Nolan Michael Mascarenhas is an Indian food blogger, who runs Nolansatwit.com. He also is one of Goa’s top food influencers. Hailing from Porvorim-Goa, is also an investment advisor.
The team of ItsGoa caught up with him and put him under the spotlight.
Humans of Goa is our original and official series that shares inspirational stories from the lives of Goans. Humans of Goa is made for and made up of Goans.
Let’s get started.
If anyone were to ask you, “What do you do, then what would you say?”
I make money via my Edelweiss Franchisee via my Portoflio Management Services. When the markets close, I am either eating or hunting for things to eat and document.
What was that one moment when you decided that, “That’s it! I want to tell stories through food”
There has never been a singular moment. I come from a family entrenched in Food & Hospitality. Growing up with the Taj Group of Hotels (3 generations of my family worked there), I have never known a time where my palate was not sequestered to the nuances of good food and drink. With such legacy, I decided to document my own journey one morsel at a time.
What makes you a top Indian food blogger?
I am everything and nothing. Read that again. We are who we choose to be, ever evolving. For the sake of reference, lets categorize people into labels. For the article, lets say I am a Food Blogger- but I am also an intrepid traveler, a wanderer, an adventure junkie, a biker etc. So technically I am something else, yet I am nothing.
We as human beings are multifaceted, the dogma straitjackets us to a calling car to be known as someone or something.
A bit about your role models. Any aspects or traits that makes them so… (can be from the food world too)
My role models are ever evolving. A constant would be my Grandparents who I spent a lot of time with during my childhood- my grandfather in particular. An astute gent, a man of few word and mega deeds- his traits are something I imbibe till today. In a world of fast changing fads and trends, the words hold no weight as much as the deeds which are seldom forgotten. Talk Less, Do More.
What was the biggest challenge when pursuing this as a fulltime career? And how did you overcome it?
Never put all your eggs in one basket. A definitive career has been shown the door in recent times read Covid19. How many are still dependent on ‘full time careers’? So this is a present challenge. Do I make money from this? Yes. Did it happen over night? I started blogging in 2007 when I had a full time career in finance. Challenges are just situations designed as obstacles.
Do I rely on this to pay the bills? No. It would be foolish in our eco system to do so. Writing pays, but to a certain few. My advice would be stay grounded, give back to the industry and it will give back to you. Not all things are monetary in nature. But most importantly enjoy the moment, be it documenting a meal or a place.
What is it about food, that makes you swoon?
The process, the effort, the aroma and the people. I am an Indian food blogger who interacts with food in a way that can reflect my admiration to food.
Any food related incident you remember as a kid? A Masterchef episode or even seeing Bourdain for the first time maybe?
When I was offered a juicy piece of meat in Chinatown, San Francisco by relatives and realized it was a python fillet in the late 90s. Safe to say, someone’s fancy sneakers got the brunt of my version of the steak a few minutes later read gag reflex!
As an Indian food blogger, which are your 5 favorite restaurants that you recommend?
My definition of food relates to a following set questionnaire. Where are you based? What would you like to eat, cuisine wise? My recommendations of establishments happen post.
But I have had a memorable meal at a Home Chef’s establishment, to my favorite Street Food Crawls to three star Michelin meals. Food and dish origins are super subjective and ever changing. Its always the dish that’s the star of anyone’s show, right?
Can you write a couple of lines for us here say on the topic of “Food is Life”?
There are two types of people in the world- The one’s who eat to live and those who live to eat. Its important to relate and find out which category you belong.
What role did family and friends play? Any quick incident you recall that helped you overcome a hurdle or challenge in life with help from fam?
Its always a welcoming challenge when you come from a family steeped in tradition. Miguel Arcanjo Mascarenhas, was a 4th pass Anjuna lad, who rose from plucking chickens in the 1900’s to being the first Indian Executive Chef of the Taj Hotels. The Taj Exotica in Benaulim has a restaurant named after him with meals and recipes cooked for royalty to celebrities alike.
That’s my grand father to having my mother-Odette Mascarenhas be a Food Historian and Author of the Times Food Awards in Goa. Its daunting if you wish to follow in any footsteps. I chose the road less travelled and here I am.
What were people’s feedback (negative and positive), and who stood by you the most?
Oh Feedback. I love that word. Well according to my detractors, I know Jack! Which one is for you to find out.
Everyone knows about food in their own version of what’s good, bad and ugly. I have had recommendations from stalwarts in the industry who have missed the mark entirely. The beauty of Food lies in Emotions. If we choose to simplify food- that’s where the happiness of it all lies.
Life’s too short to get technical, of course doesn’t count if a xacuti comes served in a rechado masala to an unsuspecting tourist!
What is the legacy you want to leave behind? And for whom?
He came, Saw, Ate and had a Great time. I think that would be a great epitaph. I don’t think, the pressure to leave a legacy remains in my current avatar.
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