The Fourth Edition of the Food for Thought Fest concluded in the capital city with celebrating the diverse culinary heritage of the South Asian region. The festival was organized at The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, with countries participating from different parts of South Asia. A one of its kind initiative that focused on the common heritage and history of the region, as well as the unique influences that make up a part of it, it has set a benchmark as a forum for conversations, cuisines and the exchange of ideas and philosophies. The participating countries were India, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. The guest of honor for the event was HE Mr. Sidharto R Suryodipuro, Ambassador for the Republic of Indonesia.
I had a chance to interact with his excellency and he shared some behind the scene facts about the event and how it was conceptualized.
This year’s edition of the Food for Thought Fest brought in the exciting components that made this a truly unique event. There were talks and discussions around culture, health, and cuisine in the “Thought Fest” by the expert, while the “Food Fest” offered cookery workshops with celebrity chefs from the participating countries and television celebrities Puja Talwar, Advaita Kala and Imam Siddique, had food stalls from some of the most superlative restaurants from the South Asia region like Soda Bottle Openerwala, Atara Catering, Chaat Chowk and Orza. This year the Bazaar Section was beautifully curated.
Many celebrity chefs graced the occasion and showcased their culinary skills in preparing wonderful dishes. I happened to meet and interact with a few of them. Here is chef Ruchira Hoon speaking about her experience at the event
The dishes that she prepared were simply wonderful especially the aubergines.
Well, next I interacted with our very own Khurafati Nitin who never fails to amaze me with his abundance of energy and the ability to make laugh. He shared the stage with singer turned chef Anaida and they both literally rocked the stage together.
From bringing out the benefits and correct way to use saffron, Anaida’s preparation and insights both were valuable. Her traditional Irani dish of rice was simply delicious.
The MC of the day was none other than Fashion Stylist, TV Actor & Bigg Boss fame Celebrity Imam Siddique. He held the audience’s interest all through the event and kept them entertained. His association with the event has been a long one and here is he sharing his thoughts on the event and more
During the festival, I thoroughly enjoyed learning from the greatest chefs in the region, explored some fascinating topics related to food and, of course, and tasted some splendid flavors of the subcontinents.
About the founders of S.A.A.G
Mr. Maneesh Baheti, alumni of The Oberoi School of Hotel Management, is a seasoned hotelier with over 16 years in senior positions at leading brands such as The Oberoi Group and Hyatt International, before branching out as a hospitality industry consultant with a diverse projects portfolio. His love for cuisines has taken him on extensive travels, including the SAARC region of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
Ms. Sonali Anand, a Masters in Tourism Management from Bournemouth University, U.K, she has spent over a decade in senior positions with multinational companies including, The Oberoi Group. She went for a second Masters Degree in Social Development from Euromed, Marseille, France, which equips her with an insight into international cultural relations and dynamics.
SAAG also has an eminent Advisory Board with PADMA BHUSHAN Mr. Shashi Kant Misra as the Chairman and comprises of experts such as Michelin Star Chef AtulKocchar from The, Master Chef Abhijit Saha, Chef Michael Swamy and renowned hotelier Mr.Gautam Anand to name a few.