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Cooking experience: Cooking is an essential part of life, but to some, it is so much more than that. Some find cooking soothing and for some, it is an escape. But most importantly, cooking brings people together and binds them, as foodies enjoy trying out new delicacies and cooks just love feeding others. Food becomes the backdrop of so many conversations – be it casual or important – without people often even realising. But food aficionados Vaibhav Bahl and Neha Malik knew exactly what role cooking and food play in forming irreplaceable bonds when they started a platform to bring together home chefs and food lovers in 2018. And if you are a home chef who continuously looks for new dishes and loves to share your experiments with food lovers, then this might pique your interest.
Home chefs often love to try out new recipes and experiment with food, because cooking is an art to them. However, they do not always get the best avenues to get food tasters or to upskill themselves. This is where Conosh comes in.
Talking to Financial Express Online’s Bulbul Dhawan, Vaibhav and Neha said, “Until Covid-19 forced all of us to stay at home, Conosh was all about getting people together over lip smacking home cooked food. The platform was known for organising food pop-ups hosted at home. People from different walks of life used to attend these pop-ups to socialise and meet new people over home food. Once the pandemic began, we had to pause all such gatherings.”
The pandemic, much like it did with everything, disrupted these gatherings, leaving home chefs disappointed. But if there is anything that any art form teaches people, it is the importance of carrying on. During the pandemic, the home chefs wanted to use the time to upskill themselves, the Conosh co-founders said. But even so, how would these home chefs share their dishes with foodies? Conosh had a solution.
In the pandemic, diners also found themselves getting exhausted after an entire week of cooking and cleaning, Vaibhav and Neha said. “So we decided that until it’s safe for us to get back to pop-ups, we should curate online learning experiences for whoever loves to cook. And for those who need a break from week-long cooking and look forward to some pampering, we offer them delicious and carefully curated meals. With a diverse set of talented home chefs, Conosh is now delivering crafted meals to our diners’ doorsteps in Delhi and Bangalore every weekend. The platform is also helping home chefs and home bakers learn new cooking skills by taking up online sessions,” they said.
And what better way to upskill home chefs than by helping them learn from master chefs themselves! “We host Conosh Social hours in collaboration with renowned Master Chefs and food and hospitality industry experts. Every weekend, Conosh Social brings up new online learning experiences for our community. These online sessions teach a range of skills; from gourmet-level baking to cocktails, or even preparing multi-course gourmet meals at home. Our Social Hours stars include MasterChef Australia judges Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris; MasterChef Kirti Bhoutika, Ranveer Brar, Meghna, Anna Poyviou, Sashi Cheliah, Vicky Ratnani, Anahita Dhondy and Sarah Todd, among many other illustrious names,” the co-founders explained.
But what exactly makes Conosh unique for food lovers? “Two of the most important unique features offered by Conosh in its current format are: affordable and live online culinary classes taken by the industry experts that food enthusiasts can attend every week; and secondly, curated gourmet-class homemade meals that our users can enjoy from the comfort of their homes. Our users also get something no restaurant can offer: a chance to eat nostalgic dishes made with heirloom recipes. Further, they can use the Conosh platform to showcase their culinary talent – whether it is newly acquired or honed over years. Finally, Conosh’s uniqueness also lies in offering people a great opportunity to elevate the quality of food served at their private gatherings or parties, through custom orders for a large group,” the duo explained to FE Online in an interview.
Joining the community is not all too difficult either! “Anyone who loves food is welcome to visit Conosh’s website and become a part of our community,” the co-founders said. For people who are still trying to explore whether cooking up new dishes is something they enjoy or not, Conosh might have something to offer. The Conosh Social classes can be attended by aspiring home chefs on an individual basis as well. The platform’s website enlists the upcoming sessions along with the dishes and areas they would cover, details about the chef conducting the session, as well as the fee for the session.
Other than that, people who love to cook can register with the platform as home chef by filling a form that is available on Conosh website as well as their Instagram page. “After a thorough screening process, they can start cooking meals for others via our platform in Delhi NCR & Bangalore. We take great care in curating our home chefs and also invest in their training; with the idea of creating a sustainable ecosystem of expert home chefs and connoisseur diners who love and appreciate the highest standards of food. When a new home chef signs up for food delivery, we just don’t onboard them over a form – everything that goes out of Conosh is pre-tasted! We also organise online cooking classes for those who wish to learn something new and upskill themselves to enable them to cook better. We try to keep these classes affordable and they are conducted live so that conversations and clarifications can be facilitated. From amateurs or hobbyists to professionals, these courses are meant for everyone,” Vaibhav and Neha explained.
Apart from that, food lovers who wish to try out the food of these home chefs can also do so easily by visiting the website. In the tab of ‘Delivery’, diners from Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR can look at the dishes that would be available for delivery on the upcoming weekend. Clicking on the dishes from a particular home chef would show them the options that they can choose from along with their prices. This is similar to the menu that Swiggy or Zomato show, the only difference is that instead of a particular restaurant, Conosh shows the offerings from a particular home chef, and that it would be delivered on a particular day at a particular time. The delicacies that are delivered, however, would be home cooked, something that a lot of food lovers prefer.
In case you are still not convinced, here is a brief idea about the kind of culinary feasts that these home chefs come up with. “Our home chefs come up with very interesting options every week. From regional to international cuisines, we have done quite a number of these. These meals are also inspired by the local festivals and celebrations. For instance our Vishu Sadya was a hit in both Delhi and Bangalore. Before that, the weekend deliveries were all about Easter meals by our home chefs. We have also experimented with Farm-to-table menus, where we have directly sourced the produce from the farms of KrishiCress and curated a menu with one of our home chefs using that produce. From Diwali Sweets to Christmas Treats, it is all very interesting and innovative because of our talented home chefs,” the duo said.
In fact, this Saturday, an Eid Special dinner is being offered in Delhi for food lovers, and it has both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, while diners in Bengaluru can get Odia Special – Pakhala Pasara on Sunday for lunch from Conosh. Food can be an experience, both for the cook and for the diner, and it seems that Conosh is looking to enhance that experience for both!