Anuhya Reddy worked as a barista at the local Starbucks in London. The smell of fresh ground coffee and croissants filled the air amidst the silent chatter and muted keyboard clatters from the tables. Although this was just a part-time job halfway across the world, she felt a familiar warmth she hadn’t felt in a while. 

Anuhya, a twenty-three-year-old architecture graduate from Chennai, was in London for a fifteen-month-long master’s program in city design at the Royal College of Arts. “We travelled a lot because of the course,” she recalls, “During our study trips, I would use my pocket money to try out the local food!”

One day, she chanced upon a flier indicating an open house at London’s Le Cordon Bleu. For all of the ‘none chefs’ reading this, the prestigious institute for the culinary sciences is synonymous with what the IITs are for engineers in India. Anuhya walked into the campus during an open house, eagerly collecting pamphlets as she dreamt of plating and presenting decadent pastries amidst the masters in the industry.

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“Hotel Management is not a reputed degree,” people back home would say when a young dreamy-eyed Anuhya expressed…

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