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Food For Thought Fest 2019: An Amalgamation Of Cuisines

The event appealed to the mind and palate of visitors, from the eager food lovers, bloggers, students of hotel management, to professionals from the hotel and restaurant industry.

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The fifth edition of the Food for Thought Fest came back to the capital in December, celebrating the diverse culinary heritage of the South Asian region. The festival came to Delhi on the 14th and 15th of December, 2019, and had been held at GMR Square, Aerocity, New Delhi.  

A special one of a kind initiative was to focus on the common heritage and history of the region, as well as the unique influences that were a part of it. Food for Thought Fest had set a benchmark as a forum for conversations, cuisines, and the exchange of ideas and philosophies. The participating countries were India,  Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.

At the 2019 edition, there were talks and discussions around culture and cuisine in the “Thought Fest”, whereas the “Food Fest” offered cookery workshops with master chefs of the region and an authentic flavor from the participating countries. The theme of this year of the Food Court was “ A Taste of Luxury” which brought together 13 of the most well-known luxury hotels in Delhi NCR to showcase their top 7 dishes in their booth, which were served in tasting portions and were priced between rupees 150 to 350 only! 

For the first time, luxury became so affordable. The participating hotels were Westin Gurgaon, The Park, The Lodhi, The Manor, Welcomhotel Dwarka, Vivanta Dwarka, Pullman Novotel Aerocity, The Roseate House, Ibis, Together at 12th from Le Meridien Gurgaon and JW Marriott. This year too the “Fest Bazaar” offered various exciting products for an avid shopper. 

A new feature that has been a huge attraction this year was the “TIPPLE FEST ” which had been held at the same venue on the lower level. It offered the visitor(s) a chance to enjoy cocktails and drinks curated by some of the leading international liquor brands in India. Master Classes were held by the Brand Ambassadors of the participating liquor companies and a separate stage with quick cocktail making sessions interspersed with live solo performances by musicians.

The event appealed to the mind and palate of visitors, from the eager food lovers, bloggers, students of hotel management, to professionals from the hotel and restaurant industry. Some of the participants were Ad Guru Prahlad Kakkar in his avatar as a chef on stage with Celebrity Hairstylist Sylvie Rodgers, Chef Osama Jalali on stage with author Rana Safvi, Celebrity Chefs Vicky Ratnani, Nahid Osman (Bangladesh), Chef Saby Gorai, Chef Shyam  Thapa (Nepal) noted curator and author Birad Rajaram Yajnik on stage with Chef Nishant Choubey, Padmashris Dr. Pushpesh Pant and Deepa Mallik, T.V presenter Bhupendra Chaubey, Designers Shantanu & Nikhil, Rani Meera Muzzafar Ali, Nawab Rampur, Amit Bagga, Fitness expert Vesna Jacob, Cricket Icon Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan, Author Sangeeta Khanna, TV presenter Puja Talwar, Master Chef Amila Botheju (Sri Lanka) and Chef Dayarathne, to name a few.

The Food for Thought Fest was conceived as a convergence of ideas and dialogues around gastronomy, in the process enabling an atmosphere of South Asian commonality through culinary and cultural diversity. In its five editions, the Food For Thought Fest had set a benchmark with a handpicked selection of panelists, chefs, and experts. 

The Thought Fest was a presentation of papers and talks, interviews, and panel discussions by scholars, journalists, and professionals on various topics on gastronomy. The Food Fest included two components; on one hand, it brought a demonstration of culinary techniques and traditions from the region. It exhibited cookery demos by luminaries in the culinary industry and also the most prominent names on Indian television. And on the other hand, the Food Fest showcased the best restaurants of hotels in Aerocity, presenting a plethora of flavours. Each booth had 7 dishes in tasting portions priced between Rs 150-350. The FUN FEST brought outperforming art and entertainment. There was a section to satiate the shoppers and an entertainment corner which presented popular bands from  Parikrama Inc and The Toll Road with their performances.

Over the 2 days of festival programming through sessions and workshops conducted from 12.00 p.m – 6.00 pm every day, the participants engaged in contemporary issues with the most progressive-minded panelists, learned from the most celebrated chefs in the region, explored fascinating topics related to food and, of course, treated their taste buds with the splendid flavours that the subcontinent offered

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