Swapping a corporate career for culinary school in your 30s


Rupal Bhatikar is a Melbourne chef from Goa who swapped her marketing career for culinary school at the age of 32.

Here’s how she made the big change.

What were your early years like?

I grew up in a small part of India called Goa, which is on the coast. We’d eat fresh seafood every day because that was the local cuisine.

When I was little, I was always in the kitchen with my mother when she was cooking. She would get me to do simple things like clean prawns, and I would stand on a stool and try to run my own cooking show like Sanjeev Kapoor, a very popular home chef on TV.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

It was very limiting, especially growing up in India as a girl — you’re pretty much told to have an academic career.

My mum and dad would always say, “You’ll have more opportunities with a master’s degree. Life is easier if you have an education.”

Rupal Bhatikar at her marketing job in Dubai.(Supplied: Rupal Bhatikar)

What was your first job after studying?

I went to university to study commerce, and then I went to do an MBA in marketing.

I didn’t think too much of it at that stage, because I didn’t have another interest that was sufficiently explored. Nor did I have opportunities that showed me I could be a chef, because all I knew was that women cook at home and men cook in professional kitchens.

After I finished my MBA, I worked in India for two years and then I moved to Dubai for work. If you’re working eight to 10-hour days, you don’t have time to cook, and I quickly realised I didn’t enjoy eating out very frequently.

How did your interest in food develop?

Luckily for technology, I could just call up my mum and she would tell me how to make the dishes we ate at home.

I started to write things down and practise the recipes. I started to read books of other cuisines to see if they offered an explanation of why things are done a certain way.

It just took on a life of its own. Every minute I had, other than doing my full-time job, I would just be cooking or reading about food or writing on my blog.

When did you know you wanted to quit and become a chef?

I think any cook will tell you that the greatest sort of feedback is when someone has eaten your food and they’re like, “Oh my God, I cannot wait to eat this again!”

I never got that satisfaction in my entire marketing career.

Rupal Bhatikar with classmates at William Angliss Institute in their black and white chefs' uniforms.
Rupal Bhatikar with her culinary institute classmates, where she began studying in 2018 as soon as she arrived in Melbourne.(Supplied: Rupal Bhatikar)

What steps did you take?

I’m somebody who’s always been academic, so I was like, if I’m going to do this legitimately, I want to go and become qualified for this.

Once I began moving towards the idea of studying, I knew Dubai was not the place for it. I wanted to cook somewhere where the produce was just incredible, fresh and seasonal.

Then in 2016 my husband and I arrived in Melbourne on a perfect spring day for a holiday. It was 17 or 18 degrees, blue skies, great coffee. It feels like a big cliche but it was love at first sight.

In 2018, my husband and I moved to Australia permanently. I went to culinary school straight away.

At the same time, I got a job at an international street food restaurant in the city. I wanted to work at a place where any kind of person was invited.

What were the challenges?

I won’t deny there were a lot of naysayers.

A lot of people thought I’m stupid to give up a career which was much more high paying and had much better opportunities than being a chef.

The question is, is money your biggest priority? And for me it never was.

How would you describe your life now?

I think the word I’m looking for is fulfilling. I get great joy going into work every day.

I spent all these years trying to get to the point where I am now, and I’m just so grateful I’m here.

Advice for people who want to make a big change in their lives?

First, do your research.

Secondly, don’t take all the negativity someone might throw at you too seriously. The third thing is, do it for the right reasons.

Also, it’s about the journey not the destination. I feel like if you just wait for the final result to make you happy, you’re sort of going to be miserable through the process.

I am a classic example that age or previous skill doesn’t matter. If you are willing to do more than those around you, your hard work will compensate for any other skills.

And let’s not forget, we need help at every stage. You need that good boss, you need that good friend. Just don’t expect it from people. Let it come naturally.

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Texas Plane Passenger in Her 30s Dies From Coronavirus


A Texas woman in her thirties died from the novel coronavirus while on an airplane this summer, Dallas County officials have announced.  

The woman, who had underlying health conditions that were considered high risk, was on a flight from Arizona to Texas in July. The incident occurred while the plane was still on the tarmac.  

“It became difficult for her to breathe, and they tried to give her oxygen. It is was not successful, and she died on the jetway,” County Judge Clay Jenkins said during an interview with NBC DFW

Although the death occurred on July 25, Dallas County officials only recently received the individual’s official cause of death, which is why it was announced now.  

Despite the United States still seeing tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases per day, the number of people taking to the skies is trending upward. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), more than a million passengers were screened on Sunday, the highest figure since March 17.

“TSA has been diligent in our efforts to ensure checkpoints are clean, safe, and healthy for frontline workers and airline passengers, implementing new protocols and deploying state-of-the-art technologies that improve security and reduce physical contact,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a news release.  

The agency added that it screened 6.1 million passengers nationwide between October 12 and 18, the highest weekly volume since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Recent data and research are also showing that airline passengers face an extremely low risk of contracting the virus while flying. 

For example, a recent study by the Department of Defense has discovered that—thanks in large part to high air exchange rates on planes and HEPA-filtered recirculation—the risk of aerosol spread of coronavirus is cut 99.7 percent.  

On most planes, the air exchange rate is roughly every three minutes and 75 percent comes from outside the plane, which means that only 25 percent of cabin air is recirculated. It takes just six minutes for 99.99 percent of particles to be filtered out of the cabin. 

In another case, 328 passengers and crew members were tested for the coronavirus after it was revealed that a March 31 flight from the United States to Taiwan had been carrying twelve passengers who were exhibiting coronavirus symptoms. But when the test results came back, all the other passengers and crew members tested negative.  

One professor of statistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology made an effort to quantify coronavirus infection risk while flying. According to his findings—based on short-haul flights in the United States on aircraft with three seats on either side of the aisle and with all passengers and crew wearing face masks—the probability of being infected on a full flight is only one in forty-three hundred. Those odds plummet to one in seventy-seven hundred if the middle seat is vacant. 

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.  

Image: Reuters



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Victoria records 15 deaths, including man in his 30s, and 725 new coronavirus cases on worst day yet of pandemic

Victoria has recorded 15 deaths and 725 new coronavirus bacterial infections on the state’s worst working day of the pandemic to date.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Wednesday explained 538 folks remained in medical center, with 42 of those people battling the infection in intensive care. 

Of the 15 new deaths recorded on Wednesday, just one was a gentleman in his 30s and twelve ended up joined to the state’s aged-treatment sector.

“Can I mail my heartfelt condolences and sympathies to every single of all those families,” Mr Andrews reported.

“This will be a terrible time and any and all help we can provide to you we will and we are with you in this pretty tough time.”

Mr Andrews stated elective operation would be postponed in regional Victoria, except for category one clients and the most urgent class two people. 

The same measures have presently been applied to elective surgeries in the metropolitan Melbourne region.

“We can’t have a circumstance in which we are making the sickest people wait longer simply because we are treating wholly worthy and crucial ailments, but not essentially time-critical ailments,” he informed reporters.

“We are not able to set those people ahead of men and women who will need that urgent treatment.”

Mr Andrews on Sunday declared a Condition of Disaster in Victoria as very well as the adoption of Stage 4 limitations for metropolitan Melbourne. 

The relaxation of Victoria is relocating into Phase 3 constraints. 

Metropolitan Melbourne inhabitants are subject matter to Stage 4 limits and will have to comply with a curfew concerning the hrs of 8pm and 5am. All through the curfew, people today in Melbourne can only go away their residence for function, and vital health and fitness, care or security reasons.

Amongst 5am and 8pm, individuals in Melbourne can leave the property for exercise, to store for necessary items and providers, for do the job, for health care, or to care for a ill or aged relative. The entire list of restrictions can be observed right here.

All Victorians must put on a face masking when they leave home, no make a difference where by they dwell.

Persons in Australia ought to keep at the very least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s limits on gathering limitations. If you are dealing with cold or flu indications, continue to be property and arrange a take a look at by calling your medical professional or call the Coronavirus Wellbeing Facts Hotline on 1800 020 080.





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