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Watercolor Plants

CottageChef Culinaire

Let Our Visuals Do The Work For You

Watercolor Plants
Watercolor Plants


Michael Swamy
Mugdha Savkar




Culinary Image Consultants


Decades ago I was given my first camera and my first ever lesson in looking at the world through a lens. Soon that camera became a friend and confidant to the 10-year-old me and together, we embarked on a journey of capturing the world around us as we saw it. That journey was a never-ending one and continues till today… though my world has changed. Rather, it has grown. From the cottages in my neighborhood, the well behind my house and the people I came across, the camera and I now capture food, its traditions, its beauty, the places it belongs to… 

Cottagechef was founded in 1992 when I started catering for events at the British and American consulates and libraries. Coming from a family that was into media and documentary film making it was a dream to create content around food. Seeing a niche market in Food Design and the need for food styling and photography I went on to study at the Le Cordon Bleu as well as train with a food stylist in London.

I returned to India and started setting up my food styling business by freelancing for several magazines like Jetwings inflight magazine, Femina, Cookery Plus to name a few; and to also writing and curating articles for The Hindu and several newspapers. 

Somewhere along the way I met Mugdha Savkar who then started traveling with me. She had grown up in several places and shared my enthusiasm for exploring the world through food. Together we started documenting food, creating stories and writing cookbooks which led to several Gourmand Awards. 

In 2010 we co-founded CottageChef Culinaire – our tiny Boutique Media House through which we created written, photographed and video content around food and travel. We also conceptualized food-based television shows for GEC and niche channels and continued creating our own recipe videos and cookbooks, while also ghost writing cookbooks for other chefs – giving us the opportunity to work with several leading publishing houses across the country.

We continue this journey of documenting food traditions and also share our journey with the future of hospitality through workshops that we conduct at various educational institutions.


Michael  .JPG

Michael Swamy



Mugdha Savkar



Christabel Mendonca


Digital design on a tablet


A chef, food stylist, food writer and travel photographer, Michael Swamy is a pioneer in the area of food media.


In addition to creating books and food media content, he has also helped set up several restaurants and eateries across India and helmed India’s first ever authentic South American restaurant.


A passionate wildlife photographer, he fuses his two loves – food and wildlife – by being on board a luxury wilderness hospitality brand as corporate chef and also creating “Cooking Wild” workshops which focus on cooking in the wilderness.


He is also associated with leading hospitality universities, where he teaches and sets up courses on food media.

A researcher and cookbook editor, Mugdha Savkar has carved a niche for herself in the culinary academia world.


From writing and editing cookbooks, creating videos, conceptualizing food-based shows to training staff and curating menus she has explored the many ways in which food drives the world.


She also serves as guest faculty at the prestigious WGSHA (Manipal) and Symbiosis (Pune) institutes, where she introduces students to the world of food styling and demystifies what cooking for the camera is all about.

A charming personality and graduate from the International Centre for Culinary Arts, Dubai.


Christabel, got her first taste of the versatility of a food-based career while she was still in college. After assisting on the food team of India’s first major food show, she decided to build a solid career base in culinary before embarking on a food media career.


She build her culinary foundation by working at The Oberoi's, India and the Ritz Carlton Dubai. Currently Head Chef at Conviva Bistro, Canada.

She has a strong passion for innovation and exploration and looks to explore creative avenues in the food space.

With a dream of opening her own restaurant someday in Canada and making a name for herself as a chef and food media personality.

We also hire interns and professionals along the way to assist us on larger projects. If you would wish to intern with us do email us and we would love to hear from you.

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