Lifestyle is a key feature in our current modern day society. With the vast population of earth’s inhabitants seeking refuge in the mainstream grey masses, there’s a lot of groups standing out. Hardrock and Heavy Metal bands and fans are a strong community. We don’t need to blend in with masses as community doesn’t judge any by its appeal or dresscode. We only judge those misbehaving and eagerly secure our good name as rockers. Edwin van Hoof contacted Sahil Makhija, the “chef by day and metal musician by night” founder of Headbanger's Kitchen, the Indian foodsite that's all about KETO cooking.
We follow our own rules and have been doing so for decades. Headbangers have their own lifestyle, hence the name of this zine. One thing that has changed however, is the landscape surrounding us. Where we once were called “rockers” or “Hardrockers”, subgenres have the need to divert from general label applied. Gothics, Proggies, Melodic Rockers, Posers and many more, seek refuge in their own community nowadays. However the binding factor remains; we all like guitars, ponderous drums and great energetic vocals. But we also are entrepreneurs. We like to discover new tastes and experiences. Because of this we also are deeply rooted in the craftbeer community and many are acclaimed foodies and cooks. Summarizing: hardrockers simply have the better taste! Rocking out loud is a lifestyle and head banging our credo.
Being entrepreneurs, we explore the widest variety of experiences. We explore the boundaries and reach beyond the horizons. We gladly push the envelope of progressions as well as fuse styles together. One of those entrepreneurs is the star-studded low carb creators of HEADBANGERSKITCHEN. They are banging out great meals with low carbs every time and manage to win over even the most heavy hearted when it comes to dieting (ME!). I came across the Indian chef looking for low carb pizza recipes and thus stumbled onto their creative and genre refining tastes. Instantly hooked on their fathead KETO pizza, we even thrown out regular pizza. And that is just one of many KETO recipes we nowadays use at Casa van Hoof. Headbangerskitchen definitely displays skills redefining the boundaries of KETO cooking and on top show their exquisite taste in both, music and flavors. We welcome Sahil Makhija, the “chef by day and metal musician by night” founder of Headbangerskitchen, who morphed “Keep Rocking!” into his credo “Keep Cooking!”
Sahil, how did it all start for Headbangerskitchen? ,,Food has always been a big part of my life. I wanted to be a chef when I was younger but then my focus shifted to music. However, I continued cooking and eventually started blogging on Facebook. In 2009 I was watching a lot of cooking videos on YouTube and I got the idea to make videos of my own recipes. At the same time my band was filming our first music video. So, I spoke to the director and asked if he’d help me shoot my recipe video. He said that we should do something a bit more interested and then I brainstormed and came up with the idea of a heavy metal cooking show that was Headbanger’s Kitchen. It was a show where I cooked a dish named or inspired by a band who I would interview later in the show and they would eventually taste the dish and give their feedback.''
What and who provides you the inspiration? ,,Inspiration is endless. Life and music inspire me. Food inspires me. I’m constantly inspired by new things. With music there is a constant stream of bands and music that challenge me and inspire me. With food there are shows, street food icons, my own travels etc. etc. Inspiration is easy to find.''
Why decide to go all KETO? ,,I wanted to lose weight.My bandmate did Keto and lost 30kgs and didn’t exercise at all. I wasn’t convinced and he couldn’t explain the science behind it to me. Then my wife did it and lost 9kgs and she did all the research and learnt the science behind it and explained it to me. I hated exercising so for me this seemed like the perfect way to lose weight. Thus, began my journey.'' (Keto diet is all about minimizing your carbs and upping your fats to get your body to use fat as a form of energy.)
How big is the ingredient of music in your meals and inspiration? ,,None at all really. At least not anymore since I started doing Keto recipes. Back in the old days I had to think of a dish based on the band name or a name of their song so I would always have to be creative.’’
When and why did you decide to ad “Headbangers” to your kitchen title? ,,It was always Headbanger’s Kitchen because it was a heavy metal show. I added the tag line ‘Keto All The Way’ in 2017 or so when I figured out this was my thing now.’’
What’s your favorite music and which are your favorite bands? ,,Death metal is my favourite as well as some of my old favourites from black metal. Bands like Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir, Old Man’s Child, Emperor, Deicide, Death, Obscura, Origin and so on.’’
What’s the impact of specific musical styles on your recipes:
Heavier metal for heavier dishes? Melodic rock for sweet deserts? ,,None really. Food inspires food and music inspires music. They are quite separate now. The music will always be a part of the show in way of background music and me saying ‘Horns Up’ but that’s about it.’’
Can you reveal some of the secret ingredients to your entrepreneurship, how do you start off with a new recipe? ,,Hard work is the only ingredient really. I put 100% into everything I do. For new recipes it’s just about watching, exploring, and actively thinking about something. I always make notes and I have a 'to-do recipe list' where I refer to.’’
What inspires you the most when you are cooking? ,,While I’m cooking it’s just focussing and getting it done. Inspiration during a cook I guess comes from ingredients I have at home and the mood I am in. Otherwise it’s just lots of food videos that inspire me.’’
KETO lifestyle or Headbangers-lifestyle?
,,Music for me first always so Headbanger’s Lifestyle!’’
Who are in your team? ,,My team is really just me with a good amount of help from my wife Deepti when I need it and my dad who is often a guest on my show to taste the food. Occasionally my mom agrees and when my brother visits I have him on. But when it comes to recording, editing, creating, blogging, shooting photos etc., that’s all me. But like when I write Keto books, Deepti helps a lot. She helped me when the website was starting and she often helps me with dessert recipes and a bunch of recipes on the blog as well as cooking in the video has been done by her.’’
So, there you have it: Hard work and an inspiring idea forging the foundation of entrepreneurship. Starting out as a metalshow with recipes, Headbangers Kitchen proven the world that they grew into an inspiring force to reckon with. Make sure to check out cooking to metal music and you might also go low-carb and KETO!