Interview with Austine Dsouza (@austinedsouza)

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Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

My grandfather was a great cook. Everybody in the family used to adore him. I was unfortunate as I never got the opportunity to meet him personally. I have always heard great words about him from everyone in the family. I was very curious to know about his cooking techniques which made me develop an interest in cooking. As both my parents used to work, it gave me a lot of time at home alone and that’s when I started experimenting with food. Later it turned out to be my greatest passion and desire in life. I could quote this as I turned my life from “I eat to live” to “I live to eat”. To develop my skills more, I started working part-time in a pastry and bakery. This helped me refine my techniques and made me realize that this is what is meant for me. Later I joined Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, MAHE one of India’s top culinary schools. My perspective towards the culinary industry had changed as I was surrounded by people with similar interests in this industry which helped me develop more ideas. The professors in MAHE guided me and showed me the path to success.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?

It’s funny how this industry made me meet the love of my life. I first met her at the fruit mixing ceremony which is held every year before Christmas. We both took part in the ceremony, she was standing in standing at the other end & doing her work. I just couldn’t stop looking at her. Later we started talking and she wanted me to teach her how to make ice creams and that’s where it all began. It’s been more than a year and the journey has been so beautiful. I love how this amazing human is also dedicated to the same industry & understands me the most.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

Sometimes working in this industry can get monotonous. It’s hard for a person to get bored in this industry. So keep challenging yourself every day, & keep motivating yourself. You should always improvise & never give up. Cooking is great art but it’s also important to keep yourself & your surroundings organized. Try challenging yourself like ‘set a time limit’ or ‘learn to cook with less wastage’. You should always keep innovating to avoid the monotonous feeling. Make sure you have a life apart from the kitchen. Make sure you spend the breaks not just on your couch watching movies or smoking cigarettes. Even though it’s tough to spare time from your schedule make sure you spend time outdoors. Make sure you socialize well as sometimes we get too caught up in the work we forget about people around. If you think after doing all these things you still feel like you want to leave the industry make sure you take a break and think twice before making the decision.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

This journey has been a long journey that is still going on and I have realized that there is always this one person who is there to help me through. It initially started with my parents supporting me in all the possible ways and later my friends who helped me grow and motivated me to try new things. The professors in my culinary school guided me & I can say that they have helped me shape my career. Now, I am working at the Tempered Room and Chef Greg Laird has improved my skills and has made me into a better person. Living in a new country all alone is not so easy. He made sure I learned all the possible techniques & knowledge he could offer me and made sure that I felt like I was at home. So I would say that there is no “one specific person”, it all depends on the time of life. I can say that there is always some or the other person in my life who has helped me become successful.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

My main goal or you can even call it a mission is to cook food for the underprivileged children. I would want to cook food for them from all around the world and let them have the experience of traveling all those places. It’s a vision which is far ahead than what I can do now but it is achievable.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

A semicolon can represent my life lesson quote “My story isn’t over yet”. A semicolon is used when a sentence could have been ended but wasn’t like my life is similar to a semicolon. No one is ever too broken, too scared or too far gone to create a change, don’t ever stop fighting. When I was in high school, I studied and worked part-time to follow my passion which is not very well recognized in India. It was hard to manage both high school & part-time as I was just 18. My friends who were of my age were just studying and having fun, while I was working hard. But I never gave up & I never will. So whenever life throws an obstacle in my way, I always pause think and find a solution.

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

They can follow me on Instagram or Linkedin.

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