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Abhishek Dekate in WATCH IT! Magazine

April 27, 2017

FEATURED IN THE WATCH IT! MAGAZINE

Toronto-based fashion, food and lifestyle photographer, digital content creator, and brand influencer. 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a 20-something boy who left a small town to fulfill my passion for food in a big city, Toronto. I owe my passion to my family, who never stopped encouraging me to experiment and create new tastes. Through this, I was able to create my own identity in the kitchen. I showed a keen interest in recipe development, the gateway to the beginning of a never-ending culinary journey. A Calgary native, my love for food took me to George Brown Culinary School in the heart of Toronto. There I unearthed a hidden passion for food styling and photography. For me, recipes didn’t need to just be tasty; they needed to be visually appealing. Food photography became my outlet, a translation of my passion for food and styling through my own lens. Today my passion lies in the intersection of creating, developing, and experiencing gastronomic creations and effortless everyday men’s fashion.

 

With over 8,000 Instagram followers and counting, while embracing the title of Narcity’s “8 of Toronto’s Hottest Male Bloggers to Check Out ASAP,” what goes into developing an insightful blog?

Today having a blog is the same as having an iPhone—it’s common. Success doesn’t happen overnight and neither did I gain my following or readership on my blog easily. At first, I struggled finding my voice. I didn’t know what type of content to post, how to edit my photos, or—better yet—how to take my photos! I began my journey with an iPhone 4s camera and, let me tell you, I’ve definitely come a long way since then. With years of experimenting and self-learning, I taught myself the tricks of the trade on how to tackle the social media world of Instagrammin’ and bloggin’.

You express your passions through blogging, describing what you do in the form of a recipe. What is it about gastronomy that inspires you?

When I think of gastronomy, I think of Chef’s Table on Netflix and, of course, the one and only Anthony Bourdain. The curiosity of putting ingredients together and creating something extraordinary is what inspires me.

I recently had the opportunity to wine and dine at Alo, a Toronto hidden gem worthy of Canada’s first Michelin star, with two of my closest friends. Throughout our meal we got to watch the chefs in the kitchen as they carefully put together and plated each dish with so much love and compassion. Their kitchen was equipped with all the gadgets you could possibly think of. As I carefully took a bite into each dish, I could hear violins playing in the background. It was perfect. The level of creativity; the use of fresh, local ingredients; and the flavour combinations left me speechless, for once, because I talk a lot! As Anthony Bourdain once said:

“Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.”

What makes the perfect dish?

As a creative, I don’t like sticking to cookie-cutter recipes off websites or blogs. I enjoy tweaking and adding my own twist to making them unique. Much like blogging, I had to find my voice in the kitchen. I used to spend hours in the kitchen experimenting on various dishes, for fun until I found the right flavour combinations that worked best. Coming from an Indian background and being exposed to a wide array of different spice blends, I noticed that in some way or the other I always ended up adding the “Indian touch” to everything I cooked. It became a signature. To me a perfect dish is one that hits all flavour notes. It’s like an umami explosion in your mouth. It has the right balance of savoury to sweet and soft to crunchy.

 

How do you make the minutes count, splitting your time between your passions?

Productivity is key. Hyper-productivity is not. I am a full-time student, run an online food magazine, and currently freelance as a full-time digital media content creator. I won’t lie; it’s hard sometimes to juggle essentially three “full-time” jobs at once, so at the beginning of this year I compiled my top-five life hacks on how to manage my time not just effectively, but efficiently! They are as follows: 

1. Get a planner.

2. Isolate yourself.

3. Learn to say “NO.”

4. Allocate time efficiently.

5. Eat. Sleep. Eat. Repeat.

Overall, I ensure that I separate work from play and leave some me time at the end of the day. Because, trust me, when you’re working digital, digital never sleeps. For the first few months, it became hard for me to separate the digital world from the real world. I noticed that I was constantly working on the go because everything was accessible on my phone if I didn’t have access to my laptop. It became toxic.

It’s important to not just make the minutes count for your passions but also to make them count for yourself. By creating a set schedule, I’m able to stay on top of my tasks for the day and still have time to focus on the things I love doing the most.

What is it about Medium that you’re so passionate about?

Medium has become a part of my daily lifestyle. I love the simplicity and minimalistic approach they took while designing this timepiece. It can be carried from day to night effortlessly because it goes with every look and it makes you feel good about yourself when you walk out the door. Not only does this watch act as a statement piece, it has now become a conversation starter in my day-to-day life. I’ve made connections with people asking me where I got my watch or dropping a compliment. It’s an accessory that does the talking for itself, saving me the time and effort of doing so! 

What’s next for you?

I’m currently in my last semester of hospitality and tourism management. I’m looking forward to graduating soon and pursuing my career in the exciting, fast-paced hospitality industry, while pursuing my love for digital media and photography on the side.

Follow Abhishek Dekate
Website: abhishekdekate.com
Instagram: @AbhishekDekate

Photography: Vincent Ko




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