Mumbai, Maharashtra [India] : If you were given a choice to choose between good and bad for you, it would be a very simple decision, opting for the good over the bad one. But when it comes to choosing between two amazing things, this is where it all turns tough and confusing, and perhaps what is life all about. At a certain point in my life, I too reached this point where I had to make a choice between two equally good things. Career is a road usually taken, and following passion is the road less travelled and perhaps making all the difference, but there I had this epiphany: “Why to choose one when I can have the best of both worlds!”

I chose to keep my corporate job earned through completing an MBA and at the same time, follow my passion for cooking and sharing the best of recipes with the world out there. It was my job that gave me a balanced life to pursue my passion at the same time, without worrying about bread and butter, and gladly it has made all the difference.

It was 2017 when I started my blog by the name of The Chief Foodie Officer (CFO), an identity to discuss food and celebrate the love of food and cravings shared by people around the globe. Three years down the line, today, as I see, I have successfully maintained to keep the essence of my blog intact, weaving food recipes and sharing food delicacies with my audience. In these years, I have done food reviews, styling, shared tips, shared special seasonal menus, all original and unique content around food. Further, CFO has collaborated and partnered with reputed restaurants, food brands, and start-ups for food consulting in these three years of its existence.

For many, it seems like a pseudo job, where it is taken as a part-time hobby of mine to post things on social media, but there is much more than what meets the eye. The terrain has been quite challenging as the CFO’s area of focus was food, the most subjective thing on the planet, where every person had a preference for something even as basic as salt. This was followed by a deep understanding of the best practices of social media, grasping user personas, generating right and engaging content, earning the trust of brands to collaborate with, and most importantly, building an audience.

Coming to the year 2020, certainly bad news for the world. As I dug in to find the positives hidden deep inside the layers of negative that this year brought, I found how the lockdown taught me persistence, adaptability, and relation building. This is when I transformed content for the CFO completely. Staying home, I further learned about the taste of simplicity in cooking techniques and how this could be of good use for my audience staying indoors amidst the pandemic. It was something that my blog lacked before, so I was quick with actions to serve the recipes more simply, without compromising on deliciousness. At first, I was a little dicey about this decision, but the response received from my audience backed my decision.

If I look back from where I started and where I stand today, it certainly is a huge success for me and it is all because of the love showered by the audience and support that my family provided throughout. My mother always reminded me of how love is the most important ingredient of food, the reason why sharing food connects each other. During the monotonous lockdown phase, my family helped me build ‘easy to make at home’ food themes, ranging from dosa week and sandwich week to breakfast week and chocolate week. Proudly, I can say today that I have an extended family of 54,000 loving members that support and encourage me to create more.

Over the past years, CFO has become my identity and I as Shikha Shetty have discovered my personality intertwined with the growth of this venture. While I am currently working with a leading retail organisation in the digital space, pursuing my love for food has complemented and holistically fulfilled my life.

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