Potpourri of taste ambience and history
As restaurants bounce back, food festivals are once again taking place in the city with a renewed excitement. After being holed up in their homes for months, the opportunity to go out and have a pleasant time with family and friends is something that everyone is looking forward to. Having learnt to step out with masks and gloves and the novel sanitiser bottles, people are eager to try out a slice of culture and tradition served in the form of food. Korean food festival at kampai, Chaatology at pirates of grill, Lucknowi food festival at marketplace, Fish trap at café Delhi heights and Secret recipes of 1947 at Daryaganj are a few happening in the city.
Restaurants believe food festivals are a great way to encourage customers to eat out. “Festivals are fun. The entire team gets something new to work on and customers get to experience the vast variety with different food festivals. We recently organised a fish trap festival which was a healthy take on hearty fish specials,” says Vikrant Batra, founder, Café Delhi Heights. Shivam Sehgal of The Marketplace adds, “Festivals are a great way to celebrate food. Customers today resonate with food which has an emotional connect.”
This also gives a chance to customers to try out and imbibe new cuisines. “The biggest influence that Korean cuisine has had on Japanese is kimchi which is now fairly mainstream in Japan and is showcased in our menu along with other famous dishes like Bibimbap,” says Avantika Sinha, founder of Kampai.
The décor plays a big in a food festival to create the perfect atmosphere. “Decor adds to the entire feel. Right from the table mats and standees to special counters and costumes for the staff, we create a theme that makes the food more enjoyable,” says Jasmeet Banga, owner at Pirates of Grill.
The process of creating a menu is painstaking, say cafe owners. Many trials are done, different plating techniques are tried, and it takes two months or sometimes even more to put together a food festival. “We often organise food festivals to showcase the history of Indian cuisine and its evolution over time. This also helps us attract a lot of foreign tourists and expats as they are keen to learn about India’s culinary history. We do a sit-down menu where we serve and explain the history of every dish,” Amit Bagga, Co-founder at Daryaganj.