Name: Maunika Gowardhan
Company: Cook in a Curry
Indian chef Maunika Gowardhan from Newcastle admits she is obsessed by food and her social media footprint reflects her passion for cooking and eating.
The 35-year-old, who has worked with Jamie Oliver and Vogue India, has been nominated in The Journal’s search for the North East’s Most Influential on Social Media.
Following her Twitter feed is hunger-enticing with tweets on her latest recipes, what restaurants she likes and even what she is having for supper.
Maunika, a self taught chef, made a name for herself through her catering firm Starters and Spice and more recently her Indian cookery classes. Her work has included consulting on recipes for Tilda Rice, writing for Vogue India and teaching at Jamie Oliver’s cookery school Recipease.
As founder of Newcastle’s own street food festival, Urban Night Feast, and a prolific blogger, with more than 30,000 followers, she said her popularity online came as a surprise.
She first started her blog four years ago because she wanted to put the recipes she’d learnt from her mother down in writing. She admits that when she first started blogging she had only five views a month, and one of those was her mother. Over the years her following gradually increased with things really taking off when she was featured in the New York Times.
She said: “I have so many family recipes I just wanted a place to put them. There is no agenda. It is about sharing what I have and it just so happens that the following is amazing. At the end of the day it is about staying true to what you do.”
She added that Twitter was a good place to keep in touch with other people with similar interests: “I have a lot of people I have met online who have become close friends and who are equally as obsessed about food as I am.”
She said recommending five people to follow on social media was difficult as her love for food means she follows a great number of food bloggers and websites.
Among her favourite people to follow are Newcastle-based restaurant reviewer Polly Randall (http://milkedteeth.blogspot.co.uk) and the Grainger Market’s food deli Mmm…(@mmm_newcastle).
Maunika’s top five recommendations are:
Polly Randall - http://milkedteeth.blogspot.co.uk
mmm… - @mmm_newcastle
What Rachel Ate - http://www.whatrachelate.com/
Vogue India - http://www.vogue.in/
Jamie Oliver - @jamieoliver