Chef Rakhee Vaswani - It's your moral duty to fulfill your dream.


She's adorable, vivacious and a super-talented Woman of substance. Every time, we have attended her workshops, we are amazed at her bubbly persona, perfect training skills and creative streak at conjuring some amazing culinary delights. Chef Rakhee Vaswani needs no introduction - a celebrity chef, a culinary expert, a food consultant, a cooking show host, a best selling book Author, Teacher, Mother, Entrepreneur and Founder of Palate Culinary Studio & Academy running a State-of-the-Art Boutique International Academy having UK Certified Courses CTH and City & Guilds and Cooking Workshops for Food Enthusiasts.

Over to Chef Rakhee who is all set to inspire the Women of today with her secret sauce of being an Empowered Woman.

What does Women Empowerment mean to you?

For me as a Woman, it has always been my family, my husband who has always been supportive, for me that is actually Women Empowerment. The people around you are supporting you and helping you in reaching your goals and your work as an entrepreneur, as a mompreneur, as a chefpreneur, for me this is a meaning of Women Empowerment.

Why are Indian Women less empowered?

I would go back to my original answer because sometimes women don't have the support, maybe in the form of training or maybe in the form of resources or financial issues as well.

And most of all, if the family is not supportive, it all depends on from which background they're coming in. Fortunately, I have been very, very blessed in this area.

Tips to build self-confidence within yourself.

This one is a very easy one for me. I just know that I only have to work forward. And for me, if there are any hurdles or any drawbacks in life, I do not waste my energy in mourning or crying over it.

I literally snap out of it as soon as possible. However big the setback is, I snap out and automatically my brain starts multiplying new solutions and ideas. And for me, moving forward is all about hard work, a lot of passion, and you definitely need to love what you do and then I think there's nothing that can stop you. Having said that, life is not easy. Life is like a roller coaster and you just have to be ready with the ups and downs.

Tips to balance your work, home and personal life.

I'm always struggling with that. Honestly, for me, my career has taken a break most of the time.

So when my kids were young, I used to be successfully running my workshops, but I gave it all up to be a soccer mom. So 10 years is a sabbatical that I took before coming back into the industry. It's been 16 years plus now. I got into the industry, trained, retrained internationally, started from a small space, then another space, and then the International Accreditations and Academy. So that way I've been lucky. I've managed to balance it.

As I said earlier, I do have a very supportive family. My children are grown up now.
I was there for them in their growing years. But at the same time, they do have a very good family, from the grandparents to their maternal aunts and uncles, who shower them with a lot of love. And I think for me, my two supporters have been two other women in my life, my mother-in-law and my mother and they've always been there around with me as well. So I think the kids, it's been easy to balance all of them together.

Tips to manage your money.

This I haven't learned yet. I'm still struggling. Actually, at the Academy, definitely, it's always about, for me, a business has to fend for itself.

That has been my rule from day one. Even though I chose to be a teacher, no business can actually support itself. If it can't support itself, then it's not worth running. So having said that, I do work really hard.

For more Women Empowerment Interviews, click HERE and also HERE

And still, being an entrepreneur is actually the toughest job. So if you're doing everything yourself, then my advice would be, you need to multitask and you need to have a strong team to go to the next level. And yes, COVID has given a lot of us a lot of setbacks as well. Financially, I wouldn't say that I'm still at a stage that I'm happy to retire. I have a long way to go, but I'm definitely going to get there. 

Tips to fight Sexual Harassment at work. 

I haven't faced these issues because I'm a very strong personality and people would actually hesitate coming twice before me. And being a mother, being a family woman, my family has been top priority, even though I've done work in the industry as in TV shows. Everyone knows that I am a family woman and I'm very dedicated to my work as well as my family, my kids.

So I haven't put myself out there in a space where it would be a threat to me. And I said, my husband's always there for my support. So that's why I've not had these issues.

Tips to Shine in a Male dominated Corporate world.

This one's a really tough one because our industry, especially even the hospitality and the culinary space is quite male-dominated. But of course, now we're seeing a lot of women coming into it. It's always difficult to stand out. You have to make a mark of your own. It's not that easy, but we are changing the norms.

We are looking at doing a lot of things in the industry, especially me being a chef. I was the first one to decide that I wanted to be a teacher and I wanted to change the culinary and bakery world, where we are teaching with skill development and from an A to Z, from counseling to training and showing people the path because hotel management and hospitality and skill training in culinary arts and bakery are two different professions altogether.

If you're waiting for some recognition and some appraise from people, it's never going to happen that soon. So you need to just believe in yourself and do what you are best at. And that's exactly what I've been doing and I would say to all the other women out there that if you have a dream, it is your duty to fulfill your dream, this is something I heard from Marco Bayer-White. You cannot just dream about it. You've got to work in that direction. And it's your moral duty to fulfill your dream.

So if you want to be or you are a woman who wants to be in this industry, then you can always reach out to me. I'm always there to help and mentor. But go with your passion, go with your gut feeling and work hard.

What’s your message for Indian Women on Women’s Day?

In my life, I have grown up with a very strong woman. My mother has been my role model and I know that I get all that passion and hard work and the aggression of work from her. So I thank her and I feel that don't hold back and work your way around in some way or the other.

If you have a dream, please ensure you fulfill it. And there are always ways to fulfill it. So go out there and be proud of what you are. And at the same time, I don't have any qualms or shame in saying that behind every successful woman, there is a man for my story. That is a true story. And I am thankful to my spouse, my better half, for supporting me and making me reach the point I am. So I'm not a feminist, but I think I'm just blessed.

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