The Leela Palace at Chanakyapuri in Delhi is a stunner. The huge arches that greeted Pawan Soni and me were imposing and very impressive. But this should be another story for another time. For now, we were both visiting the Leela Palace to attend the CSSG GASTRONOMY SUMMIT 2012 where 6 world class Michelin starred and celebrity chefs were invited for panel discussions and interviews.
Pawan and I walked in and we were diligently received and guided to the banquet holding the event. Anjum Anand, a celebrity chef & one of the first food writers on Indian food from London whose shows feature on BBC & TLC, was already in an animated conversation about “feeding the media”.
This was followed by a session with soft spoken Frances Atkins on “emancipation in the kitchen – the changing view of gender in the food industry and how to break the glass ceiling”. It was an interesting talk barring the infrequent digs Seema Chandra was taking on the male populace.
Laurie Baker, an upcoming chef and the owner of The Artichoke, Amersham, Buckinghamshire, was the next one up and did a talk on “the fashion of food”. The session seemed to have started on a hot note, but soon fizzled out on energy and so did we.
Taking a quick exit, I picked up one of Anjum Anand’s book “Eat Right for Your Body Type” which is when the lady herself strolled in. Pawan introduced both of and we got into a chat about how Ayurveda was finding its relevance once again in the lives of Indians. Anjum, who I thought was very humble and without any airs around her, obliged me with signing the book as well as giving us the perfect photo opportunity.
The event was more of a mixed bag – some ups and a few downs. While the interviews could not grab my attention much, I am sure Day 2 which was action packed would have been more exciting. A curated dinner comprising of nine courses prepared by the chefs paired with nine different types of wines and nine pieces of Music created by B.L.O.T to string the experience together surely sounded much better to me.