“Working with Indigenous Food System is to use local resources that are available in the villages.”- Joel Basumatari

Chef Joel Basumatari in Dewlieh community.

Day 2 of the cooking demo by Chef Joel Basumatari moves to Dewlieh community, East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya.
Today, the community members, young and old, and the local cooks of ICDS and MDM participated in this cooking demo. We hope that through this demo the initiatives on Mid-Day meals in the local communities are strengthened by using local resources. This programme is also aimed at providing ideas for the local cooks (at home or institutions) to increase the diversity in the plates with interesting recipes.
The cooking demonstration was held under the theme ‘Enhancing nutritional diversity as a means of supplementing the mid-day meals (MDM) of primary school children using local resources’ as part of the ongoing GIZ project.

Local cooks of Dewlieh community

Shaiphar Dohling, headman, in his welcome address, emphasized the need to promote the local food that is found in the village. He said, “The training was good and we should start implementing it at home. If we know how to innovate we will be able to make our children eat and also the parents have to spend more time in preparation of meals.”
Rilang Khongngañ, community member of Dewlieh said, “I feel privileged for NESFAS for organising such programmes, especially Joel who has come to our village to show us how to use our local resources.”
Bram Kharkongor, Mid-Day Meal cook expressed, “Today I have learned that I can cook these locally available food resources, especially the wild edibles, in different ways and I will start implementing these techniques in the Mid-day Meal.
Altogether chef Joel prepared a total of seven dishes, whereas the members of the community and MDM cooks prepared twelve dishes.
Joel Basumatari, said that working with Indigenous Food System is to use local resources that are available in the villages.

Pius Ranee, Sr. Associate at NESFAS and Chef Joel Basumatari

Basumatari, a member of the Slow Foods Chefs’ Alliance, holds a degree in Hospitality Management from Thames Valley University and also from the International Institute of Hotel Management (Kolkata). He has worked at the Crown Plaza London, Washington Mayfair and at the Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai.

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