This is an exciting time for food and restaurants in India. With more people travelling, our understanding of food and the industry has grown tremendously, said Chef Hussain Shahzad serving as Executive Chef in Mumbai-based O Pedro.
He was interacting with media persons during the two-day Chefs Conclave 2019 organised by the Department of Culinary Arts, Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration at Dr TMA Pai auditorium here, on Thursday.
“The industry growth is visible from the explosion of restaurants and food concept across the country. So, it is an exciting time to be in the industry which offers incredible opportunities for students. But there are challenges which the students should be ready to face,” he said.
Dr Kurush F Dalal, assistant professor, Archaeology, Culinary Anthropologist, University of Mumbai, stressed on the need to understand the eco system. “More and more people are moving to cities and reduced to nuclear families. Husbands and wives are both working. Which means they are not cooking at home everyday. They are eating out much more now than in past. Thus there is a lot of space for students coming out of culinary institutes to be absorbed,” Dr Dalal said.
Chef Prateek Sadhu, Executive Chef and Co-owner Masque, analysed the reasons behind the increase in number of eating joints. He said the talk these days is about the ingredients.
“And we are sitting on a gold mine. Travelling from North to South and East to West, we find that it changes every 100 kilometres. It is like many small countries put together. We talk about European cuisine, it is an amalgamation of so many different cuisines put together,” he said.
The objective behind the Chefs Conclave is to talk about regional ingredients, their roles and seasonality.
“Seasonality plays a very important role when we are trying to develop a menu or we are trying to do research about a particular ingredient. We look at ingredients as to how to play around with it,” he said. The conclave, a platform for students to interact with leading culinary professionals and industry experts, was inaugurated by Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) Pro Chancellor Dr H S Ballal.
The conclave with the theme, “From Roots to Wings, A Culinaires Journey”, aims to creates awareness on contemporary culinary trends and help in bridging the gap between industry and academia.
Chef Thomas Zacharias (Executive Chef and partner, The Bombay Canteen), Chef Elizabeth Yorke (Co-creator Edible Issues), Chef Girish Nayak (Pastry Chef), Karina Aggarwal (writer in the space of wine and spirits, food, travel and luxury lifestyle), Chaitanya Krishna co-founder of InSeason Fish and Somya Gupta, Nutritionist and Dietician attending the conference.