At The Table With...Nik Sharma of A Brown Table
Today we're sitting down with Nik Sharma, the talented blogger who runs A Brown Table. There are so many things I could say about A Brown Table. First, there are the photos — dark, moody and cloudy. They're not just pictures of food; they're art. Then there are Nik's recipes. As a fellow South Asian, I love his interpretations of Indian recipes. Most people are familiar with curries and samosas, but how many would think to make something like masala chai ice cream? Not all of the recipes have an Indian flair, but the ones that do are my favorites.
Read on to get to know Nik!
What is your all-time favorite book?
I'm a big fan of fiction and fantasy, and if I'd have to pick a favorite, it would be George R. R. Martin's The Song of Ice and Fire series. There's drama, political intrigue, complex characters with strengths and flaws. Yes, and like most of his fans, I'm impatiently waiting for his next book to be released.
What meal do you love to cook?
Ha, this is a hard question but soups and stews have always been my favorite, no-fuss meal to cook at home. I'm particularly partial to flavorful broths that have been infused with citrus flavors and ginger.
What is your favorite food scene from a book?
Enid Blyton's books were a staple read growing up. She always had some mention of a picnic lunch or a tea party that involved sandwiches, tea cakes, puddings, tarts and lemonade. This is also probably why I have such a fondness for desserts.
Coffee or tea?
Tea, hands down! I grew up in an Indian household so chai was the choice of beverage in the morning and in the evening. I picked up my coffee drinking habit in graduate school but I can live without it; a life without chai, on the other hand, would drive me insane!
What is the last book you abandoned?
The Hobbit. I own two copies of the book and have never been able to finish reading either. I always fall asleep halfway through! This is surprising since I liked J R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
Author you'd most like to meet for dinner, and your order?
I would really love to meet Ellen DeGeneres, she's fun, sweet and witty. I'd let her pick her favorite restaurant and food!
Where do you go to find new recipes?
Cookbooks, food blogs,magazines and newspapers are where I find a lot of delicious new recipes to cook at home. The New York Times, Saveur, Bon Appetit, and La Cucina Italiana are some of my personal favorites because they are like the National Geographic magazines of global cuisine. Every time my copies arrive in the mail, I'm so excited because they transport me to a different part of the world and by the time I'm done reading, I'm so hungry that I'm energized enough to run out to the store and pick up the necessary ingredients to cook.
Generally, I go with what my friends recommend but I do hunt through Amazon and the New York Times' recommended lists.
Tell us about your blog — the inspiration for it, why you blog your favorite aspects.
I started my blog as a way for me to jot down recipes I enjoyed making at home. Over time it has also become an avenue for me to explore food and travel/outdoor photography. Several of my dishes are Indian-inspired and non-traditional. I feel that there is so much more to the wonderful world of Indian cooking than curries and I love exploring that facet on my blog. I also try to focus on healthier recipes without really getting into any diet fads but I want people to have fun and relax when they visit my blog! By far, getting the opportunity to interact with readers has got to be my most favorite aspect of running a blog!
What are your favorite blogs?
As a food blogger, it's hard for me to pick and choose because there are so many wonderful blogs out there, but here are some of my favorites that constantly inspire me. The Vanilla Bean Blog [ATTW] is amazing, Sarah's work is beautiful and there's a sweet straightforwardness to her writing. She also shoots in black and white which is a medium I love and really wished it was used often. Both Molly and Izzy of My Name is Yeh [ATTW] and Top with Cinnamon are super talented girls and their blogs are definitely a treat to the eyes! Among the male food bloggers, both Kamran of The Sophisticated Gourmet and Donal Skehan blow my mind every time with their fantastic work and Billy of Wit and Vinegar always has me cracking me up! I'm forgetting many others but The Tart Tart, The Gouda Life, Une Gamine dans la Cuisine and Twigg Studios are spectacular treats.