Vedant Bahri is the First International Young Author Awards - Shortlisted Author. This is the debut book of this 19-year-old Delhi-based foodie and a fitness freak. His life so far has weaved around his passion for food… and a lot of time spent in the kitchen. Upon finishing school, Vedant is pursuing a career in Hospitality Entrepreneurship and Management. He has been blogging since he was fourteen.
At the outset, congratulations for being shortlisted for the First International Young Author Awards for traditionally published Authors and welcome for a quick chat for our writer’s portal.
Vedant : Believe it or not, I never actually liked writing during my school years, in fact, I loathed it (since I wasn’t too good at it). However, I started cooking and learning since I was 12, and found passion in trying new foods, combinations and even comparing dishes. To practice and improve my writing skills (for academic performance), I started a food blog- The Foodie Journey; where I wrote about restaurants, recipes and food facts. I quickly discovered new unlikely passion- Writing! But only about food. This blog was fun, useful and developed my writing skills.
However, as I grew older, my consumption of fast food (especially burgers) and the delicious desserts I cooked was alarmingly high- which led to some unwanted chubbiness during my teen years. That’s when I started researching(around 15) about making my favorite junk foods lighter, quicker to cook, and most importantly feel less guilty. I discovered new/lighter ingredients, cheats and hacks to making recipes quicker, simpler, and calorically reduced.
“Cheat it All: A Young-Eater's Guide to Good Food and More”, contains more than 75 daily, ‘quick-to- toss- up’ delicious recipes that even today’s teens(who may even not know how to cook) are not intimidated to try in their kitchens. The second part of my book is quite exciting and inspiring: Interviews and insights from some of Indias most influential fitness/food related icons- John Abraham, Tiger Shroff, Mary Kom, SainaNehwal, Vikas Khanna(Chef) just to name a few.
Vedant : Yes this is my first book ever- Published when I was just 17.
Vedant : I am currently in my second year at Ecole Hotelier De Lausanne (Switzerland), rated as the best Hospitality Management school in the world! I’m always on the lookout for new ideas/ unique concepts for perhaps another book( which I probably will at some point)- for now, the plan is to completely learn, absorb and experience.
Vedant : Well, this book has gone through 2 different publishers- finally being published by Niyogi Books- who are very reputable in India.
They liked the idea, we had several meetings, I wrote the book, and then I worked closely with their editor. Quite uncomplicated if you ask me.
The aim with the book is to educate, inspire and empower youngsters like myself to cook smarter, healthier and feel amazing!
Vedant : Writing this book was a deliberately slow process. I was 16 when I started wrting this and took 18 months to finish, while juggling high school. The first thing that I did was draw up a plan, with concrete ideas, recipes, and the concept. After, I just followed this plan and made a manuscript, while changing things on a daily basis (adding or removing recipes, etc).
Regarding the writers block- I’ve learnt that time heals everything, a Writer’s block is nothing. I made sure to stay calm, rest well while being motivated enough to respect my own writing related deadlines.
Also interestingly, I had to cook almost all the recipes (75+) in the book within 4-5 days when we were photographing dishes.
Vedant : The kindle has to be one of the smartest purchases I ever made. I read mainly non fictionself growth related books and autobiographies to always stay motivated in life and am currently reading “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy: David D. Burns”.
Till a few years ago I strictly read a ton of cooking/ food related books and magazines. 2 of my favorite authors are Joe Wicks Aka TheBodyCoach and Todd Wilbur (fast food hacker).
Vedant : I think that any initiative that appreciates or recognizes anyone’s immense efforts(such as this one) should definitely be supported.
Vedant : Either an ice cold Fanta or a thandai(even have a recipe in my book).
Vedant : Believe in your work, be open to different opinions, listen; and you’ve got to give everything- remember that you get what you give in.
Vedant : It is my absolute honor to be nominated. “I’m going to evolve, as long as the world revolves”.