The Sunday Guardian-NewsX Food & Beverage Awards 2019, held at Delhi’s The Metropolitan Hotel and Spa on 9 March, felicitated top achievers from the hospitality sector and hosted panel discussions on the future of India’s rapidly evolving F&B industry.

 

Noted entrepreneurs from the food and beverage sector have said that the F&B industry in India is yet to evolve further, despite it being the second highest employment generator in the country. Speaking at “The Sunday Guardian-NewsX Food & Beverage Awards 2019”, held in Delhi on 9 March, Riyaz Amlani, CEO, Impresario and Dildeep Kalra, Director of Massive Restaurants, said the industry faces many challenges, yet it is the passion of the youth that has become the driving force behind the growth of the F&B industry in India.

Renowned chefs from across the country were here. They pointed out that the F&B industry in India has shown a lot of positive developments over the last 15 years, a good sign for the growth of this sector. They said the business of hotels and restaurants gives youngsters the opportunity to create something unique every day, and that this is the real driving force behind the industry.

The award ceremony was held at Delhi’s The Metropolitan Hotel and Spa, with the purpose of honouring and celebrateing culinary excellence in India’s food and beverage industry. The event also highlighted the contributions of those front-runners who have done tremendous work in the food and hospitality sector.

During the event, there were top gourmet experts and industry stalwarts, who have contributed towards the growth of this sector. Saturday’s event was dedicated to the most recognised and celebrated fine-dining restaurants, five-star properties and lounges across Delhi-NCR.

The evening’s inaugural session, “Top Chefs: A Delicious Journey”, began with a panel discussion with Chef Vikramjit Roy, Chef Priyam Chatterjee and Chef Nishant Chaubey on the stage. The session revolved around the interesting journeys of these renowned chefs.

During the session, Chatterjee said that food was an expression of art and that the F&B industry requires an influx of new artistic skills. “A good chef has to be an artist. The industry is all about cultivation of one’s creativity,” he said.

Chaubey also pointed out that despite time constraints, chefs have the opportunity of creating unique things. Roy emphasised that the sense of smile and surprise on the faces of those visiting his restaurant is the most rewarding thing about being in this industry.

In another session, “Hot Starters: Recipe for Success”, food entrepreneurs Riyaaz Amlani and Dildeep Kalra discussed their eventful journey and talked about how the Indian culinary scenario has changed over the years.

While commenting on the competition in the food business, Kalra said that “it is all about reinventing what we are doing”. To add to this, Amlani said, “It is all about good food, good service and good storytelling to connect to our customers.”

The two, however, also pointed out that the lengthy process of obtaining various licences for opening a restaurant in India is the biggest hurdle in the future growth of the F&B industry. “It is the complicated and overlapping bureaucracy that is holding us back. Most of the laws concerning the hospitality sector were framed prior to 1953 and thus were archaic and irrelevant. From being perfectly legal, one can be rendered completely illegal in one day,” Amlani said.

Kalra also asserted that getting licences for opening a restaurant or serving liquor is easier in foreign countries as compared to in India.

Apart from celebrating culinary excellence, the event also witnessed a dazzling fashion show centred on a winter and summer collection by Crimsoune Club, with stunning models setting the ramp on fire.

The conclave was attended by a cross-section of stakeholders in the food and beverage industry—policymakers, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and experts from the food processing and food delivery sectors, who acknowledged the challenges and opportunities that define India’s expanding F&B sector.

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