‘ICF award is for chefs, by chefs‘ : Chef Davinder Kumar, President of Indian Culinary Forum

Chef Davinder Kumar, President of Indian Culinary Forum who is also the Vice President – F&B (Production), Hotel Le Meridien New Delhi recently spoke with Asmita Mukherjee regarding the Indian Culinary Forum and the vision of the event for the future of the culinary industry.

What was your vision while forming the ICF?

When I entered the culinary world 5 decades ago, we were called ‘khansamas’. The profession wasn’t respected much back then, and none of the parents would encourage their children to take it up as the first career option. This had to change, as careers in the culinary world can literally take you around the world. The vision while forming the ICF was to bring the much needed respect and recognition to the culinary professionals. Not just that, the culinary professionals need a common platform to address issues that are unique to the fraternity. ICF is that platform that fosters community-building, networking, and presents the professionals with the right opportunities, through training and skill development programmes and events.

What makes this award different from other awards in the culinary world?

This award is for chefs, by chefs. We believe that the power and support lie within us. We have stringent selection criteria, we conduct proper trade tests, with thoughtfully curated evaluation parameters, and nominations are invited for the pre-defined criteria, from hotels, restaurants, colleges, and other establishments. The jury is WACs certified and 85% is the minimum score benchmark. Winners are chosen based on their credentials and performance, by the stalwart jury, with due transparency. The awards have sustained through 19 years and have global inclusion. It is difficult to sustain any awards without the right objective, and positioning.

What is the theme of the event this year?

The theme of this year, ‘Imagining a Healthy Future’, has been carefully chosen, with a vision for 2030. Though there has been a lot of talk on this theme on a macro level, these don’t add up till the agenda penetrates to the micro level. We are taking this theme to the education system, planting the seeds right now, because this is where our future professionals are being nurtured.

Is the format and agenda of the event the same every year? Do you have plans to modify it sometime soon?

Though the changes in the format haven’t been visibly evident, we have been tweaking the format gently and subtly. This year’s Knowledge Summit included a live interaction with Chef Atual Kochhar and Chef Ajay Chopra with Dean Rajiv Gulshan of G D Goenka University. This was very refreshing, and was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. We have introduced a lot of award categories, and this will only increase in the years to come. The venues have been getting better, and we have been putting technology to good use. You’ll definitely see some major changes in the format from as early as the next edition of the event. We are creating a blueprint for the same.

How will ICF help the budding chefs of the future?

Catching them young and honing their knowledge, skills and attitude, through inviting them to participate in the event, through trade tests and competitions, has been our first step in connecting the budding chefs of the future to the experienced ones. This year’s panel discussion had a unique feature. Each panel comprised one student panellist. This was our way of telling them that we care for you and your future, we are there for you and are eager to welcome you into the fraternity. One learns by experiences and we are here to provide a plethora of experiences and opportunities to build their personalities and careers. The role models for the future generations are not inaccessible anymore. The idols are in action, ready to shape the future of Gen Z and Gen Alpha.



Read Previous

RateGain Q2FY23 Reports Consistent Growth of 47% Y-o-Y and Improved Profitability with Margin Expansion of 170% Y-o-Y

Read Next

American Brew Crafts’ BlockBuster Beer on a rapid expansion spree

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

Download Our Magazine