On the food path

Trends Food has become an all encompassing presence, television and otherwise. Kids to parents, everyone’s plunged into cooking, finds RESHMA KRISHNAMURTHY SHARMA

Eyes on the jobStarting youngPhoto: R. Ravindran

From being a hobby to a profession and even an obsession for some, cooking is finding many takers in recent times for varied reasons. Adding to the popularity is the rise in cookery shows on television; hosted by people who make the experience look super cool with ample seasonings of humour, exotic locales and ingredients.

Some of these shows are hosted by well-known personalities and noted celebrities to add the glamour quotient. Even game contests have entered this domain where reality shows like theMasterChef series are making the young and the adults experiment with food.

Food has always been an important part of our lives and while there are enough dine-out opportunities or ready to eat fast-food joints, those who really love food feel nothing is more satisfying than trying a dish in one’s kitchen.

Says Manish Gaur, Director of Training at Institute of Baking & Cake Art: “Kitchens have turned out to be innovative spaces that have received a huge makeover in the last few years. Undoubtedly, shows like MasterChef have encouraged aspiring youngsters and homemakers to love and experiment with food. We have a short term course of three days that is very popular with the young between eight and 15 years of age, and this year we do have a lot of queries for it.”

Varun Satish, all of nine years says, “Cooking is a very satisfying feeling. I am in a happy state when I create a good dish.” An avid watcher of all the cookery shows on TV, he says he likes trying out Chinese and Italian cuisines. His dad, Satish, says though Varun aspires to be an engineer, given the time he spends in kitchens he might turn to be an excellent chef.

With traditional stereotype gender roles getting equalised in urban societies, cooking is no longer only a woman’s domain. It is becoming a life skill that is encouraged by parents. Summer camps offer cooking classes as well as cooking without fire. These camps have parents cooking with their children with mom and child days being very popular.

Globalisation, exposure to recipes on internet and TV, availability of a range of cook books and travel has made everyone interested in a variety of cuisines. With the kitchens turning into the centre of activity, the space is no longer dark and dinghy. Rather with modern, time saving gadgets and a bright, airy feel, the kitchen has been reinstated as the heart of the home. Shruti Singhal who is planning to start an exclusive cooking club for the young sums up saying, “Cooking creates a happy state of mind. Awareness on this subject through various mediums, has got young people interested in it. In a health conscious society, good food and a variety of tastes is appealing. If it is in one’s hands to create something good and wholesome, it is a win-win situation.”


The article was published in the Hindu Metro Plus on April 9th 2013.

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