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‘Forgotten Food Needs A Better Road’

There are so many organic restaurants coming up and closing down. So, ultimately the story needs more than a substance, says Manish Mehrotra, Corporate Chef, Old World Hospitality

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BW Hotelier organised its 3rd F & B Conclave and Expo 2017 on Wednesday (19 July) at Aerocity, New Delhi. The conclave focused on meeting challenges and finding new directions. In the third session of BW Hotelier event, Chef Alex Moser, Executive Chef, Andaz Delhi presented the Annamaya model of sourcing. The presentation was followed by the panel discussion ‘How Restaurants Can Change the Market for India’s Forgotten Foods’.

The eminent panellist for the hour was, Viraj Bahl, CEO, Veeba Food services, Manish Mehrotra, Corporate Chef, Old World Hospitality, Ravitej Nath, Regional Chef Entrepreneur, Puneet Jhajharia, Co-founder, Crop Connect Enterprises and Meenu Nageshwaran from The Earth Collective.

The session was moderated by Bikramjit Ray, Executive Editor, BW Hotelier and he took the discussion forward by asking Mehrotra, how he includes forgotten food in his menu. “I focus on forgotten dishes rather than ingredients.  There should be a regular supply of the ingredients to keep the dish sustained in the menu,” Mehrotra answered.

Thereafter, Nath on the panel agreed with the issue of supply chains.

Ray raised the question to Jhajharia asking about the challenges from the Farmer’s side. Jhajharia said, “I consider adaptation as a serious issue. The organic or the forgotten food is always best for the consumers as well as the soil. But, apart from the village area, there is no demand for these foods.”

Adding more to the discussion Bahl said, “According to me Indian farmers are far more intelligent. As an industry, we have to create a demand for them.”

When asked upon the need of education to the farmers, everyone on the panel came up with different opinions. Nageshwaran raised the need to educate the customers first whereas Jhajharia spoke about educating the farmers.

The proactive discussion on the forgotten food ended with an open note by Mehrotra who said, “There are so many organic restaurants coming up and closing down. So, ultimately the story needs more than a substance.”


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