Speakers & Delegates 2019

Gautam Gambhir is an Indian politician and former cricketer, who has played all formats of the game. He is the current member of the Lok Sabha since 2019.As a cricketer, he was a left-handed opening batsman who played domestic cricket for Delhi, and captained Kolkata Nightriders and Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He made his One Day International (ODI) debut against Bangladesh in 2003, and played his first Test the following year againstAustralia. He captained the Indian Team in six ODIs from late 2010 to late 2011 with India winning all six matches.

Shikhar Dhawan (born 5 December 1985) is an Indian international cricketer. A left-handed opening batsman and an occasional right-arm off break bowler, he plays for Delhi in domestic cricket and Delhi Capitals in the IPL. He played for the Indian Under-17 and Under-19 teams before making his first-class debut for Delhi in November 2004. At the 2015 World Cup, he was the leading run-scorer for India and in the following year, became the fastest Indian to reach 3,000 ODI runs. In December 2017, he became the 2nd fastest Indian to reach 4000 ODI runs. Dhawan also holds the record for most runs in a calendar year in Twenty20 International cricket (689). He is known for his successful knocks in ICC Tournaments.

Chef Vicky Ratnani has always been an explorer, a lover for flavour & taste. travelling to the most exotic places, working with 37 nationalities and cooking for queen elizebeth, nelson mandela, rod stewart has made him open his mind and think out of the box. he has developed a style of his own cooking where produce is king. global influences, local ingredients and modern techniques is the trinity of his cuisines.

Chef Abhijit Saha is the founding director and chef of avant garde hospitality pvt. ltd., which currently owns and operates two critically acclaimed premium restaurants caperberry and fava in bangalore. in june 2014 he opened his signature indian restaurant saha in singapore’s duxton hill area and was awarded the ‘best chef of india’ at the indian restaurant congress and awards, 2013. with twenty four year of varied experiences, chef saha is an expert in classical and modern european & regional indian cuisines.

Bhupendra Chaubey has been the foremost tv political journalist; traveled across india; reported from all states in india; covered 4general elections; brought all major stories of last 15 years to indian living rooms; made a mark for being a tough nononsense interviewer in indian tv space. interviewed all top politicians and newsmakers of last decade and a half.

The gourmet passport app is being spearheaded by Mr Rocky Mohan, founder of the delhi gourmet club and ranked amongst the 50 most influential people in the food industry in india. rocky’s love for food and fine dining has been reflected in his regular newspaper columns, tv appearances with international celebrity chefs, and the four cookbooks he has authored.he has also been honored with the lifetime achievement award for his contributions to the liquor industry and for keeping alive the legacy of india’s best loved drink, old monk rum, first distilled by his grand father!

Prahlad Kakkar is an ad guru, food connoisseur and restaurateur, scuba diver, and an entrepreneur. he has redefined the ad film industry through his ads for pepsi, kitkat, nestle, britannia, maggie sauces and many more… his venture into genesis production was his sole passion for “telling a story in 30 seconds in the most engaging way” his decades of experience, passion and the urge to mentor the young minds he founded “the prahlad kakar school of branding and entrepreneurship (pksbe)”along with pratish nair.  let’s welcome the “man of many hats” Mr. Prahlad Kakar.

Ssumier S Pasricha  is an Indian actor who has worked across all the mediums from theatre to Web-series and TV soaps. Now days popularly known for his character ‘Pammi Aunty’ ,Ssumier  has become one of the biggest internet sensations in India and across the globe . Ssumier has not just confined himself and his passion towards acting but  he is also a successful Business Man , Classical Singer and a trained Kuchipudi Dancer … honoured with “Youth Icon of India” by INDIA TODAY, Ssumier as has won various awards world wide including the prestigious “Bharat Shiromani Award ” for his acting.

Shaguni Singh Sakya, executive director of the kgh group, nepal’s leading hotel chain. she oversees the operations and marketing of the kathmandu guest house, the group’s flagship hotel that opened in 1968. she also heads the kgh foundation which is the csr wing of the company.

Birad Rajaram Yajnik is a name brand synonymous with fine print production, more than 35000 fine print copies across 9 titles have been designed and produced under his direction. his first book on the famous temple of india – tirumala tirupati – the legends and beyond has been a bestseller. birad yajnik also heads the digital interactive company – visual quest india, a boutique design and technology company based in india that specialises in cross functional engagement across multiple stakeholders generating brand recall, employee motivation & appreciation, enhanced recruitment opportunities and unique marketing & sales initiatives for fortune 50 and 500 companies around the world. with production resources in multiple countries visual quest india supports design and technology solutions in nine international languages across all geographies. 

Sangeeta Khanna comes from a research background and has worked on antioxidants from cyanobacteria and then discontinued. later she started blogging and writing about food, health, nutrition and easy healthy cooking on my blogs. she was writing casually initially, later she got some more time on my hands and started providing consultancy on nutritional requirements for individual clients. the work got noticed by the industry for professional assignments for product development too.she is a traveller, photographer and gardener by passion and like growing some of my food myself.

Rana Safvi is a renowned writer, scholar and translator. she is the author of tales from the quran and hadith and where stones speak: historical trails in mehrauli, the first city of delhi. she runs the popular blog ‘hazrat e dilli’ on her site ranasafvi.com and is passionate about documenting india’s syncretic culture through her writings.vher fortnightly column for the hindu is very popular as is her weekly column for daily o. she also writes for indian express, hindustan times.

Amit Bagga has his roots from a family business of automobiles.in the year 2009 he ventured into the restaurant business full time and launched many successful restaurant brands. Amit is the c.e.o. and co-founder of daryaganj hospitality which owns restaurants by the name of daryaganj – by the inventors of butter chicken and dal makhani in locations like connaught place and aerocity and will be opening soon in three other top locations in delhi ncr. it is a brand which has been very well received by the customers and top journalists and influencers of india.

Gautam Anand is the vice president operations, planning and pre -opening services at itc hotels group. also a founder and vice president of the cuisine india society. he is a passionate foodie and his research on the history of indian cuisine makes him almost a walking encyclopaedia.

PadmaShri Dr. Pushpesh Pant, an author, teacher, tv anchor and independent producer of documentaries. columnist in english and hindi newspapers. regular participant in radio and television panel discussions. over 50 books published on culture and religion, travel and cuisine, indian foreign policy, international relations. served as jury in national and international film festivals.

Mr. Nishant Choubey is the consulting chef for michelin plated indus bangkok, corporate chef with seinan group(tokyo) and has a fantastic work experience of more than 15 years to his credit. he was also conferred with the chef of the year award for 2017 and was the gold medalist at aahar.

Kamalaksh aka “Kama” is a celebrated mixologist who has reinvented traditional ingredients and presented them in a contemporary avatar to the delight of people. his reinvention of bhang and his signature session “big bhang theory” is widely acclaimed. he has a web series drinking safari, which is a travelogue about drinking and exploring the world of beverages.

Nahid Osman, an art connoisseur, is the ceo of art club bangladesh and a celebrity chef. mrs. nahid osman, is currently the m.d. of shozpodor new, an organization marketing the crafts of the indigenous weavers of rangamati & she has also lent a helping hand to the khashias, moulivibazar. she has been a presenter of two well known cookery shows khunti-karai on tara tv (India) & r-ranna on r tv (bangladesh).

Dr. Rubina Husain Farouq advisory board member of saag from bangladesh, she is the director at institute of hotel management & hospitality, dhaka, bangladesh. she is the vice president of the bangladesh association of women entrepreneurs which promotes growth of women-owned enterprises through capacity building training, research & sharing information.

Nawab Kazim Ali Khan bahadur rampur is an indian politician and a member of the 16th legislative assembly of uttar pradesh of india. he serves as a member on the raza library board in rampur and he has been the past chairman of the uttar pradesh tourism development corporation.

Puja Talwar is currently the entertainment editor with ndtv. she has been a journalist for over 21 years and has extensively interviewed celebrities from bollywood and hollywood. she is a travel and fitness freak and a passionate foodie who loves her coffee! she is also an author and has written a book “the bebbe diaries “.

Vesna Pericevic Jacob is a trained nurse, physiotherapist, and author of “fight to fit”, a manual on self defence techniques, helpline number, mobile applications and laws pertaining to violence against women. she is the ceo of chhoo mantar, a company that provides high-end beauty and spa service. she is known as the ‘princess of pilates’.

Osama Jalali a seasoned food writer, researcher, entrepreneur,  historian turned chef who has reviewed more than 2000 restaurants was born and brought up in the by-lanes of purani dilli but his parental roots belong to a princely estate in uttar pradesh called rampur, famous for its unique rampuri cuisine. osama contributes for various publications and has traveled the lengths and breadths of the country to  research on dying regional indian cuisine. he has worked extensively on dying recipes and runs a group named lost recipes of india. mr jalali has a family culinary legacy and works with his mother ms.nazish jalali wife ms. nazia khan. jalali’s travel as a family and the trio are known to specialize is curating regional food festivals across the globe.over the years, osama has not restricted himself to just writing but also loves to work inside the kitchen. he specializes in curating rampuri, shahjahani and lost recipes of mughal era menus  for private daawats and has kept the mughlai cuisine flag flying high. jalali’s have cooked for various state heads and have been featured on numerous food shows on television.

Dr. Sylvester Rodgers also known as sylvie is a very well known celebrity hair stylist from the capital city of india, delhi. of mixed parentage, a dutch father and anglo-indian mother, sylvie grew up in kolkata. after finishing her senior cambridge from st paul’s, darjeeling, she was off to england to study medicine. being one of india’s leading hair stylists and make-up artists, sylvie says she didn’t know she would leave behind her six years as a general surgeon in london to become a hair stylist.

Chef Sabysachi Gorai, popularly known as chef saby, resides in new delhi. he has been the director of kitchens with some of the most famous restaurants in delhi including the olive qutub. he has won many awards including the best chef of india awarded by the president of india and has been marked as “5 people to watch out for” by fortune india magazine in 2013.

Subhash Arora, President of the Indian Wine Academy and Editor of delWine has been recognised at the first World Wines & Spirits Congress and Awards ceremony on 14th of February 2018 at Taj Lands End Mumbai where he was given the ‘Most Influential Leaders in Wine & Spirits Industry’ Award. Subhash Arora was knighted by the Italian President in 2009 and awarded the official title of Cavaliere, for his meritorious service in building friendly ties between India and Italy through wine promotion and education.

He was the first-ever Indian to be awarded the prestigious OIV Merit Award at the 34th International Conference on Vines and Wines in Porto, Portugal on June 24, 2011 for his outstanding service to the vine and wine industry globally. As a catalyst, he had helped facilitate Indian State’s entry into OIV as a full Member in record time. He is the only Indian that has been so recognised by the UN type of world body in Paris on vines and wines.

 Pragya Tiwari is a journalist who has written extensively on politics, identity, policy, and culture and edited publications such as Tehelka, The Big Indian Picture, and Vice. Currently, she works as a policy and culture consultant and is the Regional Director of Flint Asia.

Padma Shri Deepa Malik has the unique distinction of being the FIRST FEMALE PARA-ATHLETE in India to win a medal at the ASIAN GAMES, the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, and the only INDIAN FEMALE PARA-ATHLETE to win a MEDAL at the PARALYMPICS and the coveted Highest Sports Honour of the country, the KHEL RATNA. On her Mission of ‘Ability Beyond Disability’, she has gone on to create 4 LIMCA WORLD RECORDS in Adventure, becoming the FIRST PARAPLEGIC WOMAN in biking, river swimming, high altitude mountain driving & car rallies like Desert Storm & Raid-De-Himalaya.

Mrs. Rohini Rana better known as Dolly Rana, was born in Agra to Raja Saheb Digvijay Pal Singh and Rani Saheba Anant Kumari of the erstwhile princely State of Awagarh in UP. Having done her schooling in St Mary’s Convent she went on for higher studies to Sophia College (Ajmer) and received a degree in English Honors. Rohini’s love of cooking has culminated in a cookbook on Rana cuisine which is being published by Penguin Random House next year. She has tried to incorporate as many specialities from different Rana families as possible. It is very important to preserve these recipes for posterity because cuisine is part of our heritage and is in danger of disappearing with the passing of generations.

Lakshay Narula is a dynamic and an enthusiastic man. A positive thinker, easily adaptable to different cultures and surroundings. An Avid Traveler, TV Presenter, Magician, and a digital artist Lakshay is a complete entertainer spreading smiles across the globe.

Amin Ali is a special correspondent with The Times of India and a Nightlife critic, Delhi for Times Food and Nightlife Awards. He writes on various topics but food and hospitality is his liking. He strongly advocates liberal food and beverage policies and firmly believes India has a potential to be the global culinary powerhouse.

Meera Ali, an architect by profession is married into the Royal family of Kotwara. Her husband Raja Syed Muzaffer Ali is one of the most renowned filmmakers of India and also the founder of the world sufi festival, Jahan-e-khusrau. Mrs. Ali along with her daughter, Sama have a leading fashion label, House of Kotwara that promotes the famous embroidery and chikankari from their state. She is also known for her book called ‘Dining with the Nawabs’ which features recipes passed down through generations, originating from the Nawab families of undivided India. It contains archival and current family photographs, relating to the culture of states across the length and breadth of India. The family also owns an exclusive restaurant called Maashra which promotes the cuisine and culture of Kotwara.

With a flair for exquisite design, Chef Amila Botheju is a self-directed authentic Sri-Lankan cuisine professional from Hilton Colombo Curry leaf Restaurant. He discovered his passion for the science of cooking. He unites these qualities and has been surprising guests with his culinary creativity over 23 years.

Chef Amila often ventures out of Sri Lanka, exploring other countries in search of inspiration to enhance his skills as well as to promote Sri Lankan authentic cuisines. He won the Hilton CEO light and warmth award for the year 2018. He successfully finished Sri Lankan food festival in Double Tree Hilton in India 2014, Sri Lankan food festival in Warsaw Hilton in Poland 2017 and Sri Lankan food festival in Ankara Hilton in Turkey 2018/2019 with great feedbacks. 

Darshana Jamuni is professional chef with 11 years of extensive experience in Sri Lankan cuisine who is working in the Graze kitchen at Hilton Colombo. He is expertise in cooking & preparing specialties in Sri Lankan dishes, as well as in serving foods in appropriate portions. He has ability to create new recipes and menus, implementing seasonal ingredients and modern techniques.

Chef Gautam Mehrishi has become a household name with his previous endeavours on television, and now he’s back, with a new television series, Bake do teen ,100% Veg , where he introduces viewers to inspirational, exciting Indian food. Chef Gautam Mehrishi is a proponent of Indian Food. His fondness for Indian food and his love for desi ghee were developed in his formative years. Hailing from a family of doctors who served in the Indian army, and shifted base every few years, his family background is reflected in his calm confidence and discipline. No matter how much they moved, the family maintained a tradition of eating their meals together. Chef Gautam fondly remembers sitting around the dining table and sharing hot meals cooked by the Maharaj. His adventurous streak was evident even then! Inspired by the food he ate, he would experiment in the kitchen late at night once the whole family was asleep. From his family, he also inherited a love for travel. This adventurous chef goes on long excursions on his bike; in particular he enjoys exploring the Himalayas. It was his grandfather who supported his passion and urged him to cook professionally.

Shantanu and Nikhil are definitely a winning combination of two brothers who have what it takes to make it big in the world of international fashion. Their creative bent of mind and entrepreneurial streak has placed Shantanu Mehra and Nikhil Mehra in the global fashion circuit with their label ‘Shantanu and Nikhil’ that was launched in 1999.

Chef Thiha Min Thway An  19-year-old Myanmar , self-taught chef with a strong enthusiasm in cooking who has begun his first step into the world of cooking at the age of 17. Has been trained at Kantawgyi Hotel and MCDC and is also a self-taught chef who excels at European and East Asian cuisine. 

Chef Aye Aye Thein, A dedeicated 42-year-old self-taught Myanmar chef with a strong enthusiasm in cooking with an experience of over 20 years as a chef. Currently, has beenmanaging a restaurant called UMAMI in Myanmar for 1 year and also takes the role of a headchef. Was selected as the Top 7 chef in MasterChef Myanmar. Has been cooking since young age with the help of her mom and YouTube. Has been personally trained by famous chefs in MasterChef Myanmar.

Mr. Thapa has been working with Kathmandu Guest House since 1994 and is currently the Executive Chef for the hotel. Over his tenure in KGH, he has been actively involved in various culinary developments of various restaurants in the hotel.  He specializes in authentic Nepali, Newari, Indian and Continental cuisines and is proactively changing menus in his restaurants to keep up with modern trends.He graduated from the prestigious NATHM (Nepal Academy of Tourism and Hotel Management), Kathmandu. He has also worked with Hotel Shangri-La in the past. With an experience of 25 years, it gives him great joy to pass on his experience and skills to the younger generations. He is a guest lecturer in Lalitpur Institute where he trains aspiring chefs for the future.   

Sandeep Pande, Executive Chef brings a culinary amalgamation of flavours, aromas and authenticity to the city, Sandeep Pande proudly joined New Delhi’s 5star luxury destination, JW Marriott New Delhi Aerocity, as the Executive Chef. Sandeep holds an intricately elaborate experience in the culinary world and has many famed recognitions to his name. A master in Mediterranean, Thai, Indian and French cuisines, Sandeep has been associated with the Marriott hotels for a prolonged time in his past endeavours where he lead the culinary forefront with innovation, passion and dedication. This culinary master garners impeccable dining experiences at the alluring restaurants in JW Marriott New Delhi Aerocity where he & his team astonishes you with some delectable flavours and choices.Having stayed at different destinations across India, Sandeep Pande was always curious to know about distinct cultures, hence, this inspired him to travel and learn about food. Apart from India, he has lived and worked in 6 different countries, latest being Weligama at South Sri Lanka and still, his interest lies in learning about cuisines, cooking styles and ingredients encouraging his passion for cooking. Heading the food production operations for JW Marriott New Delhi Aerocity, Sandeep leads the kitchen team with his innovative style and dedication. 

Tikkarani Shailja Katoch of Lambragaon-Kangra

The Royal Family of Sailana is a branch of the great Rathore house, cadets of the Royal House of Jodhpur. In the days of raj the Sailana was famous for its Hospitality, Cuisine and Wine.Sailana cooking started as a hobby with the late Maharaja Dalip Singh ji of Sailana from this initial resolve raised a whole school of cooking. It soon became a passion, with the rulers of Sailana. Recipes were collected and evolved, improvised with zest. Some of the recipes date back to Shahjahan. These recipes were a result of translation from Urdu and Sanskrit scripts. Recipes were picked and improvised from royalties to Banjaras.

Annurag Batra is a serial entrepreneur, media mogul, a journalist and an eternal optimist rolled into one. He is a B. Tech in Computer Sciences, a degree, which he acquired before joining Management Development Institute MDI Gurgaon (Now its Gurugram), one of India’s leading Business School. He is a first generation entrepreneur and after acquiring the iconic business media and magazine brand BW Businessworld. a 35 year strong media brand as well as most respected business publication in the country.Since taking over BW Businessworld 13 months back Mr. Batra has expanded BW Businessworld into digital, events and BW communities and has taken into its fold http://www.digitalmarket.asia, a leading website on digital marketing, http://www.everythingexperiential.com India’s leading experiential marketing website and launch BW Hotelier in partnership with hotelier international. BW Smart Cities an editorial platform in a 360 degree format is to be launched in mid February 2015. Mr. Batra is building the BW Businessworld business aggressively.

Meeta Mishra is Resident Editor of MAGNA Publishing Company. As head of the North bureau, she contributes extensively to Society, Savvy, Society Interiors, Health & Nutrition and Stardust. Prior to this media house, she worked with Hindustan Times. She worked with HTCity and Brunch. She has written extensively on lifestyle and fashion. She has covered health, trends, entertainment and conducted interesting interviews with high profile people including our present Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, MOS Babul Supriyo, Former MP CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

Tikkarani Ritu Singh
of Jammu & Kashmir is an educationist, craft restorer and hotelier behind the successful restoration of the Amar Mahal Library and Hari Singh Palace. She has revived temple cuisine and the famed dogri thali and also promotes her palace as temple tourism.