In Punjab’s food capital, international chefs to showcase culinary art (Food Feature)

Chandigarh, Sep 10 : Amritsar has always been famous for its rich food, but when international-level chefs descend on this Sikh holy city next month to fill the city with the aroma of their food art, it will be a culinary treat of a different kind.

Chefs from at least 40 countries are expected to participate in the World Heritage Cuisine Summit (and) Food Festival 2018 being held at the historic Gobindgarh Fort in Amritsar from October 12 to 14.

The event is an initiative of the World Cultural Culinary Heritage Committee of the World Association of Chefs Societies or WorldChefs.

"Two chefs from each of these 40 countries will present their heritage culinary art skills, share their knowledge and make Live demonstrations," Chef Manjit Singh Gill, Corporate Chef, ITC Hotels, and chairman of WorldChefs (which has 12 million chefs across 108 member-nations), told IANS here

Additionally, two chefs from at least 20 Indian states will also display and demonstrate their skills and knowledge.

The focus of the event will be on traditional food from the states and other countries.

"The chefs will show case the best of their ethnic food and heritage and the philosophy of food.

There will also be a Chefs' Parade to the Golden Temple followed by lunch and langar presentation," Gill said.

"Seekers of authentic culinary experiences will be delighted at this first event of its kind in India.

It will cater to all manner of palates -- the regular foodie, the one with an adventurous taste-bud, the gourmet, and the epicurean.

What's cooking, you ask? A celebration of long-standing food traditions showcased by reputed chefs from India and around the world," he added.

"Tradition is our identity.

Culture and heritage ensures a history, a past, a present and certainly a future," Gill added.

It is for the first time that in international food event on such a scale is being held in India.

Presented alongside the Master Chefs' recipes' will be age-old techniques from across Punjab.

Gill, the Founder-Pesident of the Indian Federation of Culinary Associations and a highly acclaimed chef with over four decades of excellence in the culinary profession, is among the torch-bearers of various global initiatives like Chefs Manifesto SDGs -- Sustainable Development Goals.

He was recently bestowed the prestigious Escoffier Medal, considered the Nobel Prize of the culinary world, and became the only Asian to have received it.

"The chefs' aim is to cook and create happiness with his tasty food, they bridge the gap between the farm and fork by influencing what we grow, what we put on our plates and how we think and talk about food.

If chefs take a lead in sustainability issues - such as tackling food waste and sustainable sourcing, diners, farmers, business and even government will follow," Gill said.

The audience at the Amritsar food event will comprise students, chefs and food enthusiasts.

Though open to the public, the show will be ticketed.

Chef Gill, himself a Sikh with roots from Punjab, stated: "Punjabi cuisine is wholesome and fragrant.

Prepared with indulgent dollops of ghee (clarified butter) and home- churned butter, it is flavourful and rich in spices.

Centuries-long Persian, Afghan, Greek and Mongol influences have ensured the cuisine is robust and earthy, rich and exotic, all at the same time.

Indian barbeque or 'tandoori' is probably one of the oldest forms of outdoor cooking. Called 'bhatthi', it is now a staple in Punjab."

(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at



Source: IANS