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A Culinary Odyssey: The Journey of Paprika Gourmet from Kolkata to Dubai

From hedge fund analyst to food entrepreneur, Vidisha Bathwal's Paprika Gourmet brings global flavours and culinary experiences to India and Dubai.

In 2011, Vidisha Bathwal embarked on a gastronomic adventure that would revolutionize Kolkata's culinary landscape. With a background steeped in business from her family and her own academic pursuits, Vidisha combined her passion for food and entrepreneurial spirit to establish Paprika Gourmet. Her vision was clear: to bring restaurant-style gourmet meals to the people of Kolkata, delivering not just food, but an experience that evoked happy memories and transcended ordinary dining.

Paprika Gourmet has been Kolkata's premium gourmet destination for over a decade and has delighted patrons with love, warmth, enticing delicacies, and flavorful experiences, from intimate private gatherings to large corporate events and celebrations.

L-R: Chilli Garlic Noodles, Ice Cream Sandwich, Lemon Rice By Paprika Gourmet

Vidisha’s entrepreneurial journey was shaped by her deep-rooted love for food and the joy of creating something extraordinary from basic ingredients. “Cooking can be a vital instrument in one’s life. It often acts as a stress buster or simply brings joy in creating something exotic from basic ingredients,” Vidisha reflects. This passion, combined with her business acumen, led to the creation of Paprika Gourmet. Led by Vidisha Bathwal, a passionate foodie, the brand offers iconic crowd favourites like 'Luksa,' 'Clay pot rice,' 'Turkish pizza,' 'Vietnamese rolls,' and 'Chocolate baked Alaska.' They continuously innovate with new dishes such as gluten-free 'Sourdough breads' and exotic platters like the 'Irani platter,' 'Tex Mex platter,' 'Punjab da dhaba platter,' and 'Alpine indulgence platter.'

Vidisha Bathwal, Founder, Paprika Gourmet

“I always wanted a business which I could call my own, have my own identity.” – Vidisha Bathwal, Founder, Paprika Gourmet

“I always wanted a business which I could call my own, have my own identity,” Vidisha shares. Initially working as a hedge fund analyst in London, her move back to Kolkata ignited the idea of a gourmet catering service Inspired by generational recipes that evoke memories of happy times, she launched Paprika in 2011 with the goal of delivering restaurant-style, fancy-cooked meals to the people of Calcutta. “The joy of cooking is in those recipes passed down through generations, not because they were served at exquisite restaurants, but because they evoke memories of happy times,” she says.

This vision has guided Paprika Gourmet through a decade of growth and innovation, earning accolades such as the Aparajita Award in 2012 and the Go-Getter YFLO Kolkata Gourmand in 2018. “My relentless quest to live my passion by infusing a part of my dream in every dish drove me to take an integral role in the brand,” she explains.


Her love for tasting and creating good food has been the cornerstone of Paprika's success. “Over the past 10 years, I've learned from some of the best chefs in the industry. Top-notch restaurants have let me into their kitchens, and it has been a process of learning as you go,” she shares. This constant learning and updating of skills, from pizzas to Peruvian food, have kept Paprika at the forefront of the gourmet scene. Staying ahead of industry trends is crucial for Paprika. “We keep updating our menu with trending dishes,” she says. Recent additions include ice cream served in croissant cones and sandwiches. “To be in the game, you have to be ahead of the game,” she believes, emphasizing the importance of innovation.

The Global Expansion

“The sky is the limit,” she declares, explaining her motivation to expand Paprika Gourmet from Kolkata to Dubai. In September 2020, amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic, Paprika set up its catering venture in Dubai. “Dubai showered a lot of love upon us and welcomed our brand with open arms,” she recalls. The expansion wasn't just about replicating success but adapting and innovating to meet the new market's demands.

Setting up in Dubai required a deep understanding of the local market. “We did a market survey to understand the demographic, their preferences, and price points,” she explains. This research helped Paprika devise a menu that catered to local tastes while maintaining its gourmet standards.

The move to Dubai was not without its hurdles. “Dubai posed a lot of challenges to set up a new business. We needed a lot of licenses, food permits, and other approvals to start operations,” Vidisha told The Style List. Despite these challenges, her belief that “where there is a will, there is a way” drove the venture to success. Today, Paprika Dubai is a fully licensed catering cloud kitchen, offering a diverse menu that includes Peruvian, Korean, and Mexican cuisines.

“The work one does should be able to speak for itself,” believes the founder, reflecting on how Paprika secured catering opportunities with renowned clients like OMNIYAT, Emaar, and Tour Dubai. The brand's reputation for excellence and unique offerings has opened doors to prestigious projects, including lunch and dinner services on dhow cruises.

Looking Ahead

Paprika's founder envisions a bright future for the brand, both in India and internationally. “I insist that one should always aim higher. With this conviction, I hold on to my philosophy - 'As change is the only constant – that's how I progress',” she states. The brand aims to elevate its offerings and position itself as a trendsetter in the gourmet food industry. “We want to foray into fine dining experiences by world-renowned chefs,” she reveals, outlining plans for the future. The belief that meeting the need of the hour ensures business success underpins her vision. “Trends may come and go, but if the need of the hour is met, a business will always do well.”

The F&B industry has shown resilience, adapting to consumer needs and environmental concerns while honouring timeless culinary traditions. “I see a very bright future for our industry—and that is a trend that will never fade!” she concludes.

Paprika Gourmet's journey from a single venture in Kolkata to an international presence in Dubai is a story of passion, perseverance, and constant evolution. With a firm belief in quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction, Paprika is poised to continue its gourmet revolution, delighting food lovers worldwide.



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