When the student is ready, the masters appear’ so goes the saying and how true it was for as the hours unfolded during the three days of The World Heritage Cuisine Summit and Food Festival 2018, Amritsar, where I cooked along with some amazing food heroes and heard the stalwarts speak about Heritage Cuisine. The Summit not only saw Masterchefs from over 40 countries but also our Regional Chefs who have been creating a huge food revolution with their art and flair.
In my course of narration, a lot of names will come up who not only inspired me but also have influenced me to work more and more in the field of Heritage Cuisine. The energy there at the Summit in Quila Gobindgarh, Amritsar was beyond electrifying and the food gurus made sure that they create an impact to new chefs like me to the optimum. I will also speak about a few Chefs who not only are working in the field of hospitality but are also legends for me and I will speak about them in the section MY FOOD HEROS in due course of time.
Now coming back to the experience, I had in presenting Assamese Heritage Food to everyone out there was phenomenal and cooking in front of luminaries was another high for me. Chef Manisha Bhasin, Chef Manjit Gill, Chef Parvinder Singh Bali and Chef Ajay Sood were relentless company and their presence right outside the kitchen was an exhilarating experience in total. The food tasting was a sight to see where world chefs and our regional chefs all came together to taste and visually experience Assam food.
The synthesis of all coming together in this amazing cultural amphitheatre was seeing History take its course. I came back enriched just by witnessing Master chefs at work and the maestros during the panel discussions, every moment was something that I could pack and carry back home to Assam and to my people here in the land of the Blue hills and the red River.
After the wrap ups there were times when I would find myself listening to chefs about their food journey and the amazing feat that they have achieved was so exciting and that in no way I could not feel proud of the moment by merely sitting next to them. The stories of Chef Grecho Vittorio, Chef Chris Bason, Chef Gareth Johns, Chef Akshraj Jodha, Chef Vaibhab Bhargava, Chef Denny Gunawan are no less than any thriller movie to me. They came, they saw, they cooked and they conquered. I was in absolute awe when I met Chef Sanjay Thakur who holds the Guinness record of setting up the world’s highest restaurant under the name of Project Triyagyoni and for that he trained for months and with blessings from Chef Gill and Chef Soundarajan, who also was part of the team, created history. Another source of inspiration came from the very talented Chef Hareesh Padmanabhan, the Executive Bakery and Pastry Chef, Qatar Airways and a very talented photographer. To see the master chef at work, with such precision and skill, was taking baking to the next level.
The travel stories of Chef Hareesh and Chef Jodha were mesmerizing and understanding how food travelled and transcended cultures and geographical boundaries to culminate into cuisines that we know of today.
The Summit to sum up was not just a mere platform to showcase and talk of my cuisine, which is less known of, but also to understand Heritage Food and be proud of to be representing it in global showground that break cultural barriers, language and distance. Food brought us together under one roof, to celebrate one another and be a part of something that World has not seen before.