Saturday, February 06, 2010

A step forward? For all food bloggers and writers, a panel discussion on FOOD WRITING at Kala Ghoda.

On my CV, it says I am a blogger before all of the other things; writer, stylist, author, consultant...) I have added to my skill set over the years. When I began blogging almost 9 years ago, I had no idea where it would take me. I have often thanked all the people that helped me along AFTER I became a food writer. But every dish has a catalyst that starts it cooking.

Even before I learned of the existence of food writing, there is one man that got me blogging. On a sabbatical from work, in a strange new city, with a small baby, I would surf the net, looking for something to engage me in the hours until my husband came home from work. At the time, chatting was a new phenomenon (and unaccompanied by the baggage of suspicion it has today) And in my online explorations, I came across someone interesting to chat with online. He was intelligent, made interesting conversation and indulged me by spending hours talking. We chatted almost every day, this stranger and I and it got to the point, that I would harrow him by typing in CAPITALS until he dropped whatever he was doing and chat with me! So, in what I suspect was a move to give me something to occupy my mind my mysterious friend suggested I try my hand at blogging. The rest as they say – is history.

We are still friends and his name is Roshan Tamang. And the most fascinating thing about our friendship is, we still have not met! But every time I make an achievement no matter how big or small, I have what I call a Ross moment. A moment of remembering him, and thank him, for taking the time out to give me attention all those years ago.

Why am I getting into all this today?

The organisers of the Kala Ghoda festival called to ask me to be on the panel of food writing at Kala Ghoda. To be moderated by my friend, foodwritter Vikram Doctor! Eeps! I called Vikdoc immediately, Was he sure?

"Yes Rushina (said Vikram)- you bring in the food blogging perspective which has been such a dynamic new source of food writing. I think one of the interesting things about food writing is how inclusive it is, getting many people who would not normally write, writing, and people who would not normally read stuff like this, reading. Food blogging has been particularly good getting around the blocks of publishing, and has also been good in recording community cuisines like with Nupur's Maharashtrian food blog, or Ammini's veg Kerala one. And you've also used food blogging to get into published food writing and a career as a food consultant.”

Now I have lots more to say on this but I will stop now.

I said yes, and I would like to invite all you food writers and bloggers. Do come, It promises to be unforgettable!


Feb 8th – 6.30 pm – 7.30 pm,

David Sassoon Lawns

Moderated by Vikram Doctor

- featuring Nilanjana Roy, Shoba Narayan and Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal

We all eat and food connects us all!

Food writing is sizzling! Across the world the interest and amount of food writing in books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs has been exploding. It is a subject with almost guaranteed reader interest - everyone eats! everyone is hungry! Everyone has opinions on where to get the best vada-pav!

Food writing spans the spectrum from serious academic research on the role of food in societies to food as a way of discovering family histories. Food writing in fact is now less a specialised category, than a style that cuts across genres. So you have food and history, food and science, food and crime fiction, food and romance fiction, food and politics... plus, of course, there are cookbooks.

The Kala Ghoda panel aims to look at food writing in all this delicious variety. Writer and Editor Nilanjana Roy has edited the Penguin Book of Food Writing. Columnist Shoba Narayan wrote Monsoon Diary, an acclaimed personal memoir structured around food memories and recipes. Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal is a food blogger who used her personal passion to move into a career as a professional food writer and consultant.

Vikram Doctor is the Editor - Special Features at the Economic Times, but the features he writes are really excuses to support the two regular columns on food that run in the paper along with other articles on food that come in ET, the Times of India and Times Crest. His main focus is on Indian food and the many meanings it has in society and culture, both in India and the Diaspora.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Rushina for the great honour you have bestowed on me. And, as usual, here I am always late in responding. You have been such a great and understanding friend and all credits to you for being the understanding one. Wish you all the best in your future food ventures - and may we meet someday, soon :)
- Ross