Food For Thought Like Fest: Top Chefs, Bloggers & Hoteliers meet here

SAAG’s Food for Thought fest goes back to South Asian grandma’s kitchen for inspiration in the post-pandemic health conscious world.

New Delhi | Updated: 19 December, 2022 2:23 pm IST

What better time than a crisp sun-lit Sunday afternoon to brag about “maa ke haath ka khaana” and the endless goodness and nostalgia stored in it. Food for Thought, sixth edition of the annual food festival organised under the aegis of South Asian Association For Gastronomy (SAAG) evoked such images.

The SAAG event brought under the same roof celebrity chefs, food bloggers, food writers, hoteliers cooking up a gastronomically rich experience for the visitors at Aerocity, New Delhi. The theme of the event was wellness and rejuvenation in the post-pandemic era by means of exploring traditional foods and cooking techniques indigenous to India.

One of the key sponsors of the event was Radico Khaitan Limited, the Rampur-based blottling group and spirits manufacturer of premium blended scotches, rum, Vodka, gin like 8 PM, Jaisalmer, Magic moments & Morpheus.

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Experts discussed South-Asian food is rich in nutrition but new trends show that India is being influenced by Western food habits.

 

Food for Thought event at Aerocity New Delhi brought together a galaxy of celeb chefs, hoteliers, and food bloggers to brainstorm on F&B industry trends and consumer behaviour in the post-pandemic era.

The New Indian caught up with participants from across various fields who are involved in reviving the lost foods and cooking styles of India and integrating other South Asian foods into the Indian mainstream platter. “Food for thought is a platform which connects all the South Asian countries together – Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Srilanka, Myanmar, Afghanistan. Here we have been having delegates of these countries who have been leading chefs from these countries. These are people connected to the world of gastronomy and hospitality. Authors of cookbooks and founders of foodies’ club,” said Maneesh Baheti, Founder-Director, Food For Thought.

Founder-director of Food For Thought Maneesh Baheti

Food For Thought is also a brainstorming platform for the best minds in the F&B sector to spot the trends in consumer behaviour. Digital Marketeer Karan Marwa says, “In the post-pandemic world consumer’s choices have changed. They have started choosing healthier food. They are more aware about where the food is sourced from, and what its nutrient content is. Food For Thought tries to put the best minds in the industry at a time when F&B is seeing surge in business.

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He further says the behaviour pattern of consumers has shifted in the post pandemic era. “People want a great experience when they eat out, at the same time they also want to have a good in-house eating experience. That is why we have seen the emergence of cloud kitchen for that very precise reason,” he said.

Digital Marketeer Karan Marwa

Another attendee Saghuni Singh, Executive Director of KGH group of Hotels says, “Quinoa is now increasingly becoming popular in India and Nepal. Why are Indians eating Quinoa, a South American food? Basmati is not the only rice I have. We have red rice, black rice which are far more rich nutritionally. We have to market them better,” she said.

Shaguni Singh Sakya, Executive Director, KGH Group of Hotel, Nepal

FFTF’s guest of Honour was Amitabh Kant, ex-CEO of Niti Aayog, is presently the G20 Sherpa of India during its Presidency year.

The South Asian Association For Gastronomy SAAG is a Think Tank which is a collective of hospitality industry professionals, food scholars, authors and policy influencers from South Asia, who believe in promoting regional unity through culinary diversity. It was founded by industry insiders with a passion for gastronomy, each with a distinct expertise and experience. The Chairman of their eminent Advisory Board is PADMA BHUSHAN  Shashi Kant Misra, joined by Michelin Star Chef Atul Kocchar from The U.K, Master Chef Abhijit Saha, Chef Michael Swamy, renowned hotelier Gautam Anand to name a few.

Their annual platform, The Food for Thought Fest has put Delhi on the international gastronomy map. It is the only event from South Asia that has been featured in the internationally acclaimed Associated Press (A.P) two years in a row (2015 & 2016). This benchmark festival presents an elite selection of panelists, chefs and experts.

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