Abraxas Lifestyle for the very first time presents to its readers heartwarming stories, nostalgic memories and interviews from some of the leading career-oriented women who perfectly manage both motherhood and their careers!
In a candid chat, German-born Yellow Mehra, who has made Goa her home since the tender age of 3, talks about her maverick life which includes running her own restaurant Fiesta, in Baga, her career as an interior designer, and early days in modelling. A prolific entrepreneur and a single mum, Yellow’s charming personality and good looks are testament to her determination to row against the tide of personal setbacks and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, motherhood and countless goals, she, as a woman would like to achieve in life.
Excerpts from the interview:
There is more to Yellow Mehra than meets the eye. How would you define yourself?
I am a person who loves creativity, in all ways. I am interested all kinds of art, photography, food, music, painting, basically that anything that suits my taste!
How do you balance being both an entrepreneur and a mother?
How I find balance is very simple. I take my son everywhere I go. Whether it is business or pleasure, i.e. meeting officials or going out for parties; I make sure I take him along. I would like him to get a first-hand experience of life as well as spend more time with me.
Tell us a bit about your son. What are his interests?
My son follows my footsteps and he loves what I love. But obviously being a boy, he loves sports, especially football and water sports.
Tell us a bit about your business and career?
I have been in business since I was very young. I started my own restaurant aged 19. Prior to that, I took up modelling at the age of 12. It was my first profession which went on till I was 19. Then I came to Goa and started my own restaurant, Fiesta which is running up-to-date. I’m also into interior designing and have designed 5-6 hotels, revamped restaurants and redecorated homes for clients.
What drives you as a person, what motivates you to keep yourself going?
My main motivation is my son. We are more like friends than a mother and son.
Tell us a little about your restaurant Fiesta in Baga?
Fiesta started as a very small restaurant and now has over the years become a very well-known restaurant. I have had many international and national celebrities coming to my restaurant as well as politicians and industrialists.
What are must have’s on the menu at Fiesta?
The must-taste items on the menu at Fiesta are goat’s cheese with salted waffles for starters, Pepper Steak for main course, and Death by Chocolate for dessert.
Tell us a little about your hometown Munich?
I was born in Munich, but I have been in Goa since I was three years old. I went to Holy Family School in Porvorim. From the age of 14 to 16 I was in Germany to give my final exams and when I was around 17 or 18 years old, I was back in my favourite place, Goa. I usually go to Germany for the short summer months, but I am basically based in Goa.
What is Munich’s hospitality industry and music scene like? How different is it from Goa?
Munich is the nicest city in Germany, it has the Oktoberfest. Being a tourist city, it has a lot of tourists. Known for its beauty and sumptuous cuisine, Munich is a lovely place to live in. I think the south of Germany, Austria, France all have lovely food. I also did my chef training in Germany.
Your restaurant has won many awards. Tell us a bit about them.
I have received numerous Indian awards on food including the prestigious Times Food Award. The National Geographic magazine did a write up on me and my restaurant, voting it as the best one in Goa. I have also received the coveted Chaîne des Rôtisseurs award, which is my best international recognition to date.
Fiesta has won the ‘Times Food Award’ every year from 2011 till date, what is the secret behind the success of your restaurant?
I think it is determination and keeping a standard in quality.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
I see myself a lot happier than what I am today. I would like to work towards more satisfaction and maybe a little less work.
What are the five essentials in your wardrobe?
High heels, lipstick, mascara, a skirt and a top.
What advice do you have for women entrepreneurs?
I think the most important thing is when you start your own business as a woman, is how to make time for it, especially if you have a child or husband. The problem is that although you may get pre-occupied with so many things, you have to understand what your priorities are. Learn to take time out for what you want to do and try and make your family part of it so that your time is not divided.
Favourite fashion designer – Roberto Cavalli
Favourite footwear brand – Jimmy Choo
Favourite make – up line – Dior
Style statement – Sexy, romantic
One thing you cannot do without – My son
Your must have make – up product you carry on the go – Lipgloss
You are most comfortable in? – Leggings and top
Favourite style of music – Latin American music
Hobbies – Interior designing, food, dancing and horse riding. I have even got a silver medal in show jumping at the age of 16!
A morning or night person – Definitely a night person!