FOOD FOR THOUGHT: PADMA FOR CHEFS!

It’s long over­due, say chefs as the gov­ern­ment pro­poses to give Padma awards to chefs and cooks

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Ab­hi­nav Verma ab­hi­nav.verma@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Over the world, In­dia is fa­mous for its culi­nary del­i­ca­cies and the peo­ple partly re­spon­si­ble for this are the chefs

Ritu Dalmia, chef To be a top chef, one has to con­stantly go through a val­i­da­tion process and jus­tify as to why he or she is one of the best

Sabyasachi Go­rai, chef It’s about time that our hard work and sac­ri­fice gets the recog­ni­tion it de­serves

Ku­nal Ka­pur, chef The ac­tors get recog­nised for their art, why not chefs? I hope this pro­posal gets passed as it’s been due for a long time

Man­ish Mehro­tra, chef

In­dian chefs have surely been cook­ing up a storm so far, and now the min­istry of cul­ture wants to make sure that they are suit­ably re­warded. The min­istry has de­cided to send a pro­posal to the home min­istry stat­ing that culi­nary achiev­ers should also be in con­tention for Padma awards, one of the high­est civil­ian hon­ours in the coun­try.

The cul­ture min­is­ter has been quoted as say­ing that while act­ing and mu­sic can be awarded the Padma Shree, then why not cook­ing? So far, the only chef to re­ceive a Padma Shree has been late Tarla Dalal. How­ever, she got the award in the ‘Oth­ers’ cat­e­gory. The pur­pose be­hind the pro­posal is to in­clude cook­ing in the list of Padma awards as a sep­a­rate cat­e­gory.

Noted chef and TV celebrity Ku­nal Ka­pur couldn’t agree more “If ap­proved, it would be an ex­cel­lent de­ci­sion. Cook­ing is an art which de­serves recog­ni­tion. Be­ing a chef is not at all easy. We spend most of our lives away from our fam­i­lies. It’s about time that this hard work and sac­ri­fice gets the recog­ni­tion it de­serves”.

Talk­ing about their con­tri­bu­tion, chef Ritu Dalmia says, “About 10 years ago, cook­ing was not con­sid­ered im­por­tant, now it’s cher­ished as an art. Over the world, In­dia is fa­mous for its culi­nary del­i­ca­cies and the peo­ple partly re­spon­si­ble for this are the chefs.”

Reach­ing the top in this pro­fes­sion is not easy, says chef Sabyasachi Go­rai. “In or­der to be a top chef, one has to con­stantly go through a val­i­da­tion process and jus­tify as to why he or she is the best.”

Chef Man­ish Mehro­tra raises a ques­tion, “The ac­tors get recog­nised for their art, why not chefs? Cook­ing is the old­est pro­fes­sion and one of the im­por­tant parts of our cul­tural history, it de­fines us a na­tion. I hope this pro­posal gets passed as it’s been due for a long time.”

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