It’s been a few months since many people across the world enjoyed a dinner outside their homes. They are locked in, forced to cook on days they don’t want to or cannot order food. But chef Nimish Bhatia reckons cooking needn’t be forced. “It can be therapeutic. It can give you a high. We usually associate food with taste. But actually, you can see, smell, touch and taste the food. You can even hear it while it’s cooking. It appeals to all the senses,” he says.
Chef Bhatia’s usually on the go, flying within and outside India to serve as a consultant for luxury hotels. But the COVID-19 pandemic has forced him to be at his home in Bengaluru. Like others, he’s been engaging with people online. On June 26, he will participate in The Living Room, a Facebook live series of talks by Columbia Pacific Communities, a senior living community.
The chef believes the pandemic will have a long-term impact on restaurants. And, it isn’t entirely negative. “Hygiene ratings will henceforth be taken very seriously. Even after everything’s back to normal, people will be cautious of picking the restaurants they want to dine at. So, the restaurants that don’t follow proper hygiene protocols will get ignored.”
Food, he says, is an integral part of human connection. “Of course, we can talk about Netflix shows and other things. But after a while, we ask, ‘Hey, what’s there to eat?’. When you are dining with other people, you just don’t share the food; you share your mood. It can impact your co-diners.”
“Food can uplift your mood. For example, when you tweak a recipe and discover a completely new dish. That can give you a great high.”
Chef Bhatia’s The Living Room session will be streamed at 3 pm, June 26 on Columbia Pacific Communities’ Facebook page.