FFTF 2016 by Internationalnewsandviews

Food For Thought Fest 2016 kicked off with gala dinner in association with The Grand New Delhi

Published on December 28, 2016 by

The second edition of the Food for Thought Fest, a one of a kind initiative, celebrating the diverse culinary heritage of the South Asian Region began on a high note. A cocktail dinner hosted by the South Asian Association for Gastronomy and The Grand New Delhi; witnessed attendance from many of the participants, dignitaries, influencers and ambassadors from across the South Asian Region as well as other countries.

Since its inception in 2015, The Food for Thought Fest became a platform that focused on the common history and heritage of the South Asian region. A forum for conversation, cookery demonstrations, gastronomy showcases, as well as a chance to exchange ideas and philosophies, the main event across the 23rd and 24th of December, 2016, will have participation from India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan.

The celebratory dinner, saw hosts for the event, Maneesh and Sonali Baheti, founders SAAG and Mr. Rajat Sethi, G.M, The Grand New Delhi welcome the ambassadors from Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Guyana, Trinidad and Tabago, as well as the First Secretary from Australia. Also in attendance were Dr. Pushpesh Pant, Seema Chandra, Amrita Raichand, Gautam Mehrishi and Aditya Bal. The glittering evening, held at the Grand Ballroom, was replete with star studded splendor and a general spirit of bonhomie, as the guests assembled mingled and discussed the highlights of the upcoming event. Royalty graced the occasion with the likes of Yuvraj Manvendra Singh, Gohil Rajpipla, Maharaja of Tripura, Yuvraj and Yuvrani Kashmir, authors Rocky Mohan, Mala Barua and Neha Prasad among others. Also seen t the event were designers Amit GT, Charu Parashar and Ashish Soni.

Commenting on the occasion, Maneesh Baheti, Founder SAAG said, “We are delighted to start the event with a celebratory dinner that brings together the diverse participants to mingle and meet each other before the actual event starts. The Grand New Delhi is an iconic destination in the city and we are delighted to partner with them. The Food for Thought Fest, while just in its second edition has garnered a lot of interest from food enthusiasts, culture aficionados, as well as media attention not just within India, but the sub-continent as well.”

Speaking on the occasion, Rajat Sethi, GM Grand New Delhi, said, ‘It is truly a pleasure for us to partner with SAAG’s ‘Food for Thought Fest’, one of the most anticipated F&B events.  As we gear up to take dining experience to the next level, we see this as the perfect platform to give impetus to that journey.

FFTF 2015 coverage by Whatsuplife

Food For Thought Festival 2016

As the temperature goes down and appetites go up, it’s time to visit Food For Thought Festival 2015 organised by the South Asian Association for Gastronomy (SAAG). The festival will celebrate authentic dishes of SAARC nations (‘Food Fest’) as well as hold talks, interviews and panel discussions on relevant issues (‘Thought Fest’).

The Thought Fest will be held at Amaltas, Kadamba and Rudrakhasha and will include eminent speakers like Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Sudhir Mishra and Bishen Singh Bedi as well.

The Food Fest will be held at The Hub, featuring pop-up restaurants from famous restaurants in Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Among the restaurants that will be participating in the festival are Kasturi Garden Dhaka (Bangladesh), The Avari Hotel Lahore (Pakistan), Bhojan Griha Kathmandu (Nepal), Taj Samudra Colombo (Sri Lanka), Kabul Serena Hotel (Afghanistan) and Folk Heritage Museum Restaurant Thimpu (Bhutan). Some of the dishes which will be served are ‘Gundruk ko jhol’, a kind of Nepali curry, ‘Shamu datshi’, a Bhutanese mushroom and cheese dish, and ‘Kunna gosht’ from Pakistan.

Food For Thought Fest

Where: India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, Delhi

When: October 17th and 18th

Timings: 10:00 am to 11:00 pm                Email: info@thesaag.org

Website: www.foodforthoughtfest.com              Phone: 91 8750-043-123

Tickets: http://www.bookmyshow.com

FFTF 2015 | 1st Edition | Coverage by Mail Today

Delhi: SAAG presents Food for Thought Fest 2015

Food for Thought Fest 2015

The Food for Thought festival will celebrate the authentic dishes of SAARC nations.

The Food for Thought Fest

For those who crave a region-specific culinary feast, the India Habitat Centre is the place to be, because that’s where the inaugural edition of the ‘Food for Thought Fest 2015’ is going to be held.

Organised by the South Asian Association for Gastronomy (SAAG), the festival will celebrate authentic dishes of SAARC nations (‘Food Fest’) as well as hold discussions on relevant issues (‘Thought Fest’).

Advaita Kala, founder of SAAG, says, “We are delighted to launch this inaugural Food for Thought Fest, as it will bring out the best of the cuisines from different countries of South Asia. We hope the people of Delhi would come forward with great enthusiasm to participate in this delectably enriching experience.”

Some of the dishes which will be served are ‘Gundruk ko jhol’, a kind of Nepali curry, ‘Shamu datshi’, a Bhutanese mushroom and cheese dish, and ‘Kunna gosht’ from Pakistan.

Other than the Food Fest, which will be held at The Hub, the South Asia Culinary Showcase will also include cookery workshops.

The Thought Fest, which will take place at the Rudraksha, Amaltas and Kadamba at the Stein Auditorium, will include talks, interviews and panel discussions by speakers like Shashi Tharoor, Bishen Singh Bedi and Sudhir Mishra.

In the evenings, The South Asia Cultural Showcase will be held at the Plaza Steps and will include performances by artistes from the SAARC region.

With inputs from Srijani Ganguly

The Grub Fest

In April this year, entrepreneurs Aman Kumar, Arjun Jain, Chaitanya Mathur and Mani Singh Cheema had organised The Grub Fest for foodies in the Capital. Around one lakh visitors helped themselves to cuisines ranging from Lebanese, Chinese and Indian to Italian and Mexican at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Within a few months of the successful food enterprise, The Grub Fest is back – this time in Gurgaon – with more participating restaurants and dishes.

Adding to the names of eateries like Royal China, Fio, Townhall, Smokeys and Zizo, restaurants and bars such as B Bar, Social, Indigo, Indigo Deli and The Backyard will also participate in the October edition of the fest.

The highlights of this edition would be Grub Explore, where cuisines from different parts of India will be on offer; and, the Entertainment section where artistes like Parikrama, Astitva, Nikhil Chinapa and others will perform. It will also feature some pop-ups and a multi-storied travelling restaurant.

With inputs from Srijani Ganguly


Restaurants and bars across the Capital have been offering deals due to the Oktoberfest (an annual celebration of beer held in Munich, Germany) since last month.

The Beer Cafe, for instance, is offering a collection of authentic German beer along with a special food dedicated to the Bavarian region till October 31.

Hard Rock Caf is taking the theme a step further and adding rock n’ roll into the mix.

Till November 8, the Gurgaon and Saket outlets of the brand will serve cold German beer.

In addition, rock anthems from various genres within rock would be on the playlist.

At Amour Bistro, you can enjoy brews like Weihenstephaner, Hefeweissbier, Erdinger Weissbier, Mnchner Hell, Paulaner Original and Paulaner Hefe Weissbier.

Also on offer would be a variety of German dishes – hotdogs, mashed potatoes and pork ribs with German beer at the Quote Bar and Lounge. You can avail these at the two places till October 15.

With inputs from Srijani Ganguly

Asian Hawkers Mkt

Exclusively crafted for Asian cuisine, from the Far East and South-East Asia, Asian Hawkers Market is all set to make its debut in the Capital. As many as 18 leading restaurants from Delhi-NCR and one solo operator have signed for the festival.

The participating restaurants include the multiaward-winning Neung Roi (Radisson Blu Plaza, NH8), Royal China, Mamagoto, Guppy by ai and Pan Asian (Sheraton New Delhi) as well as the ever-popular Jade (The Claridges), dimsumbros, Asia 7 and En, the reinvented Sampan. Newbies like Yum Yum Cha (the offshoot of the trend-setting Yum Yum Tree), Chi Ni (Dusit Devarana), The Fatty Bao, Wow Momo and Chi: The Asian Cookhouse would also participate.

Also on the Asian Hawker Markets crowded platter is the successful home-delivery service Asian Haus; followed by Hauz Khas Social and start-up entrepreneur Aftab Sidhus The Pho Kart, which will dish out finger food from Vietnam.

These Five-star and standalone restaurants will come together at one location to present cuisines of China, Korea, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. The portions will be small, so that visitors can sample different cuisines without feeling uncomfortably full, and the prices will range from Rs 100 to Rs 500.

With inputs from Adila Matra

Palate Fest

Just like the last season, Palate Fest hopes to turn nine acres of Nehru Park into a foodies paradise, with more than 50 restaurants putting up their booths in the sprawling park.

This time around, there will also be a Market Square, including over 30 stalls promoting Indian and International gourmet products and ingredients. Live music will add to the magic. Cooking sessions with renowned chefs are also on the menu.

Palate Fest promises to bring unique dishes from around the world along with a melange of Indias finest culinary names. Some of the participating restaurants include Baking Bad, Mistral, Wendys, Zizo, Jamie Olivers, Tikka Town, Amici, Kylin, Smokeys, Elmas Kitchen and The Great Kebab Factory among others. Keventers, Chaayos, The Sugar Story, Sinful Bites and House of Candy will also put up stalls.

With inputs from Adila Matra

Indian Food Freak covers FFTF2016

The Food for Thought Fest, Dec 23rd & 24th 2016 @ The Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi

New Delhi, 1st December, 2016: The Second Edition of the Food for Thought Fest comes back to the capital this December, celebrating the diverse culinary heritage of the South Asian region. The festival comes to Delhi on the 23rd and 24th of December, 2016, and will be held at the Taj Palace Hotel, Sardar Patel Marg,Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi.  A special one of a kind initiative that focuses on the common heritage and history of the South Asian region, as well as the unique influences that are a part of it, it has set a benchmark as the forum for conversations, cuisines and the exchange of ideas and philosophies. The participating countries will include India, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

The 2016 edition of the Food for Thought Fest brings in exciting components that make this a truly unique event. There will be talks and discussions around culture and cuisine in the “Thought Fest”, while the “Food Fest” will be offering cookery workshops with master chefs of the region and an authentic flavour from the participating countries, which will have food stalls from some of the most superlative restaurants  from the South Asian region. The brand new element in the “Fun Fest” this year will be a “Gastronomy Bazaar”,  in the Rani Bagh  lawns of the Taj Palace Hotel.

The Food for Thought Fest was conceived as a convergence ideas and dialogues around gastronomy, in the process enabling an atmosphere of South Asian commonality through culinary and cultural diversity. In its first edition, the Food For Thought Fest set a benchmark with an engaging selection of panellists, chefs and experts. This year too, the festival will continue to engage renowned culinary giants from across the South Asian region.

The Thought Fest will be a presentation of papers and talks, interviews and panel discussions by scholars, journalists and professionals on various topics on gastronomy. Some of the names to look forward to are Ms Ramika Ahmad, Afghanistan;  Mr Saman Nayanananda, Sri Lanka; Mr Bharat Basnet, Nepal; Ms Nahid Osman and Chef Tony Khan, Bangladesh; Ms. Yangki Tshering, Bhutan; Yuvraj Manvendra Singh Gohil Rajpipla; Yuvrani Chitrangadha Raje Singh Kashmir and Maharaja Pradyot Manikya Deb Burman Tripura. 

The Food Fest has two components, on the one hand it will bring demonstration of culinary techniques and traditions from the region, It will have cookery demos by luminaries in the culinary industry and the biggest names on Indian television, with the likes of Chef Kunal Kapoor, Chef Abhijit Saha, Chef Aditya Bal, Chef Vicky Ratnani, Chef Amrita Raichand, Chef Gautam Mehrishi, Chef Manish Mehrotra and Chef Saransh Goila among others. And on the other hand, The Food Fest will present the authentic flavor from participating south asian countries with brands like Spice Hut Restaurant, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Cafe De Partex, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Serena Hotel, Kabul, Afghanistan; Bhojan Griha, Kathmandu, Nepal and Zasa Restaurant, Thimpu, Bhutan; Mount Lavina, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

This year Thought Fest will also witness some prominent speakers, like Rocky Mohan, Author; Mala Barua, writers, Soity Banerjee & Avantika Bhuiyan; Nitya Mehra – Bollywood Director (Bar Bar Dekho), Suresh Hinduja – Editor Times Food Guide Bangalore; Chef Manjit S Gill- Corporate Chef ITC Hotels; Seema Chandra – Food Editor NDTV; Kishore Singh- Author, Journalist and President DAG Modern; Virendra Sehwag- Cricket legend and Suchita Salwan – Founder Little Black Book.

The FUN FEST brings visual and performing arts by way of entertainment. There is the Still Life Art Installation Project for the art connoisseur at Rani Bagh lawns on both days of the event.  There will be an entertainment corner which will have dance performances by Sri Lankan Troupes flown specially from Colombo  and some other surprises.

Over the 2 days of festival programming through sessions and workshops conducted from 11.00 am – 6.00 pm every day, participants will have the opportunity to engage in contemporary issues with the most progressive-minded panellists, learn from the greatest chefs in the region, explore fascinating topics related to food and, of course, treat their taste buds with the most splendid flavours that the subcontinent has to offer.

The event will appeal to the mind and palate of visitors, from the eager food lovers, bloggers, students of hotel management, to professionals from the hotel and restaurant industry. The event promises to be an enriching celebration of the mind and spirit, while strengthening the sense of a joyous community.

The Broadcast Partner is NDTV Good Times, the Online Partner is WHATSHOT.in who will telecast the event live on Facebook, the Magazine Partners are Millionaire Asia and Discover India, the APP Partner is Gourmet Passport, the event is supported by FHRAI, the largest hospitality body in India..

About the founders of S.A.A.G

 Mr. Maneesh Baheti, alumni of The Oberoi School of Hotel Management, is a seasoned hotelier with over 16 years in senior positions at leading brands such as The Oberoi Group and Hyatt International, before branching out as a hospitality industry consultant with a diverse projects portfolio. His love for cuisines has taken him on extensive travels, including the SAARC region of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Ms. Sonali Anand, a Masters in Tourism Management from Bournemouth University, U.K, she has spent over a decade in senior positions with multinational companies including, The Oberoi Group. She went for a second Masters Degree in Social Development from Euromed, Marseille, France, which equips her with an insight into international cultural relations and dynamics.

S.A.A.G has an eminent Advisory Board that has PADMA BHUSHAN Mr Shashi Kant Misra as the Chairman and comprises of experts from Hospitality Industry from India and abroad, such as Michelin Star Chef Atul Kocchar from The U.K,Master Chef Abhijit Saha, renowned hotelier Mr Gautam Anand, Dr Rubina Husain from Bangladesh and Ms Ramika Ahmad from Afghanistan.

Entry Details: Rs.150- Entry for Food Court and Gastronomy Bazaar

Rs. 300- Entry for Food for Thought Fest, Panel Discussion, Food Court and Gastronomy Bazaar

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