FOOD CULT :: 01 What’s in the food?


Well, I wouldn’t say I am a big-time foodie, on the clock every time thinking of what new cuisine, restaurants, food joints are popping up every now and then. But then again I am a big-time critique (self proclaimed!) of the food culture. Not only on what the food culture is putting on our plate but also of ways we are eating, how well we are eating and whether the food culture is evolving or not. While everyone who is aware of what’s happening in the pub capital of India in terms of food, and each one of them will nod yes that food culture is changing. But whether it is evolving, that’s the big looming question?

“Dum Pukht, ITC Maurya, Delhi”

We have not yet got the best of our cuisine evolved into a world class state-of-the-art. Even chicken tikka masala have the best certified recipe from London restaurant (arguably) and not from India. The thing is our restaurant industry itself has to evolve in all categories whether it is a food truck, a la carte restaurant, a tasting menu restaurant or a multi course restaurant each and every one of them have to get a reality check done. They need to understand fine dine has to step out of class warfare. It’s not like we don’t have world class restaurants in our country; Dum Pukht and Bukhara are great flag bearers of the same. But yes, even they lack in spreading the culture of fine dine in the country where fine dine is yet to come out of closet.

 

“Tim Ho Wan, Manila, Philippines is the least expensive restaurant to ever enter Michelin star guidebook ”

The most-coveted-recognition in gastronomy comes from Michelin tyres in name of Michelin Guidebook whose inspectors anonymously inspects restaurants all over world and recommends the best of dishes/restaurants by awarding one, two or three stars. Any chef all over the world has the dream of getting the stars in their career and yes it is a great dream to come true. The self motivation of getting better everyday and pushing the limits of good to great and beyond yields such a cut throat competition that only and informed foodie and understand and appreciate.

“A great documentary to understand what happens at the epitome of dining industry”

Eight years back everyone was not so much connected as they are now. Today before dining out you know to scan Zomato and find out the best of the restaurants or food joints based on need of occasion. At that time when five friends gathered they gathered around a well known place so that food joints will be close and the meet and greet can evolve into a lunch or a dinner. Things have changed now, we decide the restaurants first and, may the force be with you, they are everywhere and every one of them is different from each other. There are many who have created their own path like Grasshopper in Bannerghatta road, Church Street social in Church street and our good old Shivaji Military hotel.

But are we even close to what the great Michelin starred restaurants have to offer? I remember the day when Sukiyabashi Jiro was awarded the Michelin star for the first time and that was the time when egregious and obsession became the new standard. That was the day when world (who had no clue how the dining industry works) came to know how obsessive, cut throat, but art rearing this industry is. He has fan following like that of Picasso and of Souza. Today, thanks to TV and soaps like MasterChef we are living the dream which only very few people dared to dream.

“Barack Obama and Shinzo Abe in Sukiyabashi Jiro in 2014”

This column will be your food for thought. It will not only be for foodies who like to venture into new cuisines in town, but for those who like to think, do something for a given situation and at the same time live and sleep with the love for food in their heart. Together we will be discussing food, industry practices, and yes great lives of some the greatest in this field; from Ferran Adria to Vikas Khanna to Sanjiv Kapoor.

Stay tuned for the next scoop in the next issue in next week.

Till then keep up and live happy.

Bon Apetit

Nirmal 

 

 


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