session entitled “Top Chefs: Food for Thought”, during the NewsX-TSG Food Conclave brought forward interesting viewpoints on sustainability. Moderated by Ruchira Hoon, bakery partner & chef, The Piano Man, the panel included veteran chef Hemant Oberoi, Chef Manu Chandra, Chef Sabyasachi Gorai (founder, Lavaash), and Anahita Dhondy (of SodaBottleOpenerWala). The panel addressed the subject of food waste management and the use of plastic in the food industry.

Veteran chef Hemant Oberoi spoke about how the food industry is dealing with wastage of food. He said, “Taj hotels have a philosophy of not wasting food. We have a lot of banquet functions where lots of food will come back. But at Taj, we keep two trolleys where the leftover food is kept. Then it is kept in the refrigerator and the next day it is given to Agnel Ashram, where they can feed the children. And that’s how food is never wasted at the Taj.”

Chef Anahita Dhondy, of SodaBottleOpenerWala, said “We at the restaurant try to reuse the waste food in any way to turn around in some other dish. We try and minimise food waste in terms of cooked food.”

Chef Manu Chandra said, “Banquets and weddings generate the maximum amount of food waste in comparison to à la carte restaurants because they prepare according to the orders. It is better to have 12 dishes instead of 42 in the wedding menu to avoid food wastage, and one can even do a better job in terms of food quality and taste with such quantity.”