Food Freak Award: Gurgaon’s First Restaurant Awards

Food Freak Awards 2014Gurgaon, February 08, 2014: Gurgaon, the center of financial and industrial growth in Haryana, has emerged as the city of dreamers and charmers who were always awed by the Manhattan lifestyle. Skyscrapers, SEZs, tall glass facade buildings, swanky layout are all that define the realty outline of the city. Today it is home to well-travelled urban Indian consumers who love to experiment with global cuisine and promises to expose its food lovers to the finer nuances of food. Given the dynamic nature of development, Gurgaon is an ultimate foodies paradise for connoisseurs and enthusiasts of good food and good taste.

To celebrate the diverse food culture of the city, Indian Food Freak which is the leading food blog in India, and SPAG Asia, a Marketing Communications firm, headquartered in Gurgaon and Singapore have announced The Food Freak Awards, Gurgaon. The Food Freak Awards 2014 aims to bring together more than 1,000 restaurants from Gurgaon and create the most credible awards in the food industry, besides recognizing Gurgaon’s best eateries.

“The Food Freak Awards will create an aspirational value for every restaurant in Gurgaon to be part of the nominations and winners. What differentiates these awards from the quintessential food awards is the transparency with which each participating restaurant will be reviewed.” Said Pawan Soni, Founding Member,

Food Freak Awards 2014 are the 1st Gurgaon centric food awards to take place. The jury comprises of eminent names in the food industry. The awards shall be awarded in two categories namely ‘Popular Choice and Jury’s Choice’. The deadline for entries will be till March 10th post which the announcement of the winners and the award ceremony shall be happening on the 26th of April, 2014 at The Westin, Gurgaon.

“Gurgaon comprises of some of the best restaurants and food joints, which provide the best establishment opportunities to the food and hospitality Industry,” noted Shivani Gupta Managing Director, SPAG Asia.

From the finest steakhouses to gourmet Italian restaurants, from family-friendly diners to casual cafes, Food Freak Awards will recognize the best of Gurgaon. The awards ceremony is expected to attract restaurants/ chefs and celebrities from food, fashion and the Bollywood fraternity.

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The Food Freak Awards are created to redefine food as being tasty, authentic and responsible. We aim to set criteria for entry that is credible, realistic and inclusive of food joints which have demonstrated a commitment to be part of building a tasty, authentic and responsible food system in Gurgaon.


The awards will be given in two categories:

In the first stage, candidates will be invited to fill-up nomination forms put up in Food Freak Awards micro site. The deadline for entries will be till March 10th; further to that jury will shortlist up to 5 contenders for each category.

1. Popular awards: 

The nominated contenders will be put up on a micro site as well as the facebook page. For every category, general public will be invited to vote. Each member of the audience can vote only once for every category. Any ties will remain so, and joint winners will be announced.

The final winners will be vetted by the jury for the final selection.

2. Jury’s choice:

Jury will select their own winners in each category, with each jury member having one vote. Any ties will be decided after debate and discussions.


AalokAalok Wadhwa

Co-Founder Food Freak Awards 2014, Gurgaon

Aalok Wadhwa is a management professional with 25 years of hands-on experience. An Economics (Honours) graduate from St. Stephen’s College, and an MBA from IIM Bangalore, Aalok started his career with Cadbury’s. He has worked with organisations like Ogilvy, Living Media, and Business Standard Ltd, and headed India operations of global publishing companies including LexisNexis Butterworth and Encyclopaedia Britannica, both in print and on-line media. He currently works as the head of consumer products for Shree Renuka Sugars Limited. His experience also includes launching new businesses in areas as diverse as ice creams, publishing and book retail.

As a part of his work responsibilities, Aalok has travelled around the world. Along with work, he has been passionately seeking food experiences all over India, Asia, Middle east, Europe and America. He has been writing regularly in various publications, and is the partner and editor of Indian Food Freak, where he contributes regularly with his writings.

Anoothi VishalAnoothi Vishal

Anoothi Vishal is one of India’s most versatile and credible food critics, and specialises in writing on cuisine history, linkages, food as part of a larger culture and the business of F&B.  She is a columnist with the Economic Times and writes for a host of other publications. Her latest endeavour is Hotel Connect, a hospitality magazine with a difference that she puts together as consulting editor. One of the few writers to have crossed over to the other side of the kitchen, Anoothi cooks and curates community-based menus for hotels and for the Great Delhi Pop-up, her much-loved pop-up dinners in Delhi.

Sabyasachi GoraiChef Sabyasachi Gorai

Chef Saby’s highest accolade is the “Best Chef of India”, Awarded by the then President of India, H.E. Pratibha Patel, National Tourism Awards 2011, interestingly the Youngest Chef in India to receive this award, given to only three other Chefs in the past.

Chef Sabyasachi Gorai , Saby, among friends and patrons, has packed in a century of culinary expertise in his career spanning two decades. His latest  Success Stories are the Launch of the Olive Culinary Academy, New Delhi, India in 2013 and the phenomenal response to “Soda Bottle Opener Wala”, the Bombay Irani Café, at DLF Cyber Hub, Gurgaon, India.

He now owns and runs a Boutique Consultancy Company, out of New Delhi, India, called Fabrica by Chef Saby

Most recently he has been awarded the Silver Hat, presented by the Indian Culinary Forum, the largest Representative Body of Chefs in India, at their 10th Annual Chef’s Awards function in November 2013.

Chef Kunal KapurChef Kunal Kapoor

Kunal Kapur is one of the most celebrated faces of Indian cuisine today. He is Chef extraordinaire, TV show host, winner of several culinary awards and the author of upcoming cookbook- ‘A Chef in Every Home’.

Chef Kunal (Executive Sous Chef, The Leela, Gurgaon) has been recognised amongst the Best Chefs in India by National Weekly Magazine – India Today and has been honored as one of the Top 20 chefs of India. He has been a judge cum host on India’s first reality based food show called Masterchef India and has been an integral part of all three seasons as well as Junior Masterchef India. He is in elite category of ‘star chefs’ from around the world to represent Indian Cuisine on board Lufthansa Airline.

Osama Jalali

Osama JalaliOsama Jalali is a freelance food critic, who contributes mainly for The Hindu. He comes from a non-hospitality background and in past 4 years he has reviewed over more than 2000 restaurants. His roots belong to a princely estate in Uttar Pradesh called Rampur which is famous for its unique Rampuri cuisine.

Osama’s passion for food began at an early age when he used to witness his mother cooking meals in huge amounts in deghs at the feasts organized at their home very often. The flavors and ingredients used by his mother made him curious to earn more knowledge on how these delicacies are prepared. He spent his childhood among Khansamas of Delhi & Rampur. That was the time when his mother learnt a lot from royal Khansamas which eventually got transferred to Osama. He is also a consultant to couple of restaurants and spend his day hogging on food. In short he is living to eat rather eat to live.

Pawan SoniPawan Soni

CEO & Co-Founder Indian Food Freak Awards 2014, Gurgaon

Pawan Soni is an ardent foodie and WSET Level-II trained mixologist. His profession helps him to travel the length and breadth of the globe, feeding his hobbies including traveling. It helped him appreciate different cuisines and their cooking methods. His first thought when visiting a new location is to find out the best places to eat and hunting down the local delicacies of the area. Besides writing restaurant reviews for various publications and food blogs, he is the founder member and CEO of Indian Food Freak. Pawan is a Post Graduate in Management and works with a MNC.

Award Categories

  • Best Indian Coastal Restaurant
  • Best North Indian  Restaurant
  • Best South Indian Restaurant
  • Other Indian Regional Restaurant
  • Best Chinese  Restaurant
  • Best Italian  Restaurant
  • Best Korean  Restaurant
  • Best Japanese Restaurant
  • Best Asian Restaurant
  • Other world cuisine
  • Best Vegetarian Street Food  Restaurant
  • Best Kebabs/Non vegetarian street food
  • Best Cafe
  • Best Caterer
  • Best Aahata
  • Best Bakery
  • Best Home Baker
  • Best Pub/Bar
  • Best Micro Brewery
  • Sensational Debut of the year

About Indian Food Freak

Indian Food Freak (IFF) is a tribe of those who love food.  is the leading Indian restaurant review website with many tried, tested and tasted recipes and food columns. Its facebook groups and pages have a loyal following of over 20,000 of the most ardent foodies, from all corners of India, small towns and metros alike. This makes Indian Food Freak the largest and only national community which is increasingly becoming popular with Indians and Indian food lovers all over the world, ranging from Northern America to Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand.

India is a country where people love their food and the amount of variety it offers is unbelievable. Despite this fact, there is no source of authentic and trusted information on eateries. Indian Food Freak has taken the onus to share transparent, candid and trustworthy information to its readers through its editorial reviews with help from industry experts and food enthusiasts. It does not give any special preference to 5-Star restaurants nor does it shy towards road side eateries.

Indian Food Freak is a not-for-profit operation. It is a result of the passion of many committed food lovers. Any profit made by Indian Food Freak is donated to further the cause of promoting and show-casing the depth and diversity of the unique cuisine of the Indian sub-continent.

About SPAG Asia

From marketing to consumers, to turning consumers into a powerful Marketing Force; this most aptly, sums up the paradigm shift in marketing strategy. The social consumer, for whom sharing brand opinions & experiences is second nature, has begun to affect brand favorability more than conventional marketing channels. From evaluating the customer’s purchasing power alone, it is time for brands to measure his influencing power.

At SPAG Asia we help brands navigate this complex eco system that is known by its multiplicity of voices. We understand that having a sizeable share of voice is not just about who can shout above the din, but about identifying and connecting with these new influencers, whom consumers trust.

We are a team of seasoned communication professionals with years of experience in all facets of communication, be it Marketing, both online and offline, Branding, Public Affairs or Public Relations. Working in close partnership with clients, we offer integrated solutions that go a long way in ensuring stakeholder engagement. Operating at the intersection of Marketing, Public Relations, Influencer Management and new forms of engagement, we help clients strategize to amplify the brand message.

  1. Hello
    I have an eating joint based on Rajasthani Foodat Qutab Plaza Market, DLF Phase 1, Gurgaon by the name of Kachori Haat. I want to join the group and want to participate in your foodie awards.
    Please tell me the procedure for the same to register.
    Thanks and Regards
    Amit Chauhan