Panelists: Shilpa Mitha, Archana Doshi, Kunal Kapur, Pooja Dhingra and Deeba Rajpal at the Food @ Instagram event.
Instagram has changed the way we look at food. Right from shaping the food culture to helping experts make gastronomical breakthroughs, it has provided the much needed momentum and platform to food legends to experiment and evolve.
Recently, at an event in the Capital, Food @Instagram, renowned chefs, food bloggers and food stylists came together for a discussion on how Instagram has helped them grow their business. The panelists included Chef Kunal Kapur, celebrity Chef and Restaurateur, Pooja Dhingra, Deeba Rajpal, Food Blogger and Stylist at Passionate about Baking, Archana Doshi, CEO & Founder of Archana’s Kitchen and Shilpa Mitha, Food Miniaturist.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Kunal Kapur explained, “Instagram is a great source of inspiration when it comes to cooking and food styling. There are lots of communities where you could get ideas on how you can bake your food in the form of videos and photos. When you are creating or styling food, it’s all about getting inspired. And Instagram is one of the platforms that help do that. There are so many different ways to style and plate even a simple rajma chawal dish.”
Take a look at some of Kapur’s short food video stories:
Pooja Dhingra, who created Sonam Kapoor and Sagarika Ghatge’s wedding cakes said, “As a chef and restaurant owner, I decided to do something innovative last year. We created something called the ‘Pink latte’. We thought ‘let’s just launch it and see how it goes’. The number of people that showed up in the cafe just to take a picture of that coffee, it was amazing. Then we had to make it permanent and now it’s on our menu. If you type #pinklatte, you will see all of Le15 Patisserie’s special latte on that.”
Dhingra added, “I think people are also changing the way they go to places. We created our menu on Instagram, which is called the Le15 cafe menu. A whole menu page which gives you a description of the food, what it looks like, how much it costs and if you have allergies, what can you eat. Hence, before you even enter the restaurant, you already know what you want – it serves just like a menu. Also, even if one enters the restaurant, they can still look at what the food would look like before ordering, they can just check it out there.”
Shilpa Mitha, who calls herself a fake chef, explained how she used Instagram as a platform to grow her business. “Food is something we all can connect with. The most important part while using this platform is to understand what will work and what won’t. I created contents, specifically not to sell, but to connect with the people. People started loving what I created and then I stopped trying to sell my product. My Instagram account became three different things — the art, the artist, the product. You take care of the first two, the third will automatically be taken care of.”
While clicking pictures of food, one should keep in mind about decors as well. Pretty decors and scenic backgrounds add to the view of a photo. Kapur says, “If you are eating rajma chawal in a restaurant overlooking the beach, all of a sudden the experience changes. Similarly, if a restaurant has a certain amount of decor which appeals to a certain kind of people, they would come and appreciate it. When you click pictures of food with a vivid background with nice colours, it immediately becomes interesting.”
If you are beginning your Instagram food journey, Kapur has some tips for you. “Like all other platforms, Instagram works when you want to monetise or make it into a business. It goes with the basic principle, which is the number of followers. Followers are directly linked to the kind of content one creates. It takes a little time like any other business. When you start, the first six months or the first one year is not going to give you money or profit. But in order to use the app as a business tool, you need to start putting very engaging content. When you get a certain amount of followers, you will then be called an influencer. In order to become one, you have to thoroughly research first, for example, food. Have good knowledge about what you are promoting, become an influencer and brands will follow. That’s how the general map goes.”
Instagram also released the top ten food hashtags in India at the event – #delhigram, #delhidiaries, #nomnom, #kolkatadiaries, #indianfoodblogger, #eeeeeats, #paneer, #southindianfood and #zingyzest.