Indian Food Needs To Be Documented: Kunal Kapur
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – “Chefs with a massive following also carry the responsibility of making people aware of nutrition, guiding them to look through marketing tactics employed by certain brands to push a particular ingredient. Also, they need to caution against traps of nutrition fads — no food is bad when you realize that its primary duty is to provide nutrition. Certain foods may not be suitable for some people — and that is not the same thing. For example, butter is important, if you do not exercise at all, who is to blame?” Chef Kunal Kapur says.
“Food and cooking never fail to fascinate me. There is so much to discover, at every moment. Food is like art. You cannot get bored of a good painting in your house or an excellent poem, right? I may not be able to paint, but my different shades come through when I cook. It’s how I express my being,” he adds.
Someone, who trains underprivileged and unemployed youth in cooking and helps raise funds to make their own sustained food business, this Delhi-born chef took a liking to cooking and pursued it to become one of the most well-known chefs.
Rated as ‘The Best Indian Chef’ in New Delhi by a national magazine and titled as ‘The Next Big Guy in Kebabs and Curries in India’, Kapur feels it always helps to know a cuisine to understand flavors.
“It is always interesting to look at food through the prism of those who consume and the region. And research and documentation are therefore extremely important for me — to know the possibilities, and how to go beyond them.”
Lamenting that in a huge and diverse country like India, food has not been documented, he says, “Look at the way the French have documented their food. I remember, in college, we were on a perpetual search for ‘that one book’ on Indian food. This meant that we had to buy many, get them photocopied, and distribute them among friends.”
And this is where he feels that the many food bloggers who have sprung up after the social media boom are doing a fantastic job. “They are spread across the country and bring alive the best of food from the most hidden corners in their city. How else would we know that a tiny shop in a labyrinth offers excellent ‘vada-pav’?”