4 Homegrown Creators Who Are Exploring Personal Identity & Culture Through Food
Rahul J Prakash (L) ; Not Your Amma's Kitchen (R)

4 Homegrown Creators Who Are Exploring Personal Identity & Culture Through Food

1.

For many who grew up during the internet era, the 2010s were about discovering life and cultures beyond our own. I remember a time when discovering foreign cuisine and recipes on YouTube and making them was the cool, fascinating thing to do. But in the years since, as many of us were made to write about in school - globalisation popularised westernisation which led to the development of a homogenised culture.

However, with the passage of time and global culture becoming the norm, more people are seeking out a return to their roots and relearning their own culture. With the growth of concepts such as slow gastronomy and intentional lifestyle practices, many homegrown creators have taken to instagram to delve deeper into their native cuisine and their explorations with it - whether that is cooking home-style food for one, cinematic captures of the simplest dishes, educating the audience of homegrown plant-based dishes or even working to preserve generational culinary knowledge. 

2. Rahul J Prakash

Rahul J Prakash
Rahul J PrakashRahul J Prakash's Instagram

From a classic Semiya Payasam to the Malabari Erachi Choru, Rahul J Prakash’s page is replete with truly Malayali recipes. The Canada-based, Kerala-origin creator has now become renowned for how he captures his personal explorations with the culinary world and shares them, often juxtaposed with contemporary, indie artist’s music. While he does his fair share of experimentation with world cuisine as well, there is a clear thread of his cultural identity that is reflected through his profile. Whether it is making payasam in a mundu to ‘Jimikki Kammal’ for Onam or making a one-pot dish for Ramadan set to Mappila Drill by D Vink, Rahul’s one-person easy culturally rooted dishes are a reflection of his personal sensibilities and identity. 

Follow him here.

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3. Not Your Amma's Kitchen

Not Your Amma's Kitchen
Not Your Amma's KitchenNot Your Amma's Kitchen Instagram

While fine French and Global cuisine is often represented with creative flair, there are very few creators who celebrate Indian food in all its glory. Not Your Amma’s Kitchen was founded by the Tamil-origin, diasporic creator as ‘Indian Food Hype Reels’. While the page was only started in January of this year, the cinematic cooking by ‘Not Your Amma’s Kitchen’ has already garnered the simple but incredibly captured recipes for dishes like ‘Muttai Thokku’ and ‘Ennai Kathirikkai Kuzhambu’ over a million in organic views. As is expected, the beautifully captured videos are elevated by the creator’s choice of classic and/or contemporary Tamil songs. 

Follow him here.

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4. Keertida Phadke

Keertida Phadke
Keertida PhadkeKeertida Phadke's Instagram

Mumbai-based Keertida Phadke is a trained plant-based chef who studied at the Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI) in New York for plant-based culinary education. The chef’s decision to be plant-based stemmed from health reasons, particularly lactose intolerance, and a desire to prepare the food she could confidently consume and serve. But today, her content has become a culinary exploration through wholesome, vegetarian recipes from India and beyond. But she does stay resolute in her dedication to digging deep into Indian culinary history and culture to share recipes that are wholesome, healthy, and crafted from well-sourced ingredients. 

You can follow her here.

5. Chef Rachit Kirteeman

Noi Chingudi Besara
Noi Chingudi BesaraChef Rachit Kirteeman

While on a journey to learn about a homegrown fashion brand from Odisha, we discovered other passionate individuals from the state who are working to preserve generational knowledge - from clothes to food. Chef Rachit Kirteeman is a dedicated chef and creator who is documenting the micro cuisines - food that exists within particular communities - and bringing them into modern, contemporary culinary spaces. As a state with varying communities that have developed in harmony with nature, foraging and the usage of seasonal ingredients is something that he highlights through his work. In addition to creating content that focuses on documenting Odia food, hyperlocal produce, culinary heritage and stories, he also organises various food pop-ups across the nation, curates and creates menus for private events, and is the Chef Trainer in Odia Cuisine at the School of Hospitality at Manipal University. 

You can follow him here.

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