Despite consumers love for international food, it is the desi tadka that makes people happy and satisfied, and restaurateurs and chefs are heavily cashing in on this consumer sentiment.
Year 2014 saw lots of global cuisines and brands entering India that tweaked and reinvented their menu and cuisine to suit the Indian palate. But what is awaiting us this year is totally amazing, as experts and experienced chefs in the industry are working on ‘bringing back the regional Indian cuisine’ in its original form.
“Food has to change with time, and the efficiency in food is the need of the hour with some regional tweaks and global parameters,” shared Masterchef Sanjeev Kapoor, Restaurateur and Celebrity Chef, SK Brands. Adding on, he said, “The effort to return ratio is not very exciting in food business- the money, the collective effort that the chef has put in designing the menu is very low.”
Adding on the same lines, Chef Vicky Ratnani, Celebrity Chef and F&B Director, F&B Asia Ventures, said, “We are going through the most colourful phase of the food business. We have some amazing local, regional produce which is still undiscovered and I believe there is so much to do with Indian cuisine at this point of time.”
Reinventing Regional Cuisine
Earlier in 2015, it was predicted that modern Indian cuisine will rise with passing time, later this year, what we are seeing is that chefs are working on locally sourced ingredients and are trying to introduce the regional and the authentic cuisine to the global masses. Celebrity chefs like Michael Swamy, Manish Mehrotra, Sanjeev Kapoor, Harpal Singh Sokhi and Chef Sabyasachi Gorai amongst others are working on local and regional Indian cuisine and have picked products like ‘sattu’ from Bihar, grated coconut from Kerala, ragi and ‘akki’ roti from Karnataka, dhokla from Gujarat, and a variety of rice, chicken and sea foods from Konkani region in their menu.
“Regional cuisines need to be promoted because till now food in India is seen as the typical Punjabi food which has dominated the Indian food menus. Everybody in India and outside India thinks that it is the only Indian cuisine, but that is not true. We have different types of foods which are delicious. There is a vast range of food from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Bengal, Gujarat, and Kashmir, but people don’t know about it. So, this is the reason we as a chef want to promote regional food and regional cuisine,” pointed, Chef Manish Mehrotra, Corporate Chef, Luxury Dining, Indian Accent.
Adding to the same, Chef Sabyasachi Gorai, Mentor and Chef, Fabirica by Saby said, “Tourists are now looking to marry two of the most exciting things- travel and food. Various culinary journeys are being organised throughout the country to promote Indian food.”
Experts also believe that today, Indians are much more attracted to the foods which are well advertised as they are no more restricted to eating out but they want to know what all things have been used in designing the menu. And they want to consume a healthy or a balanced product without affecting their health.
“Indian food today needs to create an image as the food is badly represented globally, and we as chefs, need to work on making the Indian cuisine an international cuisine,” shared, Michael Swamy, Food Consultant and Chef.
Sharing similar belief, JP Singh, Executive Chef, ITC Maurya, said, “Our food remains the same, with same consistency, perfection and delivery, as we are known for what we are serving, so we never try to play with our food.”
Thus, we can say that Indian cuisine has its own charm despite global cuisine entering the Indian F&B race.