“The greatest lessons are not taught in the books. They are learned and experienced over time. Parents are the best teachers for their kids. Their learnings and blessings are invaluable, even though at times they are harsh and scold you, but these lessons are the building blocks for kids.”
This is what Shalini Lall (A Social entrepreneur, Foodie by nature, Admin of the Facebook community “Lucknow Chefs” and an inspiration for many) had to say when Plattershare asked her about her Culinary Entrepreneurial journey.
Now she smiles, but years back she was very upset when her father asked her to eat Lauki (Ghia or bottle-gourd), which she hated the most, for 3 consecutive days. All this just to explain her the hardest truth of life, the Truth that every one of us should know.
"Yes, you have money to buy food of your choice now but there can be a day when you will not have that choice. Then what would you do?" - Asked her father. So learn to eat whatever god gives you, learn to respect food and have gratitude for the food that is served on your plate.
This lesson changed her life and an entrepreneur was born who had respect for food and was determined to help all those who love to cook food. A desire to do something for women who are scared to face the world kept burning in her heart and she never rested. While she was doing her 9-5 job she took tuitions for girls who could not afford to pay fees or faced various other challenges. Her philanthropic journey got a new turning point when she met Celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar during one of the events “Har Koi chef” who inspired her to do something for the women of Lucknow which happens to be his hometown too.
He said “Shalini ji, You are a social entrepreneur and are always helping others, why don’t you do something for all the home chefs. Maybe you could inspire them to break their shackles and realize that cooking is not just about feeding their families but it can bring recognition and appreciation too.” What started as a FB group, quickly became a revolution. Home Chefs of Lucknow got a chance to showcase their latent talent of cooking to the world by participating in and winning many cooking contests which gave them confidence and a new zeal in life.
Food has inspired her so much that she is now planning to open a restaurant “Suman's little hunger” which would be completely driven and run by women as she believes that if these home chefs can nourish their families they can do it for the whole city. Suman is one of the home chefs and Shalini wants to appreciate her work.
She also plans to run mobile food trucks which would serve homely and healthy food to employees of various offices so that they don’t miss home food and keep healthy. These food trucks would also be run and managed by Women Chefs. A culinary academy for members to share their passion for food is also in the pipeline.
She is a true inspiration, a motivator for many and an amazing cook, yet loves to eat Chilli chicken and Shahi Jorda/Zarda which her husband makes for her. She has won multiple awards from various reputed foundations of Lucknow, just to name a few – Ansh Foundation, Stri Samman Award by Aastha Foundation and Veerangna Samman by Ummeed .
Plattershare salutes “Shalini Lall” for her endeavour and enthusiasm and wish her best of luck. If you feel that this story can inspire many more, do Like, comment and share this across.
If you know anyone who has inspired many when it comes to food or have an amazing food story to share, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we would reach out to you.