The food-blogging scene is changing in India. There was a time, when people used to give a blank look at the mention of food-blogging. Now there is much awareness on food-blogging and as an implication of this, even the non-food-blogging community in India has started taking food-blogging seriously and they have started admiring the passion and effort that goes behind writing a food blog! Sameer Malkani, the Co-Founder of Food Bloggers Association of India (FBAI), took a giant leap in in the history of the food-blogging scenario in India by organizing the first ever and one-of-its-kind award ceremony in Mumbai, which took place with great splendour on 14th Oct’13 at the JW Marriott. Indian Food Bloggers Award Ceremony (IFBA 2013) was truly enthralling, as it not only motivated the Indian food bloggers to blog more passionately, but it opened the door to the vast blogging community that exists outside our laptop and smartphone screens. It was a platform where we actually met many of those food bloggers, whom we only met in our blog comments, facebook likes and shares, Twitter or other social platforms. We got the opportunity to actually meet a huge number of food bloggers in person and under one roof. It felt like a family! And this was all made possible by Sameer Malkani, who invited food bloggers across India for this wonderful event. Kudos to him and his team!
The event was bejeweled by five members of the jury, out of the 11 judges. The panel included Sanjeev Kapoor, Kunal Vijayakar, Zoravar Kalra, Kajal Tejsinghani, Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal, Ritu Dalmia, Rashmi Uday Singh, Sona Bahadur, Hari Nayak, Aneesha Baig, Vikram Doctor and Aditya Bal. Almost around 670 entries competed for these awards. Only those blogs which met stringent quality parameters qualified themselves for the awards. All those bloggers who won the awards are fabulous and their blogs speak volumes about their utmost dedication towards food, writing and photography. The categories chosen for the awards are pretty interesting. Do have a look at the latest “who’s who” in Indian food blogging, 2013:
The following bloggers received the awards:
Best Food/Culinary and Travel Blog: Kalyan Karmakar
Best Recipe Blog: Faruk Shadab Ansari
Best Writing and Storytelling Blog: Charis Bhagianathan
Best Single Food Shot: Sonal Solanki
Best Facebook Food Blog: Sandeep Sreedharan
Best Regional Cuisine Blog: Alka Keswani
Best Photo Blog: Yeshi
Best Baking Blog: Samina Patel
Best Group Blog: Kumar Jhuremalani
Best Restaurant Review Blog: Adarsh Munjal
Best New Blogger: Kajal Bhatia
Before the award ceremony began, the guests were offered a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian starters, and of course the best of wines to go with the same. The serving staff at the JW Marriott was patient and extremely efficient in their job. They were always there offering one starter or the other and made no stone unturned to ensure that all the starters and drinks circulated well among the huge number of foodies. For non-drinkers like me, there were juices too. The quality of food and the presentation was one of the best I have come across so far. All the starters tasted scrumptious.
The starters served were as follows:
Chicken and Leek Yakitori
Murgh Nawabi Tikka
South Indian Batter Fried Prawn
Smoked Salmon Bruschetta
Arbi Ki Chapli
Drunken Goat Cheese with Olive Baguette
Alaskan Salmon and cucumber maki roll
Peruvian Asparagus and takuan maki roll
Lobster Chaat Tacos with refried beans
Paneer Pin wheel
Mini Caponata of vegetable tartlet with pine-nuts and basil foam.
After the award ceremony at The Grand Sangam Ball Room at JW Marriott, it was time for dinner. As you can imagine, choicest dishes were in the dinner menu. There were live Asian and Italian food counters. North-Indian cuisine was also there. I tried the Asian and the Italian cuisines and skipped the Indian one, as I had enough Indian starters already! The drool-worthy display of many kinds of desserts at the center of the ball room was the focal point of the dinner party. It was like we were in the middle of candyland, where we were spoilt for choices. The desserts looked so tempting and colourful! The deconstructed tiramisu and the different kinds of cakes were too good to be forgotten.
It is celebration time for each one of us. It is the celebration of being a food-blogger and being a part of such a wonderful food blog community called Indian Food Bloggers Association (IFBA). I am sure, in days to come, IFBA will always have many more interesting events in their list, but this event will stand out always. It was worth the evening spent!