Fondly known as “The Historian Chef” or “Chef Who Wears Many Hats”, Chef Michael Swamy is a pioneer in the area of food media and is a rare combination of chef-food stylist-food photographer-author. A graduate of the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu, London, he has over time, has evolved his signature cooking style best described as “technique-based cooking specialising in Indo-Portuguese and Indo-French and Spanish fare”.
The brains behind many a restaurant across India, Michael, with his team, has conceptualised and handled major food shows on several GEC and international niche channels.
He has authored several cookbooks, Masala Dabba | Pairing Indian Food & Wine | Comfort Food | The East Indian Kitchen and A children’s cookbook series is set for release. He is a four-time Gourmand Award winner including an International award for the best Food Photographer in India. A firm believer in mastering technique, he is making an effort towards introducing a fresh teaching methodology based on technique and visual content which will enable students to develop a skill set suitable for global standards.
A keen passion for nature and wildlife has led Michael to creating culinary experiences that combine food and nature and bring out the interconnection between them. His series Cooking Wild is being done in all the Pugdundee Safari properties in Kanha, Pench, Bandhavgarh and Satpura. Experiences with the mountain series in Te Aroha (Dhanachuli) and Mussoorie in Uttarakhand. The cuisine in this series is all about local food and sustainability
He lectures at the prestigious WGSHA college in Manipal on Food Styling and Food Photography and Media. Apart from all of this he and his team also curates experiences. A curator of the ISUZU food festival in Mumbai, YPO food festival in Goa, Indian food festival in Miami to the GICC Live series by the Indian Express Group.
On completing her studies in Hotel Management from the Naval Institute of Technology, Mugdha decided to do something different. Instead of going down the usual path of taking up a job in a renowned hotel, she joined Michael Swamy as an assistant food stylist. Her food journey has taken her from styling for several large food corporations to styling for many award-winning books. Her earlier training has been done at prestigious establishments like the Oberois and the Leelas giving her a first hand experience of the hardcore hotel industry. She has also done her studies in travel and tourism which has been a major asset in her research work.
Her writing and research is meticulous and since her first weekend column on exotic food for a regional newspaper, she has been co-writing for Michael Swamy on his travels and for her own section in Women’s Planet and others. She also handles cookbook edits for several established authors.
She has been a major part on the food team for television shows like MasterChef India 1 & 2, Ravinder’s Kitchen and Stay Home Chef with Rishi Desai (on TLC) and Fox Traveller’s Twist of Taste “Coastal Curries” (Season 3). She assists and directs in-house productions for brands like Whirlpool, Cambay Prawns, Kellogg’s and the travel food videos for Team Michael. She is now also full time on the panel of the brand “Michael Swamy”, and Chef Michael’s very own YouTube channel.
Mugdha is also a guest lecturer at the prestigious WelcomeGroup School of Hotel Administration (Manipal), where she spends a week training the students on the nuances of food styling and videography.