Slurrp Exclusive: Youngest MasterChef India Winner Kriti Bhoutika On How To Win Social Media

She entered MasterChef India just after finishing college. As an avid fan of the show, she knew what was in store. After weeks of gruelling tasks, the feisty cook defeated Ashima Arora, Dinesh Patel and Mirvaan Vinayak to become the youngest person to walk home with the winner’s trophy in the year 2016. Since then, Kriti has been nothing short of a sensation in the F&B world. She got her own show, ‘Food fiesta’ on Food XP and donned the hat of an entrepreneur with her passion project, Sugarplum Cakery in Kolkata. Some of her other noted associations have been with twice Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar, she was also invited to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum to cook the dessert for the dinner hosted by PM Narendra Modi for delegates. With her multiple cooking videos, Kriti is currently one of the most sought-after Facebook and Instagram creators. The celebrity chef sat down with us for a candid chat about her creative content ideas, key milestones and challenges she faces as a digital creator.

Q. You are the youngest MasterChef India winner? How has the journey been post the big win? 

It has been surreal. The exposure, the love and the support I have received has changed my life forever. There is no looking back now. The journey has been a lot about learning and bettering myself. The title also comes with great responsibilities and expectations, so I have just been striving to deliver better to my supporters. 

Q. When did you start cooking and baking?  

I started cooking and baking when I was in 11th grade. I used to bake for my school and college events. I slowly started getting appreciation for my cakes and above all, I realised I could be in the kitchen for hours without getting tired. That is when I knew, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. 

Q. When did you start shooting recipes? How instrumental has social media platform Facebook been in your journey? 

Primarily, I started sharing recipes during the pandemic when the bakery was closed and I was cooking food every day. I started shooting videos of the food I was making with readily available ingredients in my kitchen. I started uploading the videos on Facebook, because I think that it is a highly popular platform and everyone uses it. People found my recipes easy to make and my viewership grew four-fold during these months. I noticed that people were coming back to my page to watch more videos, and this inspired me to keep creating new dishes. I was also able to monetize these videos which kept me going. I never thought I could be earning from shooting food videos! I’m thankful to all my viewers for their feedback and constant support. 

Q. Take us through your day, right from conceiving a video idea to actually shooting it. What is the process like?  

My shoot ideas mostly revolve around what I make or eat for myself. I do not shoot recipes just for the sake of creating videos, it is always about what I eat myself. Which means the ingredients and equipment I use are usually in everyone’s home kitchen and the recipes are healthy, filling and nourishing.   

So firstly, I think of what I have in my own pantry or fridge. Then I figure out what I can cook with these ingredients and then I start prepping. The next step is shooting the recipe, then eating the food and finally editing and revising my recipes.  

Apart from this, the baking recipes I shoot are usually shot in my bakery cum workshop and are always eggless baking recipes that one can easily replicate at home. I call this series - ‘Home Bake with Kirti’. 

Q. Who are your cooking inspirations? 

I think I am very inspired by Jamie Oliver, simply because his recipes and style of cooking is very similar to mine. He works with easy ingredients and techniques. He cooks with his heart and his videos are fun and organic.  

Q. Who is your biggest critic?  

My family is my biggest critic. When I cook or bake something they don’t enjoy, they are the first ones to tell me that this recipe should not go on my channel or page simply because they do not want others to waste their time. I think this is why all my recipes work for people who try it, because I do not post recipe videos that didn’t work for me. 

Q. Your biggest learning as a social media creator in the past year?  

So many things! Firstly, it is important that the content you put out is relatable and doable. Secondly, it should align with your own principles and personality and most importantly,  the content should come with consistency. This is a problem I face too, but I am trying to work on it. 

Q. Some tips for the creators starting out  

Find your own niche. Also, in the beginning, create with easily available tools and equipment and create content around things you do everyday. This way you can create more content without spending a lot of money or extra time.  

Q. What is your comfort food? 

Has to be salad. I know this sounds funny but nothing gives me more comfort than eating a bowl of well-made salad. Any salad.  

Q. Your fondest food memory? 

I think most of my food memories are based around my travels. Be it in India or abroad, I make sure I make a lot of food memories when I travel. The strongest food memories are from Thailand, because I love the food culture there. The street food, the fresh fruits and even the coffee and tea, everything excites me so much! 

Q. A recipe you are obsessed with right now? Can you also share the same with us?  

I tried this healthy version of a chocolate mousse/pudding with silken tofu and I absolutely loved it. It’s super easy to make, it’s delicious and high on protein. 

All we do is blend together the following: 

  • 170 g silken tofu 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa powder  
  • A pinch of salt  
  • 1/4 cup milk of your choice  
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla