Express News Service
KOCHI: Much like music, food has no language or boundaries. It can bring people together, regardless of their ethnicities, language barriers or cultural differences. Amrutha Jinan and Akshay John Dixon, two 24-year-olds, can testify in favour of this. Their friendship, which was based on their shared love for food, has now become one of Kochi’s most-explored food pages on Instagram — Cochin Food Alert.
The youngsters bonded over food while they were in college. They used to talk about food for long hours, drooling over all the dishes they could be trying. Over the last four years, Amrutha and Akshay have been chronicling their journey with flavours. The Ernakulam-natives, who know the nook and corner of the city’s food map, are now actively informing Kochiites about the best places to eat in town.
“I have been a foodie since I was a kid,” quips Amrutha, who is currently pursuing B.Ed at a college in Coimbatore. “Wherever I go, I am always on the lookout for cuisines. When we go restaurant hopping, I always cherish the taste while Akshay wants to tell more people about the hidden gems we explore. When people started enquiring about the food we post on our Instagram, we decided to start a page exclusively for food vlogging,” says Amrutha. The duo started food blogging when it was not as popular in the state.
They drive long distances to try out Manjali Biriyani, take a trip to Chennai for the food alone — hogging Biryani early in the morning, and grabbing chaat at Soukarpett — car dine Karandi Omelette cheese, Bruschetta bread chicken and hot chocolate in misty Kuttikaanam, and bunk classes to go to the Jilebi kada or the famous Biryani shop at Angamali. “We want people to know what is good and where. More than filling your stomach, food is a journey. People should understand the effort which goes behind cooking food that satisfies the mind and body,” says Akshay who is currently working in UAE.
The duo features myriad food locations — high-end places to modest shops. “It is not necessary that you will have an enriching flavour experience only at a top-notch restaurant. You can find mouthwatering flavours at tiny shops. The quality of food should not be judged based on the space,” says Amrutha. Cochin food alert is also about information. “When we make a video, we make sure we include all the details that will come handy for people who visit there,” adds Akshay.
Though their food blogs may seem all fun and games from the outside, plenty of work goes into making them, says the duo. “Despite all the chaos, it is the satisfaction of dinding good food and helping other people find it that drives us,” says the duo. Though they are both away from Kochi, the duo wants Cochin Food Alert to continue what it does. So, they have been hiring freelancers to keep the flavour hunt going.