In conversation with Ariz Hoque aka Kacchi Genie
Ariz Hoque is popularly known as the bookseller or Kacchi genie, depending on who you ask because if you talk to him long enough, you'll either be going home with books you swore had no intentions of buying or you'd find yourself walking straight into Sultan's dine to have kacchi. He is a bookseller by profession, and many may have seen him lurking around at Bookworm Bangladesh, one of the oldest indie bookstores in Dhaka city and other book festivals, but he's a foodie by passion. He claims he never gave food blogging any serious thought before, not until last December, feeling very hungry after watching a dumpling video on YouTube one night that he decided to go for it. He had no experience or idea regarding blogging when he started; he liked to photograph his food just for the fun of it. But people seem to love his instant pictures of his meals and the lame food puns that accompany them. Kacchi Genie currently has 10.7k followers on Instagram, all in less than a year.
"I wasn't sure if I'd even get a hundred followers in my first few months. I am still in a bit of shock after reaching 10k in less than a year. I can't say whether I am a successful blogger or not, but I can confidently say that I managed to form a connection of respect and love with my fellow food bloggers and well wishers" Ariz Hoque shares.
Where does your passion for food come from?
All credits to my Maa. Maa is a brilliant cook. She loved to experiment a lot, and my brother and I were the designated tasters. So mainly my passion comes from there.
Can you cook? How often do you cook at home?
I used to cook a lot more before, but now I rarely get the time.
How important is eating meals together as a family to you?
Very important. All of us work and stay out for most of the day, so we make sure to be home for dinner, sit down for a meal together and talk about how everyone's day went. It means a lot as a family.
How do your friends and family react to your life as a blogger?
My family has been very supportive from day one. My Maa's cooking and her beautiful presentation is what makes my feed stand out. I still remember when I got my first PR my whole family helped me to set up the food for photos. My friends as well have been very encouraging.
Do you try out interesting dishes that you come across in restaurants when you go for reviews?
Yes, I do. As a foodie, I like being adventurous with my food. I enjoy trying out new recipes or dishes. The first thing that attracts me is the dishes they have on their menu that other restaurants usually don't. I always try them whether it's to taste and review or to simply photograph.
What’s the most adventurous dish you’ve ever tried?
I was fascinated to try camel meat in Chittagong. Quite hard to eat, I must say.
Best place for food bloggers in Dhaka?
For me it has to be Chef's Table. Great place for hanging out, diversity of food and it serves the best food from the best restaurants in town. Apart from that, Cheez and Madchef.
Do food bloggers eat all the photos they take photos of? How much food goes in the trash? Do you bring leftovers home?
Don't know about others but I always finish the food I order. Sometimes I even finish my friends' food as well if I go with them. So no food goes in the trash.
I can vouch for that. If I’m only going to try one dish from your blog, which one should it be?
It has to be Kacchi Biryani, made by my Maa.
How long does it take to get the perfect Instagram shot?
I try not to click hundreds of pictures for a perfect shot. 5-10 clicks max. I’d rather post a bad picture than eat cold food.
Any memorable event about your blogging career?
Getting a follow back from my favorite chef Asma Khan. My first PR from Hobnob Cafe.
What would you say makes your blog different?
My love and passion for food. I know every blogger loves food. But I have this crazy obsession with food where I constantly think about what I am going to have for my next meal. And, obviously my immense love for Kacchi Biriyani.
I am not a very good photographer nor a food stylist but I try to make my food the hero of my picture. I don't use any props yet to beautify my pic; I am still learning. My main prop is the plate and the food on that plate is my main subject. I try to keep my post clean, that's it. Also, I love putting funny captions on food.
Do you think about becoming a full time food blogger in the near future?
I work as social media coordinator at The Bookworm Bangladesh, I love to sell books, and I love my job. Blogging is a place where I share my passion with the world. Choosing this as a full time thing isn’t the plan. I may take more time to polish my blogging, but my main occupation will always be selling books.
Thank God, I don't know what I would do without my 20% off at Bookworm. So here you go, we interviewed Ariz Hoque aka Kacchi Genie, Dhaka's quickly growing food blogger who is crossing big milestones left right but is yet to treat his favourite interviewer. Recently, he has also ventured onto TikTok. If you are a foodie, we highly recommend you to check out his account for some candid dishes, god-awful puns, and sheer joy for food.
Favourite savory dish?
Favourite sweet dish?
When I’m feeling lazy I cook
Chicken fried rice with last night's leftover rice.
My pick me up dish?
Favourite dish cooked by me
For a romantic meal I would want to eat
Still single but for a romantic meal it has to be Sushi.
On a winter evening I would cook/eat:
Nehari and Naan.
One cuisine you can live on?
One recipe you want to pass on?
My Maa's baked pasta.
To find out more visit https://instagram.com/kacchigenie