A Two-Day Event of Gastronomy at its Finest
National December 2022: The 6th Edition of the Food for Thought Fest curated by the South Asian Association For Gastronomy (S.A.A.G), celebrating the diverse culinary heritage of the South Asian region, was held in the capital, across two days- 17th and 18th December 2022, at GMR Aerocity, New Delhi. The event commenced with an opening ceremony through lamp lighting by Chief Guest – Shri Uday Mahurkar Central Information Commissioner, Government of India in the presence of international delegates and dignitaries.
Shri Uday Mahurkar emphasized the effects of the pandemic on the hospitality industry and how India needs to develop a very strong sense of unique identity for itself and how important it is to build the hospitality sector across the SAARC region and non-organized sectors. He also released the first-ever Cinema Food Report compiled by INOX which shared the food choices of 70 million cinema-goers in India.
The Plenary panel discussion was on the topic of “Post-Pandemic Pivot in the Restaurant Business” with Rocky Mohan in conversation with Padmashri Dr. Pushpesh Pant, Shaguni Sakya (Nepal), Saman Nayanananda (Srilanka), Anand Vishal and Vineet Mishra.
The high point of the event was a special address by the Guest of Honour, Shri Amitabh Kant, India’s G 20 Sherpa during Presidency Year and Ex- CEO Niti Aayog, Government of India. Shri Amitabh Kant congratulated S.A.A.G for the commendable job of going beyond the borders of India to bring different countries together and said “Food is the fastest and the best way to bring camaraderie, to bring peace, to bring serenity, to bring countries together and I am glad that S.A.A.G has taken this initiative”.
Shri Kant also released Chef Vicky Ratnani’s latest book “ Urban Desi”.
According to Mr. Maneesh Baheti, Founder and Director of S.A.A.G, “Post-pandemic we worked to bring this fest together with much zeal and enthusiasm. We reached out to the best from the world of hospitality and other disciplines like sports, cinema, fashion, nutrition, etc., to create yet another thoroughly engaging program schedule. We also included more elements this year like choreographed dance sequences, juggling, and fire eaters to present a spectacular comeback edition and are truly delighted with the outcome .”
The fest witnessed cookery demos by world-renowned Celebrity Chef Asma Khan from the U.K, Master Chefs Vicky Ratnani, Harpal Sokhi, Michael Swamy Hiroshi Isomura (Japan), and more.
This first day also brought in many exciting panel discussions such as “the Diet of Sports Icons”, with T.V Anchor Puja Talwar in conversation with Cricketers Mayank Rawat, Ripal Patel, Pro Kabbadi Player Pradeep Narwal, and Para Olympian Gold Medallists Simran Vats & Neeraj Yadav. another panel discussion was on “Gut Health and Mental Well-Being” with T.V Anchor Jasleen Vohra in conversation with Author Ishi Khosla, Chef Manisha Bhasin, Dr. Mankul ( AIIMS ) & Monique Jhingon.
The 2nd day started off with a panel discussion on the topic of “ Conservation of Royal Culinary Heritage” with Anshu Khanna in conservation with Nawab Kazim Ali Khan Rampur, Yuvraj Ambareesh Pal Singh Awagarh and Yuvrani Aparajita Kumari ( Amarkot – Pakistan). Followed by another panel discussion on the topic- “Changing Food Habits in the Post-Pandemic Era” with Author Sadaf Husain in conversation with Celebrity Chef Suvir Saran, Shaguni Singh Sakya (Nepal), Author Sangeeta Khanna and Chef Aditi Madan. The fest continued with its glorious schedule with more masterclasses and the last panel discussion with Shalini Arora Kochhar in conversation with Shilpa Arora, Deeksha Mishra, and Lakshmi Rana on the topic of The Rejuvenation & Beauty Diet.
Another huge attraction this year was the Book launches of Chef Vicky Ratnani and Chef Asma Khan. The event appealed to the mind and palates of visitors, from eager food lovers, bloggers, and students of hotel management, to professionals from the hotel and restaurant industry. The event delivered on its promise of being an enriching celebration of the mind and spirit while strengthening the sense of a joyous community. This year too the theme of the Food Court was “A Taste of Luxury” where luxury hotels in Delhi NCR showcased their top 7 dishes, which were served in tasting portions and were priced between INR 150 to 550 only. The only event in India which brings this concept.
Some of the prominent partners this year were GMR Group as Co-Presenting Partner, Pullman, Novotel Aerocity, Radisson Blu and The Claridges New Delhi, as Hospitality Partner, INOX Cinemas as Entertainment Partner, NEWSX Channel as Broadcast Media Partner, Global Spa & Peak Life Magazine as Lifestyle Magazine Partners, Travel + Leisure as Travel Magazine Partner, Business World Magazine as Business Media Partner, Eazy Diner as APP Partner.
Over the 2 days of the fest, programming through sessions and workshops was conducted from 12.00 noon and 6.00 pm every day. “Fun Fest” was held outdoors and offered a concert by leading performing artists, similar to previous years, and post 6.00 p.m there was live entertainment by bands and performing artists till 10 pm.
Visitors had the opportunity to engage in contemporary issues with the most progressive-minded panelists, learn from the greatest chefs in the region, explore fascinating topics related to food and, of course, treat their taste buds with the splendid flavors that the subcontinent had to offer.
For more details on the event visit :