In Conversation With Toronto-Based Food Blogger, Radhika Gupta

This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

I’ve tasted flavorsome dishes from Radhika Gupta, a Toronto-based food blogger, photographer, and health enthusiast. Her food uses fresh and healthy ingredients, but what strikes me most is the aesthetic. She creates visual masterpieces that are real works of art. Her career began three years ago when her oldest child started kindergarten. Gupta’s husband inspired her to try out photography, paired with friends and family, always asking about her recipes— she began a blog: Soulful Palate.

I learned how she presents her dishes and what it’s like behind the scenes of a food photography shoot.

ANUM: How did you start as a food photographer? What are some rules for food photography and the technical aspects behind a shoot?

GUPTA: I would say the only rule to food photography is that there is no rule. When I started, I did not know any technical aspects and just let my creative instinct guide me in photographing my dishes.

When I just started, I started with what I had. I didn’t own any lavish prop collection or super expensive photography gear. I slowly and steadily worked my way through it, learning as much as I could and upgraded my photography equipment. And since this field is highly competitive, one has to have perseverance. To earn money and fame through a food blog is difficult but not impossible. And working hard and not giving up is my mantra. And this mantra works for me because of my passion for cooking and photography both. It provides me an outlet where I can let my creative juices flow freely. It also gives me a purpose to move forward into my day and immensely boosts my confidence, for I have learned so many new skills I never even thought of possessing.


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A: Tell us something about a new dish that you made and photographed.

G: I recently made a Mediterranean salad and photographed it. I made it because I wanted to try my hand at a baked falafel. It was my first trial at making falafel, and I tried both deep-fried as well as baked because testing and comparing both versions is essential to me as a recipe developer. Though deep-fried tasted a little better, I would still go with the baked version since it’s much healthier and saves time doing the actual cooking.

The photography part is always fun, as it is a creative process. Also, the best part is that mouthwatering photos will tempt the viewers and my readers to try my healthy recipes at home. So I always focus on the quality of my food photos. Tasty recipes shine only through good images. That’s why food photography is an essential aspect of the food blogging business.

Many food groups can be challenging to shoot, salads being one of them. It can get tricky to showcase the individuality of each ingredient in a mixture. Hence instead of mixing and tossing everything together, I carefully layered and spread the parts in a way that would be pleasing to the eye. I make sure to use at least one element in the dish that would stand out in terms of color. In this case, it was sparkling red pomegranate seeds. Since the salad was mostly reflecting shades of green, I made sure the star ingredient that is falafel, had a bright place. I placed it on the very top and drizzled tahini lemon dressing over the salad. A tiny lemon wedge on the side speaks for the zing in the dressing. That’s how I construct most of the dishes for food photography. Using the key ingredients as props work well.

For Instagram posts, I love shooting overlays. However, I make sure to click from other angles, too, for my other social media platforms. Forty-five degrees and angle slightly lower than 30 degrees are ideal for shooting as well.

Talking about the technological aspect, I must mention the importance of editing software. Editing pictures can make a whole lot of difference. You can add or subtract many features from the images, provided you shoot in RAW. I currently use Adobe Lightroom to edit my food photos. And I have to admit, no matter how good my pictures are, they are still incomplete without that touch of editing software.

A: What are some challenges that you face working from home? We’d love to know a bit more about your life as a food blogger/mum!

G: Being a mum of two growing kids and working from home, I face many challenges. The biggest problem is to stress less and keep sanity in check. There are days when I sleep only 3-4 hours because I am awake shooting recipes, writing blog posts, strategizing my content for social media, following SEO practices, and so many other things. And then two young kids who are four years apart have their own needs. If one needs a constant disciplinary boost, then another one needs to be held and comforted.

On top of that, you have so many dirty dishes shouting in your face besides clean laundry pleading me to fold them. Amidst the ongoing quarantine, you can’t even expect your domestic helper to come to the rescue. So adding to another challenge is keeping my home neat and tidy.

But then juggling and hustling is part of anyone’s life who wants to make a mark in this world. I read somewhere that choose a job that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life! For me, food photography is something like that.

[Read Related: Date Night Pasta: Creamy Tomato & Spinach Penne Recipe for the Perfect Night at Home]

Gupta shows how food has much deeper artistic complexities than being a simple meal to consume, laid out on an ordinary plate. Her healthy spin on desserts and South Asian recipes are quite remarkable and most definitely worth a try! With its rich and flavourful ingredients, traditional South Asian food inherently links to a long lost heritage. A big part of the identity of South East Asia lies on the different foods that come from distinctive, yet characteristic backgrounds following the influences of colonizers along with the local flavor.

The creative energy and charisma within Gupta are genuinely inspirational. I’m convinced to try out her healthy and delicious recipes on one of those lazy, rainy days. If it’s a success, I’ll even try my hand at a few pictures of my culinary creation to celebrate my endeavor.


By Brown Girl Magazine

Brown Girl Magazine was created by and for South Asian womxn who believe in the power of storytelling as a … Read more ›

5 Indo Caribbean Food Experts you Need to Know This Winter Season

trinidad curry
Curried Chicken with Roti Parata or Roti, popular Middle Eastern/Indian cuisine

It is officially that time of year—the holiday season. There’s nothing like Christmas and New Year’s in the West Indies. Between the pepperpot in Guyana and the palm trees decorated in lights in Trinidad, the home food, warm weather and laid-back ambiance makes us wish we could escape the cold and head back to the Caribbean. Most of us, however, cannot “take holiday” and find ourselves hungry for fresh dhal puri and doubles. But, thanks to these Indo-Caribbean food bloggers, we can bring the motherland to our kitchens.

1. Matthew’s Guyanese Cooking

From Diwali mithai specialties to curry chicken, Matthew is creating a name for himself as a young Guyanese food blogger. He makes a great effort to incorporate Hindu holidays and traditions on his Instagram account, in conjunction with the customary foods and sweets associated with these religious events. However, his expertise does not end there, with new and alternative recipes for classic dishes such as curry chicken and bhara, Matthew takes center stage sharing both traditional Guyanese dishes as well as specific religious dishes made for festivals. His most popular YouTube video, with 1.4 million views, features his grandmother and focuses on the best tips to make the softest Guyanese paratha roti. In addition, his YouTube account is home to many videos offering guidance to Indo Caribbean cooking. Find recipes at

2. Trini Cooking with Natasha

Natasha Laggan of Trini Cooking with Natasha is wildly popular throughout the Caribbean and the U.S. With humble beginnings, Natasha credits her love of food to her family’s business. She speaks of the nostalgia home food provides her as she reminisces memories of her grandmother’s cooking and helping her mother make sandwiches early in the morning. Featured by Forbes, Natasha grew her Facebook following quickly throughout the pandemic by posting old YouTube videos. Today, she has more than 1 million followers on Facebook and over 200K followers on YouTube. She uses her passion for cooking and Trinidadian culture to bring easy-to-follow recipes to viewers. Her following has now reached the West Indian diaspora globally as she has also become a brand ambassador to two well-known food companies.  Follow the food expert @trinicookingwithnatasha.

[Read Related: 5 Indo-Caribbean Recipes for the Holiday Season you Have to Make]

3. Cooking with Ria

With over 100K followers on YouTube, Ria is quite the expert when it comes to making roti. Her dhal puri, sada roti and paratha roti tutorials have over 1M views! However, her expertise does not stop there. Of the 180 YouTube tutorials, her recipes vary from curry to other Trinidadian favorites like macaroni pie and pigtail soup. Just scrolling through her YouTube page makes your mouth water. From doubles to classic Trinidad bakes like pound cake and sweet bread, she provides precision and anecdotal commentary while guiding you through the familiarity of home food. Check out Ria’s page at @cookingwithria.


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4. Chef Devan

Known as Chef Devan, Devan Rajkumar embraces his Guyanese Canadian heritage by creating recipes combining flavors of both the East and West Indies. His love of food has allowed him to expand his role to judge in a popular Canadian cooking show: Food Network Canada’s Fire Masters. His cooking often blends the flavors of multiple cultures but also creates the classic recipes of his motherland. With a multitude of interests, Chef Dev uses his social media platform to connect with followers by sharing various aspects of his life that go beyond cooking. His most recent YouTube video provides a trailer for an upcoming video “Tastes Guyana” which shows him exploring Guyana from the inside, specifically deep parts of the inner country. To learn more about Chef Devan follow @chefdevan.


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5. Taste of Trinbago

Reshmi is the chef behind the growing blog, Taste of Trinbago. A Trinidadian native who now resides in Texas, she uses her love of food and Trinidadian culture to share hacks, tips and easy recipes with West Indians throughout the globe. She finds a way to simplify traditional West Indian meals, that we once watched our elders make with curiosity.  From holiday specialties like black cake to Diwali delicacies, Reshmi has brought vegetarian and non-veg recipes to followers in an extremely accessible way. She even posts recipe cards on her IG highlights for followers who may need written instructions. Her IG profile is a mix of various West Indian foods while also sharing bits of her life and even her secrets to baby food. Follow her @tasteoftrinbago.


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These are just five Indo Caribbean food bloggers sharing their secrets to easy cooking. The once very daunting recipes and food instructions our parents gave have been simplified by most of these bloggers through video, voice over and modernized recipes. We no longer have to estimate a “dash, pinch or tuk” of any masala. We are just days away from Christmas and this is the perfect time to find the best-suited recipe to make that paratha for Santa.

Featured Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

By Subrina Singh

Subrina Singh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Asian & Asian American Studies from Stony Brook University and a Master’s Degree … Read more ›