Indian cuisine scores high at Hannover

As part of the Indian effort at Hannover Fair, the food served through the India pavillion was an India affair, served through Experience India Society. We catch up with Sushil Gupta, who has been working for the Society for several years. Gupta is the Chairman of Asian Hotels West, a group that also owns the JW Marriott in Aerocity and the Hyatt Regency in Mumbai. Following are the excerpts:

SUSHIL GUPTA Chairman, Asian Hotels West
Chairman, Asian Hotels West

On 12th of April at the Congress, it was the inauguration time and India put up a great cultural show, executed by the Ministry of Commerce, followed with dinner for 2500 participants. The food served was mixed with German as well as Indian. In the Indian food, our team of 42 people went from India – out of which about 30 chefs were from Oberoi, Taj, ITC and Marriott. There was also support staff provided by Hyatt and Leela. I led this delegation. The dinner was so successful that the next morning their project manager for international relations said that in all these years people had never talked about food. This was one exceptional year!

Next year USA is the partner country. It was being said that the great cultural show and dinner was so fantastic that the Americans could well be worried as to what they will present compared to the rich variety in food and culture that was put up by India.

On 13th when we had the inauguration of the Indian pavilion, again PM Modi and Chancellor Angela Merkel both were there. It was fantastic, we served tea and snacks. After that in the evening we served snacks for almost 4000 people. And then there was another dinner on 14th, where the Indians provided the appetisers and the dessert. Whatever we did, it was very much appreciated and I think this was unique and something that people talked about. The food spread had been divided between each of the presenting chains – cuisine was North Indian from ITC, West Coast by Taj and the East Coast including Bengali etc. by Oberoi, while Marriott provided all the desserts and the appetizers.

I think this is a great show of Indian tourism. Tourism is not just heritage. It is also food, the variety we have. It was honestly a great exposure for destination India.

Food has to be an integral part of our tourism strategy. Every 100 miles in India, the food changes. We should promote our food just as muchl. It is also our cultural heritage. It has also kept on developing. Which other country can have that many types of rice made Biryani – there is Hydrabadi, Lucknowi, Kashmiri and several others. Indian spices have become popular globally.There is so much to our tourism, equally experienced through our cuisine – both just as much have variety.

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