New Delhi, India, September 30, 2015 (Newswire.com) - The South Asian Association for Gastronomy Brings Culinary Diversity of
SAARC Nations at the first Food for Thought Fest 2015 on October 17&18
Mr. Maneesh Baheti, Founder, SAAG elaborates, "As part of the South Asian Association for Gastronomy, an organisation that works with food scholars, leading chefs, policy influencers and food lovers of the South Asian region, one of my initial tasks was to visit the SAARC countries to connect with people. My first stop was in Pakistan, where I travelled to 11 cities and met some of the most influential people connected with the world of gastronomy. The purpose of my visit was also to document the street foods of Pakistan, leading ultimately to a coffee table book on the street foods of South Asia. After Pakistan, I visited other participating nations to delve into their culinary diversities and felt gratified with their enthusiastic response to participate in our inaugural Food for Thought Fest."
Mr. Maneesh Baheti, Founder, South Asian Association for Gastronomy
The Food for Thought Festival is conceived as a convergence of people for the exchange of ideas and dialogues around gastronomy, in the process enabling an atmosphere of South Asian commonality through culinary and cultural diversity.
The SAARC region besides being home to more than a quarter of the world’s population, also has the world’s most diverse set of languages, dialects, cultures and religions. Yet we have a history of intertwined mythologies, music, cinema and of course, food.
The South Asian Association for Gastronomy is directed by three noted food industry professionals, each with expertise in different domains. Between them, they possess over three decades of industry experience in all facets of the sector, covering trade skills, management, consultancy, writing, television, publishing, hospitality and education. They also share a common vision for a mature platform for gastronomy in South Asia, the expression of their shared passion and a way of expanding the scope of the industry in each of the participating nations.
In a globalised world, food has become the medium of choice for cross-cultural exchange – while the recipes for cuisines vary, the passion for it crosses all borders. Food has permeated our social and cultural expressions in the most exciting ways, including through innovation, design, beauty, art & new media.
The Food For Thought Fest will be an annual event in India bringing together the most interesting issues, professionals and food from the SAARC countries of South Asia. The inaugural festival will be held at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on 17thand 18th October 2015.
From the activities point of view, The Festival is divided into “Thought Fest” and “Food Fest”. The “Thought Fest” will take place at the Rudraksha, Amaltas and Kadamba at the Stein Auditorium and will include activities such as presentation of papers and talks, interviews and panel discussions by noted scholars, journalists and authors on various interesting topics around traditional gastronomy and its ongoing evolution. At another location within the I.H.C, the “South Asia Culinary Showcase” will present cookery workshops and demonstrations conducted by invited chefs who will showcase the high points of their culinary traditions.
The “Food Fest” will of course bring the actual flavour of each region to visitors through the “South Asia Food Court” at The Hub. And during the evenings, “The South Asia Cultural Showcase” at The Plaza Steps, will provide aesthetic entertainment by performing artists from the SAARC region. Simultaneously, a Gastronomy Bazaar at the Silver Oak Lawn will bring the best of organic produce and books to visitors. Routes 2 Roots will host the cultural evenings at The Plaza Steps. Routes 2 Roots, a non-profit, non commercial organization, promotes Cultural Diplomacy across the world and having hosted cultural events in more than 12 countries and 30 cities, it brings people to people understanding for sustaining peace.
Over the 2 days of festival programming through sessions and workshops conducted from 10.30 am – 5.30 pm every day, participants will have the opportunity to engage in contemporary issues with the most progressive-minded panellists, learn from the greatest chefs in the region, explore fascinating topics related to food and, of course, treat their taste buds with the most splendid flavours that the subcontinent has to offer.
The event will appeal 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. The event promises to be an enriching celebration of the mind and spirit, while strengthening the sense of a joyous community.
Some of the confirmed speakers and participants are: Dr. Shashi Tharoor, M.P, noted author & opinion leader, Mr. Bishen Singh Bedi, spin legend of Indian cricket; Mr. Sudhir Mishra, national award winning film director; Chef Abhijit Saha of the famed Caperberry, Fava and SAHA restaurants; Mr. Gaurav Gogoi, M.P from Assam; Mr. Gautam Anand, seasoned hotelier from ITC hotels and passionate foodie; Chef Manjit Gill, Corporate Chef of ITC hotels; Mr. Kishore Singh, noted journalist, author and publisher, Delhi Art Gallery; Ms. Ruchira Hoon Philip, renowned foodie and journalist; Ms. Neha Prasad, noted author of cook book “Dining with the Maharajas”(India). Visiting dignitaries from other SAARC countries include, Ms. Rubina Farouq; Ms. Nahid Osman; Ms. Alpana Habib; Mr. Shawkat Osman; Ms. Noor Fatima; Mr. Raza Abbas; Mr. Sheharyar Mirza and Chef Asif Munir Malik; Mr. Bharat Basnet and Chef Gaujrel; Ms. Choedon and Chef Rinzig.
Besides, renowned restaurants from the participating nations will serve culinary delights during the two-day fest. These include, Kasturi Garden, Dhaka - authentic Bangladesh cuisine; Heritage Restaurant, Dhaka – modern Bangladeshi food; Raza Abbas, Dubai - modern Pakistani food; Avari Hotel, Lahore, will present authentic Pakistani cuisine; Folk Heritage Museum Restaurant, Thimpu, will present a mix of traditional and modern Bhutanese cuisine; Bhojan Griha, Kathmandu will present authentic Newari and Rana cuisines of Nepal; Serena Hotel, Kabul, will serve the famed robust cuisine of Afghanistan. Starwood Hotels will present five of these restaurants at their hotels in Delhi–NCR in food festivals from 19th to 26th October. Hotel Claridge's, New Delhi will host the opening dinner on 16th October and Hotel Marriott, Jaipur will host the Nepal food festival.
According to Ms. Advaita Kala, Founder, SAAG, “We are delighted to launch this inaugural Food for Thought Fest as it will bring out the best of the cuisines from different countries of South Asia. The amalgamation of participating food professionals will result in many new experiences for visitors. We hope that the people of Delhi would come forward with great enthusiasm to participate in this delectably enriching experience.”
Mr. Rahul Dravid, legendary cricketer says, “At the outset, I would like to congratulate the SAAG team for hosting the Food for Thought Fest. This convergence of ideas, flavours and cultures from the South Asian region will bring this part of the world closer.”
Mr. Maneesh Baheti, Founder, SAAG elaborates, “As part of the South Asian Association for Gastronomy, an organisation that works with food scholars, leading chefs, policy influencers and food lovers of the South Asian region, one of my initial tasks was to visit the SAARC countries to connect with people. My first stop was in Pakistan, where I travelled to 11 cities and met some of the most influential people connected with the world of gastronomy. The purpose of my visit was also to document the street foods of Pakistan, leading ultimately to a coffee table book on the street foods of South Asia. After Pakistan, I visited other participating nations to delve into their culinary diversities and felt gratified with their enthusiastic response to participate in our inaugural Food for Thought Fest.”
About the founders of S.A.A.G
Mr. Maneesh Baheti, alumni of The Oberoi School of Hotel Management, is a seasoned hotelier with over 16 years in senior positions at leading brands such as The Oberoi Group and Hyatt International, before branching out as a hospitality industry consultant with a diverse projects portfolio. His love for cuisines has taken him on extensive travels, including the SAARC region of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Ms. Sonali Anand, a Masters in Tourism Management from Bournemouth University, U.K, she has spent over a decade in senior positions with multinational companies including, The Oberoi Group. She went for a second Masters Degree in Social Development from Euromed, Marseille, France, which equips her with an insight into international cultural relations and dynamics.
Ms. Advaita Kala, an alumni of the Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development. She has worked with international Luxury Hotel Chains in India and abroad. She shifted gears a few years back and moved into a literary career and her debut novel, “Almost Single” sold over a 100,000 copies in India besides being translated in many languages. She is an award winning screenwriter, most notably for the film Kahaani.
SAAG also has an eminent Advisory Board that comprises of experts such as Michelin Star Chef Atul Kocchar from The U.K and Master Chef Abhijit Saha.
For further information, please contact PR Grid: Ritu Lamba/Jitendra Parmar
Tel: 911141431044, 41431455, +919810816035, +919818410072