From the chocolate mug cake to the beautiful mango tart, there is nothing you wouldn’t find on Bake with Shivesh. Going by the same name on his website and social media, Shivesh Bhatia has been nothing short of a trail blazer in the field of food blogging. After almost 7 years in the blogging industry (he switched to a website a year after the blog), the 25-year old baker has garnered many accolades. Right from featuring in Vogue’s list of 20 under 26 to receiving Living Foodz’ Best Instagrammer Of The Year 2018, his journey has been full of adventures. 

In an exclusive chat with Slurrp, Shivesh Bhatia opens up about his passion, dreams and future goals. Excerpts:

Q. Where & when did you start to learn baking?  

I started baking when I was 16 and I used to bake at home with my cousins. I enjoyed the experience so much that I started baking very often on my own in my kitchen. This was followed by a series of disasters but I kept practicing and experimenting because baking truly made me happy. And I haven’t stopped baking since!

Q. Do you recall a time when you had a dish planned in your head but it ended becoming something else?

 Oh yes, many times. I understand that baking comes with its ups and downs and this one time, I decided to make Macarons in rainy weather hoping it would work out. I ended up with cracked shells of gooey sugar and that's a kitchen disaster that still haunts me to date!

Q. A food memory that’s close to your childhood?

I think one childhood memory that's really close to my heart is growing up watching my nani and mother bake simple yet delicious cakes. They have both been avid bakers and it still brings me so much nostalgia and inspiration when I think about their simple, homemade desserts.

Q. Which was your debut dish in the kitchen & how did it turn out? 

My first baking adventure was when I was 16. My nani wasn’t keeping well and I was missing her chocolate cake that I loved so much. I got along with my cousins and got home some cake mix and ready-made frosting to make chocolate cupcakes. We ended up with an entire batch of burnt cupcakes but I truly had the best time in the kitchen.

Q. Will you say that food inspires other aspects of your life? If yes, how? 

I have always felt that good, simple flavours speak to the heart and inspire you in everything you do. Food, and specially desserts, push me to think outside the box when it comes to simplicity and inspire me to be creative every day. The idea of making a dessert in my kitchen that will bring people together is such a drive for me. This motivation helps me in every aspect of life! Plus, food inspires me to always look out for small and local businesses and support them as much as possible.

                Source: Harpercollins/Twitter 

Q. Any particular event/incident that defined your career path? 

Writing on a book of my own had been a dream ever since I started blogging. So when my debut book Bake with Shivesh came out in 2018 and got an incredible response, it truly gave my career path a whole new structure and meaning. I knew there were more books to come!

Q. Did the blogger life choose you or you choose the blogger life? How did it happen? 

I never really had a strategy while I was starting off. I was using Instagram like all my friends at school. I was posting absolutely everything and anything there, including pictures of my desserts. I realized that the dessert pictures were getting a good response. That led me to also start working on the styling and photography. I slowly built a community around my work that later encouraged me to start a blog and share my recipes there. So I have to say, that we chose each other!

Q. Tell us about the time when you encountered a maha challenge while learning how to bake? 

I think learning to bake was a process that was full of highs and lows for me. I had a lot of fun learning how to bake good chocolate chip cookies. In the process, I ended up with burnt cookie bottoms and uneven cookies so many times! It used to feel like a big challenge getting them right but now it feels as simple as ever!

         Source: Shivesh Bhatia/Facebook

Q. How has the pandemic treated you and your blogging? 

The start of the pandemic was slightly daunting for me because we couldn't shoot in the kitchen and the team's safety was of utmost priority. But slowly and steadily, it encouraged me to learn how to shoot videos myself and I had so much fun while learning to do that! As more and more people were at home and venturing into baking, it felt really nice to be able to continue putting up recipes and helping them bake some delicious treats.

Q. You’re well known for your baking skills. But what’s that one savoury dish that no one can beat you at? 

As much as I love making desserts, I also make really nice salads and pasta! I am really fond of local, seasonal ingredients and I think those really complement sweet as well savory dishes.

Q. Your Favourites: chef & cuisine.

Pooja Dhingra. Asian cuisine.

Q. How does it feel to follow your passion? 

There's so much joy in doing what you love and having the privilege to do it every day! I wake up every day feeling so happy and motivated because I know that I will be baking and shooting desserts. When it comes to your passion, hard work and the right inspiration is the best combination in the world!

 Q. Future goals? 

I see myself writing a few more cookbooks down the line because it makes me truly happy to be sharing some great recipes with people! Apart from that, my own line of products is something I'd really love to work on. I'm currently working on my third book and let's see where it goes from here.

Q. Finally, what’s that one unpopular food opinion that you strongly believe in? Surprise us, please! 

I love everything chocolate but the truth is I’d always prefer a fruit dessert over a chocolate one!