Five culinary legends – Chef Hemant Oberoi, Chef Vineet Bhatia, Chef Ranveer Brar, Rashmi Uday Singh and Kunal Vijaykar – got together on stage at the second edition of Home Chef Matters to discuss how India’s traditional recipes could be preserved so that they aren’t lost to the public forever. Here were the top four takeaways from that stimulating conversation
1. Take pride in your food
Indians don’t take pride in their own recipes, says Chef Vineet Bhatia, the first Indian Michelin-starred chef. “Chefs are often responsible for recipes getting lost. We have beautiful recipes. There is so much depth in Indian food and it needs to come out.” Chef Bhatia also beautifully sums up home cooked food: “Home food is soul food. It’s rustic food. That won’t change .” says Vineet Bhatia click to tweet. Renowned food reviewer and author Rashmi Uday Singh seconds this, “The greatest talent is in home kitchens.”
2. Keep a record
How many of us swear by the food our grandmothers made when we were kids? Years down the line when we’re all grown up, it’s difficult to replicate the dishes when we crave them. And the reason is simple – we often don’t have the recipes. Television personality and author Kunal Vijaykar’s piece of advice is to record them. “We need to write down recipes. Record them, even if you don’t cook. As life changes and people move on, those recipes will be lost .” says Kunal Vijaykar click to tweet
3. Talk more about food / Walk the talk
Chef Ranveer Brar has a simple funda: No two recipes will ever match, but what is important is keeping conversations around food alive. According to him, “All that is lost only exists in conversations. This is why it is important to have probing conversations around food, not just flattering ones.” A point that he highlighted was about talking more about dishes that aren’t marketed. “While marketing is great, we need to talk about the stuff that isn’t marketed. ” says Ranveer Brar click to tweet. Chef Brar also worries that not only recipes, but even cultures are getting lost. An example he shared was how we are trying to make tribal people ‘just like us’ but what happens to their unique food culture?
4. Represent authentic Indian food abroad
“Don’t forget your roots,” says the legendary Chef Hemant Oberoi. His other nuggets of wisdom? Chefs need to export Indian food the right way in restaurants abroad. For example, let gajar ka halwa remain a halwa and not become a terrine. “Let’s export authentic Indian food. I am still trying to do that in a different way, ” says Chef Hemant Oberoi click to tweet.