Priya Jham – “Every child should learn basic cooking from an early age.”
The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Doesn’t this hold truth even when it comes to kids? Dynamic entrepreneur Priya Jham pulled up her socks once her kids were in kindergarten and made a forte into something she liked doing the most. Cooking had always been a passion, a trait which she picked up from her mom.
Today Priya has over 20 years of experience in planning and organizing cooking classes for various food products. She has organized cooking demonstrations for society groups/clubs, women’s groups, student groups, private groups, food product events, and cooking classes at home. She also has her own exclusive catering setup called Kitchens by Priya Jham.
In a free-wheeling interview with her, she discusses the need of why today’s children need to be trained with basic cooking skills.
You have completed training 1000 Mumbai kids in basic cooking skills as a workshop. Tell us about your journey.
Well I have been in the food business for more than two decades. I have my own catering set-up called Kitchens by Priya Jham. We offer exclusive catering services to production houses, banks and also host private parties. My endeavour has been more on quality than quantity.
I realized that there aren’t many workshops being held for children. Every child should learn basic cooking from an early age. It makes them more independent in fending for themselves and they value their moms more for all the pain they take to conjure up fancy dishes to titillate their taste buds. Yes, we have trained more than a 1000 Mumbai kids so far. The journey has been excellent and training kids gives you a thrill.
What do the kids get to learn in these workshops?
The needs vary since I speak to the parents first. It could be basics like cooking rice and dal, making sandwiches, even simple sweet dishes. The kids get thrilled when they make their own creative dishes.
Is it true that couple of your students even auditioned for MasterChef Junior?
Yes a couple of kids did go through the auditions process and completed 3 levels of auditions (smiles). Somehow I feel, cooking is an art which needs to be mastered. There is lots to imbibe and continuous workshops can help them make a mark for this reality show.
How often do you hold such workshops for kids?
I keep a slot vacant for every weekend for kids since it’s a holiday for them. At times, I end up having 3 workshops per weekend. The smiles on the children faces gives a big thrill. Off late they love taking selfie with their food creations and even message me of variations they have added to the dishes they have learnt.
What are your future plans?
My catering business keeps me busy throughout the week. YouTube and mobile applications have made everything so accessible to everyone. There are some plans to move in that direction. Of course, am also working on a cook book and some online cooking workshops.