucky to be back home very soon after school, which was very close by, and skip into the kitchen to watch her mother and grandmother whip up delicious goodies!
Unassuming and gracious, Shazia Khan, runner-up at Masterchef 2 (season 2), the cookery show hosted by Star Plus a few years ago, never dreamt that her childhood passion for cooking would bring her into the limelight, making her into a very creative chef!
“Food is something that always brought people together in the large joint family where I grew up as one among seven siblings,” says Shazia. “Food was a celebration. I remember my grandmother generously cooking a huge quantity of food and distributing it to neighbours and relatives. There used to be much sharing, laughter, and vibrant chatter while the women in the kitchen went about with the clatter of pots and pans.” “Just after school,” she relates, “I would also join the elders in the kitchen and cook up sooji halwa and eat it up all by myself. I recall those fond moments when hot gulab jamuns would be made and my grandmother would pop them into the children’s mouths! Even some games that we cousins would play revolved around food. After my marriage, my mother-in-law patiently taught me the etiquette of making Ande-ki-Mithai. As a mother, I loved creating snacks for my two sons when they came back from school. I feel so happy when I get complimented on the dishes I make. I never feel cooking as a burden. I enjoy every moment of the time spent in the kitchen.”
Encouraged by family and friends, Shazia took part in the Star Plus Masterchef Cookery Show. Her sparkling smile and calm persona, plus of course her culinary skills, won over not just viewers but the judges too. Later, she went on to pen a cookery book: “What’s on the Menu” which was launched in 2016.
“When I started cooking, I was an amateur. I learnt from cookbooks. I wanted to write my own after Masterchef, which would feature cuisines of the world and use easy ingredients”something that a beginner or an expert could cook from,” Shazia says. “I also wanted generation-old recipes to be treasured. I wanted the book to be pictorial because when you see good food, you feel like cooking.”
Further pursuing her passion for cookery, some months ago Shazia set up a “Cooking Studio” in Bangalore. “I discovered that many people, including homemakers, have a passion for cooking and would like to polish their skills. People are more confident now to try new recipes. This apart, the studio would also serve as a finishing school for women so they can get employment opportunities and placements,” Shazia explains as she elaborates on the concept of the Cooking Studio.
Stepping into Shazia’s beautifully-designed Cooking Studio will remind you of the “land of toffees” in the Magic Faraway Tree fairy tale! “The Studio is our way to keep our passion for cooking running high. With a varied range of cooking and baking courses covering various cuisines and techniques, the studio has something for everyone. Aimed to be a learning destination for all culinary enthusiasts, we encourage our students to experiment and innovate with their cooking skills, so that they get hands-on learning experience and develop their own cooking style,” Shazia says. “With the faculty working on designing a 5 month diploma course we will soon be able to cater to those looking for a serious career in the world of food,” she explains.
(To know more about Shazia Khan’s Cooking Studio and the workshops, you can call on 080-26561314 or call/WhatsApp on +91 73495 25913. You can also go to:
(Shazia Khan’s book “What’s on the Menu” can be bought at the Studio or from Amazon.in (https://www.amazon.in/Whats-Menu-Shazia-Khan/dp/9385609602)