He is building an appetite for food appreciation, no eating involved
Rakesh Raghunathan's four-day festival next weekend weaves in art, buddhist philosophy and Margazhi
Let's talk about food. That's what food researcher Rakesh Raghunathan wants to do next weekend, over not one but four days. Interesting enough - his venues of choice include an art gallery and a movie theatre. Over the past decade of curating food experiences through heritage-themed getaways and rediscovering recipes through workshops, Rakesh says, "What I've come to learn is that a lot of people appreciate food, but they don't want to do it through a cooking lesson. And so I got to thinking about how I could weave a dialogue through literature such as references in the Sangam texts, music or art." The Margazhi season seemed the perfect time to pool in all three.
So in a series of events starting on Dec 21, look forward to an art showcase exchanging interpretations on food inspired by art and vice versa in collaboration with artist Shalini Biswajit, a documentary screening based on the life of philosopher chef and Buddhist monk Jeong Kwan, a cooking workshop inspired by the temples of South India and a dialogue with Sudha Raghunathan on the connection between food and music. "The idea is to get people to look at food through different lenses than they are used to," explains Rakesh who has spent over a decade now exploring South Indian food heritage as well as hosting travel and cooking show, Suttralam Suvaikkalam.
The other driving factor is to get more interested. "I've had several guys reach out to me and actually say upfront, 'you know I love food, but I'm not interested in a cooking lesson'." The lesson in this case, as Rakesh has discovered is that developing an appetite for food appreciation sometimes need have nothing to do with the kitchen.