By Pallavi Sidhra
My 9 year old nephew, Vedaant’s equation with food has both inspired me along the way and intrigued as to how young minds associate with food.
Vedaant transitioned from being a skinny lad to being slightly rounded on the edges. Coming from a north Indian Punjabi family, everyone was, if anything, mighty pleased to observe that our ‘mundda’ was becoming healthier (and cuter) by the day! It is a sign of prosperity after all, isn’t it? So days and weeks passed and life carried on. Family and friends who would see him after gaps of time would not shy away from complimenting him on his ‘good health’. The boy sometimes felt awkward but then started to take the compliments in his stride.
The beauty about kids is that they are resilient and, to a large extent, immune to what may be seen as sarcastic remarks or comments that may seem like compliments. I think that is one thing all adults can learn from kids, especially those who comments about their weight very personally.
But coming back to Vedaant and his equation with food; he took great inspiration from TV show Master Chef Australia and hence each episode of the show was watched in our house accompanied with food of some sort, creatively put together by Chef Vedaant himself. It became a ritual that we all looked forward to. Sometimes we were getting soggy tomato sandwiches to eat and at other times sweet and savoury tastes in the same dish together – but mind you, whatever came on our plate had to not only be eaten but the chef (in this case, Vedaant) had to be complimented tooJ
The rich colours of the fruits & vegetables on the show, the flourish of the plating up, the various gadgets available to make cooking easy, were memories Vedaant took with him wherever he went & was quick to point out if he saw the same happening in his kitchen. It was heartening to see him develop his equation with food in more ways than one.
Events and episodes that caught his fancy changed but one thing that stayed pure & honest was the intense serious relationship he shared with KFC’s chicken popcorn. I have never seen the lad say no to them – literally irrespective of whether it is the morning or night.
About 8 months ago my sister (Vedaant’s mom) moved to Mumbai from Delhi and I was super excited because it meant that I could spend more time with Vedaant. And as confessed by each member of the family, they were amazed at the convenience Mumbai as a city offers for home delivery of food parcels even for people who are not-so-regular. I mean, you don’t have to be a daily subscriber to any “dabba” service – all one needs to do is call and order in whatever they liked.
There are a lot of players in the local community that one can easily order from. And the food is usually good. Holachef has been one such experience but what’s been unique about it, as the newly migrated family to Mumbai believes & my sister put it very succinctly too – “it gives you the option of adding a dash of something new to the already available dinner at home.” It could be desserts or a main dish. And then of course, the Master Chef act of creatively putting it all together right before eating!
I personally think it is great to add that personal touch by sharing a bit about the chef and just the massive variety that is available on a daily basis. And to be brutally honest, my experience Holachef has been nothing short of fantastic.
And we love it more so because we get to repeat our ritual of plating food, which is always a wonderful experience to re-create with Vedaant.
About Pallavi Sidhra
Pallavi is a passionate foodie who transitioned from being a pure vegetarian to an impure vegetarian over the years. Having traveled extensively brought her face to face with various cuisines and scenes- from a beaming fish-head to protein rich chicken feet. But paranthas have always stayed in her list of top three dishes. Food is meant be relished and savored – no overdosing or starvation – but a healthy balance, she believes, elevates every encounter with food. “Bon Apetit :)”