Globetrotter. Cookbook author. Prolific photographer. Chris
Caldicott has spent much of his life travelling across the world,
capturing incredibly beautiful images, discovering abandoned and
remote locales, tasting delectable local cuisines and meeting
people from all walks of life. We sat down with Chris to learn more
about his unusual and exciting lifestyle, what it's like to spend
your life photographing India, and why Indian cuisine is perfect
for at-home cooking.
Chris Caldicott has spent his
life writing about and photographing India and beyond © Chris
When did you know that you wanted to pursue photography
as a career - and travel photography in particular? How did you get
'I did a foundation year in Art and Design and specialised in
black and white photography - I'm actually severely colour blind!
From there I went on to a degree in Photography and Film. But
actually, travel is much more important to me than photography. My
passion for travel is limitless - photography and writing are ways
of making it possible to travel as much as I have.'
Your work has brought you all over the world - what are
the biggest advantages (and challenges) of living a largely nomadic
'The biggest advantage is that it's never dull. Every trip
increases my knowledge of the world. The only challenges are coping
with overheated airports and aggressive security staff!'
Food and culture are primary
themes in Caldicott's work © Chris Caldicott
Food is a big focus of your work. What are the most
incredible culinary destinations that you've visited?
'Nowhere even gets close to India! - except, maybe, Italy.'
You've travelled all across the subcontinent,
photographing India and its incredible beauty as you go - if you
could choose one place to settle down in, where would you choose,
'Bombay. It's the most dynamic and exciting city in the
The people are the greatest joy
of travel in India © Chris Caldicott
What do you think that India offers travellers that no
other destination in the world can match?
'Indians. The people are the greatest joy of travel in India
(and food comes in a close second).'
What are some of the top luxury experiences in India
that you've enjoyed - hotels, restaurants, landmarks?
'Sujan's Jawai Leopard Camp, the Vivanta by Taj in Coorg, the Taj Falaknuma Palace and Neeleshwar Hermitage: together, the four are
the perfect combination of luxury with desert, rainforest, city and
beach, respectively. As for restaurants, it's hard to beat the
butter, pepper, garlic crab at Trishna, despite the surly staff and dire
Jawai Leopard Camp is one of
Caldicott's preferred luxury destinations © Chris
What's currently inspiring your photography, and, when
you're not working on commission, which subjects tend to draw your
'To be truthful, I haven't had free time between commissions for
as long as I can remember, but if I did I would get out my old
Leica M6 and get back into shooting black and white film.'
You've travelled to incredibly remote destinations and
worked alongside indigenous communities. What are your favourite
'unspoiled' destinations around the world?
'I recently sailed around the Raja Ampat islands, off of West
Papua, which have never, ever been populated. It was stunning and
so exciting to see bit of our planet completely unchanged by
Caldicott's photography captures
the wild beauty of India © Chris Caldicott
How do you think travel will continue to evolve in India
in the next five years? Which destinations do you think will
attract more visitors? Any broad travel trends across the
'Northern Karnataka has fabulous destinations, like Hampi and
Badami, which are just waiting to be discovered. The same goes for
the Andaman and Lakshadweep islands. Gujarat will one day rival
Rajasthan as a romantic desert experience, with gorgeous heritage
Hampi in Karnataka is set to
become better known by foreign travellers © Chris
Tell us how you first got into cookbook writing. How
does Indian cuisine inspire you creatively when you're in the
'25 years ago, my wife Carolyn and I opened the World Food Cafe
in Covent Garden, which at the time was the first kitchen in London
serving street food from around the world. Although we never
mentioned it anywhere, all the food was vegetarian - given that
Indian cuisine has more delicious vegetarian dishes than any other,
it featured heavily. We published three World Food Cafe cookbooks
and one all about the spice routes - all of which combined my
photography and travel writing with Carolyn's food writing and
What are your upcoming titles or other projects that we
can look forward to seeing?
'Look out for Bombay Lunch Box, our latest book, which
is a celebration of tiffin culture in India. Our first three World
Food Cafe cookbooks are also being re-released in a single edition,
called The World Food Cafe Vegetarian Bible. And we have
just finished a book called Back from Gap, a first
cookbook for students leaving home after a gap year. The recipes
are easy to cook, cheap to make, and healthy - and inspired by
dishes tried on the road.'