October 8, 2015
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.