Meet Kimberly Dsouza and Denver Britto: Indian food bloggers eating across the UAE

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In the United Arab Emirates, 29-year-old Dubai-based Indian expats Kimberly Dsouza and Denver Britto or “Kim and Den” might be familiar faces. The Mumbai and Mangalore couple, respectively, have come a long way from two food-loving people to full-time food bloggers in the city.

However, their journey isn’t just about posting pictures of food online. It involves experimenting, cooking and trying new cuisines. Even the famous British chef Gordon Ramsay has a part to play in it….

where it all started

Dsouza and Britto are childhood friends
Image Credit: Supplied

A former student of Our Own English High School in Dubai, Dsouza and Britto are childhood friends. After Dsouza returned to Mumbai after tenth grade, Britto continued to pursue his education at the same school. As the two embarked on two different life paths, fate disguised itself as a mobile app and brought them together during their college years.

“Den and I knew each other when we were kids as we both went to the same school. However, oddly enough, we got closer when I moved to India for college. He added me on BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) in 2011 and we instantly developed a fondness for each other. We used to sacrifice our sleep and talk for hours – sometimes until sunrise and somewhere in the middle of those conversations , we realized that we love each other very much,” Dsouza said.

“During our first nightly conversations, we both realized how much our lives revolved around food. We both looked up to the same celebrity chefs and longed to visit the same Michelin-starred restaurants around the world. In fact, the idea that we meet in Dubai and dine at our favorite restaurants is what made long distances bearable. We’ve been together for nine years now and have eaten our way around the world. Sometimes, we still think back to those days when two college students had strongly expressed the fact of traveling for food and finally living this life, it’s like a dream.

love of food

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The Virtual MasterChef Australia dates were how they spent time together while maintaining a long-distance relationship
Image Credit: Supplied

“For both of us, TV shows have had a big impact on our culinary journey. We learned a lot about cuisines and food cultures around the world through cooking shows and cooking channels. Actually, it might sound very cheesy (pun intended), but we used to have virtual MasterChef Australia dates together where we watched new episodes of MasterChef every week and had an in-depth chat about the episodes once we were done,” Britto said. .

Along with the TV shows, celebrity chefs have also come along, and British chef Gordon Ramsay plays a key role in their relationship. Growing up, Dsouza and Britto were avid fans of TV series and chef interviews. However, there was one Ramsay dish that caught their eye – Beef Wellington.

After years of trying to make it themselves, they finally had the opportunity to meet the chef in person and try his creation two years ago. This not only fulfilled a dream, but also marked a milestone for them as a couple.

On top of that, Dsouza and Britto grew up in environments where food was always at the heart of every gathering – whether it was an occasion or just a simple gathering of friends and family. This led them to create WhereMyFoodAt, the food blog they are known for in the UAE.

A cup of chai that changed everything

It was on the evening of May 24, 2014, while Britto and Dsouza were sipping a cup of chai or tea from a local restaurant in their car, that the idea for a food blog germinated. They were known among their friends as “the couple that eats a lot”, so Britto and Dsouza decided to use that to their advantage. “We were basically looking for ways to document our food journey since we were known as the “big eater” couple among our friends and family, and they were always asking us for recommendations on where to eat. Initially, WhereMyFoodAt started as a hobby for the two of us, but now, almost eight years later, it has become an occupation that has taken us all over the world,” said Britto.

“It was definitely not something we had planned. We think it was a good time – since we started blogging when there were just a handful of us, and we think our maturity in food blogging has helped us stand out from the crowd.

“Apart from the fact that food resonated the most with us, we chose food because it’s something everyone identifies with. When you want to celebrate a special occasion, most people go to their favorite restaurant, when you’re feeling down and need a pick-me-up, most people resort to comfort food. Food unites and connects people from generation to generation and is one of the biggest niches to specialize in,” Dsouza added.

The blog features all of the couple’s restaurant visits, masterclasses, hidden culinary gems in the UAE, homemade recipes and even a few cooking series. Britto works full-time as an aeronautical engineer, but he calls the blog his “second job”, while Dsouza works as a content creator for the blog across all social media channels, after quitting a job in banking. .

84,000 subscribers and still counting

To start something completely different, especially in the United Arab Emirates – where the competition is high – the couple managed to maintain their uniqueness. Today, they owe everything to the power of social media.

“We’re not going to lie; we were extremely nervous and kinda doubted WhereMyFoodAt would have survived even a month. We were 22 when we started WhereMyFoodAt and had very little money, so every investment we made in terms of website development or photography equipment was done with a lot of anxiety and pressure. We were lucky to have each other during those early stages of fear and doubt. We helped reassure each other that we are in this together and that the best for WhereMyFoodAt is yet to come,” Britto said.

All of their efforts have paid off when their subscriber base has grown in the eight years since their inception. “We owe everything to our subscribers. They have been incredibly supportive throughout this journey and many of them have witnessed our growth, both in our personal and professional lives. We started WhereMyFoodAt as a couple who had been together for two years and our followers have been part of our journey ever since – from our engagement to our wedding three years ago,” Dsouza said.

Like all journeys, theirs also had its challenges. While their followers are their biggest motivators, there are days when “online hate” really gets to them. “When you expose your whole life on social media, you are bound to be subjected to negativity online. We think that’s the only challenge we’ve learned to live with. I think we speak for all influencers and bloggers when we say that there are always two sides to this journey – the love we receive from followers who sincerely support us and the negativity we receive from “haters”. Our advice would always be to focus on the positive side of everything we do and just push through it. We don’t have time to dwell on the negatives,” Britto said.

A global food brand

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The next step? Make WhereMyFoodAt a global brand
Image Credit: Supplied

So what’s next in store? “We want to make WhereMyFoodAt a global brand. In 2019 we traveled to nine countries trying to establish our brand as “Food Travellers”. The pandemic has created a major delay in our plan, but we are optimistic that we will start traveling around the world again, soon,” Dsouza concluded.

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