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Official Magazine

Vol 01 | Issue 07 | JUly 2015 | Pages 60

Street Foods of India




Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Veena Arora

Chef Michael Swamy

Celebrity Chef

Chef De Cuisine, The Spice Route Restaurant, The Imperial New Delhi

Celebrity Chef




The healthy way to tasty Cooking

Mobile : Mahesh # 9911175353 Pankaj # 9891744824 E-mail: URL:

Incredible chef | July 2015

From the Desk of Editorial Director

Dear Friends,


t gives me immense pleasure to present to you this issue of your magazine - Incredible Chef: For Chefs... By Chefs. In this issue we feature the prominent and much talked about aspect of Street Food and its influence on the restaurant segment. With increased number of street food festivals being hosted in restaurants, it is evident that the restaurant operators are doing their best to offer their customers the experience of traditional street food. Some of the articles in this issue highlight the shortfalls of the restaurateurs in providing the real street food experience to their guests. Chef Vivek Saggar

In this issue, we are happy to showcase the happenings of Culinary Art India which was held in Delhi in March. A listing of all the award winners has been included to encourage chefs to perform better and participate in larger numbers. The issue also provides a snapshot of the 6th International Chefs Conference which was held in Chennai in March. Besides, we have also featured some of the other activities – like the CAMOFAB (F&B meet hosted by Citrus Hotels) and Hospitality Challenge organised by the Association of Hospitality Professionals, which our chefs community participated in. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome more and more chefs to come forward and participate by sharing their professional experiences. I would also request our readers to write to us and share their views about the magazine. This would help us in providing you with the content that you want to read. We would be happy to receive your emails about any other issue which you want to highlight through this magazine. As a community of professionals, let u all work together towards creating a better and healthier environment. Happy Cooking!

Editorial Director Incredible Chef



July 2015 | Incredible chef

Editor's Note

How safe is my Street Food?


Sumit Jha Managing Editor

treet Food Culture has been prominent across the world for centuries and dates back to the Greek and Roman civilisation. In India, road side stalls and carts have been popular for centuries. However, the quality of food served on the streets and by hawkers, gives us food for thought. How safe is the street food for consumption which is prepared mostly under unhygienic conditions and kept exposed to the dirt, dust and germs? Even though, there is a sense of responsibility for cleanliness which has developed among the street food vendors, it has mostly emerged from the fact that their customers ask for a healthier option and are willing to pay that bit extra for maintaining hygiene standards. However, having said that, there is a very large Indian population which survives on street food and has neither got any other option, nor the means to avoid the street food which is being served to them. While on one hand there are vendors who have been consistently working on improving the quality and hygiene standards, there is a different set, which caters to a larger audience, which has no concern for quality or hygiene. Their focus is to provide food (which may not always be digestible) to the large number of people, who depend on them for their daily dietary need. This is one area which really needs to be focused on to ensure that we have a healthy Indian population. It could be a good idea for the chefs to become the real brand ambassadors of food and create specific local body which advises the street food vendors in their region on ways to improve the quality without really incurring extra costs, thereby keeping the needs of the end consumer in mind. Another point of discussion, which is often brought up by people is to compare restaurants and street food vendors and what they offer. Such comparison is absolutely not a fair one as they are both meant to cater to a different set of audience. The ambience, the product, the pricing, and everything else associated with the respective food experience are different. Even though street food vendors have a lot of learn about hygiene, presentation, etc, there are also many things which restaurant operators can pick up from their counterparts on the streets. In this issue, we present viewpoints of various industry insiders about street food; the growing culture of offering street foods at restaurants; and do restaurants tend to lose when competing with the street food vendors.

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Contents 06  Executive Committee - Indian Culinary Forum 07 Corporate Members of ICF 08 Street Food History - Chef Davinder Kumar 12


10 Interview: Sanjeev Kapoor 12 Street Food - Street Smart or Clinical?- Chef Michael Swamy 16 What Customers Want? - Chef Srinath Sambandan 18 Street Food Often Reflects Traditional Local Culture - Chef Jugesh Arora


20 Interview: Chef Veena Arora 22 People of Every Class Enjoy Street Food - Chef Omkar Belwate 28 Street Food @ Restaurants - Chef Sushen Desai





30  Street Food Today is Traveling to the Tables of Some of the Trendiest New Restaurants - Chef Anurag 32  Not Responding is a Response: We Are Equally Responsible For What We Don't Do - Shailendra S. Jaggi 34  Culinary Art India: An Honour to Culinarian Excellence 36 Culinary Art India Snapshot 34

38 Culinary Art India 2015 Winners 42 IFCA 6th International Chefs Conference 2015 Flashback 44  AHP Concludes Second Edition of Annual ‘Hospitality Challenge’ 45  4th Annual Camofab - Food & Beverage Meet Hosted by Citrus Hotels, Bhiwadi



46 InFocus : Knife & Impressions - Umasankar Dhanapal 48 Cook Fresh, Tasty Food At Home Like Top Chefs Sans Hassles


50 Restaurant Review: Republic Of Noodles - Akanksha Dean 46

52 InFocus: Barbeque Nation: Innovation Through Diversification Chef Vijay Bakshi 55 Membership Form 56 Snapshot

50 Creative Head Vishwanath Vanjire

Managing Editor Sumit Jha

Senior Designer Anadi Nath MARKETING

Editorial Associate Aunpama Kamal Arora

Regional Sales Head Umesh Sharma


Editorial Director Vivek Saggar Editorial Associate Abhishek Basu Vishal Atreya

Published By S 203, Ashoka Mall, Bund Garden Road, Pune 411001

Printed at Bharat Graphics C-83, Bsement, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase - I, New Delhi 110020

Indian Culinary Forum # 305, Plot number 2, Vardhman Crown Mall, Sector 19, Dwarka, New Delhi – 110075 Mob: +91-8800339629 email: website:

Printed, Published and edited by Draft on behalf of Indian Culinary Forum. The Publisher makes every effort to ensure that the content of the magazine are accurate; however we accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions. Unsolicited material is submitted entirely at the owner's risk, and the publisher accepts no responsibility for its loss or damage. All material published in Incredible Chef is protected by copyright, and unauthorised reproduction in part or full is forbidden.



Executive Committee Indian Culinary Forum

Chef Davinder Kumar President

Chef Jatinder Uppal Joint Secretary

Chef Kushal Arora Executive Member

Chef Shaju Zacharia

Chef Suman Sharma

Chef Vivek Saggar

Chef Vinod Bhatti

Chef Ajay Sood

Chef Bharat Alagh

Vice President

PR and Media Coordinator

Joint Secretary

General Secretary


Executive Member

Incredible chef | July 2015

Corporate Members of ICF

For Corporate Membership Please Contact Indian Culinary Forum Correspondence Address:305, Third floor, Plot Number - 2, Vardhman Crown Mall, Sector -19, Dwarka,New Delhi-110075 Tel: 8800339629 Email:


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History of Street Food Chef Davinder Kumar

Chef Davinder Kumar, a chef par excellence with distinction in conventional and modern cuisine, joined this profession over three decades ago. He began his career with Oberoi group of hotels in 1972. After achieving Diploma in Kitchen Management, Chef Davinder Kumar was sponsored by Oberoi group to learn French cuisine from select Chefs in Paris in Lychee Technique de Hotelier. He has been rewarded with many awards including Golden Hat Award, National Tourism Award of Best Chef by Ministry of India Tourism and Gold award in Japan for his contributions and innovations in culinary skills. Chef is the Vice President – F&B Production, Le Meridien - New Delhi and President, Indian Culinary Forum. Over the years Chef Davinder Kumar has authored many popular cook books like ‘Kebab, Chutney and Bread’ , ‘Salads’ etc.


he roots of street food can take us way back into history. It is believed that as the first distribution point of street food, small fried fish were sold on the streets in ancient Greece. Street food was widely consumed by poor urban residents of ancient Rome whose tenement homes did not have ovens or hearths. In ancient China, where street foods generally catered to the poor, wealthy residents would send servants to buy street foods and bring meals back for their masters to eat in their homes.

Urbanisation and street food go hand in hand. Historically, in places such as ancient Rome, street food was purchased because urban poor did not have kitchens in their homes. Across the globe, street food, sometimes also synonymous with fast food, has become an important part of daily life as local population increasingly struggle to keep pace with their hectic lifestyles. The street vendors offer hot fresh, lip smacking snacks which are very filling and absolute value for money. Take-out food, junk

food, snacks, and fast food are synonymous with street food and all of these can be purchased on the foot path without entering any building. These foods are popular mainly because they are easily available, and that too at half the price or less of any restaurant food. It is of particular cultural importance to India, where this forms the means of livelihood for many pushcart vendors, dhaba owners and their families. This street food culture also ensures that the connection with India’s rich cultural heritage is retained,

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Street food, Shanghai

with influences ranging from the Mughal dynasty to the British Empire. According to an estimate of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, which was released in 2012, over 2.5 billion people eat street food in India every day. The National Street Food Festival, which is an annual event organised in Delhi by the National Association of Street Food Vendors of India is a platform where street food from all the states of the country is showcased. This is a platform which showcases the cultural diversity of the country in the culinary space – specially catering to street food. Today, while some street foods are regional, many are not, having spread beyond their region of origin. A lot of people, who have not been exposed to the street food culture, shy away from it thinking

Food Vendors in Early Days

Today, while some street foods are regional, many are not, having spread beyond their region of origin. it is unhealthy and unhygienic. However, one would be surprised to note, that despite concerns about contamination at street food vendors, the incidence of such is low with multiple studies showing rates comparable to restaurants. A well-known Australian Culinary Historian and author of the recently released “The Penguin Food Guide to India” – Charmaine O’Brien, who was on a culinary tour to India, observed that the small regional food vendors or hawkers across India mostly sold

Tehran Street Vendor

freshly cooked meals using fresh ingredients. While elaborating on Indian food cuisine and culture, O'Brien said Indian regional food was most complex and offered a diverse cuisine unlike known to outside world. "Indian food is laden with history, culture, religion, economic conditions as well as weather," she said. Even trade affected the development of Indian cuisines, she said adding 'In Madurai, the Chettinad cuisine has expensive spices like fennel, coriander, clove, cinnamon which reflected that people were wealthy and trade happened. n By Chef Davinder Kumar, Vice President – F&B Production, Le Meridien - New Delhi and President, Indian Culinary Forum

A Vendor at Chawri Bazar Delhi


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Q&A with Sanjeev Kapoor

"If a person craves for street food, he is not going to walk into any restaurant for it" Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

For a nation that loves to eat and cook, Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is very close to its people’s hearts. He not only figures in Reader’s Digest’s list of 100 of India’s Most Trusted People but has also been conferred with the ‘Best Chef of India’ award by the Indian Government. He has hosted over 8 cookery shows on TV including KhanaKhazana one of the longest running shows on Indian TV with a viewership of 150 million across 140 countries. He owns FoodFood, a 24x7 lifestyle TV channel, so far the only chef in the world to do so. He has around 70 restaurants across 10 brands across the globe. He has published 170 books in 7 languages and sold more than 10 million copies globally.

How do restaurants adapt to the growing demand for street foods among their customers? It’s simple. If a person craves for street food, he is not going to walk into any restaurant for it. Street food is all about ambience. It is best had, on the spot, no waiting, fresh off the tava or matka or whatever the case may be. Restaurants can include it on the menu and there will be takers for it, but as the origin of that food

is street, how will it taste the same in a ‘posh’ ambience? Will pasta in white sauce taste the same on the street? Or will vadapav in a 5-star have that same taste? Having said that, yes, restaurants can adapt street food by improvising and re-interpreting it. Deconstructing is the way to go for restaurants if they want to serve street food. Deconstructing means you have all the elements of a dish but in a completely

Incredible chef | July 2015

new and unrecognizable form. Gourmet restaurants like Bombay Canteen, Masala Library, Gaggan (Bangkok) and many others do this. I recently had samosa at Gaggan, which didn’t look like a samosa at all because it was deconstructed, but it had all the elements of a samosa. There was a potato nest with more potato inside along with a chutney gel. The panipuri was a white chocolate shell filled with spicy paani. It was all unexpected and new, yet familiar. This is what restaurants can do with street food. What steps must the street food vendors take to increase hygiene standards? Safety of Indian street food in India has a long way to go. But mind, you there is a school of thought that believes that street food is safer than restaurant food, because it’s prepared daily and served hot, on the spot. With street food there is no monitoring of the ingredients used, one doesn’t know if the food colours used are fit for consumption. Whether the place where the ingredients are stored is free from insects, reptiles and other forms of contamination. There is a lot to be done here, but it’s a mammoth task considering the sheer numbers. There could be surprise checks on the hawkers of legal food stalls, but it shouldn’t become a means of harassing the poor vendors for money. There should be stringent laws in place for the safety of the food sold, but these laws shouldn’t take away the charm of street food.

In India a person will indulge in a five star meal and will not think twice about snacking on roadside goodies

What customer want? Are Chefs improvising on street foods to attract customers eg, street food festivals at hotels I inaugurated the National Street Food Festival in Delhi some months ago organised by the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI). The event was a success and I was happy to see street vendors finally getting their due. The street food festival had vendors from all over the country. Yes, hotels and restaurants hosting a street food festival could be attractive. Customers want value for money. They are very clear about what they want to eat. Chefs could try deconstructing as a technique with street food to attract a larger clientele. Where and how do restaurants fail to attract the customers who like street food? While on one hand there is the cost element, on the other is the more important concept of hygiene. How to strike the right balance? Street food in India is hugely popular. I myself love to indulge in it once in a while. There is no real comparison as to who loses - street food vendors or restaurants. There is a specific clientele for both. In India a person will indulge in a five star meal and will not think twice about snacking on roadside goodies. Both the experiences are different. It is like comparing home food and restaurant food. Should restaurants serve home style food? n


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Street Food - Street Smart or Clinical? Chef Michael Swamy

Chef Michael Swamy has worked in the industry for over 20 years. He is known for: Food styling & photography – Chef Michael has creatively contributed to a number of cookery books; Food consultant – Master Chef India’s first two seasons witnessed Chef Michael and his team taking care of the entire food aspect of the show; Director of Food videos - Chef Michael has directed various food videos; Writer - Chef Michael has contributed articles for over a decade on various cuisines, customs and places. Besides having received various awards and accolades, last year he became the first Indian chef to have an APP to his name.


e it a journey through the by lanes of famous cities or trudging through the hills and countryside of countries far and wide, one often faces sudden pangs of hunger. These hunger pangs come upon us unexpectedly and often are only satiated by (or rather, succumb to) the delicious-spicyhealth-or-unhealthy street food that beckons from every possible street. However, of late, increased awareness about food and hygiene and a growth in the number of new age diseases with unknown causes have given rise to a fear of street food among many.

"No matter how much chefs try, they somehow are never able to match that particular masala flavor of the chai or the perfect balance of lip smacking tangy-spicysweet that street vendors seem to achieve so effortlessly."

Stories are abounding of the unhygienic way in the preparation of street foods, their storage and service – and the resultant discomfort and sickness it causes to anyone who samples them. In India, particularly, we all go into a cautious overdrive of preventing the temptation to gorge on some spicy chaat when the monsoon atmosphere makes us want to eat just that. It’s not safe we all know and yet, we have each and every one of us eating at a street side kiosk. The past decade has seen some positive changes in the hygiene scene by way of vendors using gloves and

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mineral water, but the overall situation is still sub-standard. For me, the ideal scenario is the one I witnessed in Singapore where the street food has gone so clinical and pristine that one doesn’t hesitate to eat out at all. The vendors take their profession seriously and follow each one of the innumerable guidelines set up by the food bureau there. However, this is not Singapore and with most of our population earning a meager income, the current street food scenario does not look like it’ll change much – unless drastic measures are taken. Some were taken at places like Juhu beach, where cleanliness has become a norm but then, this change has obviously come at a cost to the consumer – making these snacks costlier. Though this does not matter much to most of us, I’m sure it makes a difference to the

scores of people for whom street food is their source of survival. For those who are extremely conscious of hygiene and don’t mind churning out money, there’s some good news.

The only solution I can think of is employing that very corner chaat wallah and providing him with a clean set-up from where to function.

With fine dining restaurants introducing street food by way of special season menus and food festivals, these delicious treats can now be enjoyed in completely hygienic conditions without any fear or guilt. Many chefs have been experimenting with street food – some have even tried breaking out of the mould and tried applying molecular gastronomy and progressive Indian touches to it – however, despite the comfort of a clean kitchen and promise of gourmet, something seems amiss. Despite all the gloss, what these restaurants cannot bring within their premises is the atmosphere that surrounds street food – even though great pains are taken to authenticate the experience through suitable décor and props. The chai wallah who strains the tea through cloth or the bhel wallah who works without a recipe and still manages to make the bhel taste exactly the same every time… they bring you something you can’t quite put into words. No matter how much chefs try, they somehow are never able to match that particular masala flavor of the chai or the perfect balance of lipsmacking tangy-spicy-sweet that street vendors seem to achieve so effortlessly. No matter how far a restaurant goes, it somehow isn’t able to match the magic of eating


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a steaming spicy wada pav on a rainy evening or hot chai and bhajias from the vendor on a balmy night. How do you bring a balance between the two? Its not that easy, for yes we love eating street food in restaurants to get away from the unhygienic conditions outside,

but yet it’s the messiness of it all that attracts us to street food. One can extol the virtues of fine food and fine tea but love it,

hate it, you can’t ignore or forget the simple pleasures that street food provide. I can think of is employing that very corner chaat wallah and providing him with a clean set-up from where to function – something the Government can help with. And it’s neither impossible, nor is it far-fetched. A few years ago, many Zunka Bhakar Kendras had sprouted across Mumbai. Many vendors who earlier served food from carts were given clean kiosks to operate from and the experiment was quite a success to some extent. Yes, many problems did crop up and in many places the plan did not succeed completely, but the experiment definitely answered one question – would people still go to the same vendor despite him being in a new set-up and could he deliver the same flavour? The answer was simply, yes. But what about restaurants serving street foods? Where are

Restaurants serving street food most definitely need to up their performance and probably add to the variety given the vast knowledge of their chefs and resources for experimentation at their disposal.

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they going wrong? Why do these dishes move slow in this set-up? The answer came to me when I recently had a chance to sample Delhi style chaat at a food festival and came back terribly disappointed. The chutneys were bland, puris not crisp, the aloo-chana filling was without any spice or salt and the ragda made oil-free to make it healthier had not been cooked properly. What’s more, the paani of the golgappas was insipid. One simple thing which seems to have escaped many chefs is to remember to play only on flavour when experimenting with street foods. We “trained” chefs start placing so much emphasis on fancy presentation and tailoring the taste to suit our elite customers and foreigners that we forget to deliver the bomb of flavour that the street vendor holds a mastery over. Also, a lot more research is needed in the space of street foods to be able to produce a wide variety. Most street food festivals seem to offer the same stuff making the experience repetitive. The streets of India hold much more than golgappas, sev puri, ragda patties, dahi bhallas, samosas and seekh kebabs.

One simple thing which seems to have escaped many chefs is to remember to play only on flavour when experimenting with street foods.

The street food scenario today has become a balancing-actcum-tug-of-war between street vendors and restaurants. Both serve the same dishes more or less, both have their own dedicated demand groups and customers and both have a common set of parameters they try to satisfy in their own ways; yet, both seem poles apart from each other and are in fierce competition all the time. In all this, one wonders who is at loss? The street vendor, the

restaurant or the customer? I say all of them. For the street vendor, that one plate of golgappas sold goes a long way in ensuring his family gets a decent meal at the end of the day. For the restaurants, no matter how hard they try, the unique charm and flavour of a street-side stall is unmatchable. For the customer, it’s a real dilemma. His choice takes into consideration a number of factors – his budget, hygiene, flavour and most importantly, satisfaction. Striking a balance is indeed a

difficult affair in this case. In my opinion, restaurants serving street food most definitely need to up their performance and probably add to the variety given the vast knowledge of their chefs and resources for experimentation at their disposal. At the same time, it would make no sense whatsoever to take street food off the streets! Ultimately the ball is in the customer’s court, and the customer, as they say, is always right. n By Chef Michael Swamy Celebrity Chef



July 2015 | Incredible chef

What Customers Want?

How chef’s today are re-interpreting street food to place them on their menus at restaurants and hotels


ow chef ’s today are re-interpreting street food to place them on their menus at restaurants and hotels The world is my oyster……..a little far-fetched belief for most Indian chefs, but then there are those who embody self-belief and thus endeavour to break the culinary mould ever so often! In a progressing nation with a plethora of cultures and cuisines, it is but inevitable that the most basic of human needs – food, ultimately finds its way into the streets of our neighbourhoods, catering to various demographics, to varied gourmet cultures, to the needy and to the greedy! Street food is the trending culinary expression of any nation on the

move and true to its origins, they are quick to prepare and even quicker to devour. Simple! Most offerings at corner stalls and kiosks are so loaded with familiarity and nostalgia that one usually throws caution to the wind and despite “a not so very inviting ambiance”, it is heartily consumed with gusto and abandon. We Indians are so lucky to possess such robust constitutions that serve us well and embolden our resolves to have another go at yet another delicacy at another roadside stall! Famously, this constitutional robustness we possess is transferred down the lineage thru our genes and we see whole families, both nuclear

and extended, descending upon a corner hawker and everybody thoroughly enjoying themselves toddlers, kids, adolescents, youth, parents and grandparents... yes, we’re strong like that! Although every city worldwide has an evolving street-food scene and more and more people are sampling quick roadside mealson-the-go, not everyone can indulge in the same pleasures everywhere else they travel in the world. Yes, they can surely handle cuisines that are similar to that of theirs in countries that perhaps had a shared history and proximity, but when it comes to a dramatically different cuisine in a far removed geographic location like India, it’s quite possible that their constitutions may not actually stand the rigours of a culinary adventure. It is at this critical juncture, that Indian chefs aspiring to re-interpret our fabulous gourmet heritage, need to bring all culinary knowledge, wisdom, skills and creativity into play to allow that traveller from far shores to experience the very essence of our tongue tickling “street magic”. Around the country we can see our chefs striving for creative culinary expressions. Many of them have sought to bring into restaurant environs, that very epitome of freedom – street food! We see various Avant Garde interpretations of the humble street hawkers delights that have transformed menus and elevated

Incredible chef | July 2015

Chef Srinath & Amina Elshafei - GAD 2014

the status of many a dish – A wada-pao with a umami laden Chilli Queso; a Mysore Bonda transformed into a spongy English crumpet with a twist at breakfast; our humble Dosa in a new avatar as a salted caramel smeared pancake crisp! These few examples of ingenuity in crafting a gourmet experience for a travelling foodie is something that helps transcend borders, allowing a certain familiarity that is part of everyone’s food recall, combined with a unique excitement of a culinary adventure! Now, who would pass up the opportunity of getting to savour the very essence of a regions culinary tempo, its street food, when you can have it all and perhaps more at suitably pleasing environs? Hotel and restaurant buffets afford scope for both chef ’s as well as guests to experience the magic of hawker/trolley delicacies without having to be there out on the streets actually. Chefs are conjuring creative spaces within typical buffets, wherein they present the experience in its entirety adding unique elements in cuisine fusions; ingredients; presentation; technique and

Dahi ke Gaarlay

Paramount in the pursuit of creativity and culinary evolvement is informed caution and we should distinctly know when not to sacrifice our culinary ethos and heritage for instant fame. Jamaali Oont ke Boti

skill; hygiene and of course the ambiance. For those of us with lesser resistance to the vagaries that are part and parcel of street food, hotels and chefs are creating

myriad avenues for the enjoyment of the same, albeit in locations that naturally puts the mind at ease. Restaurants give customers the feel of relative safety when it comes to aspects like hygiene and also extends such experience to the possibilities of newer tastes when it is combined with ingredients from another gourmet spectrum – this is where chefs can trump cuisine, taking it from the mundane to a transformational new experience. We have seen many a hotel smartly present as part of a buffet, elements that include comfort food like Chaats or throw in a Chhole Bhature station and even showcase frivolity by dressing up a stall serving “authentic” IndiChinese street fare with all the typical paraphernalia of bright and “attention-seeking” lights, misspelled menu boards, radio with local music playing etc, catering to guest desires. Paramount in the pursuit of creativity and culinary evolvement is informed caution and we should distinctly know when not to sacrifice our culinary ethos and heritage for instant fame. n By Chef Srinath Sambandan Executive Chef The Park, Visakhapatnam


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Street Food Often Reflects Traditional Local Culture T

he term "street foods" describes a wide range of ready-to-eat foods and beverages sold and sometimes prepared in public places, notably streets. Like fast foods, the final preparation of street foods occurs when the customer orders the meal which can be consumed where it is purchased or taken away. Street foods and fast foods are low in cost compared with restaurant meals and offer an attractive alternative to home-cooked food. In spite of these similarities, street food and fast food enterprises differ in variety, environment, marketing techniques and ownership. Street foods often reflect traditional local cultures and exist in an endless variety. There is much diversity in the raw materials as well as in the preparation of street food beverages, snacks and meals. Vendors' stalls are usually located outdoors or under a roof which is easily accessible from the street. Their marketing success depends exclusively on location and wordof-mouth promotion. Street food businesses are usually owned and operated by individuals or families but benefits from their trade extend throughout the local economy. For instance, vendors buy their fresh food locally, thus linking their enterprises directly with small-scale farms and market gardens. India being a vast country has many specialties served in each and every corner of the country - from Kashmir to Kanyakumari

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we can find thousands of street food specialties. Chefs from hotels and restaurants have to identify the most popular food served on the local streets and work on the same with improved quality for maintaining the standards. I think Indian Government have to play an important role to regulate the street food hygiene standards as most of the food contamination takes place due to poor hygiene standards. You can see that in the street foods of Singapore, UK or USA or other developed countries, the hygiene standards of street foods are very high, the venders selling street food ensures that all the hygiene standards are maintained. In India, the street food venders can get together and implement the common code to keep food sanitization, hand wash, garbage disposal, etc. The use of news paper for serving food should be banned as it is the most unhygienic plate in the world.

Street foods and fast foods are low in cost compared with restaurant meals and offer an attractive alternative to homecooked food. In spite of these similarities, street food and fast food enterprises differ in variety, environment, marketing techniques and ownership. Earlier they used to serve food in dry leaves (Dhona) and for drinks use Mud pots (Kullhad). This was ideal, but rising costs have forced them to use old newspaper, etc. Most of the guests love to eat street food prepared in hotels. I think chefs should not wait to host street food festivals in hotels, we can have most of the street food in our regular menus where we can serve

the same with better presentations and accompaniments. The chefs need to update themselves with modern technique of serving food with the great taste and texture of street food with improvement of service standards, including presentation and accompaniments. I do not think cost will be an issue here. Guests are more than happy to pay premium price in hotels for better hygienic condition along with better environment and presentation, for example tandoori chicken, tikkas and kebabs etc are street food in India, but you can see all the star hotels do serve the same with much higher price then streets. And I do not think that it is going to be loss to the street vendors as the market in India is huge with guests enjoying food in each and every style. n By Chef Jugesh Arora Culinary Management Consultant



July 2015 | Incredible chef

Q&A with Chef Veena Arora

"Indians have started relishing various cuisines" Chef Veena Arora

Chef Veena Arora is the person behind the success of the iconic Spice Route restaurant at The Imperial, the restaurant which first introduced Delhi to the myriad flavours of South East Asian Cuisine. Although it is more than three decades since she left Thailand to settle down in India, Veena Arora, Chef De Cuisine, The Spice Route Restaurant, The Imperial New Delhi, keeps herself abreast with the Thai culture and its cuisine. A Chef without any formal Culinary education to boast about, she is an epitome of passion and dedication. A recipient of ‘Best Lady Chef’ award at the recent National Tourism Awards, Chef Arora speaks about her passion for food.

If you were not a chef, what would you have been? It is difficult to imagine my life without a kitchen. However, in case I was not in the culinary field, I would have been a Teacher or a Lawyer. Who has been your most memorable guest? What has been the most memorable experience? In my career, I have had the

opportunity to serve many dignitaries. However, for me it was a privilege to serve the honorable Ex-President of India - Shri K.R. Narayan. The pleasant conversation I shared with him and his wife over dinner is a moment that I will cherish, specially as it was a celebration of their wedding anniversary.

Incredible chef | July 2015

Yum Mamuang: Thai Mango Salad Ingredients 200 gms raw mango, peeled and grated 30 gms onion, sliced 5 gms chopped red chilli 30 gms mint 50 gms lettuce 15 gms peanuts, roasted 15 gms palm sugar 10 ml light soya sauce

What is your signature recipe? Yum Mamuang: Thai raw mango salad What are your views on the changing scenario in the culinary field? Indians have started relishing various cuisines. This has made India a great platform for world

food, and also given our chefs an opportunity to try and experiment with various cuisines, and improvise it as per the Indian taste palate, yet keeping in terms with the authentic flavors. What do you think about the current infrastructure available in India for pursuing a career as a chef. What change do you feel is required? The infrastructure for culinary education prevailing currently

Method Toss mint, red chilli, palm sugar and light soya sauce with the raw mangoes and onions. Top it with roasted peanuts and serve it on a bed of lettuce. Key Ingredients: mango, onion, red chilli, soya sauce, peanuts, lettuce, mint leaves, sugar

One must be ready to taste and try different cuisines and be ready and willing to learn from the experience.

What would you advice aspiring young chefs to have a successful career as a chef? Be confident. It is imperative to be passionate about food. One must be ready to taste and try different cuisines and be ready and willing to learn from the experience. Fusion food has entered the kitchens of the world. What is your view? Its great, only if you are fusing the right choice of ingredients together. However, when it is done just for the sake of experiments, many a times, it goes all wrong.

in India is much better than it was before. There are increased number of institutions offering various basic and specialised courses. Having said that, I feel that the training and internship duration for freshers should be longer and according to their capabilities they should be recruited for specific posts and not given senior designations without experience.

Chefs are seen improvising on street foods to attract customers... eg, street food festivals at hotels. Your thoughts. Everyone has a palate for street food, but hygiene is one of the major issues, which gets covered through such festivals. It also gives the chefs a platform to get innovative with the common street foods. What message would you like to give to the community of chefs. Be innovative and experimental, open-minded to suggestions from guests and colleagues. n


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People of Every Class Enjoy Street Food

Chef Omkar Belwate, The Oberoi Hotel, Mumbai


treet Food! By definition food available on road side at a cheaper cost affordable for common man and gives satisfaction to taste buds, appetite and nose by its aroma can be called as street foods. Street food in past was supposed to be common mans food, but over the years what has been seen is that people of every class enjoy it with full satisfaction.

India is considered as heaven for food lovers and people staying here are enthusiastic about culinary. In fact food culture here can also be called the way of life. The vibrancy of its cities culture is related in its lips making hot, sweet and spicy variety of food. India offers a plethora of tastes

and flavours to choose from – around-the-corner joints and hole-in-the-wall eateries at times offer the most authentic flavours and are extremely affordable. Hawkers or vendors sell street food which at times are comparable to the best available. Some of the popular street food items in Mumbai are Wada Pav, Pav Bhaji, Kanda Bhajji, Missal Pav, Pakoda’s, Kachi Dabeli, Bhurji Pav, Brun Maska, Sandwiches, Indian Chinese Foods, Kheema Pav, Kebabs, Samosa, Idli, Dosa, and many more interesting affordable food items. Most of them are combination of sweet, tangy and spicy taste. Legend has it that some of the popular street food such as Wada Pav, Pav Bhaji, Misal Pav, Kanda Bhajji, etc originated in Maharashtra. Pav Bhaji has its unique history. In the 18th Century when there were many cloth mills in Mumbai, due to suitable climatic conditions and available resources, many people came from across Maharashtra to earn their living. At that time someone constituted a mixture of appetizing and tasty vegetable mash which was served with Bun or Pav (heated on

Incredible chef | July 2015

griddle by applying butter). This was cheap and easily available food for workers to feed their appetite got very popular. Back then it was called “Taka Tak”, based on its method of preparation – the mix was prepared by mashing the vegetable mixture by continuous banging by flat spoons or spatula and the sound used to come was “Taka Tak”. “Wadapav” consists of Potato mix with flavours of some species and condiments and deep fired in oil by applying gram flour batter and then served in a chutney or sauce made out of mint, coriander or tamarind or dry garlic powder applied in the bun followed by wada and served. “Kanda or Khekda Bhajji” a very popular street food, is made by thinly sliced onion mixed with spices and salt and then deep fried by applying gram flour. The name “Khekda” is has been given due to its shape, because this onion mix is fried in uneven shapes and they get their shape due to the strings of onion slices which are loose. The secret

trick to make them crispy is apply spices and salt to onion some time before so the onion will leave it juices and makes the gram flour in mixer with the help of moisture left by onion mix, little or no water should be added and then fry. The output will be golden brown crispy Kanda Bhaji. The king of street food in Mumbai as well as Maharashtra is considered as “Missal Pav”. It is a actually a gravy made of onion, tomato, spices with single or combination of pulses in it. In a plate, at base some farsan is kept, on top of it some gravy is poured followed by chopped onions. It is served with slice of lemons and pav. This is a fantastic street food and in this year it has been awarded as “World’s Best Snack”. The Aswaad restaurant at Mumbai and Bedekar Misal in Pune are some of the famous eateries serving the same. Chaat such as Panipuri, Bhelpuri, Ragda, much more, are also famous among people across the country. How do restaurant adapt to the growing demand of street foods among their customers? Different peoples have different preferences. Some like to have street food on

road with peoples of all class but some prefer to have the same in relaxing, silent places. One can get such ambience easily at normal or a fine-dine restaurant. Due to growing demand and curiosity of customers about street food, many restaurants have included variety of street food in their menu. The street food which they mostly serve is Samosa Chaat, Papdi Chaat, Sev Puri, Keema Pav, Pakodas, Kabas, and much more. The restaurants present street food in different way of presentation which is extremely eye appealing for their customers. They try new innovative ways to serve this food. Their customers also provide positive feedback about their innovative presentation. However, their major challenge is taste. The taste of street food at most of the places is different and customers get attracted and become loyal to them due to the taste. The street food vendors or


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hawkers are doing the same work of preparing the same kind of street food for many years. So due to this they have developed their own unique taste. Some of the leading examples of the popular street food joints in Mumbai are Mithibai College, Bade Miya Kabab Center, etc. To overcome the drawback of delivering street food like taste, chefs of restaurants serving street food should visit such famous places and try to recover discover their weak points. However, on the other hand the strong points of restaurants are taste (may not be same as the street food, but it sure is tasty), presentation, hygiene, quality, standardization, etc. Steps street food vendors must take to increase hygiene standards: Hygiene is most important factor in food industry. Hygienically prepared food gives assurance

of safety to health. By having hygienic food peoples stay away from the diseases. But most of street food vendors are unaware of hygiene or at times they neglect it. There are certain steps street food vendors must take so as to increase their hygiene standards. The first and most important thing about their personal hygiene is they should shave, bath daily.

Their nails should be regularly trimmed. Apart from this they should keep their dress neat and clean, the person who prepare food should always wear apron and if possible gloves should be used. People who work near heat should keep a handkerchief so as to wipe their sweat time to time. They should keep their working area absolutely clean. Time to time wiping of dirty places should be done. Different dusters should be used to wipe serving plates and other surfaces. Most of the times we see oily surface, due to continuous usage of oil for frying. This should be cleaned regularly with soap solution. The washing area of plates should not be near the selling point or place. It should be in such an area which is away from customers side. The washing area should be absolutely clean, with a proper facility to dispose dirty water and garbage. The garbage bins should be always covered so as to avoid bad, rotten smell.

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The utensils should be cleaned properly. Most of times we see that the Kadhai used for frying has a thick carbon layer on its bottom and handle, for this purpose they should used it of steel and wash it periodically with caustic solution followed with acid so as to remove carbon deposit and this will give a unique shine to steel vessels. The same procedure should also be followed for griddle or hot plate made of steel. Mostly we see some vendors use brass vessels for tea or other purpose. They should make sure that it is galvanized time to time otherwise it may lead to food poisoning. In coastal cities usages of iron should be avoided for their stall or vehicles because it gets corroded, due to humidity in the air. If they are using the same, they should properly coat it with some oil paints or other rust prevention material. They should use steel as a substitute for iron because it is non corrosive material and has a

What customers want? Are chefs improvising on street food to attract customer e.g. street food festival at hotels?

unique shine but the demerit of steel is it is costlier compare to iron, aluminum or wood. Using steel, cleanliness can be maintained easily and it gives assurance of cleanliness to customers. The nearby area creates first impression on customers mind. So this is important to maintain the area free from the litter, stagnant water used plates and glass. Proper facility should be there to dispose used plates. They above mentioned steps are easy and simple and I am sure most of them will hardly effect their foods cost. Hygiene and cleanliness are most important factors in customer’s minds. If vendors follow proper hygiene they will attract new customers which will increase their business. By keeping all this in mind they should not compromise on the taste because it’s their major asset.

What is a chef: Chef is a human being who draws an edible portrait on a canvas known as plate, using different elements in different forms, colors and textures with appetizing aroma and appearance, which when consumed refreshes and energizes ones taste buds which in turn satisfies ones hunger. Street food vendors are person having very straight thinking. Most of them believe that what they are making and serving or selling to their customers should be followed in same ways. They hesitate or deny trying new concepts or ideas and some of their customers have positive feedback about their work. The Chef is a person with very wide range of thought about his work or profession. He actually likes to experiment with new ideas, trends and concepts and we have also seen their work in restaurants. e.g. instead of serving Pani Puri in regular way they put the liquid or stuffing or sauce in a shot glass and keep Puri on top of it.


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These can be arranged artistically in a plate and prevents Puri from getting soggy easily. One more e.g. of these is Pav Bhajji. We can serve the Bhajji or Veg Mash in a cocktail glass and keep a sliced Baguette slanting on top of it, followed with different garnishes. Innovation or experimentation is a key of success for a Chef. As mentioned earlier, many restaurants have included street food in their menus and due to their ambience, quality of food, hygiene and presentation style, their guests have a very positive feedback about the same. Arranging street food festivals or promotion is excellent concept; due to such promotions their customers get a large variety of food under a single roof. Street food festival or promotions can be done by keeping the target on a single variety or regional varieties or varieties from all over the country. This depends on keeping in mind type of customers, area where hotel is located and sometimes also depends on climatic conditions. Classic example of single variety can be Dosa. They can serve a number of authentic varieties such as Neer, Rawa Dosa, Pesarattu, Pongal, Chella. Different innovative stuffing’s for e.g. paneer can be paired with capsicum or Paneer Tika Masala, Bhurji, etc, and then served as a stuffing. These combinations can be done with a number of varieties. Food festivals based on regional varieties can be targeted on South Indian, Bengali,

Maharashtrian, North Indian regions and much more. They can serve many varieties, authentic as well as innovative from that particular region. If the target is on Indian street food then sky is the limit. During the monsoon season last year, The Oberoi, Mumbai, hosted a mouth smacking street food promotion. Different delicacies such as Wada Pav, Samosa (keema, as well as veg), Kanda Bhajji, Bombay Sandwich (made as per classic street sandwich), Gulab Jamuns, Shrikhand and much more was served on a single platter, at their sea facing Champagne lounge. Guests were given the option of enjoying street food as well as rain and sea view without getting wet on Mumbai streets. It was a very convenient way for foreigner as well as Indian guests to enjoy street food. A few years back, Chef Anil Khurana recreated a unique experience of street food served in Delhi at Glass House, Hyatt Regency in Mumbai. It was named as “Dus Din Dilli De”. Delicacies such as Chole Bhature,

different Chat’s and much more have been served at many such food festivals carried out from time to time. Due to such events organised by hotels in different cities, lot of excitement gets created in customers mind and much more in their palate. Now a day there is a great fashion of Molecular Gastronomy among customers as well as chefs. Dealing with Molecular Gastronomy requires skills but more amount of basic scientific knowledge about

ingredient use. And we know science is as great as universe. Different experiments can be carried out for e.g. Jelly, Foam, Cavair, etc. Simple Sev Puri can be served as follows:Make Papdi from puff pastry dough and bake it. Place tamarind and mint chutney jelly on top of it and place savory potato mousse and top it with curd foam and sev cavair. It is a just a random example. One can experiment with lot many varieties of food in vast ways.

Incredible chef | July 2015

Once a positive impact gets created on a customer’s mind, word of mouth publicity will happen, which will lead to attraction of customers, hence creating goodwill in market. Where and how do restaurants fail to attract customers who like street food? Whose loss is it - restaurant, street food vendors or customer? As per its name ‘Street Food’ and concept behind it is a type of affordable food for common man and its true feeling can be experienced mostly while savoring the same from vendors, or hole-inthe wall eateries. For e.g. if we are having Pani Puri from a vendor we say “Bhaiya Ye Thodi Thikhi

Dena, Bhaiya isse thodi Mithi Rakhna, Bhaiya Bahot Thikha hai Sukhi Puri Dena”. This has a very different feeling and obviously we can’t say it in restaurant. But as mentioned above, every common man does not have equally filled wallet to have street food in restaurants. This is one area where street food vendors have a plus point. In restaurant, hygiene is a very important factor, and currently

there are different government authorities such as FSSAI, ISO, ISI, etc to keep watch on restaurant about their hygiene and issue licenses, etc. They can either uphold or even close down restaurant or hotel. So restaurants are strictly bound with maintaining hygiene and quality standard, which gives assurance of healthy food to customers. Maintaining hi-hygiene and quality standard requires lot of capital, so the food sold by restaurant is little costly compare to vendors. Restaurant can balance there hygiene and cost factor by keeping different promotions for e.g. Concept of “Happy Hours”. In off-meal timings restaurants can keep happy hours for street foods promotions. Generally during offmeal timing, restaurants are quite less busy, so during that time they can reduce selling price of street food so as to improve business. Different street food festivals can be carried out for customers so as to give a variety of street food under one roof. And once the customer is happy he will return and give good business. Vendors can balance the same thing by increasing their hygiene standard and attracting customers. They would however need to increase the selling cost slightly because they have to also spend to maintain hygiene. Today’s customers are more concerned about hygiene than cost. People get attracted towards clean and hygienic vendors easily. And by maintaining hygiene, their

business will increase automatically as better hygiene will attract health conscious customers and in turn increase business earnings. Both restaurants and vendors have remedies for their problems about hygiene and cost. Due to “authenticity” and “tradition” followed by vendors, peoples will take time to get attract towards restaurants. Street Foods is only way to earn bread – butter for vendors, but for restaurants this is an optional way so as to increase their amount of business. There will be always a great competition between them. But street food vendors will always be a first choice of customers. So that’s why restaurants might face problems in setting up. Customers and vendors will benefit at most times and restaurants might face loss in the starting, but by following proper business policies they can recover the same n By Chef Omkar Belwate, The Oberoi Hotel, Mumbai


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Street Food @ Restaurants common to see street food festivals being held at restaurants of reputed hotel chains and standalone restaurants, but consumer - or in hospitality language - the guest still misses the ‘X- factor’ of street food which they get while eating on streets. Apparently this is the reason of subdued success of street food festivals held within restaurants in comparison to other specialty food festivals that they host. However, the superficial reason given for the restrained success of the street food festivals is the cost of food. Reasons are endless… they start with taste of food by consumer and end with hygiene by professionals. But the question that is never answered is why “Unchi Dukaan, Fika Pakwan” saying is still popular when we have one of the best pool of chefs across the globe.


treet food’ as a term draws a picture of food being served on streets by vendors, who appear not professionally trained. However in the Indian context I would like to define it differently, because food being

served on street is not always street food and also food being served in shops (not restaurant) is sometimes street food. So it is the kind of food, irrespective of establishment selling it, that classifies it in the mind of Indians as street food or otherwise. It is now

Where and how do restaurants fail to attract the customers who like street food? I have tried to dissect this question by Product, Price and Place/Time. Product: As a product, street food has two attributes - tangible and non-tangible. At restaurants we somehow miss on both these attributes. In a professional set up, following ‘SOPs’, we miss to provide that crude and loud service which actually adds a lot to that experience. Secondly, at times it is felt that we have neglected majority of street food items. Popular items like Poha, Pao Bhaji, Missal Pao, and few other lucky ones make it to the list; the rest never even appears on our menu.

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In my recent visit to Indore, I inquired about Bhutte Ka Kees and the surprised waiter told me to go to Sarrafa Bazar as they did not have it on their menu. As a foodie and a chef, all my research about food in Indore ended with Bhutte Ka Kees and Sarrafa Bazar. As a product, street food is not only food but also a culture. Traditional Indian food verities were initially neglected in highend restaurants since British rule. They

were featured on streets and have today become parallel to the high-end restaurants. That is why we have success stories where street food vendors have opened their own high end restaurants. While writing this I ate Pao Bhaji from a single vendor in a week and found it tasted different every day. However consumer/ guest complain that “aapki Pao bhaji mein wo baat nahin hai”. Whereas actually “Pao Bhaji mein hi koi baat nahin Hai”. There is generally no standard taste. It’s just psychological presumption that Pao Bhaji tastes better at thelas and laaris. Time is a remedy for this situation. Situation is changing fast with people being more concerned about hygiene. Place/ Time: Street food is not only bound by type of service but also time of service. Dal

Pakwan, Locho, Bhutte Ka kees are excellent examples, Where first two are served in morning whereas last one is post dinner food which actually is not available in other time slots of the day. We at restaurants, bound by our A la carte menu and buffets, don’t do it and we cannot do it.. (Make it a point people who are actually lover of street food do love that set up). A street food festival at restaurants doesn’t become more popular because of miss timing of the product. Gujarati street food is mainly of morning snacks kind and putting them as part of dinner buffet doesn’t actually make sense. Price: Mostly street food is cheaper with no significant deviation in taste factor. Indian foodies believe taste is quality and holistic approach towards quality is missing. It is also a psychological phenomenon that when a product of cheaper price is evaluated, generally it end up as a good quality product. Just take an example; a tea on stall which is cheaper always tastes best, irrespective of ratio of milk and water, strongeness of tea leaves or nonavailability of spice/ flavor. It is also true that people expect too much when they come to a high end restaurant and try to find all value for money from food, which is

actually not possible. Non tangible part of restaurants is neglected unless it is a theme restaurant. Conclusion: Restaurants need to adopt street food holistically, right from their serving style to eating timings. Even a street style service ware can add a lot more value for the customer. As Chefs, educating guests about hygiene and quality standards is our responsibility. A chef meeting guest and talking about few technicality of the particular food will drastically improve value for their money. Generally street food is lower even on raw material cost. Restaurants can think of increasing their top line by minimizing profit percentage and increasing revenue. It will also drive people to restaurants and acceptance of street food at restaurants will increase. More and more of street food items need to be introduced in the restaurants. We can drive people only if we have almost everything which is available at a group of thelas at city centre. n By Chef Sushen Desai, Lecturer, Auro University, Surat


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Street Food Today is Traveling to the Tables of Some of The Trendiest New Restaurants


y comfort food during college days was a cutting chai – a small glass portion – accompanied by fan (crispy long puff) or on a good day and on those ravenous evenings I’d upgrade to those delicious Chole Bhature, Buttery Pav Bhaji and sleek noodles served on the streets near the Statue Circle in Jaipur. The street food today is traveling inside to the tables of some of the trendiest new restaurants in India and abroad and getting the gourmet treatment.

Even though setting up a restaurant can give an overly simplistic impression, but for all the hurdles that are involved in operating a real restaurant business, serving street food is still a good alternative.

Agreed to the fact that Street food has its own ‘authentic’ vibe. Almost in all the countries, specifically in Asia, street food is considered the favorite of people across all age groups, possibly because of the fast turnaround time and also because it is cheaper than the restaurants. From the owner’s point of view, there are many factors responsible for attractive pricing of the street food. Some of these factors are like: no overheads of paying for large number of staff members, no requirement of restaurant space, no building maintenance and all the other costs of owning a restaurant, etc. On the other hand, restaurant owners have to bear with lots of overhead costs and tantrums for their survival. Hygiene is of utmost importance. At the same time running a restaurant involves dealing with a lot of bureaucratic hurdles. Even though setting up a restaurant can give an overly simplistic impression, but for all the hurdles that are involved in operating a real restaurant business, serving street food is still a good alternative.

The question here is how old-style street food preference has become taken the hottest space in the culinary world?

Firstly, because the food is quick and delicious, secondly it is free from the dust and germs associated with the roadside street foods; thirdly it is served on the table

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where one can dine at ease unlike the rushing and gushing whilst eating out on the streets. Indian street food has long reigned on the hearts and minds of not only the natives but also of those who visit from far off places. Relishing a chaat platter from the roadside push-cart stall always be a unique experience it its own. Including this favorite Indian food amid the sophisticated realm of five star menu is a welcome move, but how well a competition can it be to its original local counterpart is to watch out for. One cannot do better street food than the people who serve it on the streets. Honestly speaking, the same pani of pani puri cannot be created into the 5 star kitchens. It has its own authentic flavors and taste which even after lot of efforts cannot be recreated. As far as the customer’s are concerned, there are two types of customers according to me: One, who prefer taste and flavors over the ambience irrespective of the hygiene (they just don’t mind eating on the streets) and second lot whose preference would be hygiene, ambience, food served

Including this favorite Indian food amid the sophisticated realm of five star menu is a welcome move, but how well a competition can it be to its original local counterpart is to watch out for.

with knife and forks (these people definitely would mind eating on the streets). There are even customers who would usually skip restaurant street food. While one reason for this is that they would not spend much money on something that is available at much cheaper rates and amazing flavors outside. I believe Street food vendors have their own set of followers and likewise the restaurants owners have their own class of clientele. So as far as the loss is concerned is it a Win-win situation for everyone (customers, street food vendors as well as the restaurants). Win-win situation from the customers outlook is because of freedom of choice that they can gorge anywhere they want, be it on the streets or be it the sophisticated restaurants; and from street food vendors and restaurants perspective I would say everyone is earning a fair share out of their own luck and hard work. n By Chef Anurag, Executive Chef, Madhubhan Resort & Spa, Vallabh Vidhya Nagar



July 2015 | Incredible chef

Not Responding is a Response

We Are Equally Responsible for What We Don't Do


onathan Safran Foer said this century back and it’s true for every move we make or we don’t. Change is necessary according to time in every business or work environment and it also is true for the food industry which is growing rapidly not only as big branded restaurants but also much bigger as street food culture over the last decade. For centuries, street food has been an attraction for the common man. It is this attraction that has led to creation of a culture that has opened up food counters and later on fine dining outlets across the spectrum. However, in today’s scenario, street food culture and its offerings is giving big names of the food service industry a run for their money. We have to accept, without

Shailendra S. Jaggi

Founder, Happy Eating Foods

doubt, that at some places the street food vendors are emerging as the winners of the situation by attracting more customers. One of the primary problems which a restaurant faces is that they are not flexible to change their menu according to their customer’s needs. They are way too busy in trying to create a niche for themselves and a profile of their

own. While it is a good thing to be creating a separate identity, what is the benefit in losing the customer? On the other hand, street food vendors have the advantage on their side, as they are flexible to change and can and are making changed to their menu as per the need of their customer from time to time. The second area of concern is that restaurants often focus on cooking exotic food with rare ingredients which is not easily available and a lot of time and money is spent on obtaining them. On the other hand a street food vendor makes his offerings in such a manner that local farm products and other easily available ingredients are used to create interesting products.

Incredible chef | July 2015

Making attractive menu is another part, but as a chef we have to remember that when a family comes to a restaurant for a meal, the majority of guests (almost 80 per cent) already have a picture of their desired food in their mind – which is mostly derived from their own taste palate which they are used to for years. In restaurants, we have to work on these traditional food, to make it more attractive so that we are able to cater to our consumers desired taste, rather than compromising their choice by forcing them to chose from new dishes every time. On other hand, some restaurants have started using a new way to catch the attention of these street food lovers by placing their own food trucks where there restaurants can’t reach. This way, they can increase their consumer base and also reach out to new customers by providing their favorite restaurant’s food at convenient locations. Sometimes menus of food served in their restaurant and their food trucks are completely different. This is done so that they can easily research the customers market and get to know about their consumers needs and according to the response to their food trucks menu, they can change their restaurant’s menu. This way the restaurant brand can attract more consumers without making investments in availability of more places and at the same time, through these food trucks, they can also keep a watch on the changing flavors of their customer without incurring huge costs. Another popular way of attracting customers is by organizing specially designed

menus of a particular cuisine over a weekend and giving out personal invitations to guests. Some of the restaurants in the US have been doing this and it has been a success formula. However, before doing this, the chef and his team need to do an extensive research and find out recipe and cuisines which are unique and have not been tasted

Street food vendors have the advantage on their side, as they are flexible to change and can and are making changed to their menu as per the need of their customer from time to time. before. There is surely a risk of not succeeding every time, but when we are ready to offer our guests new dishes in our regular menu to explore, then why not offer them a completely new cuisine to explore. These were some of the reasons due to which restaurants are losing customers. At the same time, street food vendors are also losing on their customers just because of lack of hygiene standards at their place. Most of the time they leave their food completely open, exposed to polluted air, dust, and all kinds of germs, to showcase the same to a street food lover. In their excitement of showcasing their offerings, they forget that this also might be the easiest way of losing a customer who has any inclination towards hygiene.

In the current scenario, food vans and food trucks are a good way for the street food vendors to provide their food offerings under hygienic conditions. If a vendor uses a closed vehicle, then they are mostly safe from the unwanted pollution and germs and at the same time they can store and refrigerate their food inside the van, which can keep their food and resources fresher for a longer period of time. Another basic practice which street food vendors can start to practice is using hand gloves while preparing food for customers. It will provide a better way to serve hygienic food with very less extra amount of money invested. When we look at the overall scenario and talk about the loss, it is the customer who is losing the most. When a customer looks for better hygienic food, they have to force to leave their choice of street food and go to a restaurant which is much more expensive. At the same time when customer looks to spend less money to get food, they have to compromise on the hygiene standards and adjust with street food. In both the situations, restaurants and street food vendors lose a certain segment of their customers. One needs to implement change at both the ends, so that everyone can get the best as per their need, without thinking about the hygiene standards or the money. n By Shailendra S. Jaggi, Founder, Happy Eating Foods The author is a food blogger, recipe developer, operates a cooking institute at Patiala and is in process of setting up Awadhi Cuisine food chain counter



July 2015 | Incredible chef

Culinary Art India:

An Honour to Culinarian Excellence


he five-day gastronomic trail, Culinary Art India 2015 bid adieu with a gala award ceremony on March 14, 2015 at Pragati Maidan in the capital. The competition saw 300 chefs participating and showcasing the best of their skills and talent in cooking and presentation of the food. The award ceremony was graced by the Chief Guest, Mr. J S Deepak, CMD, ITPO and known faces from the culinary world. Organised by Indian Culinary Forum in association with Hospitality First & ITPO, the event has been specially created to recognize the excellence of culinary skills in India. With an objective to establish a professional platform where culinary professional could display their individual and combined skills, creative talent, learn, share experiences, partner and network in a purely business like and competitive environment, the event saw the presence of many who’s who of culinary fraternity.

The five-day trail included competition in 16 categories which was judged by WACS (World Association of Chefs Societies) certified chefs and renowned food critics. Out of many prestigious awards, Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida bagged 26 medals which include 5 Gold, 9 Silver and 12 Bronze while Mohd Asif, Corporate Chef, Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida was awarded with the Most Outstanding Pastry Chef.

Incredible chef | July 2015

Chefs awarded at the glorious ceremony of Culinary Art India 2015 The Gold Winning Chefs in difference categories: n

S  hambhu Prasad, Corporate Executive Chef, Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida; Nitin Sinharia, Ex Sous Chef, Hotel Le Meridien; Mohd. Asif, Corporate Executive Chef, Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida for Artistic Pastry Show Piece


M  ukesh Kumar, D.C.D.P. The Imperial Hotel for Fruit & Vegetable Carving


D  alvir Singh, D.C.D.P., The Imperial Hotel for Plated Appetizers


A  noop Singh, Ex Sous Chef, Hotel Le Meridien; Mahender, Sous Chef, Olive Bar & Kitchen; Ravinder, ITC Sheraton for Petit Fours & Pralines


B  hanu Singharia, Ex Sous Chef, Hotel Le Meridien; Mukul Singh, Ex Sous Chef, Hotel Le Meridien; Three Course Set Dinner Menu


Mohd. Asif, Corporate Executive Chef, Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida for Desserts by Elle & Vire


C  hef Rajan G, Executive chef, Radisson Blu, Mahipalpur for Authentic India Regional Cuisine


J eevan, Sous Chef, Olive Bar & Kitchen; Vinay Sehgal, Dramz Whisky Bar; Chef Rajesh Kumar, D.C.D.P. The Imperial Hotel for Live Cooking


 urbhy Rauniyar, The Hampsted Cake Studio, Gurgaon for Dress the S Cake Live


Sumit Saha, Captain Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida for Mocktails

Talking about the success of the ceremony, Chef Vivek Saggar, Organizing Secretary, Culinary Art India, 2015 said, “We are delighted to have such platform that brings in chefs and food lovers from all over India. All the competitions of the five-day event have been carefully judged to celebrate the success and hard work of wining chefs. CAI also gives young chefs an opportunity to come up with new and innovative ideas.�



July 2015 | Incredible chef linary Art India SnapShot Cu

Incredible chef | July 2015


Culinary Art India SnapShot


July 2015 | Incredible chef


category 01 : 3-Tier Wedding Cake Name of the Competitor Job Title Organisation Arun Diwakar Corporate Executive Chef Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Avinash Gupta Ex Sous Chef Hotel Le Meridien Prateek Agrawal Corporate Executive Chef Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Raghbeer Singh Executive chef The Royal Plaza Surbhy Rauniyar The Hampsted Cake Studio, Gurgaon Chef Habeeb Executive chef Radisson Blu, Mahipalpur Shobita Mutreja I Cake U


category 02 : Artistic Pastry Showpiece Name of the Competitor Job Title Organisation Mohd. Asif Corporate Executive Chef Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Nitin Sinharia Ex Sous Chef Hotel Le Meridien Shambhu Prasad Corporate Executive Chef Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Deep Nainwal Executive Sous Chef The Oberoi, Gurgaon Kalakonda Vamsee Lecturer Cullinary Academy of India Nehul Gautam CDP Zair Hussain Radisson Blu, Dwarka Rintu Rathod Owner Rini Bakes Aayusha Roy Chef The Cake Boutique Surbhy Rauniyar The Hampsted Cake Studio, Gurgaon


category 03 : Artistic Bakery Showpiece Name of the Competitor Job Title Organisation Afzal Corporate Executive Chef Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Saji Mathew Corporate Executive Chef Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Rajat Nunwal Ex Sous Chef Hotel Le Meridien Mohd. Asif Corporate Executive Chef Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Kamal Bhasin ITC Sheraton

MEDAL Gold Silver Bronze Bronze Bronze Bronze

category 04 : Fruit & Vegetable Carving Name of the Competitor Job Title Organisation Mukesh Kumar D.C.D.P. The Imperial Hotel Chef Prabhas Mandal Old World Hospitality Pvt. Ltd Vijay Negi Corporate Executive Chef Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Amar Chandra Mandal Executive Chef Country Inn & Suites, Ghaziabad India Tourism Development Corp. (Hotel Samrat) Mahesh Kumar Shrivastava Sr. C.D.P Jitender Singh Chef ITDC The Ashok


category 05: Butter / Margarine Sculpture Name of the Competitor Job Title Organisation Deep Nainwal Executive Sous Chef The Oberoi, Gurgaon

Incredible chef | July 2015


category 06 : Plated Appetizers Name of the Competitor Job Title Dalvir Singh D.C.D.P. Kamal Sous Chef Anwar Azad SENIOR SOUS CHEF Chef Sazid Khan Executive chef Deepika Tomar SENIOR SOUS CHEF Shailendra Corporate Executive Chef Pranesh Ex Sous Chef Neeraj Corporate Executive Chef Sudhir Kant Ex Sous Chef Chef Harish Kumar Executive chef Himanshu Joshi Sous Chef

MEDAL Gold Gold Gold Bronze Merit

category o7 : Petit Fours or Pralines Category Name of the Competitor Job Title Organisation Anoop Singh Ex Sous Chef Hotel Le Meridien Mahender Sous Chef Olive Bar & Kitchen Ravinder ITC Sheraton Executive Chef/ Jr. Sous Chef The Park Chef Zamin Ansari Deepak Lal Choudhary Executive Chef Park Plaza, Delhi CBD


category 08 : Three Course Set Dinner Menu Category Name of the Competitor Job Title Organisation Bhanu Singharia Ex Sous Chef Hotel Le Meridien Mukul Singh Ex Sous Chef Hotel Le Meridien Arun Karara D.C.D.P. The Imperial Hotel Manish Bhandari Corporate Executive Chef Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Ashish Mahajan Ex Sous Chef Hotel Le Meridien Ashok Kumar Ex Sous Chef Hotel Le Meridien Naresh Kumar Sous Chef Suravine by TYC Amit Kanojia Corporate Executive Chef Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Anahita N Dhondy Chef Manager SodaBottleOpnerwala Anuj Ahuja Chef Manager SodaBottleOpnerwala Baljeet Executive chef The Royal Plaza Bobby Abraham Sous Chef The Lalit Chef Jaman Singh Executive chef Radisson Blu, Mahipalpur Chef Vikash Kumar Executive chef Radisson Blu, Mahipalpur Gorang Anand Sous Chef The Lalit Mahender Singh Dogra Ex Sous Chef Hotel Le Meridien Virender Singh Mehra Radisson Blu, Dwarka

MEDAL Gold Silver Silver Bronze Bronze Merit Merit

category o9 : Desserts by Elle & Vire Name of the Competitor Job Title Organisation Mohd. Asif Corporate Executive Chef Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Abhishek Chauhan Ex Sous Chef Hotel Le Meridien Chef Anil Bhatt Executive chef Radisson Blu, Mahipalpur Nehul Gautam Executive Sous Chef The Oberoi, Gurgaon Prateek Agrawal Corporate Executive Chef Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Mahender Sous Chef Olive Bar & Kitchen Narender Pawar Radisson Blu, Dwarka

Organisation The Imperial Hotel Olive Bar & Kitchen ITC MAURYA Radisson Blu, Mahipalpur ITC MAURYA Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Hotel Le Meridien Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Hotel Le Meridien Radisson Blu, Mahipalpur The Lalit



July 2015 | Incredible chef


category 10 : Authentic Indian Regional Cuisine Name of the Competitor Job Title Organisation Chef Rajan G Executive chef Radisson Blu, Mahipalpur Mehboob Alam Commis - 1 ITDC The Ashok A. P. Girish Kumar D.C.D.P. ITDC The Ashok Gorang Anand Sous Chef The Lalit Tajber Singh Corporate Executive Chef Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Amit Kumar Executive Sous Chef The Oberoi, Gurgaon Rajan Corporate Executive Chef Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Lalit Chandra Joshi ITC Sheraton Sunil Kumar Executive chef The Royal Plaza Suprabhat Banerjee Asst. Professor BCIHMCT Kulbeer Singh Chef Manager SodaBottleOpnerwala Chef Sandeep Singh Executive chef Radisson Blu, Mahipalpur

category 11 : : Live Cooking Competition (Open to CDP and above designation) 3 course MEDAL Name of the Competitor Job Title Organisation Gold Jeevan Sous Chef Olive Bar & Kitchen Gold Vinay Sehgal Dramz Whisky Bar Silver Divesh Anand Executive Kitchen Trident Gurgaon Hotel Silver Prakash Kumar Singh C.D.P. Le Meridien Silver Pranab Nayek Old World Hospitality Pvt. Ltd Bronze Sunder Crown Plaza Hotel, Rohini Bronze Narendra Rana Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Bronze Vichitra Kumar Old World Hospitality Pvt. Ltd Bronze Deepak Pujari ITC Sheraton Bronze Amit Kanojia Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Bronze Tej Pal K C C.D.P. The Oberoi, Gurgaon Bronze Amit Singh D.C.D.P. Le Meridien Merit Chef Rahul Verma C.D.P. THE UPPAL - An Ecotel Hotel Merit Sarthak Kochar D.C.D.P. Le Meridien Merit Amit Sharma Continental Chef Le Meridien Merit Sunil Kumar Sous Chef Lite Bite Foods Pvt. Ltd Merit Shibu Sr. C.D.P Olive Bar & Kitchen Merit Abhimanyu Nair Old World Hospitality Pvt. Ltd

MEDAL Silver Silver Bronze Bronze Bronze Bronze Bronze Bronze Bronze Bronze Bronze Bronze Bronze Bronze Merit Merit Merit

category 12 : Live Cooking Competition -(open to all) 45 min RICE dish Name of the Competitor Job Title Organisation Pankaj Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Raj Kumar Chef De Partie Country Inn & Suites, Ghaziabad Charandeep Singh Crown Plaza Hotel, Rohini Chef Vikash Kumar Radisson Blu, Mahipalpur Abhishek Gupta Sous Chef The Lalit Rakesh Prasad D.C.D.P. The Royal Plaza Hotel Vishal Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Jesu Dass Gunaseakaran C.D.P. The Oberoi, Gurgaon Mamta Garg Enthuastic Hobby Cooks Nellu Kaura Enthuastic Hobby Cooks Moin Khan Kitchen Trainee Le Meridien Nisha Kumari Student I.I.H.M, Mathura Road Promod Commis - II Olive Bar & Kitchen Vikas Rana Old World Hospitality Pvt. Ltd Simran Chopra Student I.I.H.M, Mathura Road Saurabh Gaur Commis - I The Lalit Chef Rajesh Kumar Yadav Radisson Blu, Mahipalpur

Incredible chef | July 2015

MEDAL Silver Silver Silver Silver Silver Bronze Bronze Bronze Bronze Merit Merit Merit Merit Merit

category 13 : Enthusiastic Hobby Cooks Students / Apprentice / Students Name of the Competitor Job Title Organisation Vipin Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida John Kitchen Trainee Olive Bar & Kitchen Nellu Kaura Enthuastic Hobby Cooks Vaibhav Rai Tuli Student Indian Hotel Academy Bhuvan Commis ITC MAURYA Nitesh Apprentice Le Meridien Hitesh Kitchen Trainee Olive Bar & Kitchen Manish Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Tejas Kitchen Trainee Olive Bar & Kitchen Jatin Saini Apprentice The Sunrise Bakery Ruchi Gupta Enthuastic Hobby Cooks Pranab Commis - I Olive Bar & Kitchen Jeevan Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Srishti Chopra Apprentice The Royal Plaza Hotel

MEDAL Gold Silver Silver Bronze Bronze Bronze Merit Merit Merit Merit Merit Merit

category14 : Pasta Making using Delverde Pasta to be cooked in 45 min Name of the Competitor Job Title Organisation Chef Rajesh Kumar D.C.D.P. The Imperial Hotel Saurabh Sharma Commis chef The Oberoi, Gurgaon Mahendra Singh C.D.P. The Royal Plaza Hotel Yogesh D.C.D.P. Olive Bar & Kitchen Narendra Arya Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Prateek Bisht Commis Trident Gurgaon Hotel Tejas Kitchen Trainee Olive Bar & Kitchen Chef Devi Singh Mehra Jr. Sous Chef The Park Jagdish Chand Joshi Crown Plaza Hotel, Rohini Abhishek Tiwari Commis chef The Oberoi, Gurgaon Anil Kumar ITC Sheraton Shubham Jhunjhunwala Commis - II Hilton, Mumbai International Airport


category 15 : Cake Decorating - Dress the Cake Name of the Competitor Job Title Organisation Surbhy Rauniyar The Hampsted Cake Studio, Gurgaon Prateek Agrawal Corporate Executive Chef Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Prakash Jeena Ex Sous Chef Hotel Le Meridien

MEDAL Gold Silver Bronze Bronze Bronze Bronze Merit

category 16 : Mocktails Competition by Toran Name of the Competitor Job Title Organisation Sumit Saha Captain Radisson Blu, MBD Hotel, Noida Sandeep Sharma Sous Chef THE UPPAL - An Ecotel Hotel Amit Kumar Dahiya Ex Sous Chef Hotel Le Meridien Arjun Bhandari Chef De Cuisine Crown Plaza, Rohini Mayank Rawat Asst. Professor BCIHMCT Prince Gupta Executive chef Radisson Blu, Mahipalpur Jitender Kumar Mishra Executive chef Radisson Blu, Mahipalpur



July 2015 | Incredible chef

IFCA 6th International Chefs Conference 2015 Flashback The 6th edition of the International Chefs Conference of Indian Federation of Culinary Associations (IFCA) was organised in Chennai in the third week of March at the ITC Grand Chola Hotel. Continuing its initiative of offering hospitality professionals with an interactive knowledge-sharing platform, the three-day event saw some prominent speakers from the hospitality industry share their experience. The mega event themed on “Golden Heritage, Glowing Future” was attended by over 650 chefs from India and other countries.


he event witnessed leading Chefs, gourmands, culinary connoisseurs and food writers participate on various panels to discuss topics like Modern Culinary Procurement, Worldchefs Certification, Schools Recognition, Canadian Culinary Insights, Trends, Diversity and Healthy trends in Future Menus. Speaking on the occasion, Chef Manjit Singh Gill, President IFCA, said, “The primary focus of IFCA is to promote the culinary profession through exchange of ideas and innovations in the world of food and food services. The initiative will help our community find common ground, identify trends and opportunities to grow professionally and nurture upcoming talent. IFCA will bring us closer as a community that shares a common passion for exciting cuisines from across the globe.” Dr Chef Soundararajan, conference director and IFCA general secretary said, he is working on

At the 6th IFCA International Chefs Conference a panel discussion on Negating Challenges for the Women in the Culinary Industry-identifying the problem and method to face them in the current scenar

Chef Christopher Koetke talks on International Culinary Inspirations

Chef Hirotoshi Ogawa presenting on Sushi making was insightful

collaborating with the World Association of Chefs Society (WACS) in the “feed the planet’ programme, which focuses on training chefs on sustainability practices. “The certification programme will include training on development organic gardens, recycling methods, using local ingredients, and managing kitchen wastage,” Soundararajan said.

Incredible chef | July 2015

The 6th IFCA International Chefs Conference came to a close with a star studded ceremony where the stalwarts of the culinary industry were recognized and awarded for their contribution to their field. The camaraderie in the culinary community was a sight to behold. The grandest culinary event of 2015 ended on a joyous note when it was announced that the 7th IFCA International Chefs Conference will be held in Delhi! IFCA was formed with the idea of developing opportunities for the culinary profession and came together to promote culinary tourism and innovation in Indian cuisine. IFCA is a nodal body of culinary professionals in India with more than 10,000 Chefs as members, who are collectively committed to the common cause of sharing cutting edge developments in the culinary arena. Talking about the event, Mr. Rajeev Bakshi, Managing Director, METRO Cash and Carry said, “We are proud to be associated with an event that brings outstanding culinary talent and expertise on a single platform. By partnering with IFCA, we aim to bring together the best of the hospitality industry – in terms of leadership, innovation and skills – to help build a supportive community of culinary artistes. In serving them, we provide customers with the highest standards of quality, freshness and taste.” n

Chef Uwe Micheel, Chef Madhusudan Gupta, Chef Raj Sethia, Chef Thomas Guggler, Chef John Clancy, Chef Prabhu and the Sr Executive Chef Dharman Makhwana, Rajiv Kaul and K M Chengappan



July 2015 | Incredible chef

AHP Concludes Second Edition of Annual ‘Hospitality Challenge’ Week-long competitions mark wide industry participation


he second edition of ‘Hospitality Challenge’ organized by Association of Hospitality Professionals (AHP) in Delhi concluded with an Award function to recognize the winners of the various competitions. The week-long competitions held in different hotels and hotel institutes in Delhi had witnessed overwhelming participation from hotels across Delhi NCR. According to Chef Sireesh Saxena, Joint Secretary of the Association, more than 175 young professionals from 40 leading hotels from the Delhi NCR region participated in the competitions. Competitions were held in art of Culinary (International Cuisine, Oriental Cuisine, Biryani, Kebabs, Sweet Sensation, Wedding Cakes, etc.); Art of Bed Making, Napkin Folding, Towel Folding, War of

spirits, Font office Quiz Competition, etc. 48 chefs from 21 hotels participated in the culinary events alone this year. For the first time, AHP had introduced competitions for Towel folding, and napkin folding, etc. “We had received wide participation from hotels across all categories this time around. The objective is to give a platform for young professionals from all segments of hotel operations to showcase their talent and recognize their skill and creativity. Although there are competitions for culinary skills at different levels, there are hardly any for other professionals associated with other areas of hotel operations. AHP wanted to fill that vacuum,” said Saxena. n

Incredible chef | July 2015

4th Annual CAMOFAB -

Food & Beverage Meet hosted by Citrus Hotels, Bhiwadi


itrus, India’s newest chain of hotels, a Mirah Group Venture hosted their 4th Annual Food & Beverage Meet – CAMOFAB at their Bhiwadi hotel on July 3rd and 4th. It saw coming together of production and service people from across 15 Citrus Hotels, hence fostering teamwork, innovation and learning. CAMOFAB took off with chef competitions where they made their individual presentations of food, cocktails and mocktails, followed by Tea and food pairing by Dilmah Tea personnel. The meet also had class room sessions on food and hygiene. The best presentations were judged by the external juries and the results were announced on the second day of the event. The winning recipes at the CAMOFAB will be featured on all the menus across Citrus, to be named after the winning chef. Bharat Alagh, Regional Head – Northern India, F & B, Citrus Hotels said, “We are proud to host this meet every year to recognize a creative bent of mind and celebrate artistry of our F&B personnel. Besides, CAMOFAB also acts as a podium for individuals to interact with industry experts, be a part of brain storming sessions.” Citrus has hotels across India including Gurgaon, Bhiwadi, Bangalore (2), Pune, Jodhpur, Luni,Lonavala, Goa, Alleppey, Sriperumbudur, Kottivakkam (Chennai), Mahabaleshwar, Manali, Sri Lanka. They have hotels in the pipeline in Hubli, Pench, Amritsar and Nagpur.



July 2015 | Incredible chef

Knife & Impressions InFocus


Umasankar Dhanapal Culinary Olympian

masankar Dhanapal is the most celebrated Culinary Carving Artist in India who is well known for his excellence and perfection in the art, which makes him the paragon in this segment today. He has won many International Awards and Medals and has received innumerable recognitions for his work, however to mention the most important achievement in particular, Umasankar Dhanapal is the “First Indian” to ever participate in the “Culinary Olympics” that takes place once in four years at Germany and has won the Bronze Medal for India, which brings an overwhelming joy and pride for the country. On the other hand, this remarkable personality has undergone countless struggles in his prime in order to achieve such greatest heights in his career. Umasankar Dhanapal, born from a poor family, had to support his father in his early days who ran a small IDLY shop on the road side, in a very small village by name Kavaraipettai, which is about 60 kms away from Chennai city. His major struggle was to help his family and also study at the same time. During the school days, his routine used to start from 5 am, wherein he used to set up the shop on the street for the customers, selling Idlies and cleaning plates, utensils, etc. Before leaving to school, he would carry the provisions list for the following day along with the school bag and on his way back home from school, he would buy all the necessary provisions and vegetables for the following day.

Incredible chef | July 2015

Despite this busy schedule, he still went ahead and kept himself occupied and engaged in Volley Ball which was his favourite game. In the evenings, he used to support his friend at his Sweet Stall in handling customers, selling sweets and savouries. While the routine sounds a little tiring to our ears, Umasankar Dhanapal took it very positively and was able to discover the hidden passion that he had in him of delighting his customers through passionate service and providing quality food which he enjoyed doing it to the fullest. This remarkable discovery of his passion for “Serving Customers" and delighting them with Delicious Food, had made him think and take this as his career. Due to his father’s financial circumstances, he could not pay the fees for the second year which shattered the dreams and left Umasankar Dhanapal’s education in dark. However, his best friend whom he had been supporting in the evenings at the Sweet Stall supported him by making the payment for the second year, and the fees for the final year was taken care of by his Aunt who worked as a maid for her living in a Bungalow. With his hard work and perseverance, he took this as a challenge and started working towards his goal and determined to succeed in his career by continuing to support his father in the business. A little boy who started his career from the street side Idly shop, has reached the greatest heights in the field of carving and featured in the book “50 Master Chefs of India” by Indian Culinary Forum and got recognized with “STAR Chef ” Award by Indian Federation of Culinary Associations at the International Chefs Conference, held recently at Chennai. Today he is helping a lot of young passionate carving enthusiasts by running an Institute successfully by name “Knife and Impressions – The Institute of Carving”. n



July 2015 | Incredible chef

Cook fresh, tasty food at home like top chefs sans hassles


s homecooks aspire to be masterchefs dumping everyday recipes for something more exotic, there are an increasing number of services willing to help you don that apron and create gourmet delights without sweating it out in the kitchen. The age of chefpreneurs is here. Celebrity chef Ajay Chopra recently introduced Mumbai to the BurgundyBox. Ready-to-cook has arrived in Mumbai in a new Do It Yourself avatar - It's for those who wish to make a meal like the familiar face on TV without scrounging for ingredients or a gourmet recipe that will wow the guests. The portal offers fresh ready-to-cook menu for people who love cooking sans the lengthy and cumbersome process of zeroing in on a recipe, procuring ingredients and vegetables that are needed for the same and using them in appropriate quantities.

In short, with BurgundyBox, people can avoid hassles yet experience the joy of preparing fresh and tasty food, just like renowned chefs, in the cosy confines of their homes. A different concept in a market flooded with portals and apps that help in either ordering food or making the eating out experience better. What sets apart is the fact that you have chef Ajay Chopra at the helm, sourcing your ingredients, making sure they are fresh, measuring chopping and literally cutting down your cooking time with his DIY cook meal kit. Chef Ajay Chopra's new venture is along with his business partners Vivek Mehra, Sandip Singh and Shabnam Mehra Shabnam S Mehra, co-founder,, explains, “We have seen many of the food joints, restaurants and websites offering home deliveries but, this is entirely

a new concept which is introduced in the Indian market probably a year back. And if you consider the global scenario, it is a two-year-old concept.” Launched on June 1, 2015, in the island city of Mumbai, BurgundyBox has its setup based in a 1,000 sq ft kitchen. The company takes orders over the portal from a few pockets in Mumbai, and delivers them in the form of ingredients and vegetables that are cleaned, measured, chopped and supplied in a box as per recipe while retaining freshness. Being a relatively new concept in India, it took at least six to eight months for the BurgundyBox team to gain indepth knowhow and conduct research before launching the website. Mehra shares details, “We dealt with consecutive test runs of the products. We have Ajay Chopra, Master Chef judge as our chefpreneur of the kitchen, and every recipe is formulated under his leadership and expertise.” She adds, “The concept was developed keeping in mind the complex Indian kitchen setups. A usual Indian kitchen is a cluster and very elaborate and this is where our product differentiates, the very motto is to simplify the process of cooking with ease.” Currently, only 25 delicacies are on offer for dinner. From soups and paneer steaks to macaroni are included among the vegetarian offerings, while the non-vegetarian fare comprises varieties of chicken,

Incredible chef | July 2015

Chef Ajay Chopra

An acclaimed and popular name in Indian Culinary Industry, Chef Ajay Chopra is well known for his passion and innovation in Modern Indian food. Having worked with some of the most sought after names like Gordon Ramsay and Angela Hartnett, Ajay offers a vast experience in the food and beverage industry. Ajay has been associated with the finest brands of five star hotels like The Westin, The Oberoi and The Marriott and has travelled and worked across many countries. meat and eggs. The accent is on delivering it all fresh. If developing the concept was an elaborate process, taking it to the market was even more lengthy. Mehra informs, “It takes time to reach out to people. We are a new setup, and yes, we will be reaching out to people through online medium and, of course, social media. We will also be doing certain events to reach out to people in a better way.” She further states, “We are coming up with new Facebook campaigns soon and yes steadily we will have a good hold on the online market. People like what is offered

fresh and we operate on ground rule - fresh is the best.” As for business, the company is primarily looking at working people and cooking lovers as their prospective clientele. Mehra is confident, “We have many Indian offerings unlike our competitors who offer very limited Indian cuisine.” Currently, the company is offering 'Cash on delivery' but it will introduce online payment option soon. In the coming months, it has plans to cater to the entire western region of Mumbai and going forward it wants to take the concept pan-India.

Mehra reveals, “We are a new entity, it will take time to spread the word amongst people and we believe more on organic spread of information. To really see what is the concept, one has to buy a meal recipe at least once then one can feel what quality we ensure. We only take orders for dinner but in the near future we will be taking orders for breakfast and lunch too.” Mehra is confident. She states, “The concept of Do It Yourself is new. People will take time to shift their attention from ready-to-eat but, surely this industry of readyto-cook will foster in the coming future.” n

Grover Zampa carves a niche for itself in Paris Renowned 3 star Michelin Star restaurant, L'Arpège to now serve Grover Zampa’s signature wines


eputed Paris restaurant, L’Arpège will now be serving two offerings by Grover Zampa Vineyards, making it the first time that an Indian wine is being served at the three Michelin star restaurant. Grover Zampa’s Sauvignon Blanc and La Reserve Red which are Decanter Asia 2014 wine winners will now become a new addition to the restaurant’s menu and will be served by the glass, a company release stated. The development, it is believed, marks a new era for Indian wines, an unprecedented leap, positioning Grover Zampa as a front-runner in

the Indian market. Speaking on the occasion, Kapil Grover, owner of Grover Zampa Vineyards, said, “It absolutely delights me that Grover Zampa wines are making a mark internationally! Being one of the oldest wineries in India, it is our relentless effort to produce exquisite, palatable wines for our customers, both domestically and internationally. It honours me that Grover Zampa wines are now at par with its European counterparts.” Sumedh Mandla, CEO of Grover Zampa Vineyards said, “It pleases me to ody Grover’s association

with L’Arpège, one of France’s most revered restaurants! To be served in a three Michelin star restaurant is an honor in itself, and we are eager to expand our reach in international markets. In the future, we are hoping to add some more of our wines to the menu, especially the Vijay Amritraj collection and La Reserve Blanc.” Grover Zampa Vineyards is one of the oldest wine producers in India. The company owns vineyards in both the Nandi Hills in Karnataka and in the Nashik Valley in Maharashtra. n



July 2015 | Incredible chef

Restaurant Review

Republic of Noodles Lemon Tree Hotel, Aurangabad


epublic of Noodles is pretty much the only restaurant in the country for authentic South East Asian Street food in a fine dining setting. Happily, the food, ambience and service at the Lemon Tree in Aurangabad, all combine to make a visit to this restaurant a captivating experience. Honestly this is one restaurant that is hard to forget. Supreme Quality is its driving force and nothing is compromised. From the best choice of ingredients (absolutely fresh) to precision preparation and careful presentation, the chef obviously labors with love, creating and reinventing gourmet South East Asian street delights running the gamut from ‘Malaysian Satay’, ‘Indonesian Bamee Goreng’ to ‘Pad Thai from Thailand’. The best part about the menu is that there is ample choice for vegetarian too (they have options for almost all dishes for them). The house’s outright winner of a dish is the ‘grilled fish’, very fresh and tender and the lemon basil sauce marries well with the tasty flesh. Do not

Akanksha Dean The author is pursuing Culinary Arts from IHM Aurangabad. A young, intelligent and hardworking young adult, Akanksha is following her dream with a lot of passion.

miss the curries here - an amalgam of wonderful flavors. Vietnamese food in India has not been given its due credit, this restaurant in Aurangabad more than makes up for it. The menu includes traditional Indonesian dishes with a good selection prepared in the authentic styles of Java, Sumatra and Jakarta - all of which are consistently good. Desserts range from oriental delights to the proverbial Gelatos (with oriental flavors as well). For a typical South East Asian refreshing sweet ending go for the ‘Tab Tim Grub’ these red rubies in coconut milk are crunchy and decadent to the core! A good selection of beverages completes a memorable meal. A good idea is also to sip any of their eclectic infused teas along with your meal. The restaurant attracts a discerning gourmet crowd. Friendly waiters and impeccable service makes dining here a total experience. n


July 2015 | Incredible chef


Barbeque Nation:

Innovation Through Diversification B

arbeque Nation, a homegrown casual dining chain with humble beginnings of one outlet in Mumbai in 2006, today has grown into one of the most successful casual dining chains with multiple outlets across several Indian cities. At the heart of this success are Barbeque Nation’s core beliefs of keeping ones ear to the ground and keeping pace with the evolving palates of Indian consumers. Spoilt for choice, the Indian consumer today has access to the entire culinary globe, within the comfort of his own home. Larger disposable incomes and greater

acceptance of ‘eating-out’ culture has also permeated to smaller cities, where people are willing to try the new and exotic. To cater to changing consumer palates, Barbeque Nation believes in keeping its offerings fresh, diversifying its menu,

and following the principal of ‘Customers First’ thereby retaining their loyal customer base year after year. This philosophy is reflected in the way this restaurant chain functions. Barbeque Nation set up shop by pioneering the concept of live grills or barbecues on dining tables. The unique concept of ‘DIY’ (do-it-yourself) caught the fancy of Indians propelling the casual dining chain on an expansion spree across 16 cities with 40 more outlets and counting. The menu is drawn in from Mediterranean, American, Oriental, Asian and Indian subcontinent. Customers

Incredible chef | July 2015

Chef Vijay Bakshi Head – Culinary Operations Barbeque Nation Hospitality Ltd.

can draw from an unlimited buffet by paying a fixed price. However, the key factor that attracts patrons time and again to the restaurant chain is not just food, but the over-all ‘experience’ that Barbeque Nation offers. Customers visit Barbeque Nation to enthrall themselves with the live-grilling journey. No wonder, this is the sole barbecue-based restaurant chain in the country to have such a large footprint. With the principle of treating ‘Customers First’, Barbeque Nation consistently competes with itself to present innovations so that each visit for its customers leaves them surprised and craving for more. For instance, the restaurant chain associated with UK’s Curry King - Pat Chapman –in the festive month of October,

A brief about the Chef Chef Vijay Bakshi has spent 24 years in the industry. Got his inspiration from the cooking style of his mom which led to small time experiments, with some creativity and innovativeness, helping him to get hooked to his interest into a real-time profession today. He specializes in global cuisine and is very comfortable cooking Indian food. His favorite ingredient is Basil which is nice, sweet and aromatic. His favorite cuisine is French, which is mild. He says ‘You take any piece of meat and you can put in salt and pepper and that’s it, no long list of masalas. It’s clean and a very scientific method to cook’. His management skill is that of a perfectionist, and having an eye for details. He is a task master. He speaks 8 Indian languages and that is why he can easily connect with people helping him He is inspired by Chef Josef from Austria, his colleague on a cruise ship from whom he learnt all the nuances of culinary industry. Reason for choosing Barbeque Nation? He says ‘48 restaurants means 48 kitchens. So much of challenge, and so much to learn’. All he wanted to do was to standardize the operations across the country. He says ‘Use my creativity and if I do it right in one place, having a ripple effect in all other outlets of the chain is easy. So much of exposure! If I design my menu here, it gets multiplied 48 times, the whole India comes to know. What else!’



July 2015 | Incredible chef

to introduce a completely new genre of barbequed food through 14 new marinades for starters including the Yorkshire Marinade, Worcestershire Marinade, Spanish Valencia Marinade and the Lebanon ~ Arabian Marinade. Chef Pat Chapman himself visited various outlets throughout October and gave a live performance of marinating dishes for customers. Earlier, during Independence Day, Barbeque Nation ran a fest called Global Cuisine Indian Style in August introducing a range of 22 new items – each inspired from an exotic international location and yet carrying with itself a desi twist. To name a few, they had Roasted Lamb in Thai sauce, Grilled Chicken Breast in Potli Gravy, Mushroom ‘n Pasta in cumin Arabiatta sauce and

melt-in-the-mouth desserts such as raspberry Kheer, Rasgulla Litchi Cake and Masala Spiced Brownie. Similarly, a Chinese Food Festival called the ‘Hungry Dragon’ was introduced in November with exotic bites like Kapi Cho potato, stir fried lamb, Crab in soy ginger sauce, Fish in Hunan sauce and even Daar Saan (Honey Fried Noodles). Even the dessert counter at Barbeque Nation will soon have an addition called ‘Kulfi Nation’ with over 800 options of Kulfi and toppings such as Paan Kulfi with Gulkand, Fig Kulfi with Caramel, Malai Kulfi with falooda and Rooh Afzha and toppings to choose from Praline and Khus teamed with cardamom powder. Although Barbeque Nation pioneered the concept of Do-It-

Yourself barbecue’s in India, is it not content to lie stagnant in this category; rather it seeks to lead the consumer’s to culinary innovations constantly through diversification of its menu. It also looks forward to enthralling its customers on this culinary journey. Locations: Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Mohali, Jaipur, Raipur, Mysuru, Panjim, Visakhapatnam, Gurgaon, Noida, Coimbatore, Ahmedabad, Surat& Baroda n

Average meal for two: Rs 1600 Days: Monday to Sunday Timings: Lunch – 12PM to 3.30PM Dinner – 7PM to 10.30PM

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July 2015 | Incredible chef

Drink For a Cause Negroni Week was recently hosted by Asprit Spirits, importers and distributors of fine brands in the world of wines, spirits and beer, at Radio Bar, Bandra, Mumbai . The event was introduced by Aspri Spirits’ co- founder, Jackie Matai to encourage people to drink for a cause by bringing together bars across the country to support charities of their choice. Mixologist Shatbhi Basu innovated and creatied variations of the classic Negroni cocktail.

Jaypee Hotels Endorses the Benefits of Yoga The 1st International Yoga Day was celebrated enthusiastically all over the world. Jaypee Hotels also paid tribute to this ancient art of India. Jaypee Greens Golf and Spa Resort offered complimentary yoga sessions to all the guests and employees on the International Yoga Day. Yoga and meditation specialist. Shubhum Karthwal conducted an interactive session on the practices of yoga and how it revitalizes and reinforces your mind, senses and body. The session was conducted at the world renowned Spa and wellness Centre, Six Senses Spa at Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort. Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan Initiated by Kempinski Ambience Hotel, Delhi This Environment day Kempinski Ambience Hotel initiated Swachh Bharat abhiyaan at the Surajmal Park. A brigade of young men and women wearing blue T- Shirts, with logo of Hotel Kempinski Ambience Delhi marched in with an aim to participate meaningfully in the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan of the Government of India.The Blue Brigade had come prepared with the brief to conduct an extensive cleaning drive in the premises of one of the largest community park in East Delhi. It was an hour long drive where in 85 employees of the Kempinski Ambience Hotel participated in the “Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan”.

A Meaningful Environment Day at The Orchid The Orchid Mumbai, Asia’s first five star ecotel, celebrated environment day by organizing a rally. The rally started from the hotel and reached VN Thakkar ground Vile Parle, East. Chairman and Managing director, Dr Vithal Kamat, along with the VP, Rajesh Kumar Gupta led the rally. Later a plantation drive was also carried out.

The Imperial New Delhi Puts Green Foot Forward The Imperial New Delhi celebrated World Environment Day to support the global environment initiative by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Hotel Association of India (HAI). The Imperial conducted allied promotional activities around the NEP logo 2015 ‘7 billion dreams. one planet. consume with care’

Incredible chef | July 2015

Man V/s Pizza contest at Sbarro Sbarro, the leading International chain of pizza restaurants that specializes in Authentic New York style pizzas recently organized the Man vs Pizza contest at its outlet in Connaught Place New Delhi. Held by pairing techies and pizza-lovers in to teams, the fierce battle saw eight teams of bloggers match wits and eating skills to consume maximum amount of pizza in 10 minutes flat. While the foodies were tested on their love for pizza, techies had to tweet #Sbarro Man VS Pizza and post about the contest within the same time.


IIHM Kickstarts Young Chef India Schools Prelims Worlds biggest Culinary event for the School Students, ‘Young Chef India Schools 2015’, organized at the aegis of International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) was kickstarted in the institute campus . This competition will now travel to 29 states, 5000 schools and 15000 students who will battle out on the kitchen tables for the next 4 months to reach the top 7 of the country who then, will be flown to London for the Grand Final scheduled on September 18,, 2015 at the University of West London Campus. This is the fifth edition of the competition.

WorldSkills India National Round for Hospitality Conclude in Bengaluru WorldSkills India, a member of WorldSkills International, concluded the selection of participants to represent India in the Cooking Skills at the 43rd WorldSkills competitions at Sao Paulo in Brazil in August this year. The participants for the national round included the winners from regional competitions. These included students from hospitality institutes like IHM Aurangabad, IHM Gwalior, IHM Chennai, OCLD (Oberoi’s), WGSHA, Manipal, and IHM Bengaluru.

Royal Welcome to Chef Arun Sundararaj at Taj Mahal Hotel New Delhi Taj Mahal Hotel New Delhi welcomed their new Executive Chef, Chef Arun Sundararaj, over an evening of soulful Sufi music and Hyderabadi cuisine. The invitees on the occasion, mainly journos, were treated with extravagant dinner set in royal elegance. Chef Sundararaj joined Taj Mahal Hotel after his three years of successful stint as Executive Chef at Taj Falaknuma Palace Hyderabad.

For a Noble Cause of Street Children Radisson Blu Marina, Connaught Place took a stride towards the ‘Rights of Street Children’ in India by celebrating International Street Children’s day on April 12 in association with Childhood Enhancement through Training and Action (CHETNA),a non-profit organization. A team of 32 members from the hotel along with a group of street children took out a march in CP to highlight and create awareness about destitute children.


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The Indian Culinary Forum (ICF), formed as an exclusive nonprofit organisation, is an association of professional chefs dedicated to enhancing the culinary art in the country and supports the effort of chefs in achieving this though a whole spectrum of activities and programmes. Incredible Chef, is a quarterly magazine of ICF, showcasing their activities and incorporates write-ups by renowned National and International Chefs on various industry trends. Circulation Incredible Chef Magazine has a limited print circulation of about 2,000 copies among its members and other industry leaders and decision makers relevant to the culinary field of Norther Region of India. With an online database of over 50,000 culinary related professionals, Incredible Chef is circulated in its e-version throughout India and in the overseas markets among Chefs, General Managers, F&B Managers, Purchase Managers of major hotels, standalone Restaurants, Hospitality, Travel and Tourism and other related professionals.

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Indian culinary forum july 2015 low res  
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