1. In your own words – who is Becca Pereira and what is your ‘mission’ in this current season of your life?
I am Becca Pereira, the owner and cook behind Spice Girl Eats, an Indian home cooking pop-up in Toronto. People often describe me as someone very easy going and positive, I laugh a lot and try not to take things too seriously. I can be quite sassy and usually like things done a certain way, I can also be a tad hot-headed but I'm working on that...I blame my Aries sun.
My mission in this current season of my life is ending generational cycles pertaining to abundance of wealth. When you grow up poor or with food insecurity you sometimes have a deep fear of losing everything which can feel debilitating. I'm learning and truly believing that my family and I deserve abundance which means taking risks and enjoying the little things. I know it will take hard work but that's the fun part.
2. Briefly describe your path as a cook and founder of Spice Girl Eats?
I have been cooking for as long as I can remember, usually helping my mom in the kitchen ALWAYS while snacking, she taught me everything I know from how to season food to cooking for large groups. I once even made a cake at age 6 without parental supervision- I don't recommend this but can confirm the cake was perfectly cooked haha. Cooking and baking has always been very therapeutic for me, having to focus on chopping onions and garlic is a real stress reliever. So naturally during the pandemic I began creating and experimenting with dishes while posting online, a lot of people would share and save my recipes. It was nice getting recognition for something I truly loved doing. Shortly after I found a commercial kitchen to rent and began recipe development and brand strategy. In October 2020 we started Spice Girl Eats and have not stopped since.
3. During this unconventional time, what does a day in your life look like?
When I don't have to go into the kitchen I wake up around 9am. Before I do anything at all I have to make 2 cups of coffee. I usually have a checklist of things I need to do that day and that’s what keeps me organized. Do I follow that checklist? Not necessarily, but at least it’s there. I microdose shrooms which helps me stay present, I also started weight training and boxing with a trainer which has given me my motivation and confidence back after a long winter. My partner and I recently moved to a house with a great kitchen so we have been cooking together a lot. We spend most evenings on our patio enjoying the weather with our cat or bingeing trashy TV. I'm a big homebody now.
4. How has the pandemic impacted you – personally, professionally, or both?
The pandemic has given me so much clarity to what’s important in my life. Whether it’s cooking for friends and family or just listening to music by myself. It hasn't been easy but I constantly remind myself of all the amazing things I have in my life, no matter how small, and doing that makes me feel grateful and less anxious. The pandemic has also pushed me out of my comfort zone and given me a great deal of purpose, starting Spice Girl Eats has changed my life for the better.
5. Where are you finding inspiration at the moment?
At the moment I'm finding a lot of inspiration from cookbooks. I'm really enjoying reading Indian-Ish by Priya Krishna or Cook this Book by Molly Batz. I have read Samin Norsets; Salt, Fat Acid Heat from front to back and highly recommend it to anyone wanting to cook more instinctually. I started re-watching Anthony Bourdains Without Borders which will forever be super inspiring. I also watch at least an hour's worth of food related tik toks every day, my favorite being @doobydobap and @samseats.
6. Name one thing upcoming that you're excited for?
I'm getting ready to release my first product, it's something I’ve been working on almost everyday for 8 months now. I'm a bit of a perfectionist which is why it’s taken so long but I know the hard work will be worth it. It’s a 1:1 ratio chai concentrate, the concentrate can be added to any milk to create a delicious spicy latte. I'm hoping to have a full range of Spice Girl Eats products one day. I also have a few collabs lined up, I love working with like-minded people and have been learning so much through collaboration.
7. What rituals or activities are keeping you grounded and clear-minded right now?
The Chani app by Chani Nicolas has been great for self-discovery and further guidance, every Sunday she releases a new reading and I've made it a ritual to listen and spend the evening reflecting and doing introspective work. I also recommend Chris Corsini who has monthly readings which are spot on. I try to do at least 5-10 minutes of yoga or breathing exercises every night to help me fall asleep easily...and if that doesn't work: edibles.
8. A book, podcast, show or film that has really resonated with you recently?
I love listening to Kerry Diamonds Radio Cherry Bomb, she interviews female chefs, bakers, creatives and entrepreneurs. I love this podcast because it feels very intimate and real. It’s reassuring to listen to other women who have had similar experiences and even more inspiring seeing what they are able to accomplish and where they were able to make it.