Next in the series of our interviews is Rishabh Bhardwaj, the man behind 520,000-subscriber-strong YouTube channel Foodie Saand. Rishabh is one of the rare creators who explores only vegetarian food. The conversation was extremely candid where he opened up about his fitness regime, income, hair loss, and future plans. He acknowledges the hate he has received on promoting vegetarianism but is not going to back down so easily. In fact, he has managed to convince 3 of his friends to embrace vegetarianism. Rishabh has a lot of noble plans on the professional front and is a firm believer of growing together. He elaborates on this in the interview in his future plans.
Before you read the interview, have a look at this video which has close to 3 million views now and gives a good sneak-peek into how amazingly Rishabh covers street food.
Alright, over to the interview now. Enjoy the read!
Foodie Saand Interview
Q1. Tell us the story behind your channel’s name – Foodie Saand.
There are two reasons behind this name.
The first reason is that I am a big fan of two food vloggers – Bhooka Saand and Dil Se Foodie. So my channel’s name is a combination of words from these two YouTube channels.
Secondly, I am not that healthy but my diet resembles that of a saand (bull).
Q2. You are constantly trying newer and newer food items in different Indian cities. What are the health precautions you take?
Whenever I am in a new city, the food tour generally starts in the morning itself. Firstly, I have o.5 liters of water as soon as I wake up. I always have my breakfast at the hotel, which is usually made up of fruits like papaya and apple. I also indulge in workouts and running a bit. This is how I keep my health in check.
Q3. When you are out, you may have had extra spicy food or extra sweet food. Has this caused any health issues for you? If yes, what are the precautions you took then?
I have had a lot of street food but by God’s grace, I have never ever faced any health issues like food poisoning, etc. At times, I have had extra spicy food and then had to drink plenty of water. However, there was nothing wrong with the food. I love spicy food and I had it at my own will. So far, so good.
Q4. Let’s assume that you are made the Minister of Food in India. What are the steps you would take?
Firstly, I would promote street food as much as possible. To be honest, I feel street food depicts a place’s culture and tradition and should be promoted as much as possible. There is an area called Chowpatty in Gwalior where there are different varieties of food items. Rajasthan has a lot of ‘Masala Chowks’. Even the government realises that food is an important aspect of attracting tourists.
There is a perception around street food not being hygienic. Hence, I would ensure they maintain the right hygiene standards. After Covid, most people have become hygiene-conscious. So I would educate them and ensure that hygienic conditions are maintained.
Q5. Apart from food, what are your other hobbies and interests?
Since the beginning, I have kept on trying different things in life and learned from them. Studies, sports, etc. After my engineering, I even worked at a company. I love machines. So this has kept evolving during different phases of life.
Q6. Assume YouTube/Instagram shuts down some day. What would you do?
I guess I will have to get back to doing a job, hahaha! What else will I do? I am also doing my MBA right now where there are still 1.5 years to go. So a job is definitely an option.
Or else I could start a business in the food industry now that I have gained a good amount of knowledge of this industry.
Q7. Tell us three things no one knows about you.
1. People have this misconception that I always eat street food. However, contrary to the popular belief, I have outside food for a maximum of 4 days a month. I mostly have homemade food. I travel outside of Delhi for 4 days and make lots of videos of the place I am traveling to. People think I am always on the move but the reality is that I shot those videos many days back.
2. People think I earn Rs. 2 lakhs, 4 lakhs a month but that’s not the case. Once when I was in Mumbai for a shoot, a street food vendor denied permission for shooting stating that I would earn Rs. 5 crores per video! YouTubers are not crorepatis!
3. I have a hair-loss problem and I have opened up about it in my videos. I wear a wig right now. I am past that phase where I would lose my confidence due to hair loss. It is on the insistence of my parents that I am wearing a wig.
Q8. Let’s say your bank account is topped up with Rs. 10 crores. What would you do with it?
I would invest in various avenues like the stock market where the money would earn more money. I would also look to donate a portion of it.
Also, the food industry has given me a lot. I am associated with a few restaurants that train people for free. The intention is to provide that confidence and mentoring so that these people are able to make a mark in the food industry. Chefs still do not have that respect in India. I would use this sum to support such causes.
Q9. We want you to make a promise to us. Once you reach the 1-million subscriber mark, what would you do for us?
I haven’t done a lot of meetups. So I would probably do that.
Also, at every milestone, I have done something for society. E.g. when I reached the 1-lakh subscriber mark, I distributed 100 dosas. We did something at 2-lakh and 3-lakh mark too.
I think helping someone just once doesn’t help. The best solution to uplifting someone is to set up a business for them. Probably, our foodie team will identify such people and help them set up a food business.
Q10. What are your future plans on personal and professional front?
On the personal front, I want to become fitter while also continuing to explore more street food. I have gained weight which I want to bring under control.
On the professional front, I want to start a food business someday. I get a lot of messages from subscribers asking for a job or some help. So, one possible idea could be to open a restaurant and employ people who really want to be a part of this industry.
Q11. Which is that Indian state you haven’t visited yet but really want to?
It would be Meghalaya. I haven’t visited the eastern states yet so they are next on my list.
Q12. You have visited lots of states so far. Which one have you found to be best in terms of people and food?
It is a very difficult question. The people and food both have been really good everywhere. It is like asking a mother of five who her best son is.
Q13. What is your take on vegetarianism? A lot of people are embracing non-vegetarianism these days.
I have always promoted vegetarianism in my videos. I also covered a restaurant that serves pure-vegetarian food in the shape of non-veg items, like fish. Taking someone’s life just to satisfy your taste bud is not right I feel. The taste, in reality, is of spices and not of the animal because raw meat cannot be eaten at all. In the 1970s, almost 70% of Indians were vegetarians but the number is exactly the opposite now.
I have received a lot of hate in the comment section for promoting vegetarianism but I have convinced my 3 non-veg-eating friends to take up vegetarianism by explaining a number of things like how cruelly the animals are killed, etc. Hope to get more people to adopt this.
Rishabh, our Foodie Saand, was brutally honest in this conversation and it takes guts to open up to such an extent. Here’s wishing Foodie Saand lots and lots of success in the months to come. Here are the links to his YouTube channel and Instagram handle. Do subscribe/follow for interesting updates on street food from every nook and corner of India 🙂