Foodie&Fabulous is Rupal Bhatikar. A beach shacks & seafood loving Goan living the desert life with skyscrapers and shawarmas in Dubai, UAE for seven years now. I’m a full-time brand marketing manager, a passionate home-cook constantly experimenting with big bold flavours and ingredients. Most importantly, I’m a travel addict who needs to get away and explore the world at every opportunity I can seize. Extra-shot lattes, morning markets, perusing books and making lists are my guilty pleasures.
Inspiration: My love for food started young – spending hours in the kitchen, watching my mum go about cooking our usual meals. A long day at work never deterred her from making us simple flavorful meals, something that inspires me to make a home cooked meal every day. Home to me is the smell of Mom cooking Chicken Xacuti ( a traditional Goan chicken curry) on a Sunday afternoon along with splutters of fish in the frying pan. My Dad taught me to appreciate local markets – buying fresh seasonal ingredients and getting to know the people I buy my food from. My sister and I were the original food explorers – using up every last penny from our allowances for finding new restaurants.
In the Kitchen– After moving to the UAE, I began recreating Mom’s recipes, sometimes giving them my own twist and cooking my way through my perennially expanding collection of cook-books! I love cooking from scratch – the whole experience to me is both rewarding and relaxing. I’m blessed to be married to M who shares my passion for food and travel, encourages my experiments (sometimes critiques like a master chef judge) and is mostly just the best partner in crime in all our adventures (he’s the Chandler to my Monica).
Wanderlust – We live to travel the world. After all, there’s no better way to truly experiment with food and flavors than to be on the road. We spend a lot of time meticulously planning our holidays, from Lonely Planet books to reading blogs/websites online – we soak in the city, its architecture and immerse ourselves completely in local culture and cuisine. From kopi luwak and pho’s street-side in Vietnam to Michelin-star fine dining, we enjoy every experience in equal measure.
Restaurants– I’m no critic, far from it, but I do have a strong sense of flavors, cuisines and ingredients combined with a keen eye for presentation, aesthetics and detail. We actively seek out new restaurants to try all the time, from streetsy to posh and everything in between. I only write about restaurants that I’ve truly enjoyed eating at. We pay for our own meals and I always give an honest personal opinion about it here on the blog.
From November 2013 till today – thank you so much for reading and keeping up with my food adventures. Here’s hoping you liked what you saw, that you will return and who knows, may be could get to know each other better.