The second edition of ‘The Chewy Chapter’, a one-of-its-kind food festival, saw as many as 22 passionate home chefs, food entrepreneurs and restaurateurs from the Pink City bring delicacies from across the globe for the city’s foodies to sample. While their food pleased everyone’s palates, their inspiring stories of how they are pursuing their passion for food left us in sheer awe. All About Jaipur brings to you some of the most interesting culinary stories from the festival.
The Creative Creators
The Chewy Chapter is the brainchild of Firangi Deli and Café Choubara. It gives a platform to passion driven cooks, home chefs, bakers, newly opened cafes and restaurants to showcase their products. The people behind the festival too have fascinating tales to tell. Firangi Deli is a sustainable delicatessen, where most ingredients are prepared in the kitchen itself. It is the brain child of Naina Bhargava and Arahant Jain. While Arahant is a lawyer by education and was in corporate law for eight years, today he is fondly referred to as ‘khansaama’ and he has no qualms about it. Naina, on the other hand, is an alumna of Le Cordon Bleu, London, with previous experience of almost 8 years in the food industry. They both bring to the table a variety of different skills but a common love and passion for food, be it cooking, feeding or eating. “Together we aim to bring to Jaipur, an array of world cuisine, using traditional methods and hand picking the best ingredients. We strive to bring flavours that are closest to the authentic ones”, share Arahant and Naina.
Bitten by the travel bug and smitten by the love bug, Soni – a girl from Nepal and Devendra, a Himachali lad together built their abode in the Pink City. Thanks to the Covid-19 induced lockdown, their travel-related work came to a halt and the duo then opened a tea joint ‘Chai Chowk’. This allowed them to bring to the table their love for food and culinary prowess. Earlier this year they also opened another café, Choubara. What’s interesting is that their offerings have no frills and their strength lies in delivering food that’s simple, fresh and handmade with love. Be it their Chai, Vada Pav, Omelettes or Dahi Bada, every dish satiates not just your palate but also your soul. They also promote local musicians and artistes of the city by giving them a platform to showcase their talent.
UP Ka Zaayka
Thanks to the Chewy Chapter, Anju Jain, at the age of 65 years, decided to bring her food for the world to taste. With delicacies like Nagori Poori and Halwa, Dahi Bada, Spinach and Garlic Kalmi Bada, the gastronomes of Jaipur had a chance to imbibe the flavours of Uttar Pradesh with her initiative ‘UP Ka Zaayka’. Ask her about her love for food and cooking and she says: “I have always been fascinated with food and even as a young girl I loved to look at recipes and kitchen arrangements and hacks in magazines. What I love about being a home chef is that it has the charm of ‘andaaz’. There are no standardized measures and that’s why the food does not taste the same every day.” A nutritionist by education, Anju likes to tweak her recipes to in a way that it becomes a healthy choice.
Pursuing the passion for food & social inclusion
A restaurateur and experienced menu engineer, Arpita Mehta Paliwal is currently pursuing her bread baking passion with a boutique bakery studio in Jaipur, ‘Food Owl’ and teaching the art of cooking globally. With her brand, she brings to Jaipur authentic British breads using organic ingredients. Her pull apart garlic bread, gud paras, baked vada pao, peri peri loaf are some of the bestselling items. “I am passionate about social inclusion and entrepreneurship and a I have a dedicated team of women who come socially less privileged backgrounds but are food-intelligent and manufacture bespoke mathris and pickles and thus are learning financial independence with their inherent skill sets”, shares Arpita.
Authentic flavours of Gujarat
Born and brought up in Ahmedabad, Satya Bhama (55) moved to Noida to accompany her husband in his professional ventures. She continued making the delicacies she used to savour in Gujarat such as dhokla, fafda, thepla, khandvi for her family. As luck would have it, a bakery owner in Noida had the opportunity to sample her dhokla and that paved the way for her food to reach a much larger audience as she started taking bulk orders. Cut to the Covid-19 pandemic and she moved to the Pink City where she started a food stall in Bagdiya Bhavan that soon became popular for serving authentic Gujarati dishes. “I run the food stall from 7 am to 12 noon and people who go for morning walks often come to the stall for healthy breakfast options. Now I am also planning to run the stall for all-day long so that I can also come on platforms like Swiggy and Zomato for reaching out to more people”, shares the enthusiastic food entrepreneur.
Santript: Satiating the soul
“Ever since I was a child, I felt that kitchen was the one true place where I belonged. Most of my fond food memories from childhood are centered around food – watching my mother cook, my grandmother making pickles, my father stepping in on special occasions to feed us his signature dishes”, says the 24-year-old Aditya Singh Shekhawat, who started his home kitchen Santript in 2020, after working with reputed hotels of Taj and ITC. This passion led him to IHM Aurangabad to pursue culinary arts and during his internship he had the rare opportunity to be a part of the catering team of Isha Ambani’s wedding in Udaipur. Be in Laal maas or Dal Makhani, Aditya believes in not taking any shortcuts while making his food.
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