Bawi Bride – Cooking up authentic Parsi Recipes for Mumbai
Food is a very integral part of Indian social life. We bond over food and never hesitate to put on those extra kilos by consuming the sweets during the festive season. When I encountered Bawi Bride, the first thing that caught my attention is Perzen’s photo as a bride. True to it’s name, Bawi Bride is Perzen Patel’s passion to keep the Parsi Food Culture alive by sharing Parsi recipes on her blog and delivering mouth watery recipes to Mumbaikars through her catering kitchen.
Perzen Patel currently works as Communications Manager(India) at Ennovent ,innovation accelerator focused on sustainability in low- income markets in developing countries. She has previous experience at AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand as an Events Manager and Marketing Coordinator. Perzen holds a Bachelor in Business Marketing and a Bachelor in International Hospitality Management from AUT University in Auckland, NZ and a Diploma in Event Management. So, with these credentials – while Perzen continues to impress her clients with awesome food, we catch up with her to know more about Bawi Bride.
Since the time I was a teen, I have always had a passion for cooking. However, I used to be called the ‘continental chef’ as mom would make all the Parsi food and I loved making different dips and desserts. This became a problem when I got married and moved to India – I realized I had no idea how to make all the Parsi food I loved and had been brought up with and had to call mom every time I had to make something.
Also, I realized that there aren’t that many Parsi cook books and hardly any resources online for those wanting to learn the cuisine so I started the Bawi Bride blog to document my journey of learning, eating and feeding Parsi food. Since I started, my husband aka Bawa Groom as I call him encouraged me to start selling my food as he felt that there are a lot of people who would like to try Parsi food but don’t get the opportunity to. So here I am and it’s now been about 3 months since we started.
The kitchen started operations towards the end of July 2013 – the response has been great. In fact I had originally wanted to only start a dips and desserts kitchen but it was my customers who said that I should also do Parsi food so we pivoted to offer that as well. We are slowly building awareness for the brand though my model is quite different so it has been a bit hard educating the customers.
Basically we don’t have a set menu and the menu rotates so that every month there is something new on order – this is quite different from your normal caterer.So, it means that I have a lot of new customers every time, but then building up our repeat base has been a bit challenging.
In terms of kitchen operations, every weekend is a new learning experience – I’ve learned though, that to grow quickly I will need help so I am now looking for an apprentice to come on board , someone that is as fanatic about good quality Parsi food as I am.
On Getting noticed
I am a big believer in the concept of building up your tribe. So, I do as many events as possible where I showcase my food and build up my list of subscribers – I then stay in touch with them on a weekly basis and send them my menus as well as latest posts.
We are also doing a monthly pass with the monthly menu. This means that they can buy the monthly pass of Rs 3000/- and basically order everything from the menu either all at once or one at a time as they wish throughout the entire month. The pass gives them a discount of Rs 250/- off the entire menu as well. Also, Twitter and FB help a lot – both in very different ways.
I teach once a month at Studio Fifteen. In the near future, I also plan to start personalized cooking classes at home which would be limited to just 2 – 3 participants with hands-on knowledge.
Managing Bawi Bride with a full time job
Someone once told me that you are not passionate about what you do if you aren’t thinking about it in the shower. And it’s true – most of my decision making seems to happen in the shower or in my dreams, as I am constantly dreaming about making food and trying new dishes. Basically, Bawi Bride started out of passion to eat and feed Parsi food and to educate others about it as I don’t want my great cuisine to die out.
As long as the passion is there finding enough hours in the day is never a problem.
TTP’s take on Bawi Bride
Bawi Bride is a beautiful attempt to retain the rich and authentic Parsi food culture. Perzen’s differentiation is in the kind of food she serves, her innovation around building her tribe and maintaining active interactions on Social Media. We wish Bawi Bride the very best!