By Hand From The Heart is a curated Makers Market event in South India. Upcoming Events: 22nd Edition: 2nd – 3rd February '18 in Coimbatore | 23rd Edition: 16th – 17th – February '18 in Chennai.
Today on our Meet The Maker Series, we feature the story of home chef turned full time artisanal food entrepreneur, Fouziya Kutty. Based in Chennai, Fouziya’s now two year old venture – Fouziya’s Cooking, churns up small batches of sauces, spreads and pickles. Her story…
A bit about yourself. Do you have a food background?
Born and brought up Mumbai, I relocated post marriage to my husband’s city…the beautiful Chennai way back in 2002. I have always been an inquisitive foodie. Learning about various cuisines and entertaining family and friends on and off with something special is all I remember about my growing up years in Mumbai. In Chennai, my husband and myself have been somewhat romantic about food. So my food journey is purely self learned and self taught. Of course along the way I incorporated all the influences of loved ones in my cooking!
Your kitchen – the work space.
We work out of a commercial kitchen space located in a quiet residential corner in Kottivakkam. The facility is 100% Vegetarian. And we source our raw materials from established and ethical organic producers.
Describe your typical work day.
My typical work day starts in the kitchen at 10 in the morning. The cook schedule is actually pre-planned and I know exactly what to cook that day. Since we make in small batches by hand. Everything is meticulously inspected for quality maintenance before the actual cook kicks off.
What’s your favourite pick in your brand.
My favourite pick would be “Lime & Date” Pickle chutney.
What’s been your career highlight so far?
My career highlight so far has been me “figuring out” that “I Can” do it. Because, I think to someone who isn’t formally trained in food processing to actually venture out and produce healthy chemical free alternatives to commercially made foods available; that’s really a difficult threshold to cross. Today, just under 2 years since our inception, our products are available across Chennai’s leading Organic / Specialty /Gourmet shops. What’s more, we do get continuous feedback from customers which helps us immensely in our endeavour to better our products.
What has surprised you most about starting a culinary business?
The fact that there “is” space out there for different kind of artisans to explore their creative expressions…that has been a discovery process for me. In the beginning I thought that the market is spoilt for choices but then I pleasantly discover I was wrong!
Do any have recipe story you’d like to share?
For me the journey of creating food is very intense and the same time I am open to ideas from everywhere. One such incident is when one of our dear retailers asked us to work creating a “Pasta Sauce” that authentic at the same time something exciting to our Indian Palate…that idea took us nearly six months of developmental time…but needless to say our Arrabbita Pasta Sauce is quite a hit amongst our discerning foodies!
Make in India / Handmade in India; whats does this mean to you.
We “CAN” make anything we want…and Handmade in India is the Best!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten along the way in building your business?
The best piece of advice I think I have got is …” follow your passion”… that I can surely say is really the building block of my business.
Your advice for aspiring food artisans / food entrepreneurs
My advice would be the same advice I got, i.e..if you truly believe, enjoy and are passionate about food; and as a food artisan , you are willing to contribute to better a world… then what are you waiting for!
Tell us about your proposed showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.
Fouziya’s Cooking is all about handmade, natural, healthy, safe and tasty food products. All our products are free from any kind of chemicals, preservatives, artificial colour or additives. We source out the freshest and the best organic/Natural fruits and vegetables required for our cooking locally. We use only organic oil, Organic spices, Organic sugar and unprocessed crystal salt.
In this edition of BHFTH we will showcase; seven flavours in the spread section:
(1) Strawberry Spread
(2) Orange Marmalade /Spread
(3) Apple Fig spread
(4) Banana Spread
(5) Mango Spread
(6) Hot Mango Spread
(7) Peanut Butter
And we have five flavours in our savoury section:
(1) Arrabbita Pasta Sauce
(2) Tomato ketchup
(3) Lime Date Pickle Chutney
(4) Schezwan Sauce
(5) Mango Pickle
By Hand From The Heart: MAKERS MARKET – 20th Edition
Date: Friday – Saturday, 7th – 8th July, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m – 8:00 p.m
Venue: Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park
Address: 132, T.T.K Road, Alwarpet, Chennai – 600018, Tamil Nadu. India