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From Apicius to IoT


ituated on the campus of Swiss Education Group's prestigious César Ritz Colleges Switzerland in Le Bouveret, Apicius is a modern building fitted with state-of-the-art kitchens designed for an international culinary education, gastronomic exploration and exclusive events. Marcus Gavius Apicius was a wealthy Roman merchant and epicure during the reign of Tiberius after whom was named one of the earliest cookbooks in recorded history. The work conventionally known by his name, Apicius - officially titled De re coquinaria (“The Art of Cooking”) was likely not compiled until the fourth century. The book comprises more than 400 recipes, and it has been preserved in numerous editions ever since. Times have changed not just cookbooks but modern kitchens as well. Our cover story this issue is how revolutionary kitchen equipment, some working on the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way chefs prepare food, saving them time and labour. Chef Manisha Bhasin is thankful that these gadgets helped her prosper in a male dominated profession and she recounts how her journey with ITC Hotels has empowered her to delve deeper into her culinary passion. An interesting takeaway from the recently concluded HPMF convention in Kochi was the example cited by Jose Dominic, founder, Casino Group of Hotels of Chendaman-


NORTH Prabhas Jha +91 9899707440 |

SOUTH Sreejith Radhakrishnan +91 88675 74257 |

Sanjay Kumar +91 9711099079 |

OPERATION AND SALES Satish Dange +91 9821876620 |

Satish Dange +91 9821876620 |

EAST Debnarayan Dutta +919051150480 |

Ziyad Tungekar +91 9820512718 |

Ajanta Sen Gupta +919831182580 | Email:

Venkatesh Subramaniam +91 9892512644 |


“Our cover story this issue is how revolutionary kitchen equipment,some working on the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way chefs prepare food,saving them time and labour”


November 2019

galam, a handloom weavers’ town in Kerala which was badly affected by floods last year. But in 12 months the weavers regained their feet and livelihood because the cotton mundus made there were procured by the hospitality industry in the state as a measure of bringing relief to such people. So even purchase managers can help in benefitting the community through their purchase function. According to the just released Q3 Hotel Momentum India (HMI) by Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Hotels & Hospitality Group, nine out of top 11 markets witnessed a rise in RevPAR performance during the July-September 2019 period. Gurugram is the leader in occupancy growth change for Q3 2019. While Mumbai is the RevPAR leader in absolute terms, Bengaluru is the leader in RevPAR percentage change in Q3 as well as YTD September 2019 over the same period last year. Domestic hotel operators dominated signings over international operators with the ratio of 67:33. In line with an overall increasing trend, 15 per cent of new signings are conversions of old hotels, Gujarat is the leading state in brand signings as well as hotel openings in Q3 2019. So at least there is one sector looking to buck the economic slowdown.


STEENA JOY Editor Express Food & Hospitality

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CONTENTS IN FOCUS Chairman of the Board Viveck Goenka Sr. Vice President Neil Viegas Asst. Vice President Harit Mohanty Editor


Steena Joy* Correspondent Akshay Nayak




Assistant Art Director Pravin Temble Chief Designer Prasad Tate Senior Designer Rekha Bisht Graphics Designer Gauri Deorukhkar Senior Artist Ratilal Ladani Photo Editor Sandeep Patil

Kitchen Equipment 2.0 The commercial kitchen equipment industryis in revolutionary mode,with cutting edge technologylike the Internet of Things (IoT) helping chefs in achieving consistencyand less dependencyon manual work.





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November 2019


Poona Hoteliers Association addresses key operational hurdles faced by members Akshay Nayak Mumbai THE POONA HOTELIERS Association (PHA) is a very active body in Western India. Some of the activities include monthly meetings which are beneficial to the members with guest speakers followed by dinner. The PHA a few years ago came together to create a big event called Yumm Fest at Poona Club Cricket Ground. 25 leading hotels displayed their finest culinary offerings to a footfall of 8000 persons. The Yumm Fest was full of entertainment – flea market, bar, kids zone and famous music bands. In February this year with 32 teams, PHA – Premier League was organised which was held from February 25 to 27 at M A Ragoonwala Institute, Azam Ground, Camp, Pune. “We keep on inviting top government officials and knowledgeable persons from the industry to have interaction, which goes a long way in strengthening the association

and the knowledge of the hoteliers, and representatives of hospitals, institutes & multiplexes so that, the issues, if any, faced by the member can be tackled in a worthwhile manner. We also hold a Gala Annual Nite every year for the members, which is a fun-filled entertaining event to mingle and strengthen bonds and ties be-

tween themselves,” a statement by PHA stated. The statement further read, “We believe that the growth of this industry especially depends on the availability of trained manpower. To meet this demand we hold several seminars and training programmes on operational topics for the staff and executives of the member hotels which facil-

itate this cause every month.” Speaking at the recent AGM of PHA, Sharan Shetty, president, said, “I am thankful to the members for having elected me for the year as the president. The past year, has been an eventful one for the hotel industry, under the leadership of Neerav Panchamia, immediate past president. The Poona Hoteliers Associ-

ation has been an active voice in Maharashtra in highlighting and working towards the issues faced by the industry, along with other regional associations and working with the government. We also have many activities planned for members such as educational seminars, training programmes, cricket tournament, etc. for the year.”

FHRAI and NRAI join hands for #Logout movement Akshay Nayak Mumbai FHRAI, the apex body of the hotel and restaurant industry in India has extended support to the #Logout movement initiated by NRAI. Several other associations such as AHAR, Thane Hotel Association, Pune Restaurants & Hotel Association (PRAHA), NHRA, and Vadodara Food Entrepreneurs (VFE), have also joined the movement initiated by the restaurant body. “#Logout Movement was started against the draconian


promotion practice of deep discounting that hurts F&B industry. It was for the dinein. Zomato still remains to be logged out. This is about the fraternity at large. We at NRAI have been in a dialogue with FHRAI, as they are the only two national F&B bodies in India and have been bringing a good success with 4 out of five FSAs being back in business. Discount has always killed the industry and we want to do away with this,” said, Anurag Katriar, president, NRAI. Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, VP, FHRAI, added, “NRAI and


November 2019

FHRAI have always worked together as the problems that we share are common. Two

biggest bodies of F&B, affiliated and ancillary bodies, we have come together to clear

the menace.” Pradeep Shetty, VP, HRAWI said, “FHRAI supports NRAI on the #Logout movement. With these deep discounting and private equity funding coming into these ventures, the aggregators are strangulating the sentiments of budding restaurateurs. With these aggregators dictating terms the operation of the restaurants is getting affected. In the larger interest of the restaurant industry, FHRAI thought it’s fit that we educate our members about the campaign.”


Intergrow Brands enters foodservice space with Intergrow Culinary Solutions, to tap 30 cities Akshay Nayak Mumbai INTERGROW BRANDS, part of the Synthite Industries – a leading Indian oleoresin extraction firm, supplying ingredients to food, fragrance and flavour houses, has set a high note in the spices and masala space with its entry in the space with Kitchen Treasures brand. Soon, Intergrow Brands went on to launch a range of gourmet products under the name of Sprig. With a lot of enquiries coming in from the hospitality segment, Ashok Mani, MD & CEO, Intergrow Brands, decided to tap the industry by introducing institutional packs of their Kitchen Treasures and Sprig products under the brand name Intergrow Culinary Solutions. Giving details about the advent of Intergrow Brands, Mani informed that the parent company, Synthite Industries started in 1972, since it’s inception by his grandfather, has been focussing on spice extraction business. “For example, if you take 100 kgs of chilli and convert it into 1 kg of liquid, that is exactly what extraction is. It is not the concentrate. With the food industry majorly focussing on standardisation, extraction helps food processors to standardise their products across regions. This is one of the reasons why the extraction business exists. We are the largest spice extraction firm in the world sitting being a 2000 Cr business. Over the past years, what we have learnt is that extraction is similar to all the natural ingredients. For which, we ex-


tended into vanilla, coffee, tea, fruit, herbs including the exotic ones like rosemary, sage, thyme, among others. That is how the business avenues for the brand grew. Traditionally, we started by servicing the food and flavours companies, but we later extended into nutraceutical companies. For example, some of our ingredients go into certain formulations which leads into a curcumin capsule. Also, we supply marigold extract to Japan, which is used in the animal feed industry, especially for poultry, as Japanese like the eggs yolk to have more orangish colour, but naturally. Our jasmine extract is largely used by many fragrance companies. So, our extracts have gone through a spectrum of applications wherein natural ingredients can be used. After over four decades, we learnt that we are a large player in the B2B space; we understand natural ingredients; we have worked with FMCG companies which gave an understanding of their functionality as well for which we thought why not go and promote our brand by us. So, with that, we started the spice and masala business - Kitchen Treasures, five years ago. Since we knew there were many players in that space, our knowledge about the ingredients and their rightful sourcing and composition gave us an edge over the other brands. The venture is a 150 cr business in five years in the spice and masala space.” Speaking about the launch of Sprig, Mani informed that looking at the limited exposure of the Indian market to international flavours, “We


November 2019

Ashok Mani

soon came out with the Sprig brand in which we have come out with vanilla and lavender extracts and natural colours used in baking. Also, in India, we have until now only used chocolate as a spread, but the global flavours are changing significantly with flavours like salted caramel, getting popular. Sprig intends to introduce gourmet products in India.” What also happened in the light of hospitality is, after launching both these brands, Mani expressed that they started getting calls from hotels for chilli powder and cafes which demanded vanilla extract. “That is when we thought of instead of just sticking to hardcore retail space, we also have an opportunity to mark a significant presence in the hospitality space. Hence, we started a dedicated division servicing to the hospitality industry called Intergrow Culinary Solutions. In the division, we have about 30 people with 10 chefs. We took all of our products and converted them into larger packs, and

furthermore added a range of products to it as well. What we do in this division is that the chef accompanies the salesman to our prospective clientele i.e. restaurants and cafes wherein we try and tell them how we can improvise the menu with a supply of betterquality products. The larger challenge that chefs are faced with today is the quality of ingredients. Also, we are not providing the end product, hence we are giving the convenience to the chefs by providing them premix sauces and other food solutions, but not the final solution. Furthermore, having a spectrum of solutions, we have something for each restaurant, hotel and catering brand for their varied demand,” he added. To a query about quality control of ingredients from sourcing, Mani replied, “Getting into backward integration, we work with a lot of farmers. We have a team of 60 people who are on the ground and they work with the farmers in terms of regulating pesticides use and educate them about the acceptable ones and the dosage of the same to be used. Hence, ensuring a very robust quality control system at the back-end to have a quality product that comes in the house.” Expressing the demand sensed by the hospitality industry, Mani said that their products seek demand from both the hotel and the restaurant space. “The challenge with hotels is that their team of chef culinaires seldom accept newer products in the market while keeping their brand standards in mind. However, the restaurant

space is more open to accepting newer products, for the space is seen to be having real-time innovation. For catering space, it is a lot more about cost optimisation, so at that level, our products are highly accepted too,” he added. Talking about the USP of Intergrow Brands, Mani exuded, “We excel in doing food tech which is a wrongly tagged to the logistics/food delivery tech companies. Food tech is about the different kinds of flavours that can be generated with the application of technology. We have got state of the art systems for making these flavours. For us, that is food tech and how do you convert it into acceptable formats for the chefs. Our USP lies in our ability to rightfully use food tech to make products that bring a sensorial experience to the dish.” Speaking about the future roadmap of Intergrow Brands, Mani said, “Our motto with Intergrow Culinary Solutions is not branding per se, but reaching out to the lesser-known yet potential markets in the country. The tier II markets are growing faster than the tier I markets. HoReCa is adding on to the portfolio. We have touched what we believe is the savoury segment. There is also a large segment under sweets and desserts base, which is another focus that we want to create. Also, we are an eight-city company right now, and our vision is to be a 30-city company. As of now, we have a significant presence in all the metros. We are looking forward to tapping the tier-II cities.”

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ICF focuses on ‘Future of Banqueting’in seventh edition of Chef Summit EF&H Staff Mumbai THE INDIAN Culinary Forum continuing with its tradition hosted the seventh Chef Summit as part of India’s biggest culinary awards, the 16th Annual Chef Awards in New Delhi recently. The summit was inaugurated by Chef Davinder Kumar, president, Indian Culinary Forum; Tarun Thakral (ex-director, Le Meridien); Rohit Bhatia (chairman & CEO, RIG Group of Institutions), and Anil Bhandari, a hospitality industry veteran and chairman of the organising committee. The theme of this year’s summit was ‘Future of Banqueting – Food and Beverages, Economics and Sustainability’. The summit witnessed participation of aspiring chefs, hotel-management students and hospitality professionals from all over India, who discussed, debated and deliberated upon a lot of issues relating to the hospitality industry. The industry experts shared insights on why banqueting is becoming the major revenue earner in the hospitality industry. The day-long summit was phased over four sessions. The first session was on the topic, F&B opportunities and challenges in banqueting. The second session was on innovation & sustainability in banquets, F&B – technological advances. The other two sessions of the day were managing economics of banqueting, and how are professionals embracing sustainability in business and banqueting? Commenting on the summit, Chef Kumar said, “The forum has been giving due recognition to the unknown faces, who bring smiles on the faces of diners for 16 years now. Along with rewarding the chefs, the forum also understands its responsibility of empowering them and with this agenda has been conducting the summit for the last seven years. Banqueting is the backbone of

the hospitality sector and it is essential that the men & women behind the action, should be empowered to see what the future of banqueting holds, so that accordingly they can upgrade their skills, acumen and business.” Adding his views, Bhandari said, “To make India a global culinary destination, it is important to prepare the young hospitality graduates as well as the


practicing professionals to unlearn, learn and relearn to grow in the business against all tides and challenges. The agenda of organising the Chef Summit is to create a world-class symposium where the best of the minds in the hospitality sector will meet. It was a day full of sessions where a lot of important issues pertaining to banqueting were discussed and we hope that the

key takeaways from the different sessions will help in policymaking in the hospitality sector.” The first panel discussion was moderated by Ashwani Nayar of Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG). The speakers in the session were industry veterans such as Sandeep Arora, Sanjay Khullar, Neelam Bharadwaj and Yaduvansh Mathur. The session highlighted some of the prospective F&B trends, discussed on experiential cooking and food safety, among others. The second session was moderated by Anil Malhotra. The speakers in the session were chef, equipment and appliance experts such as Nirmal Khandelwal, Ajay Khanna, Nitin Kumar, A. Prabhu and Sudhir Arora. Some of the key takeaways from the session were discussions on Indian made kitchen and banquet equipment, customisation of equipment and most impor-

tantly the need for environmentfriendly kitchen equipment. Naveen Jain moderated the third session. The speakers of the session were veterans of the hospitality industry such as Vineet Wadhwa, Chetan Vohra, Ramandeep Kapur and Sanjay Malkani. The session highlighted on issues such as is banqueting a commodity or a brand, what drives banquets reputation and profitability management. The fourth session was moderated by Rifaquat Mirza. The speakers of the session were experienced chefs and professionals such as Nita Nagaraj, Gautam Chaudhry, Puneet Sikand and Rajeev Janveja. Some of the key takeaways from the session were reducing carbon footprint in restaurants; adopting ethical cooking; controlling food wastage; saving water and electricity and respecting society norms, among others.

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'Thomson & Thomsons launches Gas Leak Detection System in India' Akshay Nayak Mumbai THOMSON & THOMSONS, a 19-year-old leading commercial foodservice equipment manufacturer has launched innovative products recently including gas leak detection systems and also has tied up with international as well as indigenous brands which produce gas suppression systems for installations across industries, as fire safety has become mandatory in commercial buildings in India. They also have launched the grease trap system which has become a compulsion in the industry. “We also are very strong in industrial refrigeration equipment. We have blast chillers, cold rooms, cold display units,” said Ashok Shetty, MD, Thomson & Thomsons Kitchen Equipment. The company has its manufacturing unit for fabricated equipment and commercial refrigeration equipment in Mumbai. Speaking about the key spe-

cialty of the brand, Shetty informed, “We are having our design team to cater to our clients with customised products. We have our very strong after-sales services team placed across companies, irrespective of the Equipment being provided by us or other company suppliers.” When queried about the trends in commercial refrigeration equipment, Shetty said, “As far as refrigeration unit is concerned, people seek products that are top-notch in quality as they store expensive products including imported perishables in it. Hence, we take care of the R&D, right from user-friendly design to proper insulation of the products with utmost diligence. Also, for unforeseen situations, as mentioned earlier, our sales team pays a visit to the client within four to 24 hours of the complaint and resolve the issue within the framed time too, to ensure that the client doesn't lose extra capital due to spoilage of the expensive frozen prod-

Ashok Shetty

ucts. We are tied up with other international brands as their channel partners. Like Rational, Sirman, Scotsman, Electrolux, Robot Coupe, etc.” Thomson & Thomsons, apart from their existing 2000 sq ft showroom, have added 1000 sq ft facility adjoining to the showroom in Mumbai which is close to the international airport. “The facility showcases com-

plete range of products and also presents a live demo of products from Rational and other partner brands. The island kitchen showcased in our showroom is our product, which is a premier in the market in terms of quality. Fabrication wise, over the years, we have added many products while keeping the quality of the equipment and design of the project in mind. We visit the project site before the designing of the product to provide them with hassle-free solutions during the installation of the equipment,” he said. Talking about the trend seen in the demand from the hospitality industry for commercial kitchen equipment, Shetty said, “With a lot of specialty restaurants paving their way in India, each outlet needs a different kind of equipment. Also, with the advancement of technology, path-breaking innovation such as combi ovens from Rational which occupy less space and can prepare multiple dishes at the

same time, hence saving on preparation time too, are truly a boon for the hospitality business. There are also new products coming into the industry of which one is fire suppression systems which are the need of the market now. We have already done projects using products from brands like Ceasefire. We have done a turnkey project for the fire suppression system installation at a Capgemini facility which caters to 17,000 people daily.” The company is looking to set up its distribution channels in multiple cities across India. “We are having a showroom in Goa and are having plans to set up showrooms in Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. We have also done several projects abroad, majorly in the West Asian market. Very soon, we will also be having a sizeable manufacturing unit in Vasai,” noted Shetty about Thomson & Thomsons' future roadmap.

Home-grown craft beer brand White Owl raises Rs 40 cr in Series B funding EF&H Staff Mumbai WHITE OWL, one of India’s fastest growing premium beer brands – has received a growth capital investment of Rs 40 cr led by IIFL India Private Equity Fund and supported by its existing investor base. The new funds will be used to deepen White Owl’s presence in its existing markets; expand the brand’s presence to new markets (within India and abroad); and grow its portfolio to include both Strong Craft Beer and Kegged Craft Beer nationwide. With this in-


vestment, White Owl has raised Rs 70 cr to date, validating the popularity of premium craft beer in India across its growing millennial consumer base. White Owl’s growth plans include a balanced focus on expanding its geographical footprint and its broader craft beer portfolio. In addition to deepening its existing presence across Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Delhi & Bengaluru, White Owl will enter five new markets across North and South India as well as Two International Markets, all by the end of FY 20, for which preparations are well underway. White


November 2019

Owl currently sells ~20,000 cases of its craft beer each month that is expected to more than double by the end of FY 20. Javed Murad, founder of White Owl, said, “We are thrilled to deepen our relationship with the IIFL Asset Management Team that shares our ethos of ambitious growth coupled with disciplined business practices. The beer market in India is an incredibly exciting and dynamic space with robust long term growth drivers, driven by incredibly smart consumers. We will remain relentlessly consumer-focused and committed

not only to top quality beer but also to new styles of craft beer that just aren’t available in India today.” Prashasta Seth, senior managing partner, at IIFL Asset Management said, “It’s remarkable to see how White Owl has expanded beyond just a single point of sale in Mumbai to over 2,500 bars and wine shops across the country in just a few years. We look forward to building a strong partnership with White Owl’s incredibly committed and disciplined management team as they propel their brands to inevitable market leadership.”

White Owl’s Award-Winning Portfolio includes Spark, a classic summery Belgian Wit, Diablo, a caramel-roast Irish Red Ale; and Ace, a bubbly Apple Cider Ale, which to date remains India’s only Locally-Bottled Cider available across the country. In late October, White Owl will launch a Strong German Hefeweizen. And in early December, White Owl will add Kegs to its existing offering of Bottles and Cans nationwide to cater to the increasing demand for Craft Beer On Tap beyond the walls of the India’s growing microbrewery cluster.


Ginger partners with IHM-Ato launch Ginger Leadership Programme EF&H Staff Mumbai GINGER has announced partnership with the Institute of Hotel Management-Aurangabad (IHM-A), one of the country’s top hotel management institutes, to launch the ‘Ginger Leadership Programme’ that will enable IHM-A students to achieve hotel manager positions, akin to general manager positions, in a short span of five years. Speaking about the programme, Deepika Rao, MD and

CEO, Ginger said, “The Ginger Leadership Programme has been created specifically to meet the career aspirations of young

talent in hospitality. Our partnership with IHM-Aurangabad underlines our commitment to build a strong talent pool of hos-

pitality professionals in the country, who will be valuable assets to Ginger.” Through the programme, within a period of two years, a potential candidate will progress in the job to the level of assistant hotel manager with leadership inputs, eventually leading to the position of hotel manager by the end of the fifth year. The pre-selection process for this programme has been digitally enabled in partnership with GlobalGyan Academy of Management Education via an intuitive game-based mobile

application, followed by video screening, group discussion and final one-on-one engagement with the prospective candidates. Prof (Dr) Satish Jayaram, principal and director, IHM-A, is highly enthused with the first set of students being evaluated from the institute. “We are delighted to participate with Ginger Hotels in the Ginger Leadership Programme. This will enable fasttrack growth and development for the students and give them a great platform to rise in their careers rapidly,” he added.



November 2019


Fortune Hotels to prevent 24,96,000 plastic articles from ending up in waste each year EF&H Staff Mumbai FORTUNE HOTELS, a member of ITC’s hotel group in a bid to reduce waste caused by plastics, has pledged to completely phase out single-use plastic in all its hotels following PM Narendra Modi’s clarion call to scrap single-use plastic in India by 2022. The company estimates the ban will keep 24,96,000 number of plastic items from ending up in waste each year. Fortune Hotels is targeting the elimination of single use products like drinking straws, garbage bags, plastic carry bags, all plastic food containers and plastic cutleries and replacing with paper straws,

biodegradable garbage bags, wooden cutleries, vegware containers and pulp moulded containers. With enacting the

phase-I changes, the reduction in single use plastic products will amount to 78,920 kgs of plastic waste

“It is time that we all realise that there is no planet B. If we don’t act now, we are endangering our planet in ways that we cannot even fathom. We have taken the challenge posed by the proliferation of single use plastic and have dug deep to create measures that reduce its impact at our hotels. We have created a multi-phase plan whereby alternative products that are reusable and made from environmentally friendlier materials, including plant-based, compostable and bio-degradable plastics, will be fully introduced as per the timelines.” said Samir MC, MD, Fortune Hotels. The phase II of the plasticremoval drive at Fortune Hotels will cover other single-use plastic items like packaged drinking

water bottles and soft drinks, guest room amenities such as combs, dental and shaving kit, shower caps. shoeshine kit, etc., toiletries and cling wrap. All plastic packaging for bakery items, dry fruits, laundry and engineering chemicals will be banned in phase III, making the hotel group a completely plastic-free hotel chain. Fortune Hotels aims to reduce its landfill waste by 3,07,400 kgs by pledging to phase out use of single use plastic items. Fortune Park Hotels is a wholly owned subsidiary of ITC, and is India’s fastest growing chain of first class, full-service business and leisure hotels, with 53 signed alliances and 3973 rooms, across 47 cities in the country.

Hilton continues momentum of soap recycling in India to mark Global Handwashing Day EF&H Staff Mumbai TO MARK Global Handwashing Day, Hilton announced the expansion of its soap-recycling programme, totaling 5,300 properties in more than 70 countries and territories around the globe. Hilton’s decade-long soap recycling programme, which is already the largest in the hospitality industry, helps fight the hygiene epidemic plaguing underserved communities where tens of thousands of children die needlessly due to lack of access to basic sanitation. The initiative also contributes to reducing Hilton’s overall environmental impact, which the company has set a goal to cut in half by 2030. As a part of the programme,


Hilton properties in India have successfully recycled more than 20,000 new bars of soap in 2019 to date. It has also expanded its soap distribution locations including schools and villages in Pune and Palghar, saving children from hygienerelated illnesses as well as


November 2019

keeping the soap bars away from the landfills. One of Hilton’s longest soap recycling partners in India, Sundara, a non-profit organisation, employs local women on full-time basis for soap recycling. These women also act as the hygiene ambassadors to educate chil-

dren on handwashing in their communities. “Countless childhood deaths could be prevented with access to basic hygiene, yet millions of bars of soap are thrown away every day. By making soap more available to underserved communities in India, we can help minimise hygienerelated epidemics, and positively impact the health of children and families. Additionally, we are committed to eliminating all soap to landfills as part of our Travel with Purpose 2030 goal of cutting our environmental footprint in half by 2030,” said Navjit Ahluwalia, sr VP and country head, Hilton, India. Since 2016, Hilton hotels in the country have been collecting and sending used pieces of soap to Sundara on a monthly

basis. The used soap is recycled – washed, dried, scraped, compacted and repackaged – into brand new bars, which are then distributed to schools and families. Every month, Sundara delivers soap to more than 4,000 children and families in Maharashtra, and conducts training on how to maintain proper personal hygiene. Aside from reducing soap waste, this initiative has contributed to employment opportunities in secondary cities and improved community health. During the last 10 years, Hilton properties around the world have diverted more than 18 lakh kilograms of waste from landfills. Over 500 thousand kilograms of soap waste from Hilton’s hotels across Asia Pacific have been diverted from landfill to date.


Almond House celebrates 30year legacy of Indian traditional and global gourmet flavours EF&H Staff Mumbai ALMOND HOUSE – a leading brand specialising in wide assortment of traditional mithai, namkeen and dry fruits, it also showcases a diverse variety of eggless confectionery, natural ice creams and chocolates. It had a humble start with a single store in Himayat Nagar in 1989. Second generation entrepreneur & CEO, Chaitanya Muppala fondly recalls growing up one floor above the kitchen. What started as a traditional mithai store has now grown into gourmet brand that promotes both culture foods as well as global products such as Baklava, nut butters, chocolates & baked treats. Almond House has always stood for offering purity & high quality experience to all its customers and this is what differentiates it from other brands. Almond House has also expanded its presence to seven stores across Hyderabad & Secunderabad, four stores at the airport and more underway. This growth is also reflected in its employment. What started of as a team of 40, Almond House has grown to a family of 500 employees and is always looking for ways to attract the right talent & skill. The brand while recently celebrated its 30th Anniversary amidst much fanfare and gratitude to all its internal and external stakeholders who made it possible. What has contributed to its growth is the single minded focus on maintaining the quality during production. With a world class kitchen spanning 32,000 sq ft, Almond House is an ISO 9001 certified organisation that places a lot of importance on maintaining the integrity & transparency of how we craft our products. Each key ingredient right from milk, ghee & oil goes through a stringent check right on arrival through Almond House’s dedicated lab facility. All the nuts & dry fruits are handsorted, graded and checked for moisture content. Following the check, all ingredients are scanned & coded in order to ensure a FIFO (first in first out)

Chaitanya Muppala

approach ensuring optimised usage & freshness of stock. What makes the Almond House kitchen unique is the blend of automation & craftsmanship that goes into creating the best products. This also ensures gainful employment opportunity for the team, many of whom have been with the organisation for decades. Almond House has also organised several kitchen tours for customers, schools & maintains an open kitchen policy allowing customers to witness their favourite sweets being made right in front of them. In recent years, it has also focused on enabling technology at a production & store level to improve the overall efficiency & errors given the short shelf life of sweets. Almond House has implemented ERP which is involved right from ordering stock, managing vendors to the billing process at a store level. Apart from managing day to day operations, technology also helps create the right ambience through display screens, manage loyalty programmes; cameras installed across stores help to monitor store interactions and ship to customers across India & abroad through its website. While Almond House enjoys the privilege of being a homegrown Hyderabadi brand, it is always testing & evaluating new opportunities to grow its product range or expand its presence across the country.



November 2019


Leading hotels in Pune and Goa celebrate International Chef’s Day Akshay Nayak Mumbai PRESENTING vibrant colourful platters and extending a robust flavoursome experience to the patrons, the chef’s fraternity in India celebrated the International Chef’s Day on 20th October this year resounding through their culinary creations on the bygone Sunday. Express Food and Hospitality presents excerpts of the unique ways in which the chefs of leading hotels in Pune and Goa celebrated the day. The Westin Pune Koregaon Park celebrated the International Chef’s day with Chef’s Specialty Brunch. All the chefs at the hotel set up their own counter with their favourite food item to serve their guests flavorsome delicacies, informed Chef Amit Dash, executive chef, The Westin Pune Koregaon Park. This International Chef’s Day, Hyatt Regency Pune presented the guests an opportunity to witness something extraordinary. In dedication to the International Chef’s Day, Hyatt Regency organised an exciting competition where the hotel’s culinary brigade competed against each other as they showcased their best dishes. Truly a sight to behold, the competition was enthralling as each of the talented chefs displayed their own cooking style while preparing their signature dishes – right out of a realty television show. The guests not only got a chance to devour on the mouth-watering grubs brought to culmination, but also ranked the teams and judged their favourite dishes, explained Chef Anirban Dasgupta, executive chef, Hyatt Regency Pune. “This year we at Radisson Blu Resort Goa celebrated the International Chef’s Day by felicitating and recognising the talent and work of various homemakers and women who have


Chef Anil Chabukswar

Chef Balaji Srinivasan

Chef Mahesh Mageswaran

Chef Jerson Fernandes

Chef Amit Dash

Chef Sandeep Bhandari

empowered and supported many with their culinary skills. The idea revolved around trying to break the notion, and reinstate that women can be more than good homemakers. We invited homemakers and home chefs who specialise in particular cuisines. The International Chef’s Day celebration highlighted counters with Dakshin, Goan, Gujarati, Bengali cuisine and many more at our hotel,” said Chef Mahesh Mageswaran, executive chef, Radisson Blu Resort Goa. Chef Anil Chabukswar, executive chef, Novotel Pune said, “At the hotel level we served each chef’s special dishes on the buffet, which they created at the first go in early stages of their ca-

reers. Each chef also pledged to grow their own fresh organic herbs which will be used for recipes. Moving ahead this year we will emphasise more on educating the chefs about the importance of healthy eating options on the menu; promoting chef’s career among the aspiring students, and encouraging the chefs to keep work-life balance.” The chefs of Double Tree by Hilton Pune Chinchwad joined hands with other chefs from the city to cook for children at Maher Ashram in Bakhori. Chef Balaji Srinivansan, executive chef, Double Tree By Hilton Pune Chinchwad joined hands with chefs from the Hyatt Regency, Radisson, Crowne Plaza, Westin and Hyatt Pune. The

chefs have had extensive meetings to make sure that the event was a huge success. “Our theme is “Balanced Diet” apart from just cooking the food and creating an experience for the kids the chefs would be talking about the importance of having a Balanced diet and the importance of the correct Vitamins and Nutrients needed for the children. The core importance of avoiding junk food and why it is harmful during the early stages of their life,” expressed Chef Srinivasan. This year at Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia, it was a very unique and noble initiative executed by the executive chef to save valuable human lives on account of International Chefs day. Chef Jerson Fernandes, executive


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chef, Novotel Goa Dona Sylvia believes that there is no substitute for human blood and this drive would help the very noble cause of saving human lives. This blood donation drive, was a first of its kind ever organised in Goa on 17 October, 2019 at the resort by the chefs on account of International Chef’s Day which is celebrated all across the globe on 20 October each year. Chef Fernandes along with the hotel’s GM, Vishal Khosla have always believed in doing something uniquely priceless for the society and industry. “This was undoubtedly the first successful drive ever executed in Goa by the chefs for the chef’s fraternity. We also had celebrity chefs who patronised the event from different parts of India. Chef Dev Kasalkar, VP, Young Chefs Association of India; Chef Vivek Kadam, executive pastry chef, ITC Hotels; Chef Sunit Sharma and Chef Manjit from Culinary Forum of Goa; Chef Tushar Malkani from Indian Culinary Guild; Chef Santosh M from Novotel, and Chef Pramod from Kolhapur visited along with Chef Urbano Rego, corporate chef from Taj, were the esteemed guests of honour who travelled to Goa from different cities to add value to this life-saving event. The total donors at the blood-donation drive were 112. This was my best International Chef’s Day initiative ever,” expressed Chef Fernandes. Chef Sandeep Bhandari, executive chef, Sayaji Pune said, “On the International Chef’s Day, we lined up all chefs’ performances and achievements of the quarter. We felicitated them and gave them certificates of appreciation. Fun games and activities were also lined up post the felicitation. After cutting a cake of International chef day snacks were arranged for all employees with high tea. This year it was more focussed on recognising a chef’s role in hospitality.”


Lavazza opens new training centre in Mumbai EF&H Staff Mumbai LAVAZZA INDIA has just launched the second training center in Andheri East, Mumbai. Spread across 600 sq ft, this one-of-its-kind training facility in Mumbai, the second in India, will provide training and information on the Italian coffee culture to baristas and aspiring professionals. It will also provide training on the perfect coffee preparation, according to Italian tradition. The training center will showcase the art of preparing coffee, in order to preserve the excellence of the product both at the moment of preparation and

consumption: at home or away from home. It will also offer coffee workshops and modules alongside sessions for baristas, bartenders and professionals. As training is extremely impor-

tant for every aspiring and seasoned barista, the facility has world-class facilities, equipment and instructors required to train baristas at the highest level. It will also organise & provide

courses on coffee tasting, coffee cultivation and processing, espresso preparation, cappuccino, latte art and coffee design. Speaking at the launch, Jai Ganesh Ramnath, MD, Lavazza India, said, “We have been in India for a decade, as part of a 125year family-owned business history, we have introduced state-of-the-art innovations, which help deliver superior quality and taste in every cup of coffee. With the boom of coffee culture among the youth in India, it is the right time for a brand like Lavazza – which invests a lot on coffee education, both with consumers and influencers – to open another Training Center in India. The training center in Mum-

bai will mark another milestone in Lavazza’s journey in the country and will further strengthen the foothold of Lavazza in India.” Evolved from the Coffee Research and Study Center and founded in 1979, today the center’s two units — Coffee Design, with its recipes, and the Espresso School, with its courses — have converged to create a place where the passion for coffee meets the tradition, with a flair for experimentation and innovation. With eight branches in Italy and more than 50 centers all over the world, the Lavazza Training Center is the largest coffee school in Italy and internationally.



November 2019


'IdeaS Revenue Solutions is a pioneer in revenue science and in providing robust revenue solutions to hotels globally' Akshay Nayak Mumbai A PIONEER and global technology leader, IdeaS provides industry-leading revenue management solutions for businesses of all types and sizes in the global hospitality industry. “Our core proposition is to help hospitality companies across the world to increase revenue by providing them with our software which helps them in establishing optimal pricing for their products. We have over 12,000 hotels in the world that use our software. IdeaS was founded over 30 years ago by two gentlemen from India who moved to the US to found the company,” informed Klaus Kohlmayr, chief evangelist officer, IDeaS Revenue Solutions. With the hospitality industry being a laggard in the application of technology and adoption of revenue management software for optimising pricing, Kohlmayr said, “If you look at the evolution of the hospitality industry, not much has happened since the past couple of years. Also, in terms of adopting revenue management software, with over a million hotels across the world, only 20,000 hotels ac-

tually use revenue management software. However, the reality is that we have seen a lot of evolution in technology, especially in India, with the hotels here realising that more and more technology is important for them to optimise services. In India, a prime example is OYO. It has a complete platform and processes based on the latest and greatest technologies. We have seen the innovation curve in hospitality accelerate significantly. Also, our growth trajectory in the company reflects that as well, with more and more hotels adopting our software.” Speaking about the importance of revenue management software in hotels, Kohlmayr explained that with a complex decision process that a hotel is tasked with, making over 5000 pricing decisions at various touchpoints in a hotel and to get every decision correct is not humanly possible for an individual. Talking about the USP of IdeaS, he informed, “We are very fortunate because about 10 years ago we were sold to a company called SAS. SAS is the biggest and leading software company in the world. SAS, a four-billion-dollar company has

Klaus Kohlmayr

committed one billion dollars in AI and R&D. Being a subsidiary of SAS, we get to leverage with the access to the latest and greatest of models, algorithms and AI technologies. The second thing that we do differently from other software companies is that we incorporate a lot of external data in our algorithms, which we call reputation data which is fed into our pricing algorithm. This helps make real-time pricing better. For example - people leave comments on Tripadvisor and MakeMyTrip and similar

OTA portals. So we see the reviews and if a hotel is rated well by the customers on these platforms, it allows us to make the pricing more impressive. The third one that keeps us performing exceptionally than the other software providers is that we make decisions for the hotels and with the hotels, and not just make recommendations to them. We feed all the data and use it in the most appropriate model and AI which will come up with a decision that sends the price automatically to the different hotels it is connected with. So, it constantly revisits the optimality of pricing decisions and automatically sends the information back to all different channels. This obviously discards lagtime and mistakes.” “We have a very agile software development approach. The three things that we are highly appreciated by our clients are natural language processing which allows the manager of the hotel to interact with the system without having to type anything but just talking to the system; secondly, hoteliers can analyse and run scenarios about a specific pricing over a period of time and how its impact will be and

then decide if they want to stick to the recommendations or they want to tweak them. Thirdly, we have launched Investigator which allows the hotelier to see not just the price but also all the other information that has gone in to establish the price,” he added about what makes IdeaS stand out as a software company. Noting the Indian clientele, Kohlmayr said that most of the well-known companies in India use our software. “Taj Hotels, The Oberoi Group of Hotels & Resorts have been with us for many years now. We are now seeing demand from the midscale segment of hotels too with Lemon Tree Hotels and GRT Hotels also using our software,” he added. Speaking about the future roadmap for IdeaS, Kohlmayr underscored, “We are pioneers in bringing revenue science in which we take a lot of data and in turn help the hotels make money through mindful assessment of the data. The concept can be extended from just guestrooms to meeting rooms, F&B and also to optimise labour and other operations. It will be our major focus in the forthcoming years.”

'Sternhagen is known for impeccable design-oriented products in luxury bathroom segment' Akshay Nayak Mumbai THE GERMAN luxury bathroom brand Sternhagen - part of the Acrysil Group committed to offer high quality products that are artistically designed and engineered with cutting-edge proprietary materials and technologies, recently unveiled its Rose Gold Collection of premium sanitaryware and bath fittings, at their newly launched facility in


Mumbai. Speaking about Sternhagen and its speciality, Chirag Parekh, CMD, Acrysil Group, said, “Sternhagen is a German luxury bathroom brand created by Acrysil Group. It came to India about five years ago. Our vision has been to create impeccable products in the bathroom industry where we see that the design and engineering element does not exist which is where we saw the space and entered with a range.”


November 2019

“Sooner than later, we launched a first-of its kind luxury bathroom suite wherein one can select the tiles, faucet and the WC based on their preference. We are the first in the world to introduce basins made with quartz,” noted Parekh about the innovations that Sternhagen has brought. About the Indian market for Sternhagen, Parekh informed, “In India, we have launched the whole collection and one of our best collections - Kristall. We are

having about 80 sales points in India as of now. We do not want to overcrowd the market. We are having experience centres in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and have already plans to open one each in Bengaluru and New Delhi. We have also done many hotels and restaurants in India. What will indeed bolster our presence across India is having Suzanne Khan on board as the brand ambassador for Sternhagen. Secondly, we are revamping all our showrooms across India and try-

ing to make more attractive display points. Our third initiative is reaching out to as many architects and the government.” Speaking about the future focus of Sternhagen in India, parekh expressed, “Our vision for 2020 is on the gold line range of products, for anything that has a metallic finish to it expresses luxe. Tier II markets are coming very strongly. Chandigarh, Ludhiana, and Bhopal are some of the markets that we are focussing on going ahead.”


Adivaha, Dharamsala

The Ritz-Carlton, Pune


he Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has opened The RitzCarlton, Pune, the second hotel in India from the iconic luxury hotel brand. The hotel features 198 elegantly appointed guestrooms, including 35 plush suites, designed to be refined and relaxing that are also the largest in the city. The Ritz-Carlton, Pune offers an exceptional presidential suite that is spread across 3,154 sq ft and includes

two bedrooms, a walk-in closet, a spacious living room and dining area, private bar and in-suite treatment room. Guests staying on the Club Level floors will enjoy access to a signature Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge, an urban sanctuary on the 18th floor that features picturesque views of the golf course, private check-in, a dedicated Club Concierge, and a variety of culinary presentations throughout the day.


eisure Hotels Group, a prominent hospitality chain in Northern India having the largest number of properties in Uttarakhand, has announced the launch of its 27th property – Adivaha in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. The opening of Adivaha marks Leisure Hotel Group’s second property in the scenic state of Himachal Pradesh. Adivaha, formerly known as the ‘East Home’, features Viceroy block with over 240 years of heritage. During the British Raj, it offered a colonial charm reflecting a bygone era. This century old structure has emerged from the hands of famous immediate British bureaucrats and the Royals of the Punjab. Located in the lap of Dhauladhar Range & spread over eight acres, this resort is an all-suite property, surrounded by the tea estate, offers panoramic views of the snow clad Dhauladhar ranges, the lush green Kangra Valley and the picturesque Tea Gardens.

The Messenger – Harlalka Haveli, Mandawa


arovar Hotels and Resorts has opened The Messenger – Harlalka Haveli, a Sarovar heritage hotel, located in the Shekhawati region of Mandawa; famous for its quintessential Havelis, Forts and Baolis. The town is referred to as “Open art gallery” due to its fascinating havelis with outdoor frescos that depict the mythological themes. The Messenger - Harlalka Haveli, A Sarovar heritage hotel, is owned by Sukhani Group of hotels, a well-known name in the hospitality sector in Rajasthan. This boutique hotel is almost 275 years old and comprises of 11 luxurious rooms; welcomes discerning travellers to an experience that is filled with opulence and enigma offering an authentic Haveli experience. The hotel features perfect blend of old and new world by coalescing old world charm with modern comforts. Equipped with all modern facilities, the hotel offers Haveli Café – All day dining, outdoor swimming pool with jacuzzi, travel desk and wi-fi.

Ginger Patna


inger expands its portfolio with the opening of Ginger Patna, Bihar. This will be The Indian Hotels Company’s (IHCL) first hotel in the state. Ginger Patna is strategically located on Frazer Road at Dak Bungalow, a short distance from the railway station and the airport, amidst the commercial centre of the city. The hotel comprises of 70 rooms, a conference room and fitness center. The hotel also unveils Café Et Cetera, its signature all-day diner offering comfort food. The cuisine is a mix of global and local food catering to the on-the-go traveller.



November 2019


Surat Marriott Hotel


arriott International and Auro Hotels announced their second hotel in Surat with the launch of the signature Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand the Surat Marriott Hotel. The property is conveniently located at just 15 minutes from the Surat Airport, and is 20 minutes away from the city centre. Designed as a premium, full-service hotel, the

The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives

Surat Marriott Hotel is a blend of contemporary style, warmth and sophistication. The hotel offers 209 innovative and thoughtfully designed guestrooms with stunning views of the city and Tapti River, coupled with state-of-the-art facilities and services, the rooms provide an elevated standard of design and décor that reflect real comfort and style.


he Standard, an American hotel brand known for its taste-making clientele, pioneering design has launched The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives, marking the brand’s first property in Asia. Traditionally seen as a couple’s destination, The Standard has taken a fresh approach to its island retreat, offering relaxation, social activities and vibrant cultural experiences that welcome not only couples but groups of friends and singles looking to reset and recharge in paradise. The resort offers an airy, intimate lobby, accessible 24-hours a day and complete with an exclusive curated selection of cult beauty and wellness products, eclectic wares, and resort essentials only available for purchase on the island.

JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa

VARU byAtmosphere, Maldives


W Marriott, part of Marriott International opened JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa on Vagaru Island, Shaviyani atoll in the Maldives. The opening marks the debut of Marriott International’s JW Marriott brand in the island destination. The stunning new resort features 60 spacious villas, starting at approximately 2,520 sq ft, which include private pools and wooden sunbathing decks. Duplex Overwater Pool Villas and single- story Overwater Pool Villas are set on stilts overlooking the clear turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, with a choice of sunrise or sunset views. While Beach Pool Villas come with direct access to the pristine white sandy beaches of the private island, the unique, split-level Duplex Beach Pool Villa is designed to cater to multigenerational families, featuring separate lounges, bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate larger groups. Each room throughout the resort draws inspiration from the natural surroundings and local Maldivian culture, incorporating colours and materials that highlight the island destination.


tmosphere Hotels & Resorts has launched its newest resort, VARU by Atmosphere in the Maldives. It is the fifth Maldivian property by the Atmosphere Group and 40 minutes ride on a speed boat from Male International Airport to the North-west of the Maldives. The motto of the new island is “Naturally Maldivian” for which the 5-star resort combines local tradition and culture with contemporary design and first-class service. VARU by Atmosphere features 108 luxurious villas that are a few metres from the white sandy beach with spacious interiors and outdoor decks, surrounded by lush green vegetation; while 69 Overwater Villas boasts of signature Maldivian-style interiors and direct access to the turquoise lagoon from the deck.



Kitchen Equipment 2.0 The commercial kitchen equipment industry is in revolutionary mode, with cutting edge technology like the Internet of Things (IoT) helping chefs in achieving consistency and less dependency on manual work. Akshay Nayak spoke to industry experts to get their insights on kitchen equipment 2.0 EXPRESS FOOD & HOSPITALITY


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itchen is one of the major revenue hubs for an hospitality business. Good kitchen design, streamlined energy supply, adequate workspace, hygiene and modern-age kitchen equipment are some of the key needs of a chef to ensure seamless operations, increased productivity and decreased costs, without compromising on the quality of the food. Kitchen solution providers, for some time now, have learnt about the many pain-points of a chef and try to marry technology with food preparation to enhance the overall productivity. The commercial kitchen equipment industry is seeing a revolution with the introduction of smart equipment as well as the use of artificial intelligence. “Smart is the game-changer. In today’s time when innovation is on every menu, refrigeration equipment must give ease of use apart from fundamental functionality. Pioneering approaches across the refrigeration industry focusing on energy efficiency, storage, user-friendliness, etc, are mushrooming,” says Sanjay Jain, director, Elanpro, talking about the rising demand from the industry for new-age kitchen equipment in refrigeration.

B Krishnamoorthy

Chef Ganapathy Mallya

Kitchen solution providers, for some time now, have learnt about the many pain-points of a chef and try to marry technology with food preparation to enhance the overall productivity and decrease costs, without compromising on the quality of the food

The age of automation Kitchen equipment for foodservice establishments is not very different from that used for cooking and serving food at home except that, because of the volume of food cooked and served, and the greater degree of handling required, it is constructed for greater quantity, quality, standards, durability, speed and efficiency. “The last few decades have seen a complete revolution in the kitchen equipment industry, which now provides the modern caterer with a range varying from very simple easy-to-use kitchen equipment to a complex one,” informs Chef Satyaseelan, executive chef, Grand Mercure Mysore. With an array of smart


Charanjeet Singh Gujral

kitchen equipment addressing the core kitchen operations right from pre-cooking and cooking to waste management for projects of variable sizes, some of the recent innovations include combiovens, peelers, smart dishwashers, etc. “What we are seeing today is that preplanned cooking programmes are used in most of the automated cooking equipment,” elucidates Chef Rana Mukherjee, executive chef, Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort & Convention Center. Sunil Khanna, director, Hotelconsult Orient adds, “The new age equipment, undoubtedly, are pre-programmed Combi Steamers, pre-programmed Pressurised Bratt Pans and programmable Speed Ovens if we focus our discussion only on cooking. A sizeable range of Self Cooking Centres from Rational can do a variety of cooking operations, be it steaming, grilling, boiling or baking at the mere press of a button with remarkable consistency in quality. The Flexi-chefs from MKN can also perform similar cooking functions at the press of a button with multi-zone operation whereby different products may be cooked simultaneously in a single appliance. Speed Ovens can regenerate any pre-cooked and preserved food to its original quality within seconds by simply clicking on the correct programme.” Khanna adds that these appliances can save tons of energy as they are completely sealed and require a negligible amount of exhaust air, thereby also saving both supply air and conditioned air. Further, these appliances do not emit any heat as they are well insulated. Since the cooking time is less than half of the other methods, a lot of energy is saved thanks to the use of efficient heat transfer through forced draft heating with variable speed fans. Smaller footprints are a big boon for the operators with the rising cost of real estate.


Chef Nilesh Limaye

Chef Rana Mukherjee

Chef Satyaseelan

Razi Haider

From the chef ’s perspective, Chef Nilesh Limaye, chef culinaire, Meluha The Fern, Mumbai, informs that in kitchens the chefs have now access to the guest’s choices and menu priorities as soon as the guest checks in based on his history of preferences. Materials management systems give more accurate data based on the previous patterns of stock orders. “This helps us in pointing out critical areas like controls in wastage of a particular ingredient, non-usage

of any ingredient, near expiry of a certain stock item, etc. On the kitchen utensils front, a sous-vide, smoke gun, gravity slicers are all mandatory to create more finesse and a professional approach,” he explains. Speaking on similar lines, Chef Irfan Sayyed, chef de cuisine, Renaissance Mumbai notes, “Many of the heavyduty equipment such as the combination oven, gravity slicers, peeling machines, boilers and steamers and vacuum machines make life easy

for the chef as they can produce quality food products with minimum manpower involved. For example, peeling of 100 kg of large potatoes would earlier take approximately two working manhours but with the new potato peeling machines, it takes only 15 minutes to complete the same task.” Technology has also come a long way when it comes to hassle-free real-time hygienic cleaning with state-of-the-art equipment. 'Sometimes double doesn’t make sense.

Sometimes it does.' This is Hobart's slogan for promoting their latest invention – deemed to be the world's first two-level dishwasher. “The newly developed dishwasher by the world market and innovation leader for commercial warewashing equipment has a second wash chamber for simultaneous washing. This means two levels are available for double the washing volume. It is another great benefit that the two-levelwasher with its compact design does not take up more

space in the kitchen as compared to a conventional dishwasher. Whether plates, coffee cups or GN pans- the two level washer not only increases the volume but also the flexibility in terms of different types of wash ware. For example, while porcelain plates are being washed in the upper level, the bottom chamber of the dishwasher provides space for saucers, pans, cooking pots, cutlery or salad bowls. The kitchen staff can save lots of time and have different wash ware ready for reuse when they need it,” explains Razi Haider, national sales manager, Hobart. IFB Industries which is popularly known for its home appliances, also caters to commercial equipment including dishwashers majorly used by restaurants, commercial kitchens, etc. B Krishnamoorthy, business head - industrial products, IFB Industries, says, "We have a wide range of dishwashers for the customers to decide as per their need, with each having a capacity on average of cleaning 4000 dishes per hour. Our products are CE certified and



November 2019


Sunil Khanna

Sanjay Jain

manufactured in Europe under the IFB branding. We use two kinds of technology, PCB controlled machine and programmable logical machine which is useful to handle in rugged conditions. So we are the only company in India to provide our customers with both the options. We are also developing a new technologically driven equipment which reduces water intake by about 80 per cent to 50 per cent.”

IoT in the kitchen Interestingly, Chef Limaye also points out a set of applications that Internet of Things can bring to ease kitchen operations. The Internet of Things (also known as IoT) is a network of physical appliances and devices that use a digital connection to communicate with each other. When implemented in a commercial kitchen setting, IoT can be used to create a smart, remotely controlled kitchen wherein your refrigerator could track and reorder inventory on your behalf. “But really, this is just one example of the endless applications and possibilities of an IoT kitchen. There are still some benefits to an IoT remotely controlled kitchen which is not yet available in India. A kitchen display system (KDS) is a must-have restaurant technology in any commercial kitchen. KDS replaces old school kitchen receipt printers by improving


Chef Irfan Sayyed

communication between your front-of-house and back-ofhouse teams. This is widely used in modern high-volume cafes or fast food parlours. Some of the advantages of KDS are there is no lag - with a digital KDS, orders appear immediately on a monitor or tablet so your team doesn’t have to wait for a receipt to be printed,” he says. It also means improved cooking time. A robust KDS can keep track of how long it takes your team to complete tickets. “This data can help you manage your back-of-house team and make well-informed decisions

about your menu; the most important part where technology supports is in reducing or savings of cost or in areas where talented or skilled manpower is not available, in creating food safety, creating more space or time for effective guest satisfaction. The other controls enhancing kitchen productivity are Bluetooth temperature sensors, digital inventory tracking, automated purchasing tool, digital table/reservation manager, etc. Over the years, technology has become the key ingredient for success in the modern foodservice industry,” Chef Limaye adds.

COVER STORY The flip side Although technology plays a pertinent role in today's chefs’ life, at no point can the equipment wholly satisfy the human touch when it comes to dining. While Khanna feels that these equipment are a musthave for all discerning F&B operators, they have led to deskilling of most cooking operations thereby allowing operators to run their kitchens without skilled chefs and yet achieve better consistency of dishes. Chef Limaye feels that the equipment becomes a liability, “when we start abusing the technology. We can say that

already we have a shortage of skilled manpower, and with the advent of the use of technology, talented chefs will become obsolete.” Chef Mukherjee agrees that a machine cannot be creative as it is programmed to perform in a specific way and gives chefs very little room for improvisation. Also, such equipment is costly and requires regular maintenance needing expensive spare parts and after-sales service which is not easily accessible. Chef Sayyed adds that working with heavy kitchen equipment needs exclusive

training about the machines. “Mishandling can lead to major accidents, waste of products and dissatisfaction of the guests. Also, using these equipment needs constant monitoring as they are not fully automatic and sometimes, can malfunction leading to the wrong product being generated. Furthermore, the maintenance cost of these products may be high if they are not operated or maintained properly,” he cautions. Jain believes that given the variety of options available, it can be a confusing decision. “While moving to environmen-

tally friendly gases is the need of the hour, servicing such products becomes difficult due to infrastructural limitations. Stainless steel is also a trend as it comes with superior durability, resistance to corrosion and high return on investment. However, it tends to be more expensive than other materials and at times is prone to smudging,” he notes. Charanjeet Singh Gujral, DGM - Technical, Fortune Park Hotels too says that kitchen equipment requires special tools and agencies to carry out any repairs. Spares are more expensive and the initial cost of

good equipment is also high. Chef Ganapathy Mallya, director - Culinary Transformation for Novotel Hotels India, Novotel Goa Resorts and Spa and Novotel Goa Candolim Hotel points out certain disadvantages like high cost of equipment, spare parts might be a problem as most of the parts are available out of India, the expense of the machine to justify the F&B revenues, cost of yearly maintenance is much higher than regular equipment; need trained kitchen staff to use the equipment and trained stewarding and technical staff to clean and maintain the equipment.

A sustainable kitchen The commercial kitchen can be made sustainable with the committed design and rightful investment in kitchen equipment while recognising its functionality and compatibility with the project. Chef Mallya feels that there is a huge shift in the way the kitchens are designed nowadays. “Earlier the kitchen would be designed by the kitchen designer without taking inputs from the chef. Now we are seeing a complete 360-degree change. The kitchen is now designed as per the chef and also as per the menu which is a big cultural shift,” he observes. A good commercial kitchen is designed as per the chef to incorporate their easy movement across the operational kitchen, placement of equipment hot as well as cold. “Correct design with perfect equipment is quite integral to make work efficient and to deliver the right kind of experience to both the kitchen team as well as the guests. Moreover, multi-tasking kitchen equipment saves a lot on manpower cost and also the cost to buy additional equipment,” Chef Mallya points out. Interestingly, Chef Satyaseelan notes that a proper kitchen with multi-tasking equipment, drainage system, exhaust, and hood system, can help health and safety, fire safety, comfort, well-being, and can reduce levels of absenteeism and increase productivity.



November 2019


How ITC is spearheading planet positive luxury experiences From water conservation to waste management, elimination of single-use plastic to radiation free hotels, ITC Hotels has been adapting sustainable practices for over two decades. H C Vinayaka, VP, Technical, EHS & Sustainability at ITC Hotels writes about the many initiatives taken by the group adhering to their brand motto - Responsible Luxury


he year 2019 has seen an evolution in the way hoteliers run their businesses. With sustainable tourism and hospitality on the forefront, leading hospitality leaders and hotel businesses are relooking at the way they build businesses. It is notable to see that eco-friendliness has evolved from being a checklist to a top priority, given the rise in environmentally and socially conscious travellers. Luxury hospitality is no different with the focus on going green and ensuring environ-

mentally sustainable and responsible practices not hampering the guest experience. It is crucial to understand that adapting and introducing sustainable practices will positively contribute to a unique and authentic experience of the guest, thereby making them less guilty of leaving any carbon footprint. ITC Hotels has adopted Responsible Luxury as part of its endeavour to proliferate a movement towards planet positive luxury experiences. Our belief is guided by the philosophy that luxury brands


H C Vinayaka

must have sustainable practices embedded in them. At ITC Hotels we call this Responsible Luxury- Luxury without compromising the earth and sustainability without compromising luxury. Beginning at the design stage, each ITC Hotel adheres to the highest global and national green building standards to ensure that energy, water and solid waste efficiencies are maximised. From optimising the use of natural light to meeting their electrical demand through wind and solar energy; conserving wa-

ter through harvesting rainwater and treating and recycling grey water; and attaining zero waste generation status by reducing, reusing and recycling the solid waste generated, every effort is made to preserve the eco-system around them. At the same time, equal emphasis is given to sustainable sourcing - be in terms of building materials used or edible produce - a sizeable portion is locally sourced. ITC Hotels has undertaken various measures to ensure reduction in carbon footprint and all ITC Luxury Collection


Hotels are LEED Platinum Certified.

Elimination of single use plastic products ITC Hotels will discontinue single-use plastic in all its hotels, from December 31 following PM Narendra Modi'’s announcement to restrict the use of single-use plastic in the country. "ITC Hotels has been adopting sustainable practices for over two decades with responsible luxury as its guiding premise - delivering authentic indigenous experiences, which are in harmony with the environment and society. ITC Hotels was one of the first to introduce glass water bottles in 2012. Such endeavors will only be enhanced in our commitment to a wonderful and sustainable future,” avers Dipak Haksar, chief executive, ITC Hotels and WelcomHotel. As a result, cocktail stirrers will be replaced with wooden stirrers; regular toothbrush to bamboo tooth-

brush; plastic bottles to glass bottles; regular plastic combs to bamboo comb; plastic cutlery to wooden cutlery; already all toiletries at ITC Hotels come in bio degradable environmental friendly packaging thus eliminating further use of plastic.

SunyaAqua To further maximise the impact, ITC Hotels have installed within its hotels, effective purification systems to generate international quality drinking water. We call it the Zero Mile water or SunyaAqua, as it involves no transportation. The purification system includes ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis, pH correction and UV based disinfection. This is done in most hygienic conditions in specially designed plant. The quality of SunyaAqua is strictly monitored by the inhouse Microbiological Laboratory in the hotels and also through external approved laboratories.

Radiation Harmoniser

Food waste management

Clean air

The invisible protection With the exponential rise of equipment using mobile and wireless technologies, electro-magnetic radiations have filled up our habitats and atmosphere and excessive exposure to these radiations are affecting our physical and psychological health adversely. Keeping in line with our motto of “Responsible Luxury “, ITC Hotels have inducted technology that has the capability to nullify the harmful effects of both geopathic radiations and manmade radiations. With the minimised effect of radiations, our guests can have a safer stay and better sleep. All our employees are benefitted too, with better energy levels and health. ITC Kohenur was the first hotel across the chain to be installed with Radiation Harmoniser followed by other ITC Hotel properties.

Over 99 per cent of solid waste is either re-used or recycled. This has helped ITC Hotels in gaining zero waste generation status by reducing, reusing and recycling the solid waste generated. As maximum waste is generated by food at most of the hotels, it converts its food waste into manure by in-house organic waste convertor machine. The manure is further used within the hotels for landscaping and in garden areas.

Water efficiency initiatives Both ITC Gardenia and ITC Windsor have separate waste-water treatment plant for grey and black water. Reutilisation of treated water for flushing, cooling tower, landscaping and miscellaneous cleaning helps the hotels in reduction of water consumption.

Increased treated fresh air infusion for cleaner and healthier indoor air quality. ITC Maurya, New Delhi is the first hotel in India to provide superior Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) at par with WHO standards.

Electrical energy More than 60 per cent of total electrical energy demand is met through renewable energy sources i.e. wind and solar. ITC Maratha and ITC Grand Central, ITC Rajputana in Jaipur, ITC Grand Chola in Chennai, ITC Windsor and ITC Gardenia in Bengaluru (Luxury collection hotels) and WelcomHotel Chennai, WelcomHotel Bengaluru and WelcomHotel Coimbatore in the five star category meet their total electrical energy demand through renewable sources. 100 per cent powered by wind turbines through our own wind farms.



November 2019


Chef's Connect 2019: Celebrating flavours of Maharashtra The seventh edition of Chef's Connect organised by Western India Culinary Association (WICA), marked the presence of the who's who of the chef's fraternity at the annual day-long knowledge-packed conference which celebrated the theme - 'Maharashtra – Reclaiming traditions, building futures'. By Akshay Nayak


The seventh edition of Chef's Connect organised by Western India Culinary Association (WICA), celebrated the theme - 'Maharashtra – Reclaiming traditions, building futures'. The event was inaugurated with the lamp lighting ceremony in the presence of the esteemed guests including Chef Manjit Singh Gill, president, Indian Federation of Culinary Associations (IFCA); Chef Vernon Coehlo, president, WICA and chief guest Dr Mohsina Mukadam, professor and head of department of history, Ruia College Mumbai. Speaking about the event, Chef Coehlo in his welcome address said, "Every year, the event has grown from strength to strength. The theme of this year's conference revolves around the food of Maharashtra; its rich culture, and festivals which will be reflected in the many knowledge sessions scheduled throughout the day. There is no Maharashtrian cuisine per se, but a series of regional cuisine from the coastal belt, Kolhapur and Mumbai having its cuisine. It needs to reach the recognition that it deserves. In the course of action as a chef, I have always told the aspiring chefs to learn their regional cuisine first, before learning any other cuisines." Speaking about the importance of preserving traditional cuisines, Chef Gill elucidated, "Culturally, you can evolve into the cuisine of your region. The rudiments of food are not much different and is deeply embedded in the people which is passed on from generation to generation. Interestingly, I read

it in a book that there is a mother cuisine and a father cuisine. The mother cuisine is the one that cannot be exported from the region. The ingredients are local and cooked as per the local climate. So the cuisine which is not learnt in schools but is disseminated from generation to generation, is the mother cuisine. The same cuisine becomes a father cuisine when it is taught in a classroom, and when it is exported from one region to another. But, in this case, we always see that the food changes and doesn't have the same richness as the original one. One must learn the mother cuisine. You should be the master of your mother cuisine. It gives you a lot of freshness when you are celebrating mother cuisine. It is a pity to see a lot of chefs coming from Garhwal, but not knowing Garhwali cuisine? The two focus points should be wellness and sustainability. If the food is not for wellness, how is it food? Also, if it is not sustainable, then how is it good for your consumption and nature? If you, as patrons, choose the right food to eat, we chefs will merchandise and sell the food that is good for you. The best food is the one that gets you thinking about your next meal after 30 minutes of consuming it. In the chef's shoes, we have to see the balance of profitability of the restaurant, the hotel and the wellbeing of our patrons. As chefs, our portion sizes need to be very mindful. We have to put together multiple aspects moving forward. Food is evolving, but when the innovations and evolution happen, it has some link with the traditional history of the cuisine. Once you know the im-


portance of ingredients and their compatibility with the other ingredients, you are doing it right. Food is very critical and will play the biggest role in going ahead." Following the inauguration of the event, the chief guest, Dr Mukadam spoke at length about how the Maharashtrian cuisine is not one, but a culmination of diverse regional cuisines right from the Konkan coastal region

to that of central and arid regions of Vidarbha and Marathwada, and how they have been passed on from generation to generation. She pointed out that throughout her 17-year long research on the food of Maharashtra, she noticed that the Maharashtrian cuisine loses the recognition that it deserves on the global culinary canvas. “It has been seen in the historic books too wherein Maharashtra

is mentioned, but the cuisine, which is vast in itself, is missed out. Being global citizens now, the traditional link to our roots is broken. But, by talking to our mothers, grandmothers, and people of the region, we can document the recipes before they lose their essence. However, if the recipe is lost really, we have other ways to revive it. For this, cookbooks are the most common one, of which one book dates back to


the 11th Century written by the then King of Kalyani. The book mentions recipes in the 'Annabhoga' chapter, which comprises of recipes that are cooked till date and are very much authentic Maharashtrian recipes," she added. She further spoke about the many recipes, their historic values and the reasons behind using the particular ingredients in the food paying heed to their features initiating wellbeing. Lastly, she suggested that moving forward, we shall reinstate our eating patterns and recipes back to our roots and authentic Maharashtrian cuisine for the greater benefit of preserving the culture of the traditional food for the future. The second session by founder MD of Purnabramha – a chain of authentic Maharashtrian cuisine restaurants, former techie Jayanti Kathale left the audience in awe while she told her tale that how having worked for a multi-national tech firm across different locations of the globe, her only concern was the inability to find authentic Maharashtrian cuisine which in turn buzzed an idea in her mind to founding Purnabramha. “I remember how during one of the assignments in Africa, the office's canteen served Idli, but the people didn't have any idea of poha,” she exclaimed. She further went on to say, Maharashtrian cuisine somehow lacked the glamourous touch in its presentation, which was readily picked up as a USP by Purnabramha. They started serving an array of the remotest cuisine of Maharashtra to the

patrons, which became an instant hit, Kathale reminisced. With Purnabramha already gaining popularity across the country, the brand will soon unveil an outlet in Tokyo based on a franchise model, followed by one in Australia and three in the USA in a phased manner. Coursing the conference's highlight towards it's focus on health, wellness and sustainability, Dr B Dayakar Rao, principal scientist, The Indian Institute of Millets Research, in an insightful presentation showcased to the audience that Maharashtra being a leading producer and consumer of various types of millets, how it can promote the superfood through its cuisines. He explained in detail how millets can be grown in significant proportions in extreme climatic conditions, given the current scenario of drastic climatic changes and lack of water for irrigation. He also spoke about the benefits of the millets such as high nutritional value, cost-effective crop, etc. He addressed the chef's fraternity that millets can be used to prepare over a dozen dishes if not less which predominantly uses rice and wheat, hence calling out to them to promote the superfood through their unique creations. Chef Madhu Krishnan, executive chef – Research, Innovation, Development – Hotels Division, ITC, in her conversation-styled seminar addressing food sustainability and preserving traditions in food, kept everyone engaged with the participating audience – chefs of many hotels

– speaking about their stories of how their childhood and traditional cuisines; comfort foods; moments spent with family over lunch and dinner, etc., shaped them to pursue the culinary profession and how they are still keeping the traditional values intact in their food. It was followed by a panel discussion on the topic - “Forgotten Flavours: Are Maharashtrian cuisines given their rightful due?” Chef Nilesh Limaye, executive chef, Meluha The Fern was the moderator of the session with panellists - Chef Kedar Bobde, corporate executive chef, Degustibus Hospitality; Chef Varun Inamdar, chef entrepreneur, chocolatier, food author and food stylist; Dr Suhas Awchat, restaurateur and consultant, Goa Portuguesa; Mugdha Khare, senior lecturer, IHMCT. The session highlighted the take of each of the esteemed panellists and their efforts to glamourise and present the tastes of Maharashtra to the global palate, and at the same, keeping it existent within the people for generations to come. The last session was presented by international motivational speaker Dr Pawan Agrawal who spoke on the realtime supply chain mechanism of Mumbai's dabbawallas with their legacy living young for over a century. The event concluded with an annual awards ceremony for both the student and professional chefs for their out-of-thebox culinary creations, followed by the gala dinner.



November 2019


‘I knewmy innovation of presenting desserts vertically would be a global sensation’ Co-curating the Guinness World Records-listed most expensive limited edition chocolate, Fabelle Trinity – Truffles Extraordinaire, Michelin Star Chef Philippe Conticini is credited for numerous innovations over the past three decades, the most popular one being the verrines way back in 1994, which display dishes vertically in transparent glass. At the unveiling event of Fabelle Trinity at ITC Grand Central Mumbai, Chef Conticini spoke with Akshay Nayak about his journey in the culinary world


t all started with his parents who inspired him the most to join the culinary world, reminisces Chef Conticini. “My mother had been a great cook. I wanted to try pastry when I was just 11 years old. Often on Sundays, I started making pastry which was liked by many. With time passing, I told my parents that I am going to open a restaurant with my brother. It came from a long time. I didn't decide then that I was going to pursue cooking or pastry,” he exuded. Having started it at a tender age, Chef Conticini faced many challenges during his initial stints. “My career began by cooking, but in the back of my mind, I always wanted to do pastry. I stopped cooking after a year-long stint and started doing pastry when I was just 18 years old. For two

In 1992, I realised that something was amiss in my creation. Two years later, I had an idea to present my desserts vertically

Chef Philippe Conticini


years, I went under vigorous practice for pastry. However, when I started pursuing pastry, I felt challenged by my creativity. Also, my weight did come as a hurdle while pursuing my career in culinary arts,” expressed Chef Conticini. However, Chef Conticini has always been accepting every challenge as an opportunity in disguise. “I began to

prepare pastry professionally in 1986. Very quickly, my pastry evoked more emotion. In 1992, I realised that something was amiss in my creation. It wasn't the contents, but the presentation that lacked creativity. Two years later, on one fine evening, I asked the bar fellow to get me a wine glass for I had an idea to present my desserts vertically. I exclaimed, 'Wow! I found my


baby.' I knew that this style of presentation is going to be a sensation across the world, which actually it did. Since then, there has been no looking back in terms of the innovations that I have brought to my creations.” As a Michelin Star Chef, he keeps questioning his ways of creation time and again. Also, in his work, he believes to be deeply contemporary. It's not because he wants just the presentation to be top-notch, but the content of the work that needs to be contemporary. “It was I myself who thought of being modern, and my pastry followed me,” he added. Chef Conticini has already written 23 books. His Pâtisserie des Rêves branded patisserie is celebrated in the US, UK and majorly in Japan too.

"We will be opening our new outlet in Tokyo followed by one in Kyoto after Christmas this year,” he informed about the expansion plans. At the beginning of October, he opened three outlets in Paris and has scheduled one more to be opened post-Christmas there. He will be unveiling another book in September next year, in which he will be focusing on the various techniques of preparing pastry that he has learned over the last 30 years. As a takeaway point for the aspiring chefs, according to Chef Conticini, the most important thing in pastry is to keep learning and learning and never stopping for it makes one master in their career. “Also, they must discover who they ar,e what they will be,” he concluded.



November 2019


'ONCE YOU WEAR THE CHEFCOAT,GENDER SHOULD CEASE TO MATTER' In an exclusive interview with Steena Joy, Chef Manisha Bhasin, corporate chef, ITC Hotels & WelcomHotels speaks about her journey as an ITC chef and how it has empowered her to delve deeper into the world of food What inspired you to enter the culinary world? I have always been creatively inclined and food gave that medium where one could create a different palate on the plate each time. It's a different world all stereotypes but a creative expression that reached out to so many people. I think food brings people closer and gives great joy. Which would you list as your major achievements/milestones? I take each day as it comes...There have been so many learnings and so many people who have made me what I am today. Right from my days as a young intern and later as a management trainee with ITC Hotels where like everyone else, I dreamt of being an Executive Chef! The major achievements have been many from catering to some of the famous heads of States, being part of the launch team of new restaurants Westview, Pan Asian; developing new food concepts like Dehlavi, Food Sherpa; reviving heritage cuisines. Fortunately, a lot of emphasis is given to food philosophy and R&D at ITC Hotels and this really empowered me to delve deeper and discover more. The senior leadership has been extremely encouraging and this is evident in our world renowned cuisine. They really trigger such inspiration


in the team that one wants to create better and better. Gaining from their foresight and experience has been one of my biggest rewards. The top chef award, ACE Award of Culinary Excellence by Marriott Worldwide in 2002 stays as one of my major achievements. Also taking Culinary Class at CIA, Culinary Institute of America, where one dreams of studying in the student years, was another milestone to cherish. Though the kitchen is usually a woman's domain, why do you think there are more men chefs in hotel kitchens? This is no longer true as we now one see an increase in the number of young girls joining kitchens. More students from IHM are joining, thus making it a more conducive atmosphere to work. And technology has helped in a big way with labor saving gadgets. What advice would you give aspiring lady chefs? Passion and Perseverance. Once you wear the chef coat, gender should cease to matter, keep an open mind. Read and learn about food, its heritage and historical contexts. How has ITC Hotels helped shape your career? I joined as a management trainee and have worked with only ITC. That itself defines who I am. I have got


ample opportunities from the organisation and the encouragement required to excel in this field. From trainee, to management trainee then junior sous chef to what I am today, ITC is a very integral part of my journey. What role can chefs play in building sustainable hotel kitchens? A very major role as food is the common link for all. At ITC Hotels we practise Responsible Luxury where a big part of our produce is locally sourced. There are several initiatives that aid sustainable hotel kitchens. Chefs

can educate the vendors on sustainable procurement, ensure that farmers share zero chemical produce, food waste recycling, healthy eating, introducing energy efficient technology and so on. All these are interlinked and food sustainability is limited not only to the hotels but the entire society. ITC Hotels was the first chain to set up food testing labs pan India. For us food, be it the philosophy, taste or hygiene is extremely important. We have been accorded global food safety and hygiene certifications. This is indicative of our focus and commitment to the guest on

this parameter. Since more than three decades, ITC Hotel chefs have been integrating local products and using fresh, seasonal produce and other ingredients on our menus with a shift to more sustainable and healthier cuisine. This would offer diners unique food experiences and and a greater connection to the locations they are visiting in a more sustainable way. At ITC Hotels we offer local cuisine under the aegis of our Local Love programme where each hotel promotes the city's cuisine heritage. We also offer Sunya Aqua- Zero mile wa-

ter in our restaurants and banquets. Your stress buster? Painting. I like to use water colours to paint and most of my paintings are food inspired. Your favourite kind of food? My favourites keep changing depending on the cuisine one is involved in. However, end of the day a great biryani meal with family is food for the soul. Giving back to the community? Giving back to the com-

munity is something I feel very strongly about. It is our responsibility as chefs to create awareness on safe and healthy food amongst society. And with social media and other platforms, lot of work is happening on it already. Conducting healthy cooking seminars in schools, encouraging farmers to grow honest produce by creating markets for them. Supporting FSSAI in their Eat Right Campaign. Creating awareness on safe food by working with IFCA and creating modules for teaching on the same are some of the initiatives one takes as an individual.



November 2019


Ballentine's is globally recognised for its smooth character: Lewis Anderson

Lewis Anderson

The Little Easy, the popular restaurant in Mumbai recently hosted the city's maiden Ballantine's Bar Takeover - the cult range of blended premium scotch whisky, under the able mentorship of Lewis Anderson, brand ambassador - north and west of India, Ballantine’s. Anderson in conversation with Akshay Nayak explains why Ballantine's is a versatile whisky




n engineer who went on to join the hospitality industry for his love for whisky that grew into him from his days of residing in Scotland, Anderson grew up on farmland in the northeast of Scotland. “My early stint in the hospitality industry started when I was just 16 years. I worked as a waiter at a hotel then. I always loved to converse and interact with people, for which I kept working at the same place. After that, I went on to work behind the bar, which was a different ball game altogether. I have been working with the hospitality industry for the past 12 years in different countries across the world. My interest in spirits started when I started working at a whisky distillery and getting to know more and more about this product got me more interested in it. I left for New Zealand for five years. As people learn that you are Scottish, the first thing that they do is ask about whisky and hence I thought of pursuing a career in it,” he explained. Speaking about the tasting notes, Anderson said, “Ballantine's is a great brand which was founded by George

Ballentine and handed over to his sons in late 1860s. With over 150 years now, the tasting notes are just as how they used to be back then. We, at Ballantine's have always believed that if you stick to your principles, success will always follow. The 12-year-old Ballantine's is one of the oldest created blends in 1810. It is well received by global customers, as well as in India at large. The whisky is incredibly complex, very smooth, with a lot of vanilla notes and creamy fruity notes of red apples, peaches, and pears. Bal-

lantine's is celebrated for its smooth character and hence in any of its blends, you will never witness a punch of smoky or any other intense flavours. It is a blend of four biggest whisky-producing regions in Scotland, so you will get the neat notes of subtle spices, a little bit of smoke and a sweet finish as well. Our master blender has made it a point that irrespective of where in the world you buy a Ballantine's 12-year-old, it is going to taste exactly the same. Hence, the consistency of the whisky and its flavours

is maintained across the globe.” Being the first bar takeover by Ballantine's in Mumbai, replying to a query about the cocktails that he has devised for the patron's palate, Anderson replied, “Keeping Indian palate in mind and pairing the cocktails rightly with the dishes here, drinks made with Ballantine’s have a great balance, giving flavours of all the ingredients and also the whisky does not have an overpowering effect on other ingredients. Speaking about the

Indian food pairing with whisky cocktails, the fresh ones go well with spicy food. Also, it is very much personal when it comes to enjoying a glass of whisky, be it neat or with soda or an old fashioned. Ballantine's ticks all the boxes for it is really versatile to cater to each palate. We have run a campaign at 16 countries across the world asking them how do they like to drink their whisky. In the US, there is Ginger Ale and other common ingredients predominantly used in Whisky. However, coming to India, there is an abundance of diverse regional herbs that can be paired with the whisky for some extravagant cocktails.” Speaking about introducing new labels from Ballentine's in India, Anderson noted that in India each region has its own palate preferences when it comes to whiskies. “Also, the market is price sensitive, which could be a challenge for launching certain products. The main products here are the five-yearold, 12-year-old and then the 17-year-old. You can get other whiskies as well but then they become a lot more expensive,” he concluded.



November 2019


Celebrating the art of procurement in God’s Own Country The ninth edition of the annual convention of Hospitality Purchasing Managers' Forum (HPMF) was held recently at Grand Hyatt Bolgatty in Kochi, its first convention in south India. The well scripted convention in Kerala was definitely a precursor to what to expect at the Forum's 10th anniversary convention next year in Dubai. By Steena Joy


he Hospitality Purchasing Managers' Forum (HPMF) converged as one Family in Kochi this October for the ninth edition of its annual convention. The four-day event was attended by more than 250 delegates from India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and UAE. The theme of the convention was Vasudeva Kutumbakam, which means ‘The World is One Family’. Previous editions of the convention were held in Varanasi, Jodhpur and Bhubaneswar. The convention saw various knowledge sessions and presentations by industry experts on the latest trends in hospitality procurement. There were also B2B meets with over 40 vendor partners

three months. Not even a single dish was repeated.,” said Dr Nitin Nagrale, founder and general secretary, HPMF. In keeping with HPMF's convention history of showcasing the culture of the host destination, the first day saw guided tours for delegates to Fort Kochi and its attractions like St Francis Church, the Naval Museum and Greenix Cultural Village with shows on the martial and puppetry arts of Kerala. A visit to Kumbalangi, India's first eco tourism village was also part of the attractions.

attending the event including Bisleri, Harman Technologies, Oriental Lotus, VKL, Eagle Forgings, Roca Bathroom Products, Kwality


Dryfruits, Paradigm Techsolutions among others. With support from the tourism department of Kerala, the convention show-

cased the culture of the state through food, dance, attire and colours of Kerala. “We planned the menu for this convention over the last

Unique MICE 'platform' A gala dinner was arranged at a unique MICE venue, the old Cochin Harbour Terminal which the

SPOTLIGHT - HPMF 2019 Government of Kerala is now renting out for events. The arrangements were all done in keeping with the theme of a railway station including entry with platform tickets and a purchase manager posing as a station master! The convention opened officially on October 11 with the auspicious visit to the Shri Ayappa Temple for pooja and havan. The organisers recreated a temple festival atmosphere complete with caparisoned elephants and percussionists playing on the traditional drums or melams. The opening ceremony saw lighting of the lamp by chief guest Jose Dominic, founder of Casino Group of Hotels (CGH); other guests of honour included Padmashree Dr Rajanikant, Lion Pankaj Mehta, Jay Raman, MD, Oriental Lotus and Mohan Deshpande, chairman, HPMF. In his opening address, Deshpande said, “When we set up HPMF in 2012, we could never have imagined that it would grow to be such a huge movement. In a short phase of nine years, we have grown to over 2600 members with Chapters in both India and overseas. Since last three years we have endeavoured to take our conventions outside Mumbai and to offer new destinations as experiences so that they are eagerly awaited events. Kerala is set to surpass that expectation.”

Special initiatives Addressing the audience Dr Nagrale said, “This Kochi edition is very special on many counts. We will be honouring nine sports personalities or Navratnas for representing India and shining internationally. We are also launching the Global Sustainability Council and the chairperson will be Mala Singh. In another unique initiative, we have made a representation to the Govt of India to encourage the hospitality industry to buy only local arts and crafts. We will sign a pledge that from now onwards that we will not import such arts from any other country but promote India’s own arts

and crafts. Another first for the convention is the app we have developed for the event so that all delegates remain connected. We are also launching our

interactive website.” He admitted that Kochi was by far the most difficult convention mainly because of the communication challenge and

also to find a unique historical venue for the gala dinner. “It took us 12 days to clean up the railway station which was closed for 13 years but it's an

heritage place and we are proud to have pulled it off, thanks to our Kerala Chapter team,” he applauded. Dominic congratulated HPMF for rediscovering a new venue - the Cochin Harbour Terminus. “I am sure it will soon be the most sought after wedding destination or convention destination of Kochi all thanks to the efforts of HPMF in doing the unusual and taking a leadership role which purchase management is all about.” He added, “Procurement is also serious business. Purchase managers look for best quality at the lowest price but there is more to it than buying at low prices. The fraternity must strive to create excellence for enterprises, destinations and communities. Purchase managers can help in benefitting the community through their purchase function.” He cited the example of Chendamangalam, a handloom weavers’ town in Kerala which was badly affected by floods last year but in 12 months the weavers regained their feet and livelihood because the cotton mundus (dhotis) made there were procured by the hospitality industry in the state as a measure of bringing relief to such people. “So now the mundus and sarees from there are achieving record sales. The purchase forum thus has an important role in creating excellence and



November 2019


giving back to the community,” he said. The inaugural ceremony was followed by the Sadya, the traditional Kerala feast. Specially curated using ingredients from specific vendors, the spread had over 26 food items eaten on banana leaves.

A fitting finale The second session had B2B meetings interspersed with presentations and panel discussions. The discussion on ‘Is HPMF doing enough for the hospitality procurement fraternity’ was conducted in an outof-the-box courtroom style where the panelists/purchase managers were summoned one by one to the witness stand for cross examination and the audience was the jury. Brigadier Sushil Bhasin, author of the bestseller The Million Dollar Second, gave a timely presentation on Importance of Time in SCM while motivational speaker Amit Pandey spoke about Sustainable Happiness in an interactive session. The evening ended with the much awaited Procurement Excellence Awards which was a black tie event followed by a sit down dinner. Nine famous sportspersons were also honoured for their outstanding contribution to Team India. The next day’s highlights included a session by Jaspal Sabherwal on Understanding the History and Future of Networks and a presentation by Lebana Penkar, On My Own Terms. The last day saw the HPMF members participating in Kerala’s famous Snake Boat racing on the backwaters that had the adrenaline pumping and provided a fitting finale to another successful convention.




The End of Excess Sabre, a leading global travel technology company, recently unveiled a report titled 'Retail Revolution' entailing the current trends in the global hospitality industry which has led to transformation of hoteliers into retailers. Express Food & Hospitality, in this second part of the series, presents excerpts from the report


he chatter around single-use plastics has made your guests realise that the ‘grab-gothrow’ mindset is a dead end for the planet. But it doesn’t stop at plastic. Travellers’ eyes are opening to all kinds of waste – wasted materials, wasted space, wasted food, wasted time and more. They’re demanding that every brand they interact with (their hotel included!) rework its model to eliminate excess at every turn.

Why now? The war on straws The eco-topic of 2018– plastic straws – is one major factor driving The End of Excess. In just the span of a few months, governments globally (in the UK, Seattle, India, California, Taiwan, and many, many more) either proposed or enacted plastic straw bans. Prominent companies in all kinds of industries – Aramark, Starbucks, American Airlines, and even unexpected ones like Goldman Sachs - did the same. Without a doubt, these sweeping bans have caught your guests’ attention. Zero-waste goes global Another concept that has spread like wildfire? The zerowaste store, which sees retailers selling goods that aren’t encased in the typical plastic packaging. Iterations of this retail model have recently popped up in locations including Hong Kong, Thailand, and New York.

Redefining Resource Consumers are seeing that ’excess’ has more than just ecoimplications. Especially in hospitality, guests have been introduced to new business models that reconsider what is a resource, and how that resource

can be used to its full capacity. Airbnb and Hotel Tonight, for example, have transformed spaces that were traditionally unoccupied by travellers (a homeowner’s spare bedroom, a hotel room between bookings, respectively) into revenue sources.

Plastic-free hotel opens in Bangkok Opened in June 2018, the Akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok is Asia’s first single-use plasticfree hotel. On arrival, guests are offered stainless steel water bottles, which can be refilled at wa-

ter dispensers located on every floor. Bathroom amenities are provided in locally-manufactured pottery containers, and biodegradable plastic bags are used in all bins. The move was part of a wider initiative from the Akyra Hotel Group, which



November 2019

TECH BYTES pledged to become plastic free by 2020. Hotel chain turns old bed linen into pajamas March 2018 saw discarded bed sheets being upcycled into pajamas for kids in need. Claimed to be a world-first, Project Rise: ThreadForward is an initiative of US hotel chain Westin Hotels and Resorts, dreamed up by housekeeping supervisor Carolyn Thoroski. Working with Divergent Energy, the fibers in the bed linen are broken down, before being rewoven into fabric and made into pajamas. Hotelier purchases excess produce from local farmers In March 2019, Hilton partnered with FoodMaven, a US company helping local farmers and ranchers sell their excess inventory. The alliance kicked off initially in Colorado and Dallas, as part of Hilton’s larger efforts to reduce food waste. According to Nikki Newman, executive chef at the Hilton Denver City Center, the deal helped her acquire that artisanal and local products that guests favor, while enabling the Hilton location to spend 20 per cent less on ingredients than it had previously. Fashion label’s concept store shows consumers how to live more sustainably In August 2018, US-based sustainable clothing brand Eileen Fisher opened a concept store in Brooklyn teaching consumers how to live more responsibly. The Making Space concept store is intended to help consumers live more sustainably, hosting workshops, movie screenings, gallery exhibitions and other events. Making Space also features artistsin-residence; the first is Cara Marie Piazza, who will hold workshops on using flowers or food byproducts to dye textiles. Eileen Fisher’s Remade and Renew clothing lines – made from recycled clothes or out-ofcommission styles – are sold at the store. Soap company repurposes milk cartons In January 2019, Cleancult began selling a range of household cleaning products that are

85 per cent of consumers surveyed in the UK range from feeling fairly to very worried about plastic waste. - Ipsos, February 2018 48 per cent of UK consumers surveyed are worried about the issue of food waste. Nearly 25% of food bought in hotels and restaurants is wasted. - Thoughtworks, September 2018 UN FAO, 2015 natural, bio-friendly, and come in recyclable milk cartons. Based in Puerto Rico, the company’s products, which include laundry and dishwasher detergent, allpurpose cleaner, and foaming hand soap, are based on saponified coconut. Prices start at USD 4.95 for a natural soap bar. Mixologist creates cocktails from food waste In December 2018, mixologist Mark Lloyd opened the Zero Waste Bar at Thailand’s Wonderfruit Festival. The pop-up bar served cocktails made from waste food donated by vendors at the festival, which celebrates sustainability and wellness. Lloyd also hosted masterclasses to teach attendees how to make their own zero waste cocktails. The mixologist is also known for hosting the Sammakorn Cocktail Club, a ‘secret’, invite-only


pop-up bar selling zerowaste cocktails. Open only once a month, the pop-up is located in Bangkok’s Sammakorn suburb. Renewable energy company unveils the Zero Vacation experience Finnish renewable energy firm Neste unveiled the Zero Vacation experience in March 2019. In its goal to reach zero emissions in Sweden, Neste is encouraging Swedes to take vacations within the country – rather than taking a carbon-emitting flight overseas. Every aspect of the Zero Vacation, which guests can enter to win, produces as little waste and emissions as possible. On the Swedish island of Lido, guests stay in the NOLLA cabin (made from sustainable materials, running entirely on renewable energy) and dine from a zero-waste menu.

Your Response? Compelling incentives The ‘save water, reuse your towels’ callto- action is standard. Can you offer a new, noteworthy incentive for your guests to help you end excess? See how the cities of Surabaya in Indonesia and Istanbul gave residents free bus passes in exchange for recycling plastic waste. The End-of-Excess experience Another way retailers and hoteliers alike have boosted consumers’ environmental consciousness? By making End of Excess initiatives double as immersive and even surprising experiences. Brands like Eileen Fisher have transformed stores into spaces for sustainability workshops, while Neste enables guests to fully dive in to the ze-

rowaste life. And imagine if a mixologist like Mark Lloyd ran your hotel bar! Can you show your guests how creative they can be, and how much fun they can have, by reducing their waste? Capacity capture The end of excess has fully penetrated the retail sector, as products made with unexpected, would-be-wasted materials flood the market. Could you swap out, say, the standard bar of soap in your rooms with a carton from Cleancult? And is there a resource you’re currently throwing away you could creatively repurpose? See how Westin, instead of contributing to the mountains upon mountains of textile waste, turned its old sheets into pajamas for kids in need. (Courtesy: Sabre)


Beyond the golf course Creating an array of personalised experiences, be it for the power-engaged business meetings or rejuvenating family staycations over the weekends, Hilton Bangalore Embassy GolfLinks has a lot more to offer than just its golf course. By Akshay Nayak


etting you feast your eyes on expansive views of the golf course is just one of the experiences that Hilton Bangalore Embassy GolfLinks offers its guests. Nestled in the midst of the Golf Links Business Park, the hotel is strategically located in the tech park, so patrons can enjoy their social events while staying in serenity. With an array of studio-style rooms, all the guestrooms at the hotel open up to an expansive view of the golf course or the temperature-controlled pool. The rooms, opulent in design, are equipped with kitchenettes, supplies and interestingly a tick-off grocery list for the long-staying guests. With the smallest category of the room sitting at a fairly large area of 46 sq m, each room is equipped with a sofa-bed, dining and working space, and an ergonomic chair. One of a kind in the market, the hotel also boasts of an Accessible Room for differently-abled guests. The room has amenities such as a roll-in shower, low level temperature controls, etc.Though it is majorly a business hotel, during the weekends Hilton Bangalore Embassy Golflinks sees increasing occupancy of family staycationers from the vicinity.

The gastronomic fare Offering three concept dining outlets, the hotel has its distinctive F&B spread, for a significant number of walk-in guests, throughout the day. The award-winning Ministry of Food, the hotel's all-day dining venue offers cuisines from across the

globe. Serving a wide selection of European, Pan-Asian, Indian and Japanese delicacies, the outlet is celebrated in namma Bengaluru for its flavoursome food festivals which present the merelypopular local cuisine of the region/country. The lowseating arrangement and soothing ambience suit ideally for a family dine-in or just a team lunch.Given the dramatically cool climate of Bengaluru, open-air dining is an ideal bet for experiential dining. The Salt Grill is the only open-air food outlet in the hotel by the poolside.

One can relish a sundowner or classic dinner at the cabanas with a relaxing drink handy while their food is cooked on the Himalayan pink salt stones. For the caffeine aficionados Re:cess, the coffee shop, brews fresh coffee and wholesome sandwiches of various kinds in real-time for sitdown guests or the patrons on the go. At Klinx - the hotel's high energy bar, the mood is always high as you sip on the refreshing contemporary cocktails and mocktails while enjoying the ongoing match on the big screen.

In and around A rejuvenating massage at the Zivaya Spa relaxes the muscles and mind off any stress for a sound sleep. Awakening the body early in the morning too is just a few steps away from the room. A good swim in the temperature controlled-pool; a cardio session at the gym with state-of-the-art equipment, or a refreshing badminton game, etc, within the property, get you all set to assume the power-packed day. Evenings can also be spent at the energetic Indiranagar, a hub of brewpubs

which is just a 10-minute drive from the hotel. One can opt for a historic and cultural tour, with the hotel’s travel desk having everything arranged for you. The early morning jog could be amidst the woods with a view of the city, at Lalbagh. It can be followed by a satiating south-Indian breakfast with the authentic filter kaapi (filter coffee) at the legacy dining brand MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Rooms), just down the lane. Not missing out on the iconic Vidhana Soudha.



November 2019


'UNIQUE F&B EXPERIENCES REMAIN ATTHE FOREFRONTOFHILTON BANGALORE EMBASSYGOLFLINKS' With over 20 years of experience across various hospitality companies, in both local and international markets, Manish Garg, GM, Hilton Bangalore Embassy GolfLinks, started his career with Hilton in the year 2011 as the director of operations for Hilton Chennai. He kept rising in ranks within the company for his fine sense of business dynamics in both pre-opening and turning around existing properties and in-depth knowledge of F&B. He now leads Hilton Bangalore Embassy GolfLinks - a 247-key hotel. In conversation with Akshay Nayak, he talks about his initial challenges and opportunities in his hospitality career and his stint with Hilton How have you excelled in turning around an existing property vs pre-opening during your assignment with Hilton Worldwide? Both have their own set of challenges. In a pre-opening environment, you have to be far more structured and far more adaptable. While working for an existing hotel, one takes the amenities already in place for granted, whereas in the case of a preopening property, you enter the shell and nothing is there. Pre-opening tests your imagination a tad bit more, but turning around an existing hotel is again a great deal. It's all about the people that we work for and how we manage our resources. What were the opportunities and shortcomings that you faced during your past 20 years in the industry? I started my career with Sterling Holidays & Resorts, and then moved to Four Seasons in Sydney, following which I joined Marriott. I with Marriott for nearly nine years. And now, eight years with Hilton. In the past 20 years, the hotel industry has evolved from the

time I started to now. With the Gen-Y coming in, the working environment has changed a lot now. In Hilton, the work culture is like everybody was called by their first name, but back then, I don't think so that I could ever call my GM by his first name. The people now have a lot more options to work, which wasn't as flexible for employees during that time. As an employer, we have further evolved by having work-life balance and retaining people because they have various options now outside. Also, within the hotel industry and outside it, people have more job opportunities. Work is fun. Your view about Bengaluru as a hospitality market? Bengaluru has a very vibrant and changing environment. That is why, it is a given that no two days are the same here, which poses its challenges and opportunities for us. There is enough movement in the city, both from corporates and leisure guests, so that drives the business in Bengaluru. Also, moving forward to the growth of the


Manish Garg

airport in Bengaluru helps us in a big way as the city becomes more accessible. The challenge that India at large majorly faces is poor infrastructure, and it is slightly more in Bengaluru especially in terms of road connectivity which could get better. While we cannot do much about the traffic, we've made our guest's transfer hassle-free with wifi, television and snacks and beverages available in the car. How about Hilton's technological updates at the hotel? We have always been

changing and evolving to leverage the guest experience. The recent one that we've put in action is the digital key wherein the guests can use their phones as a virtual key to access their rooms, hence doublechecking security. We are bringing it in a phased manner in the old hotels, while the new hotels by Hilton are already coming equipped with the tech updates. Hilton is also looking to tying up with Netflix internationally. We are looking to bring in something which is not implemented in this hotel as yet, wherein we have made more seamless checkin through wifi, so the guests feel home away from home. We also have the virtual concierge, and the order will be delivered in the room. We have a very robust customer management tool through which we are always recording guest preferences. Our in-house OnQ software gives us great competitive results. Which are the key overseas markets for the hotel? India, UK, USA, Australia and the Middle East are key markets for our hotel.

Future focus of hotel? We curate experiences for the guests with our unique F&B outlets. We had the World Cup being hosted at the bar which has a big screen. Apart from that, in the last 12 months we have presented Malaysian, Burmese, Turkish, Kashmiri and other cuisines for which we had flown in chefs from Hilton hotels in those locations, to provide our guests with the unique global gastronomy on their plate at Hilton Bangalore Embassy Golflinks. Also, we keep changing our buffet menus quarterly in a year. We do around mid-75 per cent occupancy. There is new competition coming in. However, the demand will also keep increasing. We are looking to revamp the F&B offerings over the next couple of years. The reason being, we need to give unique experiences to our guests. So F&B remains at the forefront for us in driving newer experiences for our guests in the near future. Your management mantra Keeps things simple. Simple is beautiful!


IMS Unison University’s SoHM: A modern syllabus and state-of-the-art infrastructure Engage - the annual corporate meet of IMS Unison University is an annual event hosted by the University to bring together industry and IUU academia on a common platform to foster understanding and synergy with each other. On the sidelines of the event, Akshay Nayak met with Dr Vinay Rana, professor & dean – School of Hospitality Management (SoHM), IMS Unison University to learn about the unique offerings provided at SoHM to prepare aspiring students to be industry-ready


ngage the annual corporate meet of IMS Unison University was hosted by the University at Hotel Sahara Star on October 11, 2019. In its maiden effort, the University hosted the event in Mumbai this year. Over 60 senior and middle-level corporate officials attended the event from top companies like Reliance Industries, Tata, Reliance Jio, Vodafone, Zee TV, Siyaram Mills, Indian Express, Vivo Mobiles, HDFC Bank Ltd., Wipro Rediff, Hamleys, Times Now, NDTV, Frames Production to name a few. The idea of the event is to provide a platform where the industry people and academia could interact, brainstorm and learn from each other on how to shape the future of this coming generation. The event started with an informal discussion over coffee and was followed by an introduction to the event by Dr Swati Bisht, Dean Career Services. This was followed by the address of the Hon’ Pro Vice Chancellor Dr Ravikesh Srivastava who set the tone for the day. He said that there should be strong collaborations between academia and

industry for the betterment of future generations. He emphasised on attitude building. After this, there was a series of talks delivered by the senior officials - Divesh Mishra, founder URSA Minor; Shobha Cecil, head HR, Reliance Brands; Satish Datt, creative director, Fremantle India; Sushil Tripathi, head HR, Siyaram Group and Alumni including Sohit Uniyal Batch 2007, Sumit Gaikwad Batch 2010 also shared their thoughts. The vote of thanks was proposed by Pradeep Kumar Singh, senior manager, Training & Placements. The annual corporate meet of IMS Unison University-Engage New Delhi 2019 was hosted at Crown Plaza Okhla New Delhi on October 19, 2019. The event was attended by over 250 officials from across different Industries and India top corporate houses. The event started with the introduction to the event by Dr Swati Bisht, Dean Career Services followed by the welcome address by chancellor Dr Gurdip Singh and Hon Vice Chancellor Dr Gautam Sinha. The keynote addresses were delivered by some eminent speakers who

Dr Vinay Rana

are globally acclaimed like Siddharth Luthra, senior advocate, Supreme Court & ex additional solicitor general of India at the Supreme Court; Sahil Nayar, senior associate director HR, KPMG; Richa Jain Kalra, principal anchor and sr producer, NDTV and Kumar Shekhar, vice president, PayU Money. School of Hospitality Management (SoHM) is the new feather in the cap of IMS Unison University and is designed to meet the exacting standards of modern hospitality education. On the sidelines of the annual corporate meet in Mum-

bai, Dr Rana in conversation with Express Food & Hospitality decoded the wholesome view that the school is considering to shape their student’s career with their industry committed 4-year BHM (Bachelor of Hotel Management) programme. In Dr Rana’s words, “It is the most concurrent syllabus which we are following and is framed with the consultation of the experts from the industry. The key focus that we are proposing, designing and spearheading in our region is a practical-oriented syllabus that comprises a theoretical and a practical subject which we have guided equally, hence bringing a quantum shift from the original thought. Secondly, we engage the industry colleagues to give their fair inputs on how and what they want from a student. This approach gives us the insight to make the student more employable and industry-ready. Beyond it, nothing magical is required, but only to understand each other on a common note. In academics, an individual’s aspirations are different whereas once in the industry, their aspirations become dif-

ferent. When you are in the industry, your bottom line is profit and when we are into education our bottom line is into providing quality education, learning, etc. East is East and West is West and the two do not meet, but we can, of course, bridge the gap, which we are doing at IMS Unison University’s School of Hospitality Management.” Speaking about keeping their programme and school updated to train the students with modern-day requirements of the industry, Dr Rana said, that quality professional education is built on four verticals – good infrastructure, industry-ready syllabus, best faculty members, and adding a factor of student engagement activities that translates into employability. “Most of the hospitality institutes have been running on the traditional mindset and have never looked into syllabus revision altogether. Before we opened the college, we looked into the nitty-gritty of everything, right from the syllabus to good infrastructure. I am proud to say that the institute is designed as a working hotel. All the labs and requisite equipment that



November 2019


the hotels offer is in place in the school. This ensures that the student doesn’t have the feeling of being left out when they enter the industry. We also vouch heavily on our well-read faculty members who are the backbone of the institute. They are having a tenured experience in the industry which they blend mindfully with academics for which they are more effective and good motivators. The faculty is also trained in teaching the millennial students by understanding their aspirations and learning curve and then deliver effectively. Also, with the events that we are hosting, the upcoming one being the Great Indian Culinary Challenge (GICC) organised by Express Food & Hospitality, it is going to be an important event for the kind of multiplier effect that it is going to have for our school. It is going to attract the key industry chefs as they will come down to the colleges in the region hence giving a window for the students to interact and learn from them and vice versa. Beyond inculcating of bringing up good culinary talent, this event will have other farreaching effects altogether. With the GICC moving to tierII and III cities, they are tapping the regions rightly where the actual talent lies, so most of this raw manpower which has now become skilled manpower, we need to identify through this and likewise other competitions and send the talent forward,” he expressed. Giving details about the BHM course, he informed that as a part of the BHM curriculum, they at SoHM majorly focus on the four key verticals that make up for the hospitality and the core hotel operations which cannot be ignored altogether. “Herein, we do not have a leaning for one vertical in particular. Most of the time, students are inclined to making a career in food production and F&B services, as the career of a chef lures them. But then, there is life beyond that.


In our curriculum, we have taken due insights from the experts and added all those concepts together. Earlier the lesser opted options were the front office operations and housekeeping management. Throughout the syllabus, we have tried to cover some interesting facts such as usage of softwares, other operations, and from time to time we bring in important industry guests who have an international flair and experience who educate the students to not miss out on the bigger pie,” he added. Echoing views about the reasons for increased attrition level in the hospitality industry, Dr Srivastava said, “With the advent of technological change in almost every industry, it has been one of the reasons why people keep switching their jobs. In recent times, it is evident that the hospitality industry is seeing the application of technology in its core operating areas and hence the curriculum and institutes also need to be on track considering the industry trends. The hospitality sector is booming across the globe and also is rapidly increasing in India. The opportunities are increasing, but if the candidates are having half-knowledge or are unskilled, it majorly leads to attrition. We at IMS Unison focus on the skill and attitude of the candidate for which we have a structured plan to shape their career wisely.” Replying to a query about the expansion plans to newer geographies, Dr Rana said, “As of now, the University is not looking to set up satellite campuses but Unison Group has planned to upgrade IMS Unison University to a fully residential university in the coming future. It will be executed over the next five to 10 years. It will add another dimension of student engagement on campus wherein you will find the faculty members and the students staying in the campus and extending their learning beyond the classrooms.”


Nurturing a Swiss legacy Recognising the need to unite students and recruiters under one roof, Swiss Education Group (SEG), the largest private hospitality educator in Switzerland, organises the International Recruitment Forum (IRF) twice every year in Montreux, Geneva to offer its students the best career opportunities in the hospitality industry By Steena Joy


witzerland's fame as the birthplace of hospitality was established over a hundred years ago when the first palace-style hotels were built. That legacy is being nurtured by Swiss Education Group (SEG) whose schools itself are housed in beautiful heritage buildings which were once historical former palace hotels, providing inspirational surroundings for its students. SEG has five schools based across six campuses throughout Switzerland - Cesar Ritz Colleges Switzerland, Culinary Arts Academy, Hotel Institute Montreux, IHTTI School of Hotel Management and the Swiss Hotel Management School (SHMS). Each school benefits from its unique strengths and features. With over 30 years of being in the field of hospitality and culinary arts education, SEG’s core educational values are based on the renowned Swiss hospitality tradition, focusing on the practical aspects of hotel management. Which is why all the courses mandate that every student has to complete two intern-

ships. And which is why SEG organises its own International Recruitment Forum (IRF) twice a year (March & October) in Montreux, Geneva.

Under one roof SEG has developed longstanding relationships with the world’s leading hospitality players, including hotel groups, independent properties, catering and events companies, the banking industry, as well as airlines and cruise lines from around the world. And they all come under one roof at IRF to hire the best from these schools. This year India's Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, the Al Zorah property in UAE was also present as a recruiter. Speaking exclusively to Express Food & Hospitality, Yong SHEN, deputy CEO, SEG said, “India has tremendous potential. India is growing very fast and you need more and more well trained talent. And hospitality worldwide is a growth sector. With India's new infrastructure, growing middle class and service sector you will need



November 2019


more well trained world class people and we have a lot to offer. Switzerland generally is very well known for hospitality management training and SEG has a even more special place in context of Switzerland. We are so international, we are used to working with talent from all over the world. Our student body diversity is hugely impressive. We attract employers from all over the world and we are building a really strong global franchise. Students including Indian students will benefit from our global network of employers so that they can build international careers.” Commenting on the market strategy for India, SHEN added, “We are working with a number of key stakeholders in India trying to establish some more partnerships, developing a comprehensive Indian market strategy because there is a lot more potential in India for attracting students here but also the B2B market. SEG Professional as a sub brand does a lot of professional development training programmes - in that segment also we can work with a diversified number of players in India. So in all aspects of our business, India is a tremendous opportunity for us.”

A diverse student population The SEG student population covers a diverse cultural environment from Argentina to Zimbabwe consisting of around 111 nationalities and


Yong Shen

over 6582 students enrolled. Partnerships with the University of Derby (UK) and, Northwood University (USA) and Washington State University (USA) ensure that students qualifications are internationally transferable. Courses are conducted in English and all schools offer Diploma, Bachelor and Masters programmes, with a variety of subjects and specialisations. Like for example, the Hotel Institute of Montreux (HIM) offers specialisations in Human Capital & Development, Luxury Brand Management (Hi tech and Hi touch experiences) and Financial Analysis and Wealth Management. The new specialisation includes Senior Living Mangement allowing students to tailor their education to modern needs. HIM students can get internships with its industry partners such as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, La Mer, John Paul, Tag Huer, etc.

CAMPUS NOTES Here's a brief about the SEG schools: Cesar Ritz Colleges Switzerland There are three campuses: Le Bouveret, Lucerne and Brig. Le Bouveret and Lucerne students share campus with the Culinary Arts Academy students. This gives gives them a chance to develop their hospitality skills alongside future chef entrepreneurs.

Culinary arts Academy Switzerland The state-of-the art kitchens here offer students the most advanced culinary

facilities. The Le Bouveret campus is also home to The Mosimann Collection: A Culinary Heritage which houses the memorabilia collected by Michelin starred Chef Anton Mosimann (OBE).

design-style school where students develop a better understanding of design and new trends in luxury hotel management.

Hotel Institute Montreux (HIM)

This school has two campuses Caux and Leysin. The Caux campus is housed in a former palace hotel Caux Palace which can be accessed by a small train. With operational facilities like lavish banqueting halls, a grand theatre, multiple restaurants, students have many opportunities to perfect their skills in hospitality management.

HIM is located in the heart of Montreux on the banks of Lake Geneva with the Alps as the backdrop. The school is housed in three former hotel buildings within walking distance of each other.

IHTTI School of Hotel Management This




Swiss Hotel Management School

'ITIS AGREATOPPORTUNITYFOR OUR STUDENTS TO GETINTERVIEWED,TO GET EXPOSED TO THE REALLIFE' In an exclusive interview, Florent Rondez, CEO, SEG speaks about the IRF's benefits to SEG students and the India market. What are the takeaways from IRF 2019? It is an incredible event that we host twice a year and we are so lucky that so many professionals from the hotel industry, over 180 people recruiters from different companies come to meet our students and recruit them over the two days of the IRF. It is a great opportunity for our students to get interviewed, to get exposed to the real life. Hopefully they will find an internship or management training programme but at the same time because all the students come here, there is also competition like in the real job market - they may

imperative for them to be presentable, to be well spoken - they have to sell themselves and I think this is the great platform to learn more about companies which they do not know or learn more about a company that they already like and also to do a lot of work on themselves…showing their CVs and the passion for the job/education they have chosen.

Florent Rondez

be close to their classmates but they may fighting for the same job. So that makes it

What do you think of the India market, considering a significant part of your students are from India? I have been to India may times and I think the county has great hospitality and


69.7% Bachelor Hospitality


19.15% Postgraduate Hospitality

Bachelor Culinary Arts

some beautiful hotel properties. Indian students are very well spoken in English which is an asset for welcoming wold travellers but I think what they lack is the rigourness of Switzerland timing, time management, precision, attention to detail so there is something they can embrace here by being with other nationalities. India has a great hospitality - I

have been to Leela, Taj, beautiful hotels. The country is developing and welcoming more and more tourists from around the world so the country should be able to supply the demand for tourism not just is in India welcoming foreigners but even in overseas hotels who want to employ some good Indian employees to welcome Indian guests.



November 2019

MOVEMENTS OZEN by Atmosphere, Maldives

experience and has worked with leading Indian and international brands like Taj, Country Inn and Suites By Carlson, Holiday Inn, among others, in various positions in sales and operations. Clarks Inn Group of Hotels has also promoted Abhinandan Sharma, one of the longest serving employees in the company, as the assistant GM – finance. Sharma, who came on board soon after the Clarks Inn

OZEN by Atmosphere, Maldives announced the appointment of Simmi Satyeash Pai

Simmi Satyeash Pai

as vice president of sales and director of sales & marketing. She brings more than 14 years of experience within the destination in sales and marketing. In her new role, she will be responsible for all sales efforts for the group, with a focus on pushing sales and marketing activities for OZEN by Atmosphere to a broader level in the global luxury travel market. Prior to joining Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts, she was the director of sales & marketing of Fairmont Maldives at Sirru Fen Fushi.

Sarovar Hotels & Resorts Sarovar Hotels & Resorts has appointed Ajoy Balkrishna as the regional director- North. An industry adept professional, Balkrishna brings with him 30+ years of experience in the hospitality industry. In his new role, he will be responsible for overseeing the planning and implementation of all Sarovar branded hotels in North India. Balkrishna has been part of Sarovar Hotels from last 11 years and his last assignment was as the GM of Grand Sarovar Premiere and Residency Sarovar Portico, Mumbai. During his hospitality

Pride Group of Hotels

Ajoy Balkrishna

Grimek Khizakhe

career he has been associated with The Oberoi, The Regent Hotel, Hyatt and InterContinental Hotels. He has been a part of the pre-opening team of five distinct properties in Mumbai and Goa. He holds strong hotel operations and management skills, and a thorough knowledge of hospitality market.

to productivity, culture and cost savings initiatives with focus on overall organisational development, change management, business excellence and transformation in a matrix structure. A strategy architect, he is credited with implementation of innovative HR initiatives to streamline processes and capitalise on organisational growth opportunities. A natural leader, Grimek possesses a teambased management style coupled with excellent relationship management, analytical leadership, decision-making & organisational skills. He has been associated in the past with brands such as the Taj Group, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf UAE, Carlson Rezidor and the Intercontinental Hotel Group. Gurpreet Singh Kandhari has also joined Concept Hospitality as the operations manager at The Fern Spazio Leisure Resort, Anjuna, Goa.

Clarks Inn Group of Hotels Clarks Inn Group of Hotels has recently appointed Suneel Rawat as GM – business development. A seasoned hotelier, Rawat will be responsible for the portfolio development and will form part of the core group to oversee the next phase of growth of Clarks Inn Group of Hotels. He will be based at the corporate office in Noida. Rawat comes with three decades of hospitality

Abhinandan Sharma

Group of Hotels was formed in 2006, boasts of enormous experience and understanding of the complex hospitality business and has made invaluable contribution to the growth of the company since his joining the company in April 2007. In his previous role Sharma was the manager – finance, a position he served in for about five years. He has previously worked with some of the leading hospitality names like Hotel Sayaji and Hotel Fortune Landmark, a Welcom Group hotel in Indore.

Concept Hospitality

Suneel Rawat


He has been in the industry for the last ten years and has worked with brands like ITC Sheraton Park Hotel and Towers- Chennai, Taj Coromandel Chennai, Hilton a Flagship Hotel - New Delhi. A hospitality graduate from IHM Srinagar he was last associated with Park Inn by Radisson, New Delhi.

Grimek Khizakhe has joined Concept Hospitality as the chief people officer. Khizakhe has been associated with human resource development for the last 26 years and has worked with some of the most reputed and respectable hospitality brands. In his more than two-decade-long career Khizakhe has acquired rich expertise in establishing & developing HR practices and contributing

Pride Group of Hotels has appointed Amit Sidana as VP - sales & marketing. A seasoned hospitality professional, Sidana has over 19 years experience in sales & marketing. He comes with a diversified knowledge base of sales as he had worked in other industries like software

Amit Sidana

sales & insurance sales too, apart from the core hospitality sales. Prior to joining in the current role, Sidana has worked as national head (sales, marketing & revenue distribution) with Orchid Group of Hotels. In his earlier tenures, he has been associated with Accor Group of Hotels and Intercontinental Group of Hotels.

The Westin Pune Koregaon Park

Gurpreet Singh Kandhari

The Westin Pune Koregaon Park has appointed Harish Kumar as the front office manager. He is a versatile and results-driven professional with over seven years of experience


tel’s revenue and market share. She comes with a rich experience of over 12 years in the sales and marketing industry, a stickler for perfection and attention to detail, she has motivated her team at all times to achieve targets and has been responsible for business growth in her previous roles. Prior to this, Bose has worked with reputed brands such as The Oberoi Group of Hotels & Resorts and started her journey as sales executive at The Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai in 2007.

The Leela Mumbai The Leela Mumbai has announced the appointment of Anand Athavale as the new director of sales and marketing. A result oriented professional with over 14 years of experience, he brings with him a

Debarati Bose

hospitality sector. In his current role, he will be looking after hotel's revenue function alongside development and implementation of right rate strategy. He will also help the brand to maintain a trajectory of growth, maximising overall revenue and identifying new business opportunities.

Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel

JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu has appoitned Debarati Bose as the new director of sales and marketing. In her new capacity, Bose will play a pivotal role in driving and overseeing all aspects of sales and marketing strategies, optimising the ho-

An expert baker, patissier and chocolatier with a decade of professional experience, pastry Chef Shaikh Samim’s passion for his craft has seen him create many a delectable delights to come ‘out of the oven’ all through his culinary journey. Dynamic and enterprising, Chef Samim, the new pastry chef at Chandigarh Baking Company, the deli and patisserie at JW Marriott Chandi-

Himanshu Kumar

Harish Kumar

in developing exceptional relationship with clients, peers and senior leadership to provide superior customer service. At The Westin Pune Koregaon Park, Kumar will be responsible for maintaining established quality and service standards and managing the front office to ensure an outstanding experience. He thrives on developing new ideas and concepts, and innovative and creative ways to improve the service standards and values to delight guests.

bility and dedication for food in all its forms have seen him evolve and develop a dynamic personality, adapting to various roles across the country. Chef Chaudhury's proficiency lies in various world cuisines in both fine dining as well as niche banqueting events. Starting his professional journey as a management trainee, he has worked his way exceptionally through various brands and levels. Having worked with the Taj and Hyatt previously, he joined the Marriott family in 2018 with the Fairmont brand.

Anand Athavale

sound understanding and a wealth of expertise in the sales and marketing domain. At The Leela Mumbai, Athavale's core responsibilities will include planning and implementing the hotel’s sales and marketing strategy, maximising hotel’s revenues, exploring business opportunities through events, setting annual budgets, forecasting, analysing revenue reports and strategy, amongst others. The Leela Mumbai has also appointed Himanshu Kumar as the new revenue manager. With over 15 years of global experience, Kumar brings with him a vast understanding of the

Chef Shibendu Ray Chaudhury has joined as the executive sous chef at Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel and Lakeside ChaletMumbai, Marriott Executive Apartments. He brings with him vast experience and multicultural learning garnered over the course of a rich career spanning 11 years across various cities and diverse cuisines. His passion, experience, sensi-

JW Marriott Chandigarh A specialist in European and regional Indian cuisines, Chef Japvir Singh Vohra, the new executive chef at JW Marriott Chandigarh loves playing with fresh ingredients in his kitchen. With over 14 years of professional experience, he brings with him extensive skills and understanding of food and beverage operations. Having worked with iconic properties such as Hilton Jaipur, The Park, Kolkata and The Claridges, New Delhi in the past, he brings his multicuisine expertise to the city of Chandigarh whose residents are known to be appreciative of new offerings and innovations. Passionate for cooking, over the years, Chef Vohra has evolved not just as a chef but also as a food designer, food stylist and as a culinary conceptualiser.

Chef Shaikh Samim

garh, draws inspiration from various sources, particularly for his elaborate chocolate and bread showpieces. With his global experience as an ace pastry chef, Chef Samim is all set to create new benchmarks in desserts and pastries for the City Beautiful and its residents. Over the course of his career, Chef Samim has worked at prestigious hospitality institutions in India and abroad like Fairmont Jaipur, Sheraton a Luxury Collection Hotel Kuwait, Double Tree by Hilton Pune and Media One Hotel Dubai in various capacities.

Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre & HICC

Chef Shibendu Ray Chaudhury

Chef Japvir Singh Vohra

Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre and Hyderabad International Convention Centre announced the appointment of Siddharth Pandey as their new director of revenue for their dual property. In his new role, Pandey who brings over 10 years of hospitality experience, will be leading revenue



November 2019


team’s overall operations, increase profitability in all outlets, systematically review and introduce new menu options. The already popular unique dining experiences in the resort will be elevated. His journey includes a spectrum of business, luxury and resort portfolios.

where he was responsible for upkeep and maintenance of guest rooms, public areas, laundry and horticulture.

Novotel Pune

The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace Siddharth Pandey

operations for Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre and HICC. Being a seasoned professional in analytical and functional operations, he will be responsible for forecasting and strategising monthly growth targets and driving the hotel’s fair market positioning by guiding the sales and marketing team.

Kris Reynolds has been appointed as the new director of sales and marketing at The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace. In his new role, Reynolds will spearhead the hotel’s continued endeavour as a star property providing a plethora of dining experiences as well as innovative experiences of the culinary kind. He has been instrumental in the launch of Hyatt Regency

JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa Wilbur Tauro has been appointed as the director of F&B at JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa. Bringing with him over a decade of experience, he will spearhead the culinary & beverage department and take on this leadership position with an aim to uphold the standard of F&B excellence that the hotel is known for. Tauro will lead the culinary

Kris Reynolds

(Pune) and the Grand Hyatt (Goa) where he worked on implementing innovative concepts in F&B, rooms and sales operations. He has also led inventory and yield management, has managed P&Ls, and is known to be an expert in managing corporate clients and creating customised and viable solutions to expand the business.

Ritesh Ail

him immense experience and possesses good communication and leadership skills. In his previous tenure he was associated with JW Marriott as the F&B manager with a department comprising of over 100 associates. He has a professional expertise in annual budgeting, employee engagement, knowledge of F&B, operational excellence, cost management, customer relationship management, business development, among others. He brings with him immense passion, energy and quality assurance. The Westin Pune Koregaon Park has also appointed Nikhil Kulkarni as the executive housekeeper. Kulkarni brings with him immense experience and possesses good communication and leadership skills. In his previous tenure he was associated with The Oberoi Vrinda and Trident Cochin as the executive housekeeper

Novotel Pune is proud to announce the appointment of Chef Anil Chabukswar as the new executive chef. With almost two decades of experience with well- known brands like the Hilton, Oberoi and Le Meridien, he is known for his creative expression. Having been with Accor hotels for two years now, Chef Chabukswar

Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport, part of the InterContinental Hotels Group announced the appointment of Sai Khavle as executive housekeeper. Sai brings aboard over 15 years of extensive experi-

Chef Anil Chabukswar

has been the driving force behind the new additions in the wholesome menu. He has always strived to popularise local cuisine by adapting it to Indian and international palates.

SK Lords Eco Inn SK Lords Eco Inn has appointed Chetan Ambhore as

Sai Khavle

The Westin Pune Koregaon Park

Wilbur Tauro

The Westin Pune Koregaon Park is pleased to announce the appointment of Ritesh Ail – director of F&B. Ail brings with


operations manager. He has graduated in hotel management from pune university and completed diploma in international hospitality from Griffith University. At Lords he will be involved in maintaining service standards along with achieving customer satisfaction through his team. His strength lies in planning and organising hotel operations and ensuring standard operating procedures. Prior to Lords his last assignment was with Saya Grand Club & Spa Resort as front office manager & as acting operations manager.

Nikhil Kulkarni

Chetan Ambhore

ence in her field. Sai began her career in 2004 with Hyatt Regency and has also worked with the Marriott group. Most recently she was associated with the The Intercontinental Marine Drive, Mumbai as executive housekeeper. In her new role, she will be incharge for directing the overall operations and overseeing the housekeeping department.


3D Dishwasher by Faber A globally leading kitchen appliances brand, Faber has launched its Freestanding Dishwasher (6 PR 12S) with 3D wash technology which delivers exceptional cleaning in a faster and convenient way. The breakthrough innovation of 3D wash technology uses three spray arms to maximise water spray in all corners of the dishwasher and saves up to 15 per cent time. Faber has incorporated some state-of- the-art technology with features like zone wash which provides targeted cleaning in the selected wash zone; half load enabling less resource consumption and delay start enabling one to start the dishwasher as per their schedule.

Range of steel bottles by Vinod Cookware Vinod Cookware India’s oldest kitchenware brand announced 30 new bottles to its existing range, to fight against plastic pollution and advocating the use of steel bottles. The home-grown brand launched the bottles in series of size and shapes/colours, suiting the varied needs of this generation. The steel bottles are hygienic to use, shatter resistant and are resistant to corrosion, long-lived, and tolerant of high temperatures. The bottles sport high quality stainless steel interior, featuring robust insulated walls, engineered for the extreme climatic conditions, without building up germs or any unpleasant odours.

Filter coffee decoction by Sumeru Sumeru’s filter coffee decoction will be India’s first authentic South Indian filter coffee brand to be introduced in North India with coffee beans picked from the best coffee plantations of South India. With more coffee per cup than other filter coffee decoctions, the filter coffee decoction comes sans sugar, or artificial flavours and colours, in convenient one 100 ml sachets, each serving up to 10-12 cups of rich, strong filter coffee. The shelf life of the decoction pack is six months.



November 2019


Air Buddy by Crompton Crompton has recently launched the Crompton Air Buddy. It is designed in such a way that you can enjoy a soft, focused air flow without disturbing the gas flames thereby making the experience of anyone cooking in the kitchen more comfortable and relaxing. The Crompton Air Buddy is sleek and compact in design. It also has a flexible installation and an adjustable louver for a desired air flow. It can be easily accommodated on the platform or mounted on the wall or under the cabinet horizontally and vertically.

Coconut spreads by Coco Soul Marico’s Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil brand Coco Soul recently extended the product portfolio with a range of coconut spreads under their vegan gourmet food range. The brand has introduced two indulgent flavours in the range – Original and Cacao. The spreads are made with 100 per cent natural ingredients and are preservative free making it a healthy choice for the health conscious, seeking a rich, creamy and indulgent taste. Made from handpicked, high grade coconuts, the spreads contain no added preservatives or stabilisers to bind the ingredients, concocted using only the core ingredients which include coconut milk and coconut syrup.





November 2019




November 2019






November 2019



ULTIMATE HOTELIER CONFERENCE IN BALI RepUp, a leading guest experience management company recently hosted the Guest Experience and Revenue Summit at H Sovereign Hotel in Bali. The summit was aimed at creating a forum for hoteliers in Bali to meet, discuss and learn about the travel and tourism industry, and be future ready to maximise hotel revenue and improve guest experience

A JOURNEY THROUGH ART Pullman New Delhi Aerocity unveiled an exquisite art exhibition with a live painting session by artist Manoj Das. Themed as “A Journey Through Art,” the exhibition showcases the Indian and Vietnamese art from emerging artists across the country

MOST EXPENSIVE CHOCOLATE LISTED UNDER GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Fabelle Exquisite Chocolates, the home-grown luxury chocolate brand from ITC, recently revealed its most expensive chocolate listed under Guinness World Records with the launch of its limited edition Fabelle Trinity - Truffles Extraordinaire

INDIRANAGAR CLEAN-A-THON The NRAI Bengaluru Chapter in association with the Indiranagar Trade Association organised a Clean-A-Thon drive in Indiranagar, on October 2, 2019 to resonate with Gandhi Jayanti and to promote a clean and green environment with a strong drive against single-use plastic products

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF GIRL CHILD Brigade Hospitality celebrated international Day of the Girl Child on October 10. Around 40 underprivileged girls from various 13 different government schools through World Vision India were invited for a visit to the Indian Music Experience (IME), the first interactive music museum of India



PPFI SYNERGY Purchasing Professionals Forum - India celebrated its annual Synergy event at Le Meridien New Delhi recently which was inaugurated by chief guest K B Kachru, chairman emeritus and principal advisor south Asia- Radisson Hotel group; Amarjit S Ahuja, president, PPFI alongwith members of an NGO for cerebral palsy patients

30 BEST BARS INDIA 2019 The list of 30 best bars India 2019 was unveiled recently at the well-attended awards show at Pullman New Delhi Aerocity. 30 Best Bars India 2019, organised by Tulleeho, is based on a nationwide poll of more than 200 bar enthusiasts and industry experts

INDIA’S ONLY HOSPITALITY HIGHER EDUCATION FAIR ‘GHEE 2019’ With a sizeable portion of Indian students pursuing hospitality & culinary courses, Zista Education organised India’s only hospitality & culinary- focused higher education fair “Global Hospitality Educational Expo 2019” (GHEE 2019)

RIISE INITIATIVE In October 2018, Accor Group gave a fresh impetus to its international network promoting diversity, which already has more than 14,000 members globally, with the launch of ‘RiiSE’. Over 44 employees from Novotel Goa Candolim and Novotel Goa Resort & Spa attended the workshop and participated in a delightful hi-tea thereafter



November 2019


Scene and Heard With Marcellus Baptista

Meal feel

Cheerful interlude

Stephane Gaborieau & Nikhil Agarwal


n affair to remember was the sit-down dinner paired with wine at the All Things Nice presentation of an exciting evening with Michelin Star chef Stéphane Gaborieau who teamed up with Sofitel Mumbai BKC executive chef Neeraj Rawoot and the culinary team of the hotel. Guests were in for a treat with a fabulous five-course dinner that saw Chef Gaborieau showcasing his style of cuisine, with respect to products and flavours, paired with Indian and international wines selected by sommelier Nikhil Agarwal, CEO, All Things Nice. Along with the food fare you sipped and savoured Grover Zampa Soirée Brut, Art Collection Rosé, Vijay Amritraj Réserve Collection White and Chêne Grande Réserve from Grover Zampa Vineyards, Bodegas Valdemar Blanco, Spain from Flipsydee and Premius Bordeaux Rouge from Monika Enterprise. Partners at this exquisite event included co-sponsor Hafele, French luxury hotel Sofitel Mumbai BKC and TWG Tea.

Agents of Cheer


he third edition of Agents of Cheer, curated and helmed by Rojita Tiwari, Gargi Kothari, and Ruchika Agarwal D’Souza, was well and truly cheerful. The A club was the sparkling venue with consumers interacting with several experts from the beverages and drinks industry. It was time for a walk-around tasting that included a superlative show at the Spirits Studio with brands from Beam Suntory’s portfolio: The Ardmore Legacy single malt and Teacher’s Golden Thistle 12YO Scotch whisky. The studio was also the space for imported rum brands Ron Diplomatico Mantuano and Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva and Indian craft gin Greater Than. There was also a wonderful wine selection with over 50 handpicked imported and Indian wines. And, finally, the Craft Drinks Bar saw the presence of Moonshine Meadery, Sheppy’s Cider and Kati Patang.

Mithai magic


Tanisha Mukerji and Rachel Goenka


amaraderie over cocktails and conversations was what it was at Estella at the party to celebrate the launch of Rachel Goenka’s book ‘Adventures with Mithai’ published by Harper Collins. Besides wines, beers and spirits, at the bar were cool cocktails crated by Afzal Kaba that included Twisted G&T (Tanqueray London Dry Gin, fresh basil, pineapple, tonic), Johnnie Spiced (Johnnie Walker Black Label 12YO, cinnamon, nutmeg, apple juice), Ciroc Tea (Ciroc Ultra Premium Vodka, blue tea, lime juice, black salt) and Captain Stormy (Captain Morgan Rum, lime juice, ginger, bitters, brown sugar). Hors d’oeuvres did the rounds and a buffet dinner and delightful desserts awaited the many guests. And you learned that from chocolate barfi-flavoured cheesecake to cardamom mousse sprinkled with motichoor laddoo, Rachel Goenka’s ‘Adventures with Mithai’ brings you 50 original recipes of Indian classics with a modern twist.

Shining show


he shine of wine was evident at the 2019 India Wine Awards at The Leela. As many as 116 medals were awarded to wines in Silver, Gold and Diamond Best in Show categories. Also, 17 restaurants in the country were recognised for their outstanding wine lists and as best wine destinations. This wine awards initiative powered by Sonal Holland, India’s first Master of Wine, founder-director of SoHo Wine Club and her namesake academy, turned out to be a wonderful experience. The wines entered in the competition were judged over two days, in September, by a panel chaired by Sonal Holland, comprising 17 distinguished wine professionals, hospitality leaders and taste-makers. As usual, the tastings were done blind, without any knowledge of producer, region or quality level.

Sonal Holland and Aishwarya Nair Mathew


Profile for Indian Express

Express Food and Hospitality (Vol.1 No.8) November, 2019  

India's Foremost Food & Hospitality Magazine ~ Kitchen Equipment 2.0

Express Food and Hospitality (Vol.1 No.8) November, 2019  

India's Foremost Food & Hospitality Magazine ~ Kitchen Equipment 2.0