A talented and dedicated team of chefs and food researchers who live by the principles of creativity, originality and quality.
It was way back in 1995 that Michael Swamy set out to be a chef. His inner desire to document the many varieties of culinary stories and cuisines led him on a journey to first establish his credentials as a chef and as a food personality. CottageChef Culinaire™ grew then from his humble cottage which was home to all… The place where he set off on his first culinary venture in the early 90’s to launch his small catering company. His team of merry friends soon became co-founders in this endeavour of visualizing and creating the brand Michael Swamy and CottageChef Culinaire™. The brand eventually evolved from food styling to writing, to setting up restaurants and now a new vertical – that of creating food videos and digital content. The coming of full circle to a food media company has taken many years in the making. As a brand CottageChef Culinaire™ and Michael Swamy are synonymous with excellence and delivering what is promised. The brand has been associated with major international corporations, publishing houses and channels in its work and promises to keep on delivering the best of the best.
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.
Thanks to a one year stint setting up the Bharat Petroleum “Ghar Dhabas” along the highways of India and her love for tourism she amassed a wealth of culinary knowledge. Her keen sense of research led her to work with several of India’s leading publishing houses such as Om Books International, Penguin, Westland and Bloomsbury to name a few.
Her writing spans almost a decade – her first being a weekend column on exotic food for a regional newspaper. Since then, she has been co-writing for Michael Swamy on his travels for Yahoo and for her own section in Women’s Planet. She also handles cookbook edits and research for several established authors.
Apart from her work with BPCL, she has also done consultancy for brands like The Bowl House, Peppermill Bistro, Food Arena and more.
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 “CottageChef Culinaire”, Team Michael’s very own YouTube channel.
Mugdha is also a guest lecturer at the prestigious WelcomGroup School of Hotel Administration (Manipal), where she spends a week training the students on the nuances of food styling and videography.
Though having done her Masters in Numismatics & Archaeology from the Mumbai University, Mrunal has always held a keen interest in food. This love for food coupled with a natural propensity for deep research makes Mrunal a valuable addition to the team for book and article projects.
She not only researches the historical elements of recipes, cuisines and techniques but also contributes invaluably by way of text inputs on several books and editing of articles – some of them written for well-known chefs and food personalities. In his space, she has worked with leading publishing houses such as Om Books International, Penguin India, Wisdom Tree and Roli Books.
Her creative talent and understanding of colours and textures also lends itself to the initial conceptualizing, designing and layout for several print projects.
Mrunal’s interest in photography and love for documentaries, led her to learning photography, videography and also video editing… skills which she applies to the videos created for CottageChefCulinaire – videos which stand out for their quality.