Food safety and hygiene are the top priorities for Chef Davinder Kumar, President, Indian Culinary Forum and Vice President (F&B Production) and Executive Chef, Le Meridien, New Delhi.
COVID-19 was a sudden stop to the frenzy that chefs are used to. We were facing unprecedented times, and there were a lot of questions that remained to be answered. When will things come back to normal, if at all they do? The resultant changes adapted were mostly focussed on creating a new set of SOPs relevant to the current situation, with hygiene, distancing, and immunity-boosting food taking centre stage. Food deliveries and cloud kitchens have become extremely popular. Things are improving, and today we are looking at a scenario that could lead us to the prepandemic stage of the culinary business pretty quickly.
Food safety and hygiene are vital
While food has always been at the centre of all foodrelated businesses, the focus now is not just on food but also on the source thereof and the procedures followed to bring it to the diners’ table. So, food safety and hygiene are things that have become the pillars of strength in the current scheme of things.
How one cooks it and what one uses to ensure that the immunity-boosting quality of the food is maintained and enhanced is the other important aspect that must be kept in mind. Being innovative has always been the key and will continue to help businesses grow.
Menus focus on nutritional value
One aspect of food which has been highlighted is its ability to showcase the immunity-boosting aspects of the food offered. The chef puts in extra effort to create innovative offerings that help boost immunity. Some menus specifically mention the nutritional aspects of the food being served. Healthy, hygienic, and harmless are the aspects that are being scrutinised both by the staff members and the guests.
Chef-preneurs lead the way
During the post-pandemic times, many chefs have donned the hat of an entrepreneur. Some of the chefs, out of compulsion to earn a living, had to set up their own remote kitchens and start with food delivery. Food service financial aspects were quickly learned by chefs and implemented to make a successful business venture.
Of course, all this was done while keeping the basic principles of a chef’s role intact and not losing focus on the aspects of health and hygiene. A chef today has become more aware and has to look at all the aspects, not just the food.
India is a haven for food lovers
The demographic and geographical expanse of India provides the perfect opportunity for food exploration and adventure. The changing flavours of food as one moves across the country make it a delectable journey.
ICF is a platform to showcase skills
We at the Indian Culinary Forum have been working towards creating opportunities for and helping gain knowledge and skills for our community of chefs. Chefs have been given platforms to showcase their skills through competitions and also learn from the experts through a series of masterclasses organised online. During the initial days of the pandemic, a lot of chefs lost their jobs. ICF created a special platform to help chefs get employment during such difficult times.
Davinder kumar President Indian Culinary Forum
“ICF created a platform to help chefs get employment during difficult times”