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Food for thought: Now Padma awards for chefs?

The culture minister has been quoted as saying that while acting and music can be awarded the Padma Shree, then why not cooking?

more lifestyle Updated: Nov 20, 2015 18:46 IST
Abhinav Verma
The culture minister has been quoted as saying that while acting and music can be awarded the Padma Shree, then why not cooking?
The culture minister has been quoted as saying that while acting and music can be awarded the Padma Shree, then why not cooking?(Shutterstock)

Indian chefs have surely been cooking up a storm so far, and now the ministry of culture wants to make sure that they are suitably rewarded. The ministry has decided to send a proposal to the home ministry stating that culinary achievers should also be in contention for Padma awards, one of the highest civilian honours in the country.

The culture minister has been quoted as saying that while acting and music can be awarded the Padma Shree, then why not cooking? So far, the only chef to receive a Padma Shree has been late Tarla Dalal. However, she got the award in the ‘Others’ category. The purpose behind the proposal is to include cooking in the list of Padma awards as a separate category.

Noted chef and TV celebrity Kunal Kapur couldn’t agree more “If approved, it would be an excellent decision. Cooking is an art which deserves recognition. Being a chef is not at all easy. We spend most of our lives away from our families. It’s about time that this hard work and sacrifice gets the recognition it deserves”.

Talking about their contribution, chef Ritu Dalmia says, “About 10 years ago, cooking was not considered important, now it’s cherished as an art. Over the world, India is famous for its culinary delicacies and the people partly responsible for this are the chefs.”

Reaching the top in this profession is not easy, says chef Sabyasachi Gorai. “In order to be a top chef, one has to constantly go through a validation process and justify as to why he or she is the best.”

Chef Manish Mehrotra raises a question, “The actors get recognised for their art, why not chefs? Cooking is the oldest profession and one of the important parts of our cultural history, it defines us a nation. I hope this proposal gets passed as it’s been due for a long time.”

What the chefs say:

Chef Ritu Dalmia (Hindustan Times)

Ritu Dalmia: Over the world, India is famous for its culinary delicacies and the people partly responsible for this are the chefs.

Chef Sabyasachi Gorai (Hindustan Times)

Sabyasachi Gorai: To be a top chef, one has to constantly go through a validation process and justify as to why he or she is one of the best.

Chef Kunal Kapur

Kunal Kapur: It’s about time that our hard work and sacrifice gets the recognition it deserves.

Chef Manish Mehrotra

Manish Mehrotra: The actors get recognised for their art, why not chefs? I hope this proposal gets passed as it’s been due for a long time