Women’s Day: Hyderabad mom & chef Fareeda Ashfaq cooks, serves with love

A pakka Hyderabadi, Fareeda Ashfaq runs a cloud kitchen called Le Tesoro

By Bhavana  Published on  6 March 2023 3:30 AM GMT
Le Tesoro

Fareeda Ashfaq 

Hyderabad: International Women’s Day is all about celebrating successful women around the world and teaching others how they can be successful. But for once, it is important to tell women to put themselves first before anything and anyone else and work for their welfare and well-being.

On the occasion of Women’s Day, let us take time to celebrate Fareeda Ashfaq, a pakka Hyderabadi woman who is also a mom to four adult kids. She is a chef, a businesswoman, and a homemaker.

Fareeda, with the help of her children Ahmed Ashfaq, Kiswah Ashfaq, Soha Ashfaq, and Mohammed Ashfaq, runs a cloud kitchen called Le Tesoro https://www.instagram.com/letesoro/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y%3D

At Le Tesoro, Fareeda bakes some mouth-watering desserts, cakes, and cookies as well as some authentic Hyderabadi dishes.

Fareeda was just like any other wife and mom who was always busy with chores, responsibilities, kids, and whatnot. Fareeda, who is a designer and owns a boutique named Fareeda Ashfaq Official, always knew her grown-up kids had her back. Kiswah and Ahmed started Le Tesoro in 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“My siblings and I started Le Tesoro together and sought help from our mother. Now, she is an integral part of Le Tesoro. I take care of the branding. Mom always cooked amazing food. As children, we cherished what she used to do for us. Cooking and baking happen here with lots of love. At home, no one leaves the house without eating something and it’s always made and served with love,” said Kiswah who is a branding consultant.

Family support

Though women want to do and excel in quite a lot of things, they hardly put themselves and their dreams first. It is always the family and children that take the first place and everything about themselves takes a back seat. We asked Fareeda to tell us about her love for cooking and how she manages her family, cooking, Le Tesoro and especially being a mom.

She said, “I’ve been fortunate to grow up in the presence of strong, initiative-taking and independent women like my mother and mother-in-law. And I continue to learn about today’s worldview from my daughters and grandchildren. In the face of challenges, I have found it helpful to stay true to my values. That is how I have been growing as a person and am still fulfilling all my responsibilities.”

Fareeda Ashfaq with her daughter Kiswah

Fareeda married young. Till then, she learnt a lot of life skills from her mother and after getting married, it was from her mother-in-law from whom she learned her values for life and cooking tasty dishes.

“It was my mother-in-law who taught me a lot of things and helped me transform myself. No “tu tu mein mein” in the kitchen. And when you are doing the things you love for the people you love, you finds a way to make it happen. I have beautiful children and supportive clients who make all of it fun and worthwhile,” said Fareeda.

Keeping the traditions alive

Not many of us know that there is a dish called Chonga, an authentic Hyderabadi dessert that takes a lot of ingredients, time, patience, and people. Fareeda learned to make it from her elders and still makes it with love, keeping the traditions alive. “I love cooking and feeding people. That is my love language. At the same time, I love cooking and that is what makes me learn a lot of new nuances in cooking and improve the recipes each day,” said Fareeda.

‘Stay curious, stay passionate’

It takes a lot of challenges, responsibilities, and questions for women to overcome and achieve something in life. Though many of them try their best to make sure they achieve something, it is undeniable that their families need to have their backs.

When asked about how she makes sure to keep her head high irrespective of those challenges and how women should do the same, she said, “Dig deep. Stand your ground when you know you’re right and show humility when you’re not. Life doesn’t always go according to plan but stay curious, stay passionate, and find ways to adapt and grow.”

There are many such Fareedas around us. All they need is some support, a healthy conversation once in a while and a shoulder to lean on when needed.

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