Sunita’s ‘Gopalan Organics’ in Bangalore was a nice surprise last month; vegetables were fetched directly from her farm, fresh and full of flavours. We loved her garden-fresh okra, which grow easily and obtainable most of the time now. Its shape, colour and flavour evenly enthral people who appreciate it. As a dish what’s prevalently offered, okra doesn’t forever vindicate its exceptional and chaste flavour when deep-fried or submerged in onion tomato masala.
Ramesh, our Australian customer, liked the easy stir-fried version. Chopped okra, finely cut onions cooked to translucence, slashed green chillies, freshly grated coconut and curry leaves, all blended at smooth pace in medium flame and gently sautéed to perfection. “Taste divine and feel whole of nature’s flavours,”as he put it!
Whilst cooking, I read with great interest the revelation of a young Korean lady appraising two professions that are contrary to the world of imagination. “Kitchens are brutal just like financial institutions for women,” asserted Judy Joo, a banker-turned-TV chef. A former employee of Goldman Sachs, she’s opening her restaurant in London’s Soho with her version of Korean food.
Judy has been trained under Thomas Keller and Gordon Ramsay, and she claims a mission to defy the system, her French-trained Korean Londoner base will aim to beget spanking style to restaurants. Fleeing the wolf of Wall Street and breaking the glass ceiling of busy kitchens, she learned to fight against sink or swim notion existed for women in tough careers.
It has been debated for long time to understand why more young girls don’t come into cooking profession. Even when prevalent impression subsists ‘male dominance’ as one large rationale other than long hours for ramming ladies away from restaurant trade. Reality’s cooking and taste creation come naturally to females and many of us still believe mothers cook best food.
There are incredible stories of women whose managerial flairs could be compelling advice to botched organisations and aspiring people. Still they don’t always grow in numbers in big firms. You may have noted women earn lower salary for similar jobs and that’s one big reason fight continues on gender equality.
Some of the female chefs are impressive models in our industry. London’s Italian Chef Rose Gray and America’s Alice Waters are true icons who would have inspired countless young girls to consider this industry with added interest and voice hunger to reach the top. Smiling Judy promulgates a lot of fire in her eyes as she set out to be an example for others in diverse enterprises to get enticed to this thriving industry.
Modern life has been acquiring more pace and venom in its chase to be better and happier. There’s a definite missing ingredient of love as we run without care or belonging. In food industry, women can add benefits and sustainability of brand values since they could think better and in detail. There’s no obvious challenge while output is completely different and unique; women should be allowed to be themselves and rise above society’ old thinking and perceptions.
There’s no better time than now to join a world that’s opening up opportunities and raring to progress to a new phase. Individuals cultivate talent and power within them rather than following bygone utterances and so-called fear of acceptance. We have room for new ideas, and the world has always shown marvels of female warriors and how they commanded reverence.
Crunchy okra dish has been completed and eaten in no time; it has most brilliant colours and so many simple savours. This season has given us inspiration for growing okra in our terrace garden after a successful beans harvest last summer.
The author is a London-based restaurateur who owns the Rasa chain of restaurants