ICCR likely to institute Annapurna Award for Indian restaurants abroad with highest footfall

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New Delhi, May 24 (PTI) The Indian Council for Cultural Relations is likely to institute ‘Annapurna Award’ for Indian restaurants abroad that attract the highest footfall of local non-NRI people, it said in a statement on Monday.

ICCR president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe recently made the announcement on the occasion of the fourth Deendayal Upadhyay Memorial International Oration, it said, noting that Chicago-based food historian Collin Taylor Sen also spoke on India's culinary culture as soft power.

Observing that India's influence on world's cuisine is greater than that of any other civilisation, Sen said vegetarianism and Ayurveda-based food are two most significant contributions of the country to global food traditions.

She said Indian restaurants ranging from storefront ‘dhabas’ to the Michelin-starred ones have introduced food lovers in every country to the wonderful diversity of Indian food, the statement said.

Sahasrabuddhe said with this lecture, culinary and cuisine traditions have figured prominently on the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) agenda for the first time.

Indian restaurants are the major channels of evolution of a true people-to-people relationship, it said.

She also announced that ICCR centres abroad would be encouraged to conduct Indian food fests with lecture-demonstration sessions devoted to a regional variety twice a year.

After the oration, a panel discussion was also held involving Indian chefs and restaurateurs like Vineet Bhatia (London), Sarah Todd (Melbourne), Sanjoo Malhotra (Sweden) and Priya Paul, Sujan Mukherjee from Chennai and Manish Mehrotra from Delhi, the statement added.

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