An Evening with Celebrity Chefs & Foodie, Organized by Hangla

By: Rajdeep Bhattacharjee

October 8, 2015

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Kolkata Food Tech 2015, an esteemed exhibition on food processing and food service industry, had taken place between 21st and 23rd August at the exhibition complex of Milan Mela, Kolkata. It was a precious opportunity for all those professionals related to the hospitality and food industry in India as well as abroad.

 

The event was considered to be an opportunity in the sense that the said professionals can interact directly with thousands of their prospective clients and customers in this place and therefore had enough chance to expand business. Hence the exhibitors would try their best to make their presence felt by presenting the best of their products and services in an engaging manner.

 

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Numerous organizations from varied industries in India took part in this gala exhibition. They include food processors, chain of hotels and restaurants, food consultants, caterers, bakery and confectionary, dairy firms, hospitality management institutes, snack parlors, clubs and chamber of commerce.

 

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There was an important discussion took place at the “Hangla” stall on the scarcity in the supply of Hilsa in Kolkata and the hotels and restaurants being the major sufferers of this situation. Several chiefs from eminent hotels in Kolkata had taken part in the discussion. Among them were Chef Sushanta Sengupta from 6 BP, Chef Jayanta Banerjee from Park Plaza and Chef Rakhi Purnima Dasgupta from Kewpie. I was invited to represent the foodies of Kolkata, my heartily thanks to Hangla for giving me this honour.

 

Our gorgeous host Panchali Dutta manages the whole event very caringly with touch of her own professionalism. Every chef opened their heart while discussing about queen of fish. Almost every one of them shared their memories of old time. As the clamour for the fish grows across the State, traders are forced to sell Bengalis’ favourite fish in smaller quantities. They did highlight the awareness programs for preventing the capture and selling of immature hilsa as well as the prevention of this greatly longed fish.

 

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Hilsa, caught in the river Padma in Bangladesh, is considered to be of superior quality than the ones caught locally in the Ganga. However, ever since our Chief Minister refused to share the Teesta waters with Bangladesh, the neighbouring country has imposed a ban on export of the silver-scaled fish. Since Bangladesh blocked its access, importers have started relying on Myanmar for their catch, although it forces them to hike the rates.

 

I shared my feelings and opinions about Hilsa and also informed them that I am a part of the Hilsa Conservation Project under Ministry of Fisheries. After lots of discussion every one of us agreed that Hilsa is irreplaceable as it rooted deeply with our culture and every Bengalis heart. The discussion finally ended with few common notes and most important one of them was create awareness to common people. Implement strict laws against catching khoka ilish and even selling them in market. The awareness programmes need to be strong at places where khoka ilish is caught. Once it is caught and there in the market for sale, the programmes are useless. Regular raids are carried out and people are charged, only to be repeated the following year.

 

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I wish in coming days Hangla organize more events like this, related to food and consciousness. Again my whole hearted thanks to Hangla, our beautiful host Panchali and team of Celebrity Chefs.

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About Rajdeep Bhattacharjee

A ravenous eater, a thirsty drinker, an enthusiastic traveller and a very sound sleeper – once a wannabe hacker and now a Government employee, is an aspiring food critic and travel blogger. He hates the loose use of the word ‘foodie’ and prefers, instead, the expression ‘food devotee’. For him, good food and honest people are the biggest motivators.

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1915940_101100699948573_1759232_nRajdeep Bhattacharjee wears many feathers in his cap. A ravenous eater, a thirsty drinker, an enthusiastic traveller and a very sound sleeper – Rajdeep, once a wannabe hacker and now a Government employee, is an aspiring food critic and travel blogger. He hates the loose use of the word 'foodie' and prefers, instead, the expression 'food devotee'. For him, good food and honest people are the biggest motivators.

He is the founder of Gourmets Travel Guide, a website devoted completely to food and travel. Rajdeep is an avid blogger and one can find many of his sojourns aptly expressed on the website www.gourmetstravelguide.com.

Rajdeep had been recently chosen by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to board the inaugural flight from Kolkata to Bangkok (TG – 336) and received accolades for wonderfully recounting the experience, from start to finish, in his blog. In fact, his travelogue was featured in Hangla Hneshel, one of India's foremost Bengali magazine dedicated completely to food and travel. Rajdeep doesn't stop there! One of his undersea walks also got featured in The Telegraph, one of India's leading dailies. He is also one of the chief curators and a selector for chefs and restaurants for Channel One's Resto Ranna episodes.

Zomato ranks Rajdeep among the top ten food connoisseurs in the city. He has also been ranked number 5 and 6, in this year's Network 18 and Burrp surveys respectively, as one of the discerning food critics in the country.

Rajdeep loves eating out at different restaurants. A true blue Bengali at heart and gut, experimenting with food and palates come naturally to him. And he doesn't mind leaving an endearing word or two for chefs who have displayed their talents on the plate and the restaurant management for the inviting ambiance of an eatery.

Rajdeep counts is as his forte the wonderful rapport he shares with different media houses. Thus his writings have already been picked up by top food journals and news dailies apart from the exposure he has to talk about them on social media. Reputation management of his clients come naturally to him be it on the virtual platform or in print.

He has been blogging for the last three years. When he is not writing on food and travel or working as a Government employee, you can most certainly catch him with a camera slung around his neck and travel gear ready to satisfy his inner wanderlust.