‘MasterChef India’ winner joins govt’s initiative to promote tourism in J-K

‘MasterChef India’ winner Pankaj Bhadouria recently gave a live demonstration of her cooking skills in Kashmiri cuisine

‘MasterChef India’ winner and celebrity chef Pankaj Bhadouria recently gave a live demonstration of her cooking skills in Kashmiri cuisine to delegates from foreign countries as part of a tourism promotional program organised by the Union Ministry of Tourism. The students of the Institute of Hotel Management (IHM) Srinagar also got a chance to see the famous chef in action.

Bhadouria was among the tourism delegation who visited Kashmir Valley for a three-day visit that ended on Tuesday. An important part of the visit was the live cooking demonstrations given by renowned chefs of the country, aimed at boosting tourism by promoting India’s food culture. During the three-day visit, the delegation visited a number of places including Asia’s largest tulip garden in Kashmir and the world-famous Dal Lake where they enjoyed a ‘Shikara ride’.

Bhadouria said, ” Culinary tourism is a very important part of tourism. Other than the scenic beauty and history of a place it is food that attracts people.”

“What do people do when they visit Japan? They will be hoping through Sushi bars and they do the same in Vietnam. Then why not appreciate and promote Indian food?”

“Organising food festivals and promoting local cuisines will give a boost to tourism. 30 percent of all tourism is culinary tourism,” she stated.

Yaseen Reshi, a Kashmiri chef, lauded the event and said that more of such programs should be done for a meaningful cultural exchange. “A delegation from Delhi has come and Chef Pankaj a part of that delegation is demonstrating Kashmiri dishes for them aiming to promote Kashmiri cuisines. People from among us should become brand ambassadors for our cuisine,” he said adding that local chefs are very few who can promote Kashmiri cuisine and hence “foreign chefs should learn our cuisine and we should learn theirs paving way for a cultural exchange”.

Qazi Shabir, Principal of Institute of Hotel Management, said, “The celebrity chefs will do a live performance at the institute for the students. Today we have Pankaj Bhadhura winner of Master chef in 2010 and I am sure it will be a motivation to our students.”

Toiba, a student of IHM said, “We got to know that a renowned chef is coming here, so naturally we were intrigued. She has conducted a large number of shows and is very knowledgeable. This is a wonderful opportunity for us.”

Bett, a delegate from Kenya said, “The place, culture and food is exceptional. It is an honour to be here and I will ask Kenyans to come here. I promise to come back again.

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