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Conversations with Ayesha D’Mello

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ayesha D’Mello.

Hi Ayesha, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
If someone told me 20 years ago that I would start Ayesha’s Kitchen and create a brand that has impacted so many households around Miami, I would never have believed them. Prior to moving to Miami, I used to work in the Silicon Valley for software companies. Even after having kids, I loved the corporate world. However, things took a turn when we moved to Miami for my husband’s job, and he suggested that I stay home with the kids. I was not ready for that. He said give it three months and if you still have a desire to go back then you can. In three weeks (not three months), I was convinced I loved staying home and taking an active role in the kid’s school and activities.

Shortly thereafter, a food critic from Miami Herald contacted me, as she heard about my cooking and was keen on writing an article about me, my culture and cuisine. The article came out in the newspaper, and I was inundated with phone calls and emails asking where the restaurant/cooking classes were. I realized there was a need for people to learn about Indian Cuisine, especially with its growing popularity. This led to the birth of Ayesha’s Kitchen. I sensed an undeniable passion to share my knowledge of the exotic magical flavors of centuries old cuisines of India and inspire others with my gastronomic delights.

Having cradled Ayesha’s Kitchen from a hobby to a boutique culinary school, I am passionate about sharing my journey with enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. I started with one menu (5-6 dishes) and today, I offer 27 menus ranging from plant-based to non-vegetarian dishes (chicken, lamb, beef, seafood) to chutneys, desserts and more. Furthermore, specialty classes include all about Indian breads, breakfast items, Indian taquerias, tapas, street foods and more.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Ayesha’s Kitchen has been wonderful journey for me and I have loved every step of the way. It has allowed me to form relationships with some of the best people, as well as create a community of like-minded people. Due to Covid, like most businesses, I experienced some challenges. Although the weekly scheduled group in-person classes which were the core of Ayesha’s Kitchen were canceled due to the safety of my clients, I was fortunate to take Ayesha’s Kitchen to a new level.

I was able to reach a larger audience through Zoom cooking classes. It has been amazing to share Ayesha’s Kitchen experience with many around the world in the form of private classes and team-building events. Furthermore, with the county Covid restrictions on restaurants, I was able to come in as a private chef for my clients’ dining experiences, including private dinner parties and cooking classes.

As the world is slowly reopening, I am very excited to have resumed my in-person scheduled group cooking classes, following Covid safety guidelines. I am looking forward to a great season of in-person cooking classes, as well as continuing to offer the Zoom experience and private dinner parties/cooking classes from my kitchen as well as my client’s kitchens.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
My cooking classes offer an experience short of flying to India. The dishes are very authentic, simple and delicious. I take pride in cooking with the finest quality of organic ingredients and spices and everything is made from scratch. I focus on how to layer flavors that no cookbook that I’ve seen has been able to teach. What makes my classes unique is my passion for teaching others. My energy is contagious and my students are very receptive to my methods. My recipes are full proof and I empower my students to easily replicate my recipes in their kitchen after taking my class. I have many students that have taken all 27 menus and look forward to each new addition to the list of menus. Ayesha’s Kitchen has formed an amazing community, with each class building strong relationships with each other and having so much fun learning new techniques with Indian cooking. And finally, the best part about the class is eating the food. During the last hour, the student have a fine dining sit down meal to enjoy all of the delicious creations they made in the kitchen. Ayesha’s Kitchen truly is a wonderful experience where you leave with new friendships and knowledge.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
We are a generation which is progressively moving into the online space. During Covid, I was able to adapt Ayesha’s Kitchen to the current times and introduce online classes. This has been an amazing experience for me because I was able to reach a larger audience from all parts of the world. However, my true passion lies in my in-person interactions. And although online classes are better than no classes at all, there’s no denying the value of face-to-face experiences. There is no substitute for the value my clients get from the in-person experience.

I am ready for the transition to an online Ayesha’s Kitchen, but I will continue to put an emphasis on sharing my knowledge and building the relationships with my students in person.

Pricing:

  • $95.00 pp cost of in-person scheduled group cooking class

Contact Info:

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