With nearly A million followers on social media, a food blog, and two cookbooks under his belt, self-taught baker Shivesh Bhatia is one of the most popular content creators in the country, and also Travel + Leisure India & South Asia’s Food Blogger of the Year. The 25-year-old influencer talks to us about the pressures of staying relevant on social media, love for desserts, and more. By Bayar Jain
Shivesh Bhatia on his love for desserts, food blogging and more
T+L India: How and why did you get into food blogging?
Shivesh Bhatia: I started by posting random pictures on Instagram. Gradually, I got into baking and started sharing pictures of my desserts. Those pictures started garnering response outside of my immediate circle, and people started asking for recipes. Slowly, my Instagram [following] grew. That’s when I decided to create a blog for all the recipes.
T+L India: How challenging was it to transition to short and long-form videos?
Shivesh Bhatia: I’ve never been a video person. Understanding the changing needs of my audience compelled me to change my content strategy. The biggest challenge was getting rid of my own blocks. I had to convince myself that I need to present content in a manner that my audiences will consume.
T+L India: What is your creative process like?
Shivesh Bhatia: I like to plan. I set aside days to brainstorm, analyse trending recipes, research what people have been searching on the internet, and make a list of recipes for the upcoming months.
T+L India: How do you deal with the pressure of staying relevant on social media?
Shivesh Bhatia: I’m always overthinking. Even eight years later, the numbers and views affect me, especially when I put a lot of effort into something and it doesn’t perform well. I remind myself to take breaks and that it’s okay to not post every day.
T+L India: You’ve written two cookbooks. How different was it compared to your regular blogging?
Shivesh Bhatia: Blogs are more personal. I can edit and erase posts and images on blogs. When it comes to publishing, there’s no room for errors. It is a lot more hectic as well. There’s an entire team at the backend for editing, marketing, and design. That experience is very different from what I do with blogs.
T+L India: How does travelling inspire your baking?
Shivesh Bhatia: Whenever I travel, I get introduced to new ingredients and desserts. I come back inspired, which is why I feel travelling is the best kind of break. It allows me to take a step back and approach my cooking with a fresher perspective.
T+L India: What is your favourite dessert?
Shivesh Bhatia: Cookies to eat and eclairs to bake.
Hero and Featured Image: Courtesy of Shivesh Bhatia