Hyderabad Food Diaries | Mohd Zubair Ali.
Let’s have some chit-chat with the gastronome himself.
- Tell us a bit about yourself. What’s the story behind ‘Hyderabad Food Diaries’, how did it all start?
While doing my graduation in hotel management I came across many famous chefs of Hyderabad and was spellbound to see their culinary skills. It was the initial days and my first exposure to the Food and Beverage Industry. The simple ingredients that you get in the market were being transformed into an art by beautiful procedures of cooking, plating and presentation. I was then inspired and motivated to venture out in the open and explore more with regards to food and its cooking.
I Have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who loves to eat. And hence Hyderabad Food Diaries was started to let people be updated on what is happening in Hyderabad on daily basis. Hyderabad Food Diaries is a one stop destination for your food related queries, reviews, videos and night life.
- What comes to your mind when you hear the word food?
I think of two things: Experiencing art and skill. Art because of the creativity of good dishes, reflected in the novelty of combining ingredients or the passion that went into securing the best ingredients and bringing them forth in unique yet recognizable way. Skill because the art doesn’t matter if the dish is over or under cooked, over or under seasoned or too hot or too cold.
- What do you hate & love about your job?
Its been a blessed and loved journey so far. Yes, criticism and online bullying does happen but it doesn’t affect me much. I love meeting new people over food and know their stories.It’s an absolutely amazing experience when you meet total strangers, build up a relation with them and listen to their incredible life experiences. And when you get to listen these kinds of stories on a daily basis you tend to find more fascinating facts about other’s lives and of course you turn into a good listener too. Food has connected me to some of the wonderful people who are now a family. One thing I hate about my job is, sometimes you get invited for so many events at the same time that you need to make tough choices which to attend and which to skip.
- Share some funniest experiences you had during your journey till date?
Its an amazing feeling when people recognize you at parties and dinners. One such funny incident happened with me while I was on a date with this pretty girl. We were having our dinner at one of the most famous restaurants in Hyderabad. It was just the soup and a starter that we began with and there were atleast 12 people who came up to me and said “hey you are zubair right ? from Hyderabad food diaries?”. I was happy and she surprised/annoyed ! we literally had to leave the restaurant and eat pani puri at a bandi. Talk about a date night with street food !!
- Which are your favourite food destinations in India?
Hmm now this is an interesting question. To be very frank I still haven’t explored the travel guy in me. There are so many pending places that I need to visit across India. Indian food is different from rest of the world not only in taste but also in cooking methods. It reflects a perfect blend of various cultures and ages. Just like Indian culture, food in India has also been influenced by various civilizations, which have contributed their share in its overall development and the present form. But if you ask my top places that I would like to visit would be Kashmir , Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Lucknow.
- Also in Hyderabad where do you love eating out?
Now that’s a difficult question for a blogger like me who eats every single day out ! It is such a lovely feeling to see Hyderabad’s F&B sector grow at such rapid speed. There are so many places which are opening every day and contributing to the food scene. I am a person who loves eating with a group of people and sometimes a lone dinner to pamper myself also works. Two such places for me are Roastery Coffee House with bunch of friends and I find my peace at Mazzo restaurant by Marriott executive apartment.
- What are the things you are passionate about other than food?
Food for me has always been a priority. But apart from that I have been an animal activist in the past and associated with multiple animal welfares & shelter houses. It’s a godly feeling to be the voice of voiceless. Plus, I am also associated with 3 orphanages in Hyderabad which takes care of approximately 400 underprivileged children. It’s a blessing to see smiles on those little faces. I try to contribute as much as I can through money and kind once in every two months.
- Let us also know some of your upcoming endeavours.
Last few years have been a fruitful blogging journey. I have collaborated and worked with some of the big names in the industry. Trevour James (Food ranger), Novotel Hotels, David Hoffman (Davids been here), Tedx, Ndtv Food etc to name a few. I am all prepared and geared up for new challenges. My upcoming endeavors include working for a local English tabloid, My own youtube channel, Guest Speaker at one of the biggest teen festival in hyderabad and my own food show with a local tv channel.
- Having a prominent hierarchy of being a genuine influencer, what do you think about the increasing foodies & blogs in the food industry and the leverage they carry with the content & reviews?
I have always believed in sharing love & knowledge. It indeed is overwhelming to see so many youngsters taking up food blogging as their passion. There are so many talented and deserving people in Hyderabad’s blogging community who have approached me asking for help and I have always given them the required push. But yes, there are also people who open their blogs as hobby just to enjoy free food. But they for sure are not going to last for long. In the end it is the content that matters. A good/ bad content can make or break a blogger. One suggestion that I would like to give to upcoming bloggers is “create content to spread word rather than just posting pictures for the sake of it. Try helping others to know about food & places. Rest will fall into place”.
- Recently celebrating your Fan Base of 60K, what’s the message you would love to share.
60K ! I never dreamed of it. Its magical to hear such a big number. I have been blessed with the best followers base. Celebrating 60k was special and close to my heart. I literally get Goosebumps when i sit in my living room during my leisure time and think back on all of the amazing interactions that have occurred during this year through Hyderabad Food Diaries. They have been my voice, support system and back bone of HFD.
So, THANK YOU, for being one of the most engaged, empathetic and intelligent group of followers I could ask for. You have helped me through some pretty major changes in my life, making sure that I get to the other side safe and sound. That is something I will never be able to repay. Hyderabad Food Diaries wouldn’t have existed without these lovely people. Xo.
A true foodie by heart always wondering for extravagant food experiences, well known for his ever-energetic stories and details about every in/out gourmandizing trends in the city.
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