Sustainability Theme at IIHM Kolkata’s International Food and Drinks Festival

Sustainability Theme at IIHM Kolkata's International Food and Drinks Festival

On the occasion of IIHM’s International Food and Drinks Festival, ‘Locavore’, three gala nights were organised on the poolside of Nicco Park’s Wet-O-Wild water amusement park. The festival was held from 20th to 22nd December 2019 where the second year students, led by the third year students of IIHM Kolkata organised the entire event. No bonfires, but the warmth of students was enough for the guests to feel comfortable. “The thought behind this year’s Food Festival is the same as the upcoming Young Chef Olympiad (YCO), which is ‘sustainability’. With natural resources rapidly declining, students need to learn how to prepare fantastic food and drink items using local items. We need to look carefully around us. All the food prepared at the festival contained local ingredients, including the spices. So students learnt how to prepare international cuisine using local ingredients,” said Chef Sanjay Kak, the Culinary Director of IIHM. In keeping with the theme, the students had decorated the festival grounds with everything that is local and sustainable. All through the festival, the students tried to maintain the least amount of disposables at the venue. The Food Festival had a spread of items from countries like India, China, Thailand, Italy and Japan.

The highlight of the festival was the IIHM Good Earth Café, the food counter that featured the student culinary starts of IIHM – Varun Tej Reddy, the India participant of YCO 2020, Kewal Chauhan and Siddhant Jaiswal. The trio curated a 100 per cent sustainable, zero, no-meat menu that included items like Buckwheat burgers with mock meat, Sarson ka Saag, Chak Hao Risotto, Sushi and Sashimi made from local fish and seafood varieties.

Locavore was the perfect example of how IIHM believes in ‘Learning Through Food Festivals’. Students do not just learn how to blend spices and cook a variety of cuisines, but also learnt how to market their products. The future hoteliers, event managers and probable entrepreneurs received complete all-round training through this practical exposure. The three-day festival saw a huge footfall of more than 4,000 people. The guest list also included distinguished people.

The Food Festival was inaugurated on the evening of 20th December by Saikat Maitra, the Vice-Chancellor of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT) and JP Shaw, the Regional Director of India Tourism, Kolkata along with Dr Suborno Bose, the Chairman and Chief Mentor of IIHM. Other important guests at the festival included Sourav Kothari, billiards champion, Chef Vikas Singh, Executive Chef, Hyatt Regency Kolkata and many others.

Locavore had ample entertainment quotient beside the food. Students had organised fashion shows, Indian and western dance and music shows on the stage. The Food Festival was also the platform to give away the awards for the Teacher Chef Competition winners. Dr Bose gave away the winner’s award to Vishwanath Pandey from Union Chapel School. IIHM’s Food Aid initiative was also seen at the festival. Groups of little children were invited on each day to enjoy at the Food Festival.

Dr Suborno Bose, the Chairman and Chief Mentor of IIHM, said, “The Food Festival is one of the best examples of how IIHM believes in Learning Through Food Festivals. The entire festival has been organised by the second and third year students of IIHM Kolkata. At IIHM, they get full exposure to practical learning which will help them develop into complete individuals. They are the future hoteliers and entrepreneurs. This year’s festival is also themed on Sustainability which is also theme of YCO2020.”

About IIHM:- IIHM (International Institute of Hotel Management) is the largest chain of premier hospitality and hotel management schools across India that started its journey in 1994 at Kolkata. IIHM is a part of Indismart Group, the conglomerate that operates the Indismart Hotels. IIHM campuses are located across ten national and international cities with the associate institute IAM-IHM located in Kolkata and Guwahati. Students passing out of IIHM are armed with an international degree from the University of West London and equipped with global hospitality skills that enable easy placements in any hospitality brand across the world. IIHM is dedicated to its pursuit of excellence in teaching and placements. Real time experience is the key to success in hospitality and that makes the institute popular. In recent years, IIHM has been instrumental in organizing the World’s biggest culinary competitions ‘Young Chef Olympiad’ a unique idea and initiative inviting young culinary talents across the world to participate in the biggest cookery reality shows of all times.

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The institute has bagged several prestigious awards in the past 24 years. The list includes the Best Education Brand Award from Economic Times in 2018 and 2019. Awarded ‘Great Indian Institute’ by Forbes consecutively in 2018 and 2019, Awarded as the ‘Best Hotel Management Institute’ in India by Merit Awards 2018 and 2019, IIHM was also awarded as one among the World’s Greatest Brands and Leaders 2015-16 by URS International (IMEA – Process Reviewer PriceWaterhouseCoopers PL) and also received the Best Institute in Hospitality Education 2017 Award by Assocham from Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon’ble Minister of State for HRD (Higher Education), Govt. of India.