The Monkey Bar's Avantika Saraogi tells us about her relationship with food
How exactly did Avantika Saraogi know Kolkata is ready for a new drinking scene? We got her to tell us:
Avantika Saraogi is shaping the city’s drinking culture with two millennial-approved gastro joints The Fatty Bao and Monkey Bar, and we got the entrepreneur to tell us how she got her start.
You were working as a photographer in Mumbai. How did you come into food?
My family and I would travel a lot, and food was an intense way of identifying with any culture so we'd explore the homegrown flavours of any city we were in. I was working as a photographer in Mumbai, just a year after my college, when I decided to train with the Olive Group. I was involved with the project that launched the first The Fatty Bao in bangalore. They really liked the way I work and I gelled with them too, so things worked out.
How would you define Kolkata's drinking culture?
It's really interesting, people do want to try newer things, especially when it comes to clubbing. For instance, Delhi is massively focused on bars. Clubbing doesn’t have a great market there. But things are different in Kolkata and Bangalore.
Have you struggled to be taken seriously for your age or gender?
My age has often helped me out, because at times when I speak people do tend to listen to me, maybe because they think I have something new to contribute. Yes there have been times I've felt the need to be taken seriously especially while dealing with people with more experience. But I do feel we all do our best to move past that or else we wouldn't have gotten any work done.
A woman who inspires you?
My mum, she's a fashion entrepreneur, but she's been such a big influence, she never quits she's a finisher. She recently went trekking to one of the highest mountains near Nepal and she was the oldest on in the crew and she was the only one who summited!