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Indian Christina Tosi? Really?

If you'd ask me (someone did ask me) who is it that inspires me the most, I'd have to say, Christina Tosi, hands down. To me, she's the perfect blend of being a baker as well as a businesswoman. Her approach of looking at and recreating a dessert is so fresh and innovative that I almost envy her for it.

Welcome to Dohful's Sunday Letter guys, today we're sharing about what inspires me & my team.

If you're thinking who the F is Christina Tosi, well, she's the founder of Milk Bar - a bakery & dessert chain originating from New York, famous for its naked cakes and crack pies. Actually, come to think of it, the only reason naked cakes are a thing.. is because of Christina.

You might remember her from one of the episodes in The Chef's Table which is a Netflix Original series. That episode actually placed Christina on the map of the whole world rather than just America.

The first time I came across Christina Tosi and her story was in fact through this episode. It was back in 2018, I was just starting my baking journey again after a break for more than 5 years and everything just seemed so overwhelming at the time.

5 minutes into the episode and I was just in awe of this person on the screen who was talking about her love for baking, the nostalgia that it has, and that being her inspiration behind each of the recipes that she creates in Milk Bar. I felt so inspired and charged up, just listening to her talk about baking. And ever since that day she became my North Star.

But inspiration comes not from one direction.

What Christina Tosi is to me, Mahashay Dharmpal has become to Chaman. Yes, I'm talking about the MDH Dadaji. As we sat down to read his life story post his demise this week, both Chaman & I couldn't help but feel immense respect and admiration for the man who changed the way spices were consumed in India.

He was one of the first spice manufacturers in India who saw the dream of selling ground spices to a country where people have a very intimate relation with their spices and the way they are used in food.

I have seen my own mother grinding her own spices till about 5 years back and even today, during times she's feeling particularly free, she does the very extraneous exercise of buying whole spices, washing them, drying them in the sun before grinding and using in her cooking.

And I'm sure this is the same case in most Indian households. And yet, there was a man who not only dreamed of creating this huge FMCG empire based on spices, but became the face of the brand himself.

He actually successfully did exactly what I think Christina Tosi is trying to do today. I know what you guys must be thinking, how exactly did I put MDH Dadaji and Christina Tosi in one sentence. But think about it okay...they both are personal brands as big as their company's brand names.

You can't know Milk Bar without knowing Christina Tosi and vice versa, and the same is true for MDH and its Dadaji. It's impossible to know one without the other. But he achieved this in a much different and difficult (in many ways) time than what we have today.

The only reason we mention these two personalities to you today is that when we started Dohful, it was sort of a personal mission for us to be out there in front of you guys owning our successes and our mistakes to you.

And we struggled with it for quite some time. It was an online business, our patrons were not face-to-face with us and we didn't really know how to communicate with you guys. Then came the Sunday Letters.

Honestly speaking it was not a long term plan, in fact it wasn't a plan at all, I just wanted to write something to connect with you guys for the first time during the lockdown when the entire country was baking. But the response we got after the first Sunday Letter was a huge push to take it forward and make it a weekly thing.

If there is anything that we want to say by any of our Sunday Letters - is that we're here. If your order doesn't reach on time, if it gets stuck in transit, if you want to customize your cookie box, if you want to send a gift to loved ones, and my biggest nightmare...if your cookies aren't perfect in anyway, we're here.

Please reach out to us, and talk to us and let us know. We're always here. Just hit your reply button. 

P.S. We would love to know what and who inspires you the most. Do share your inspiration story with us.

P.P.S. It goes without saying, Mahashay Dharampal, you'd be greatly missed. RIP MDHDadaji.

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