A discussion was held on ‘The Concept of Slow Food’ at PHD Chambers House, New Delhi on 4th of July, 2017 organised by their Women and Child Development Committee in partnership with the Slow Food Chef’s Alliance. PHD Chamber members as well as many chefs, writers and entrepreneurs associated with Slow Food, attended the event. Original Indian Table was a proud participant at the event where our co-founder Puneet Jhajharia presented and we also had a stall to showcase and retail our products.
Here are the highlights from the event:
Mr Gopal S. Jiwarajka, President, PHD Chamber started by joking about how he was in a room where there were more cooks than there were people who would eat the food cooked by them. He then talked about the abundant biodiversity of food in India and about the Slow Food Movement mentioning how it was born to protect endangered food.
The next speaker was Chef Rajdeep of ITC Hotels, also President of the Slow Food Chef’s Alliance. He told us a story of his childhood when eating watermelons and muskmelons was a seasonal summer thing and oranges were available only in the winter. He then said that when he became a chef, things were the same. However, on becoming an executive chef, he noticed times had changed and all produce was available round the year. He went to share how the global Slow Food movement aims to change this and spoke at length about the Slow Food philosophy which is to provide clean, good and fair food for everyone.
Gunjan Goela, Corporate Food Consultant and a famous modern-traditionalist chef, talked about Ayurveda and Rishi Charaka addressed in depth thousands of years ago the very same things that Slow Food stands for today. She further went on to tell us how she was ashamed and sorry that she had to introduce Slow Food as something coming from Italy when we have such a rich history of our own food. “Every 20 miles you drive, there would be a change of taste such is the variety!”
The rapidly changing dining-out scenario in our country was talked about by Chef Rahul Wali who pointed out that visiting restaurants was an occasional thing earlier but now it is common and more convenient.
Our Director and Co-Founder, Puneet Jhajharia, talked about the rich and diverse culinary heritage of our country. Laying emphasis on the fact that other countries have globalised their food, he said that it is high time Indians understand that our knowledge of food is a treasure and a heritage to be preserved and cherished.
The discussion was followed by a lunch which featured three dishes made using Original Indian Table ingredients. We had Munsiari rajma, Amaranth parathas and a delicious recipe of Mappillai samba rice and gur(jaggery). These products were sourced from farmers practising sustainable farming in various parts of the country.
We sincerely hope to have more of such events in the future and are optimistic that the concept of slow food is understood and adopted by all.