When I joined the hospitality industry in the late 90s as AD Singh’s project manager, I didn’t dare suggest we try and make Indian “small plates” trendy; or feature an obscure mountain berry on our menu; or bring in my friend’s mother to take over a restaurant kitchen. Local, foraged and homemade weren’t quite the buzzwords they are today. Neither were recycle, food waste, nor plastic pollution. The world is a different place today, and one US President notwithstanding, there is little doubt that the modern human way is slowly eating away at our planet. It all sounds a bit ominous, doesn’t it? A problem so difficult to surmount that sipping on Mai Tais through a plastic straw is just so much easier than actually doing anything about it.
Thankfully some of us disagree. Some of us are refusing to take the easy way out. In the run up to World Environment Day (June 5th), some of us are committing to #JustOneChange.
At India Food Network (IFN) this pledge is two-fold. In our studios we have committed to zero food waste and our chefs have pitched in too with their Love Your Leftovers recipes. First up is a cheesy solution to leftover rotis with Chef Pallavi Nigam's Roti Enchilada. On the ground we are doing our bit to help reduce the city’s plastic waste by distributing free paper straws and bamboo spoons to the vendors at our favourite khao gallis (follow our distribution campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
I’ve committed to giving up takeaway coffee and all food that isn’t local or sustainably sourced. Our army of chefs, restauranteurs and influencers too have committed to #JustOneChange in their personal and professional lives. From India’s most sustainably-minded chef and South Mumbai’s favourite restaurant, to London’s most famous Parsi and our friendly neighbourhood politician – they have all joined IFN’s campaign to make #JustOneChange, for a better tomorrow. Look out for their pledges on IFN’s social media channels starting today. Starting us off is Gauri Devidayal of The Table and Magazine Street Kitchen with her promise to go plastic-free.
There is all this and more to look forward to in the coming week on IFN. Meanwhile, here is me playing favourites with the week that went by…
We are half-way through the month of Ramzan fasting and this delicious recipe for Peshawari Chapli Kababs by Chef Sadaf is our recommendation for the perfect iftari to break your fast with. Visit our YouTube Channel for more recipes that celebrate #EidwithIFN.
When one of the oldest chocolatiers from Switzerland decides to set up shop in India, you know we had to be there. Here’s a peek at our chat with their CEO Federico Marangoni at the opening. Warning: This video will definitely trigger that sweet tooth…
In this episode journalist, writer and Founder Editor of TheWire.in Sidharth Bhatia guides us through the bylanes of Bhendi Bazaar for a scoop of his favourite roasted almond ice cream and a generous dollop of ice cream history. See more films from IFN's touching new series about the people and stories behind the food we all love here.
Did you know that a version of the ‘kebab’ finds mention in the Mahabharata? Or that the melt-in-the-mouth Galouti Kabab was first created by a one-armed cook for a toothless Nawab? Join the latest edition of #IFNFoodSafari on the journey of Galouti Kebabs, from the courts of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah to the streets of Lucknow.