Exploring & experimenting with food – The ‘Bhukkad in Town’ way

Exploring & experimenting with food – The ‘Bhukkad in Town’ way


Chandigarh | Parichay Sharma – a recipe curator and food blogger – has roughly 40 thousand followers on Instagram, and it’s growing with each passing month.

He enjoys exploring a variety of flavors and always tries to perfect them by adding a twist. TheBOTStory.com engaged him in a conversation to get to know more about the driving force behind his passion.

The dialogue kicked off with Parichay sharing, “Honestly, I hesitate to label myself as a chef because I hold immense respect for those in the culinary profession. My passion for cooking has been with me since childhood. As a kid, I would sneak into the kitchen, intrigued by what my mom was preparing, despite the common notion that boys aren’t typically allowed in the kitchen. Although not widely encouraged, I enjoyed experimenting with cooking, often creating a mess when my parents were away.”

Parichay added that his earlier amazement with food laid the foundation for his journey as a blogger. Explaining the origins of his interest, he said, “Being both an influencer and a blogger, a term relatively new in the digital landscape, the concept has always intrigued me. Growing up as an internet-savvy individual, starting a blog had been on my mind since 2009-2010. Back when I was a mass communication student, my focus was not on traditional journalism but on travel and exploring diverse cultures. Inspired by figures like Anthony Bourdain and shows like Lonely Planet, I developed a deep appreciation for understanding cultures, with food playing a significant role.”

“In 2016, a local food Instagram page in Chandigarh sparked my inspiration. The concept of documenting and sharing culinary experiences intrigued me, particularly as it was relatively untapped in India. Driven by my daily food adventures, I started with ‘Bhukkadintown’ on October 26, 2016. Initially centered on restaurant reviews, my emphasis evolved towards cooking and sharing homemade dishes, fueled by the gratification of others relishing my creations,” revealed the curator when questioned about the origin and narrative behind his content creation idea.

In today’s world, internet and social media have provide an unprecedented platform for aspiring entrepreneurs. Parichay attests to this, stating, “The internet played a pivotal role in amplifying my culinary pursuits, enabling me to connect with a broader audience. My journey originated from a local Instagram discovery and was driven by a dual passion for exploring and crafting delightful culinary experiences, influenced by TV shows on Discovery, National Geographic, and iconic personalities like Anthony Bourdain and Lonely Planet.”

The driving force that keeps him going is the sheer joy he finds in cooking. Parichay said, “The fun of cooking lies in experimenting with new ideas and flavors. Recently, I crafted a unique plain Maggi recipe, savoring the excitement of creating something novel. Sharing it with ten people, their priceless reactions reflected the novelty of the dish. Introducing individuals to new culinary experiences, particularly with a humble ten-rupee packet of Maggi, brings immense delight.”

The popularity and number of likes on a page depend on the trending food dishes. Parichay acknowledges this and has shared insights into the most preferred cuisine and specific foods favored by the audience.

“I’ve noticed a growing popularity of Indian food, particularly my egg-based content, on Instagram. Playfully dubbing my profile the ‘egg haven,’ my egg reels recently amassed 10 million views, a significant milestone for me. With three lakh people saving the reel, indicating repeated views, I recognize the audience’s keen interest in quick and delicious recipes. As a result, I intend to create more egg and breakfast recipes,” shared Parichay.

When asked about the essence of content, he emphasized that the content itself, coupled with timing, plays a pivotal role.

“Quality content is paramount. A compelling hook, seamless editing, and impactful visuals take precedence over music choice. In the food niche, delivering a strong recipe with engaging content is key; value-added content stands on its own without relying on music. Timing is crucial for success in this space,” he stated.

Parichay also shed light on the difference between two of the major platforms – YouTube and Instagram. As per him, while the YouTube audience is more loyal, the followers on Instagram can make any creator’s day in a matter of hours. He also opined that the YouTube audience looks for more detailed, lengthy and high-resolution images and therefore it is more time consuming, on the other hand, it is far more easier to put out content on Instagram.

During the course of the interaction Parichay also highlighted his most significant paid partnership. He shared, “During the lockdown, a standout collaboration for me was with Black & White, a scotch brand. They wanted a static post featuring their brand alongside a party starter dish. Crafting a unique recipe, ghee roast tacos, and appealingly presenting the whiskey bottle was enjoyable. Despite being a smaller, less frequent content creator, this partnership remains my most substantial collaboration to date. I look forward to more opportunities with brands in the future.”

When asked about the potential involvement of agencies in advancing his passion, Parichay provided detailed insights into the complexities and considerations surrounding such a proposition. He said he has explored the benefits, challenges, and strategic nuances of collaborating with agencies, and added that he was eager to take their assistance in elevating his social media journey.

“I operate at a micro level, and the idea of having an agency on board is appealing. Despite hearing mixed experiences, my natural introversion makes it challenging to approach people independently. Having an agency to bring in more work and scale my endeavors would be a welcome support. I’m open to sharing workload ethically, ensuring a mutually beneficial partnership. If it contributes to the growth of my creative work, partnering with an agency seems reasonable,” expressed the speaker.

“Facing reality, I acknowledge the need to refine my Instagram approach. Currently, my focus is on creating resonant content, particularly emphasizing successful egg recipes. Recent viral success with two egg recipes, a chicken salad, and an easy pasta dish has shaped my strategy. Prioritizing building a loyal audience, I aim to explore a broader range of foods once trust is established. Future goals include expanding beyond familiar dishes to showcase lesser-explored Indian cuisines, particularly South Indian flavors, and highlighting the rich diversity of food from various states,” shared the speaker, outlining his future strategy and commitment to aligning with his audience preferences in his content creation journey.

Parichay concluded by expressing immense love and gratitude to his followers. “I’m deeply grateful for each person following me. Their support is invaluable, and I envision my passion evolving into a full-time pursuit with their continued presence. I appreciate all feedback, positive or constructive. To everyone on my page, I say, ‘Aapka Hukum, Sir Aakhon pe’. I’m here to enhance your experience in any way I can,” he said on an ending note.