Nolan Michael Mascarenhas is an Indian food blogger, who runs Nolansatwit.com. He is also one of Goa’s top food influencers. Originally from Porvorim-Goa, is also an investment advisor.
ItsGoa team caught up with him and put him in the spotlight.
Humans of Goa is our original and official series that shares inspiring stories from the life of Goan. Humans of Goa is made for and composed of Goans.
Let’s get started.
If someone asked you, “What are you doing, what would you say?” “
I earn money through my Edelweiss franchisee through my Portoflio management services. When the markets close, I eat or look for things to eat and to document.
What was that moment when you decided that “this is it!” I want to tell stories through food â
There has never been a singular moment. I come from a family with roots in food and hospitality. Growing up with the Taj hotel group (3 generations of my family worked there), I have never known a time when my palate was not confined to the nuances of great food and drink. With such a legacy, I decided to document my own journey one piece at a time.
What makes you one of the best Indian food bloggers?
I am everything and nothing. Read that again. We are who we choose to be, constantly evolving. For reference, let’s categorize people into labels. For the article, let’s say I’m a Food Blogger – but I’m also a fearless traveler, wanderer, adventure junkie, biker etc. So technically I am something else, but I am nothing.
As human beings we are multifaceted, dogma compels us to call a car to be known as someone or something.
A little about your models. All the aspects or traits that make them soâ¦ (can also come from the world of food)
My models are constantly evolving. One constant would be my grandparents with whom I spent a lot of time as a child – my grandfather in particular. A shrewd man, a man of few words and mega deeds – his features are something that I imbibe until today. In a world where fashions and trends change rapidly, words don’t carry as much weight as deeds that are rarely forgotten. Talk less, do more.
What was the biggest challenge in pursuing this full-time career? And how did you overcome it?
Never put all your eggs in one basket. A definitive career has shown itself the door lately reading Covid19. How many of them still depend on âfull-time careersâ? It is therefore a current challenge. Do I make money with this? Yes. Did it happen overnight? I started blogging in 2007 when I had a full time career in finance. The challenges are only situations conceived as obstacles.
Should I rely on this to pay the bills? No. It would be foolish in our ecosystem to do that. Writing pays, but for a few. My advice would be to keep your feet on the ground, give back to the industry and it will give it back to you. Not all things are monetary in nature. Most importantly, make the most of the moment, whether it’s documenting a meal or a location.
What is it in the food that makes you swoon?
The process, the effort, the aroma and the people. I am an Indian food blogger who interacts with food in a way that may reflect my admiration for food.
A food incident that you remember when you were a child? An episode of Masterchef or even seeing Bourdain for the first time perhaps?
When relatives offered me a juicy piece of meat in Chinatown, San Francisco, and I realized it was a python tenderloin in the late ’90s. Someone’s fancy got the weight of my version of the steak a few minutes later, read the gag reflex!
As an Indian food blogger, what are your 5 favorite restaurants that you recommend?
My definition of food relates to a following comprehensive quiz. Where are you based? What would you like to eat in the kitchen? My recommendations for establishments come later.
But I had a memorable meal at a home chef’s establishment, from my favorite Street Food Crawls to three Michelin star meals. The origins of foods and dishes are super subjective and constantly changing. It’s always the dish that’s the star of anyone’s show, isn’t it?
Can you write us a few lines here on the theme “Food is life”?
There are two types of people in the world: those who eat to live and those who live to eat. It is important to relate and know what category you belong to.
What role have family and friends played? A quick incident that you remember that helped you overcome an obstacle or a challenge in life with the help of your family?
It is always a welcoming challenge when you come from a family steeped in tradition. Miguel Arcanjo Mascarenhas, was a 4e pass the boy from Anjuna, who went from plucking chickens in the 1900s to being the first Indian executive chef of Taj hotels. The Taj Exotica in Benaulim has a restaurant named after it wIe meals and recipes cooked for royalty to celebrities.
It was my grandfather to have my mother-Odette Mascarenhas be a food historian and author of the Times Food Awards in Goa. It’s intimidating if you want to follow in the footsteps. I chose the road less traveled and here I am.
What was the feedback from people (negative and positive) and who supported you the most?
Oh Feedback. I like that word. Well according to my detractors, I know Jack! Which one is up to you to find out.
Everyone knows food in their own version of what is good, bad and ugly. I have received recommendations from pillars of the industry who have completely missed the mark. The beauty of food is in the emotions. If we choose to simplify the food, this is where all the happiness lies.
Life is too short to get technical, of course it doesn’t count if a xacuti comes served in a rechado masala to an unsuspecting tourist!
What legacy do you want to leave? And for whom?
He came, saw, ate and had a great time. I think that would be a great epitaph. I don’t think the pressure to leave a legacy remains in my current avatar.
You can watch an excerpt from this conversation on ItsGoa’s Instagram page. Humans of Goa is our original and official series that shares stories from the life of Goan. âHumans of Goaâ celebrates the spirit of every Goan.
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