How love for his mother turned Shamsher into an excellent chef
This is a story of passion; Chef Shamsher’s story is not just an inspiration for those who want to pursue the culinary profession, it is a story of how to make use of what you have at hand and achieve what you want to achieve. Read his interview below and get inspired to follow your passion, to make use of your time, to learn a life lesson. It has a bit of everything.
Along with that, his recipe images will be a treat to your eyes.
1. Kindly introduce yourself and sum up your journey of this whole venture?
Well, it started with a tragedy as my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. I was just done with the university at the time and was looking for work. Since there was no one at home except for me and my younger brother I wanted to take care of my mother myself. So, I decided to look after her through her treatment and rehabilitation of the disease. Losing my father back 2006 at very young age had impacted me with this great sense of responsibility. For the first year of her treatment, we had different cooks who were taking care of the food. One came after another and my mother got annoyed by this. As I was doing nothing except taking care of her at the time I decided to give cooking a try myself. I started cooking on my mother’s instructions and she liked it. So for the next 2 years, I cooked every day until mom got better and started to handle matters by herself. Some months later she told me that she misses the food that I make and I promised her that I will cook something special for her on the weekends. So I started doing it and while I was cooking I would upload the whole process on snapchat. So this person from Twitter, my friend Shumail suggested me to create a blog and a friend Umair Khan made the logo for me. So, I ended up with the blog ChefShamsher.blogspot.com
2. Did it start as a passion or evolved into one?
It started with a necessity, to be honest, and then it evolved into a passion.
3. What is it that you like most about cooking food, the process or the outcome?
The thing that I like the most about it is that I myself am the most organised and patient while I am in the kitchen. Then definitely there is food at the end which nobody dislikes.
4. Do you have any personal philosophy that runs at the backdrop of your cooking? Does it help you internalise daily life matters?
My personal philosophy behind cooking is love and patience. You need both of them to make the perfect meal. Yes it helps in a manner as it is a bit therapeutic.
5. How do you like or manage social media fame?
I still don’t consider myself famous. So there is no fame to handle. I think fame is a state of mind and if you’re given enough space by the public it is not hard to handle.
6. Now that you have earned quite a number of fans and people following your recipes, how or do you plan to utilise this attention for achieving better things in the culinary profession?
Well everyone always suggests me to sell my food or start home deliveries but I do not do this for money. The whole concept of my blog and other social media outlets is to encourage people and teach them how to cook but at some point in my life, I would like to open up my own restaurant.
7. What/ Who is your professional inspiration in your particular field or in life generally?
My parents are my inspiration, not saying this because they were my parents and they’ve been kind to be but they were one of the best human beings I’ve seen and I am blessed to be raised by such wonderful people.
8. Where do you see culinary arts as a profession in Pakistan at present and do you think these arts have a scope for upcoming youth?
I think it is one of the best professions in Pakistan and it has a major scope as you see 10s and 100s of eateries are being opened and most of them turn out to be successful as people are always looking for new places to try. I kind of regret not going to the culinary school as I was discouraged a lot by the people surrounding me but I definitely encourage people who want to peruse it on a professional level to do so.
9. You are presently running a successful food/ recipe blog, what are your future plans regarding the blog?
My future plans for the blog is to do videos for some of my existing recipes and some new ones. Start a channel on youtube as well.
10. Many people look up to you as an inspiration when it comes to cooking, do you have a piece of advice to share with newcomers in the field? Any inconveniences that you faced and they can avoid particularly?
Well as I told earlier that I wanted to go to culinary school but I did not and opted out for a business master’s program because a lot of the people around me discouraged me and taunted me that I do not want to be a ‘bawarchi’ for the rest of my life. So, my advice to the people is that if they are interested in cooking and culinary they should definitely go to a culinary school as they will get to learn a lot and they would have opportunities to work anywhere in the world as chefs are more in demand than most of the so-called prestigious degree holders.