Webinar by UIHTM
The theme was “Forgotten Grains: A Chef's Prospective”
Chandigarh: University Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management, Panjab University, Chandigarh has organized a webinar on “Forgotten Grains: A Chef's Prospective” today. Chef Manjit Singh Gill, President, Indian Federation of Culinary Associations was the Chief Guest of the webinar. Chef Gunjan Goela, Consultant Chef ITC Hotels was the key speaker and Chef Varinder Singh Rana, Dean Faculty of Hospitality, GNA University, Phagwara was the Guest Speaker of the webinar.
The webinar was inaugurated by Prof. Raj Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh. He congratulated the department for organizing the webinar related to such an important topic. He said that in the current scenario, this topic beholds a great importance. He emphasized that it’s the responsibility of the chefs to innovate the recipes and to come up with practices which will help the Re-introduction of Millets in the staple food diet of our country. He blessed the students by informing them that if they start working and preparing themselves from right now the future is very bright for them.
Chef Manjit Singh Gill informed the participants regarding the history of grains and expressed his concern that we have now rediscovered the grains, and it’s time to strategies to bring them in the mainstream. He suggested that a research center be created at university level where different branches like Agricultural universities, Home science colleges, nutritionists etc. can collaborate under one roof to improve and innovate various recipes and farming techniques of millets.
Chef Gunjan Goela was of the view that these Ancient grains were a part of staple diet in Indian Kitchens, but in due course of time with the introduction of wheat flour and refined flour the use of these grains started to slowly fade away. In the villages and rural areas these grains are still being used, but in the cities the usage of these grains is almost negligible. She explained that the onus of bringing the Ancient grains back to the main stream will be on the shoulders of chefs, who are working in the industry and are supervising budding professional in Academicians. Chef Varinder Rana informed the participants about different kinds of Millets namely kuttu, Pearl Sago, Barley, Ragi, Bajra, Jowar and maize that can be used to prepare scrumptious dishes and emphasized on the nutritional value of these grains. He said that to promote the Millet culture everyone associated with the trade will have to join hands, the academicians will need to introduce this topic in the syllabus so that the budding professionals can carry the legacy on Indian heritage and culture and promote the use of Millets in the industry and homes of Indian kitchens
All the panelist were of a common view point that to promote the culture of Ancient Grains it will be very important to have more discussions about this topic, small exhibitions, competitions, Road shows etc. have to be organized in future times, so that the entire public can be made aware of the need and importance of these grains.
Dr. Anish Slath, Director (UIHTM) informed everyone that during the last year, a food festival of millets was organized by the department in collaboration with Kheti Virasat Mission and in future also the department has planned to conduct such type of events. He thanked the Vice-Chancellor, Chef Manjeet Singh Gill, Chef Gunjan Goela , Chef Varinder Singh, faculty, staff and students of UIHTM for making this event successful.