Camellia summarises India’s food journey

 In Nutrition ( Akshay Patra)

“There is a new food revolution all over India but there have been a couple of mini food revolutions in India in the last five or six decades. Each decade has seen a revolution. In Bombay, in the ’50s and ’60s if you wanted to go out to eat, you went to the local Chinese restaurants… In the ’70s came the new five-star hotels in the new Taj Towers, The Oberoi Hotel, The President and hotels in the suburb like Holiday Inn, Centaur, Horizon and others which continued even in to the ’80s. At the same time the Shettyowned idli dosa cafes in Bombay begin to convert into seafood restaurants and by the next generation of Malvani Shettys, Malvani food had been introduced in Bombay.”

“In the 90s, there was the emergence of new culinary talent that began to set up stand-alone restaurants like Indigo, with young owners who may not have had academic culinary training but who hired senior chefs from five-star hotels. In the next decade came the fast and casual outlets like McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza outlets, all of which were more suited to the younger generation.”

“The older generation’s desire to eat out led to an improvement in the facilities of the older Gymkhanas and Clubs in the city. In the last 15 years, there has been an explosion of standalone restaurants not only in large, metro cities but also in Tier-II towns and, indeed, in the smallest towns. There have been real estate changes, creation of new business enclaves like BKC, Gurgaon, IT parks and shopping malls. Further, the food TV shows and the opening of food supermarkets where ordinary folk can go and buy special ingredients.”

“Of course, social media is the icing on the cake. Internationally and within India there is interest in international food, regional food, health and nutrition and every aspect of food. What the younger foodie public knows well, but the general public like us may know very little, is the growing role of the food blogger. While hundreds of people blog, there are only 15 or 20 who are considered, at an all-India basis, as being leaders of the cuisine in their own city or town.”

“I introduce you to Kalyan Karmakar who is considered to be Bombay’s most influential food blogger.”

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