New journey for food lovers

October is the month of food festivals and Delhiites are gifted with a bunch of them coming up. They seem like a new hangout spot, a new experience and a new journey for food lovers who love to experiment and explore the different varieties of food.

Osama Jalali, a seasoned food critic and consultant, tells Metrolife about the relevance of having such food festivals.

“In the past few years, the life of a restaurant has vastly reduced to the first six months of its opening. Food lovers in Delhi are now opened to experiments and they love to get indulged into the theatrical drama that has been created around food by these food festivals,” he says.

Along with being a community where all food lovers come together to celebrate food, these food festivals also act as an effective platform for restaurants to showcase their cuisines to a larger audience.

“India never had food festivals earlier. Celebration was focused only around music. But through these festivals, food is being promoted, especially amongst the youth. With so many restaurants and cuisines coming together, the food in these festivals is like food on the move. It showcases a glimpse of the cuisines served by various stand alone restaurants,” adds Jalali.

Interestingly, these food festivals also showcase the changing likes amongst food lovers, who were earlier restricted to dining out in a restaurant.

Gunjan Sawhney, 24, a food blogger popular known as ‘Gluttony Goddess’, says, “These food festivals are a clear example of the change in attitude of people. When we’re in a restaurant, rarely will one go to someone sitting on the next table to ask if the food is good or not. But here, people willing exchange their views about food.”

“Moreover,” she adds, “we can always count on digital media for the popularity of these food festivals. Everybody these days wants to be in sync with the latest trends and occurrences around them, and in a food festival, one can see the intermingling of these varied interests coming together. In terms of an experience, I can say that you become an entirely different person when you come out of a food festival.”

Also, chef Davinder Kumar, president of the Indian Culinary Forum says that a food festival is a great initiative from a chef’s perspective.

“In food festivals, the culinarians get the opportunity to showcase their skills through live cooking. And it is very important for chefs to become friendlier and share their ideas and skills with each other.”

However, amidst all the celebration of food, the main focus of these food festivals must be to revive the traditional Indian recipes, according to Jalali.

He emphasises the fact that with time, we are losing our traditional techniques of cooking. Every restaurant offers molecular gastronomy and focuses on presenting modern Indian cuisines in a quality manner, and the traditional cuisines are losing their importance.

“If our traditional recipes fade away, then even the cuisines will die one day. It is very important that these food festivals focus on reviving our traditional food and present them in an international manner so that the global market accepts this food. And Delhi is a mix of people where both the ‘modern’ Indian cuisines and the ‘regional’ cuisines are loved equally,” says Jalali.


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