“Food is a conversation starter”, says Mr.Anirban Sarkar, GM, Country Inn and Suites, sector 29, Gurgaon. We meet friends for food, food is the pivotal point of almost any occasion. One such conversation happened while I visited Country Inn and Suites for a Lunch which was a showcase of how the hotel kitchen and the chefs consciously bring the fresh seasonal produce from farms to your table right through each course.
Bringing some highlights from the conversation, which may evoke several thoughts and trigger a change, on how and what we eat.
Q:What is the need of a conscious thinking about what we Eat?
A:We are on an automated eating protocol. We are not doing conscious Consumption of food. If we think, we no more consume, what our ancestors used to cook for meals, like a simple home made Chiwda or the fresh turmeric milk , and unknowingly we shifted towards the western pattern of quick processed meals.
Q: What is the first step towards conscious eating?
A: We need to get conscious at each step, from sourcing to cooking.
Q: To what level does the Consciousness about food affect, is it individual or the impact is larger than we think?
A: A conscious individual, leads to a conscious citizen, and we have an obligation to communicate to a larger audience. If we do not start talking and acting now, the impact on the earth survival is much exponential in coming times, taking us into a bigger mess than we are at present.
Q: What is the new wave of consuming Millets all about?
A: Millets are not only native, they are a big answer to the water crisis situation in Indian agriculture, as they are resilient and also at the same time high on nutritive value, as compared to water intensive crops of wheat and rice.
Millets are new super food, and ancient gifts to us from mother Nature.
Q: How to identify “Is it sustainable”?
A: In Agriculture, the concept of sustainability is applied, while production of food using methods which help conserve the natural sources and have minimal impact on the environment.
In society sustainability refers to a way to live life, in a way it is good to themselves and to the society. It can be use of seasonal, ecological thinking, no use of plastic, reuse of resources.
Q: Is eating fresh, a part of sustainability?
A:Eating Fresh is not baout buying from the market just before the consumption. If we observe what grows in which season , and pick that produce for consumption, that is eating fresh in the true sense.
Q: How does Country Inn and Suites Started thinking towards sustainable food pattern?
A: Country Inn and Suites, is setting an example, being a role model, in the hospitality industry, Building a culture of accountability. Bringing the seasonal produce to the table. We believe in ” Small changes can bring Dramatic Effect”. Conscious selection, receiving, storage, training of staff, creates a positive chain to contribute to our drive of Sustainable Living.
Chef Gautam Kumar also brought forth a beautiful revelation, that though creating menu from the limited available seasonal options, is no less than a continuous challenge, which keeps them on toes, and they come up with a never-ceasing menu options for the customers,but use of seasonal produce makes, the task of chefs easy as the flavours lent by the fresh seasonal ingredients do the job. The recipes have been kept simple, and the ingredients are allowed to speak.
The conversation concluded with extraordinary examples quoted by him about Charlie Trotter,for his menu being planned around what is available in the farmers market, and his work winning him several accolades, to Jamie s British restaurant with global influence, Fifteen , which uses the finest British ingredients to create classic, nostalgic dishes, all cooked by super-skilled young minds. Underprivileged children of society, trained by Jamie himself to create exceptional food.
The team of Country Inn and suites so well fits in the quote” The world is changed by an example, not by opinion.”
Glimpses of the simple yet finger licking good food, like what reminded me of by Naani …..@ Country Inn and Suites sector 29.