Kellogg’s “India’s First RealChef” title winner in the year 2016, Mrs. Salma Godil, 28, belongs from a middle-class Gujarati family. She got married when she was just 19 years and later completed her graduation. Presently, she is a proud mother of two loving kids.
Salma was very ambitious since her childhood but her cultural background never allowed her to think big or aim high. In-spite of all the odds, she stood for her dream and walked through the shackles of societal captivity. Today, she has become a Kitchen-Mogul.
Salma unclipped her wings and set an example for young girls and women in the society. She is very creative and innovative, whether being an entrepreneur, a cooking expert, a teacher, an author, a mother or as a blogger.
Salma always encourages people and says, “Success requires a lot of hard work, un-conditional commitment, dedication and chasing your dreams day after day.”
She moved to the United States of America two years ago, and plans to start her own culinary studio and a restaurant.
While talking about the competitive world, she says, “Competition is everywhere, and it helps to beat my own benchmarks before competing with others”. Salma is fond of healthy competition and cherishes both the success & failure of it.
She quotes, “There have been instances in my career where my competitors performed better than me and those were the times, I got a chance to introspect, change my own perspective and eventually learn something positive from them”.
Speaking about the regrets, she says, “When I go down the memory lane, I look back with general satisfaction but a few regrets. Out of which the most painful is that I opted for a Bachelor’s in Commerce when I actually should have done Hotel Management. Another, major regret is that I couldn’t qualify for MasterChef India in prelims but thanks to my energetic zeal that I went on to become Kellogg’s India’s first RealChef. I learnt a simple mantra of life: Fail, Fail, Fail and rise like a phoenix.”
Advice to her younger self would be as simple as this:
- Have the courage to break the societal norms and prove you are different
- Respect everyone’s advice, yet, follow your heart. Decision-making makes you sensible in your choices
- Embrace your problems, as they are the powerhouses of building a stronger you
- Be brave to do things that scare you and push you out of your comfort zone
Thanks to her social nature, she loves meeting new people from different walks of life. In her leisure, she reads books and watches documentaries on real life heroes.
To ensure her physical and mental well-being, she practices Zumba. An adrenaline junkie, she has developed an interest in food photography lately.
When asked about her most courageous experience, she said, “While in Bangalore, I participated in a competition organized by the Empire chain of restaurants. After several rounds, I was shortlisted among the 5 finalists from a whopping thousands of participants. In the final round, I prepared my dish and just before plating I realized the dish was not up-to my expectations. With very little time left and my two-year-old son crying desperately among the audience, I was stuck on making a very tough choice – Just give up the competition and pacify the kid or challenge myself again. I walked up to the judges and requested them to allow my kid to be with me. Holding my toddler in one arm, I modified my dish until I was ready with some good- show”.
Salma triumphed the competition and was offered a royalty for keeping her dish on the menu. The duo’s picture went viral in the city with the caption that “A mother’s love is unconditional even when she is in her own battlefield.”
In the USA, Salma wishes to upgrade her cooking skills to get an in-depth knowledge of all international cuisines. Unfortunately, due to certain circumstances like; visa status, expensive courses, work permit challenges, she can also not apply for student loans. However, she is confident to overcome these hurdles with flying colors.
Mrs Godil keeps challenging herself with baby steps. The satisfaction she feels after achieving each step, motivates her to move forward and push a little harder to add more feathers to her cap.
Her blog has a collection of easy yet lip-smacking recipes and helps readers with healthy and fresh foods. Apart from Indian recipes, she is working to upload continental recipes too.
My basic morning alarm is a reminder that the first place I am going to step into is my favourite place – the kitchen. It is a heavenly place for me, where my senses steep into peace.
The thing I love the most about cooking is it’s diversity. It is a world within itself. The deeper you go, the more you ought to learn. Every-time you cook, you explore something new. You keep experimenting with different cuisines and that gives you a global tour in your kitchen itself.
Another plus point is my profession’s flexibility. It mostly keeps me physically active and also I am not forced to pop my head into a laptop for several hours straight where my creativity is murdered. Each time I work, I create something new.
A message from Salma Godil:
“Be a lifelong learner. Never kill your curiosity. If you are a girl, don’t think you have less chances of becoming something great. It’s our flaws that makes us perfect and different in our own ways. Just embrace to make them your strength.
Lastly, whatever I am or will be, I owe it all to my mom, my dad and my super-supporting husband who encouraged me to grab my chances while the world asked to curb my dreams”.