I told myself towards the end of 2017 that I wanted to spend 2018 exploring parts of India that I had not been to before and get an understanding of the food scene there. I am happy to say that I did manage a bit of that this year.
I first met chef Ranveer Brar when he was the executive chef at the Novotel Hotel, Mumbai, and by when he had already begun hosting popular TV food shows. He told me that he was keen to get a taste of the local food of Mumbai and we went out one evening to eat at Aaswad, the Maharashtrian restaurant in Dadar and then Snack Shack, the Parsi restaurant in Bandra. We connected over the course of our meals that evening, and the conversations around them, and we now try to catch up and chat about the world of food whenever we can.
Chandrima Sarkar is a food blogger who blogs at the award-winning blog, ‘Not out of the box.’ She has caught the attention of her readers as much for her writing as she has for the food photographs that she takes. Interestingly, she says that she is self-taught in her craft.
Ashish Bhasin is one of the most accomplished and well regarded chefs in India today. He is an IHM, Pusa, Delhi graduate, and has worked in marquee hotel brands such as the Taj Hotels group (where he had started his career), the Oberoi Hotels group and is currently the executive chef at the Leela Ambience Gurugram Hotel & Residences.
I think it is great! Food is being celebrated in the way hasn't been for a long time. Food has always been an integral part of our culture but centuries of foreign rule, a hard - fought independence and slow economic growth for a while affected our relationship with it.
I went to Pune on a food trip earlier this year in August. I have written a couple of blog posts on my experiences from then. One was on Koregaon Park and the other on the Cantonment or Camp area of Pune. Here, is the third and final post on the trip.
My first introduction to Assamese cuisine was in Geetika Saikia’s first pop up in Mumbai and the food had piqued my interest no end. Last year I spent a lovely afternoon with Joyee and Priyangee who run O’Tenga, the Assamese food delivery service in Mumbai.
The origins of both Mumbai’s legendary seafood serving Shetty ‘lunch homes’ and its vegetarian Udupi and Konkani Mangalorean restaurants can be traced back to families that came in to the city from Mangalore. This is a story of a journey that I undertook to its roots to understand modern Mumbai’s restaurant food culture better.
I had gone to speak at the Jagriti Yatra summit at the Gitam University. The topic of our panel discussion was, 'the enterprise of food.' The audience consisted of around 500 odd youth who are future entrepreneurs and change leaders from 28 states from across India and included international youth delegates too, They were travelling across India for a fortnight, gathering valuable life experiences, in a train called The Jagriti Express which is a wonderful initiative which is into its tenth year now.