New Delhi: FSSAI, Northern Region, along with Radisson Blu, Kaushambi organised a millet awareness event based on the theme “Millets: From Farm to Plate” on 31st July 2023, specially for the chefs of numerous acclaimed hotel chains and students from several hospitality as well as culinary institutes. Mr. Navneet Jain, Group CEO, Radisson Blu, Kaushambi Delhi NCR and Radisson Blu Towers Kaushambi Delhi NCR, was one of the dignitaries in the event and provided tremendous support to FSSAI, Northern Region, for the successful organising of the event. Mr. Sanjay Kaushik, Senior Regional Director, Operations, Radisson group, South Asia, was also instrumental in making the event a great success. He also graced the event with his auspicious presence. In this event, more than 50 hotels took part, and there were more than 200 chefs from the northern states. Mr. Praveen Kumar Singh, the Agriculture Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, was the special guest of the event, and he shared information about policies and subsidies to promote millets in the country. Dr Hamid Latif, Principal, Regional Institute of Rural Development, Ghaziabad, a dignitary of the event, focussed on the importance of millets in combating challenges related to food security and the synergistic relation between a balanced diet, millets and a healthy lifestyle. Chef Davinder Kumar, President Indian Culinary Forum, efficiently sensitised chefs as well students from hospitality and culinary art institutes towards the reinvention of their menu towards a healthy diet.
Dr. Manisha Narayan, Deputy Director, FSSAI Northern Regional Office, taking the theme forward, suggested the ways and highlighted the role of chefs in promoting consumption and improving palate acceptability of millets. In the presentation, Dr. Narayan aligned millet consumption with the Eat Right India Movement of FSSAI. She also emphasised that India’s concept of ‘वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् – One Earth, One Family, One Future’ can be achieved by promoting the consumption of millets globally, millets being ‘nutri-cereals’.
Further, Chef Rakesh Sethi, corporate chef of the Radisson Blu group of hotels through a video shared a recipe for millet shami kebab, and he also informed about their initiative “Farmer Millet Brunch”. Chef Dhreeraj Mathur, Executive Chef of Radisson Blu, Kaushambi, demonstrated excellent ragi-based khandavi.
Ranveer Brar and Kunal Kapoor, through videos, motivated and appreciated the program specially designed for Chefs. Several other chefs from renowned hotels demonstrated and showcased their cuisines prepared from various millets.
Ms. Anuja Agarwala, a former senior dietician from AIIMS, shared insight about the optimisation of portion size of millets to be included in our daily diets. The event also had participation from Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), which was represented by a senior scientist, Dr. Vinutha T., who emphasised the current research trends and different processing technologies associated with millets. A large number of manufacturers and vendors participated in the programme by sharing their experiences in manufacturing millet-based food products. The vendors also showcased various ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat value-added millet-based products, like idli mix, khichdi, laddu, savouries, cookies, etc. The experiences and insights shared amongst FSSAI, chefs, vendors and entrepreneurs during the event have laid a concrete foundation for utilising millets as part of a healthy and diverse diet.
In his thank-you speech at the FSSAI function, Mr. Navneet Jain expressed heartfelt gratitude to the FSSAI team for taking this beautiful initiative. He emphasised that chefs are the driving force in hospitality institutions, whether they are stand-alone restaurants or 5-star deluxe hotels. Mr. Jain passionately advocated for incorporating millet into everyone’s daily diet, not just as a practice but as a culture. He believes that promoting millets in various culinary settings will lead to a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle for all.