Julia Child once said, ‘People who love to eat are always the best people.’ It’s very rare that one tends to disagree with that, especially if they’re dealing with the ‘Food Bloggers Association Bangalore’ (FBAB).
The club was started purely to share their love for food by Chef BB and Naveen Suresh who decided that they needed a platform where bloggers and food enthusiasts could come together for the same.
Finally, in December 2014, they met for the very first time at Rasta Cafe in Kammanahalli and grew stronger from there on. While they have about 4,000 members on their Facebook page, the registered members are 154 in number.
Naveen Suresh, the co-founder of FBAB, says, “I used to blog on my own. One day, Chef BB, Nameesh and I met up for breakfast and decided that we start a platform where bloggers would be recognised. There were a lot of challenges and discouragements in the beginning. But we’ve got a lot of love and support as well that has made each one of our meet-ups a different experience.”
Nameesh Rajamane, one of the admins of the club, says, “We don’t have a specific time for meeting. Whenever restaurants invite us to review their food or we plan something on our own is usually when we meet. But there’s always at least one planned meeting that takes place in the month. However, there are plenty unplanned ones that happen a couple of times during the week.”
Though they all have food as the common factor, the members range from homemakers to marketing and IT professionals. They also share anything from restaurant reviews to recipes and tips for other food lovers. Through this platform, they are also proud that they’ve met many food celebrities like Rocky and Mayur, George Calombaris, Sanjeev Kapoor and more. As Jyoti Varne, one of the members and bloggers at ‘Flavor Flame Fusion’, says, “This is a great platform for any food blogger and food enthusiast to be a part of.” She adds, “The one thing that I love about being a part of this club is that we can post anything related to food without worrying whether the admin will approve it or not. I like it that we have that freedom of expression that other clubs lack. As long as one loves food, is passionate about it and can write, they are welcome to be a part of this club.”
During their food meet-ups, they not only review the restaurant but also discuss other topics related to blogging. It is through this club that many bloggers claim to have been recognised by others. Deepa M, the owner of ‘Madarasi’, is one such blogger who stands witness to this. She exclaims, “I’m a homemaker who would blog just for the sake of it. But after I joined FBAB, they recognised me and took me out. They gave me the exposure that I needed and today, I go for many food reviews and also do product reviews. A lot of people recognise my work and know me.”
That’s where Chef BB, also a co-founder, agrees that this was one of the main motives of the club. He explains, “Our aim was to connect with brands and bloggers without compromising their identity. There are many other clubs that our members are part of and whenever they write something on their behalf, it becomes the club’s entity. But at FBAB, you can be your individual self and build your platform along with it.”
As for Manoj Kumar and Rahul Bhaskaran, being a part of the club is also a great experience as they get to meet a lot of new people. They say, “We are all from different backgrounds and we have our own lives outside of this. But when we come together as a club for food, we forget about all our stress at work and home and be here just because we want to be. We feel welcome and it’s great as we also get to meet a lot of wonderful people here.”
The admins are starting a new series of posts called ‘Untold Stories’ where they will feature restaurateurs and talk about their journey to start the restaurant. They will also conduct workshops to help bloggers pull more traffic to their blogs in the coming week. Along with their new projects, it’s the membership card that they are excited about. Chef BB says, “We’ve already designed our membership cards with QR codes where one can claim discounts and coupons for it. We are very excited to bring that out soon.” While there a mix of ‘foodies’ in the club, they all make room for each other here.
As Nameesh smartly points out, “There are times when major five-star hotels have invited us to have their delicious food. But thanks to the other places in the City, we also love going to small joints and enjoying a good plate of ‘idli and sambar’ right after.” After all, their love for food sure stands testimony for the saying by Paul Prudhomme, “You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.”
(They can be contacted on www.fbab.in)