Shivi Ramoutar is a Chef, Writer and Presenter. Having released her second book earlier this year – The Ice Kitchen, Shivi Ramoutar explains “How I Got Here”…
How did you get into Food?
At a time of struggling and feeling despondent in a career in the City, I found myself turning towards the food I grew up with. This being comforting Caribbean flavours that mum and dad made for us, regardless of which country we were in. We moved from Trinidad to NYC to the UK, and off the back of me making this food more and more, I set up a supper club with a friend. It was then that I realised that I wanted to turn this comfort and passion into a career.
What was your first role within the sector?
After running the supper club from a crypt in a church, I was unsure about the next step. I ended up applying for MasterChef, filling out the application form as if it was some sort of therapy. At this point I had no idea of what the next steps would be, I just thought this would be an interesting path to travel on.
Big break or career-defining moment?
I don’t have a particular career-defining moment. Everything that I chip away at I am very proud of and very grateful for. Though it could have been the eureka moment when I realised that the food that I was brought up on and that I tried to push away as a teen, was the one thing I wanted to reach for at my lows in my previous career. It also gave me the courage to realise what I wanted my new path to be.
What advice would you offer to your younger self?
Be true to yourself. Authenticity shines through, and so believe in what you want to do and pursue it with passion and dedication
Biggest career challenge and how was it overcome?
There are continuous challenges in this industry, requiring me to think outside the box and push myself. I work from home mostly, which can be quite lonely, and I am an introvert. I, therefore really need to push myself to get out there and connect with people.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
There are so many people out there that I admire, so many inspirational men and women. My biggest inspiration has to be my mother, she has always taught me to keep going, work hard, live hard, love hard. That is the mantra that I try to live by.
If your career was a book, how would you describe the current chapter?
Finding myself. I have realised what I am about, clarified what I need to do next, and I am feeling confident. Previously I would always succumb to the imposter syndrome, but I am trying to knock that on its head and believe in myself.
What is your favourite food?
Doubles, which is a Trinidad and Tobago dish made with baras (flat fried dough), and filled with curry channa (curried chickpeas).
What is your favourite spirit /wine
My favourite cocktail is a Pina Colada, and favourite wine is a Californian big red.
How do you relax?
I am not great at relaxing. In a previous life, I wanted to be a classical pianist, and so I tinkle the ivories and write music.
Finish the sentence, the future in hospitality is…
About How I Got Here
In the How I Got Here series, we will share the stories of our members, and as a result, embolden the community. With 8 years within the food industry as a chef, writer and presenter Shivi Ramoutar provides a wealth of experience for the BAME community and beyond.
You can learn more about Shivi Ramoutar on her member profile.