Nimi Sunil Kumar wears many hats. She is a diploma holder in Electronics and Communications, freelance journalist, teacher, dietician, food blogger, author and culinary expert! Young, energetic and driven by ambition this young lady has already earned world recognition.
Nimi belongs to Thrissur, Kerala, but lives in the beautifully verdant Munnar Hills. Wife of businessman and hotelier Sunil Kumar, she has two sons reading at school and manages a fine balance between home and career. She lives in Munnar with her family and teaches Home Science at The High Range School run by the Tatas. She also doubles up as dietician as the school serves lunch to all students. The management is insistent that the children be served wholesome, nutritious meals with plenty of green vegetables. Planning and organising the balanced meals is part of Nimi’s job role at the school where both her sons study.
Nimi says that from a young age she was always interested in food. When in school, she would cut out recipes from newspapers and magazines and preserve them. Her mother is her role model and as a child, she marvelled at the way her mother used to churn out dishes for the family in the whisk of a moment. She found that fascinating. Perhaps it is this interest that has driven Nimi to foray into the world of cuisine.
After acquiring her diploma in Electronics and Communications, she settled into marriage. She had always been a keen writer and she pursued her work as a freelance journalist after marriage too. She wrote mainly on socio-political issues for a variety of magazines. At the same time she also developed a passion for cooking as her husband’s family were hoteliers and total foodies. They set very high standards regarding food being cooked and Nimi picked up the gauntlet and accepted the challenge. From there on began her journey with food.
With determination, she forayed into the world of cuisine learning, testing, tasting and experimenting. She went deep into the study of preparation of a dish and zoomed into the authentic way. She soon started her food blog ‘Nimi’s Culinary Ventures’ in 2009. The overwhelming response to that encouraged her to pen her first book ‘Lip Smacking Dishes of Kerala’ in 2010. This book contains authentic Kerala recipes from her blog as well as some additions.
Her second book of the same title followed in 2012 ‘Lip Smacking Dishes of Kerala’. In April 2013 the second edition of ‘Lip Smacking Dishes of Kerala’ won the ‘Third Best Local Cuisine Book in the World’ from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards,2013 , in Beijing. Her book had been selected from amongst 187 countries. This was a stupendous achievement and propelled Nimi from Kerala onto the world stage.
Her passion for food has in addition to becoming a cookbook author, transformed her into a food stylist, food photographer and cooking class demonstrator!
Her next book was titled ‘4 o’clock Temptations of Kerala’ and is an attractive, well written book on the traditional snacks of Kerala. Colourful and pleasing, the photographs by Nimi are not only eye catching but waft the aroma of the Kerala kitchen as you turn the pages. This book was adjudged the ‘Best Indian Cuisine Cookbook in the World’ by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in May 2016, at Yantai, China. Gourmand Awards are considered the Oscars of Gastronomy.
‘Nimmy’s Lip Smacking Classes’ are held at Munnar after registration online. These classes are held for tourists from abroad and require prior booking. She has been teaching tourists from New Zealand, Australia and many European countries. It is to her credit that her classes have been listed in websites like Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet. She may be contacted on www.nimisrecipes.com
Nimi has also been to the Frankfurt Buch Messe/ Book Fair and has exhibited her books since 2015 to last year. At the Gourmet Gallery Show at the Book Fair held from October 11-15th, Nimi presented ‘Food from Kerala’ with a live demonstration of 5 popular and authentically prepared dishes. The use of various spices and coconut evinced tremendous interest in the audience.
This entrepreneur was also invited to Paris as Guest of Honour at Le Cordon Bleu to talk about South Indian cuisine especially of Kerala.
In the latest of her achievements, Nimi has won mention in the ‘Top Ten Baking & Dessert Blogs of 2018’ awarded by Bonusapp.
‘My attempt is to preserve the traditional. I wanted to show the world that Indian recipes are not just dal- roti- naan and paneer’. Cuisine in India varies from region to region. South Indian cuisine isn’t just idli-dosa-sambar and appams. Nimi knows that well. Her attempt is to throw open the doors to the world of the Kerala kitchen.
‘Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness’ is Nimi’s favourite line. She sure seems to be happy doing what she likes and enjoying her freedom.