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Nov, 19 2015

Chefs may receive Padma awards soon

Subsequently, a group of chefs and hoteliers, including Kapoor and Anil Bhandari, the chairperson of the organising committee of Chef Awards, sent Sharma a detailed proposal.

There is good news for the chef fraternity as the Ministry of Culture recently received a proposal to include the art of cooking in the list of Padma awards.

“The Ministry of Culture recently received a proposal to include the art of cooking in the list of Padma awards. Cooking is an art. If there can be Padma awards in other fields of art like music, tabla, why not cooking? We studied the proposal and sent a recommendation to the MHA,” said Mahesh Sharma, Union MoS for Culture and Tourism, reported Indian Express.

The idea was floated by Sharma during a book launch he attended in Delhi a few months ago. Talking to the prominent chefs who attended the event, including Sanjeev Kapoor, Sharma apparently said Indian food and spices are popular across the world and that the art of cooking should be included in the Padma awards since that would open up business opportunities in the field.

Subsequently, a group of chefs and hoteliers, including Kapoor and Anil Bhandari, the chairperson of the organising committee of Chef Awards, sent Sharma a detailed proposal.

“Cooking has come a long way — from being looked down upon to being cherished as an art. This is perhaps the only art form that is consumed by all senses. Can a painting be consumed by all senses? Imagine eating a papad or wafers without enjoying the (crackling) sound,” Kapoor said.

Tarla Dalal is the only person from the field to have received a Padma award. “She got it the ‘others’ category. Cooking cannot be any other category. It is a separate category,” said Kapoor.

Given by the Home Ministry, the Padma awards — India’s highest civilian awards — “seek to recognise work of any distinction and are given for distinguished and exceptional achievements/service in all fields of activities/disciplines, such as Art, Literature and Education, Sports, Medicine, Social Work, Science and Engineering, Public Affairs, Civil Service, Trade and Industry, etc”. It mandates that “there ought to be an element of public service in the achievements of the person to be selected”.

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