Innovation on a Plate: A Kashmiri Chef's Journey in Food Technology | Rukhsaar Sayeed | TEDxSAC

Innovation on a Plate: A Kashmiri Chef's Journey in Food Technology | Rukhsaar Sayeed | TEDxSAC

The Speaker's Journey

  • The speaker, from a family of doctors, initially aspired to become a doctor but was fascinated by cooking.
  • Influenced by her mother and life in Saudi Arabia, she decided to pursue a career as a chef instead.
  • Despite family expectations, she studied food technology, covering various aspects of food preservation and processing.

Career and Entrepreneurship

  • During her MTech, she got engaged and later married while pursuing a PhD and raising two children.
  • Realizing the lack of healthy snacks for children, she used her expertise to create her own products.
  • The positive response from distributors and mothers led to the creation of Khalis Foods, aiming to provide pure and safe food products.
  • Khalis Foods addresses food adulteration and unemployment in Kashmir by employing women from weaker sections of society.

Kashmiri Cuisine and Cultural Heritage

  • Kashmiri cuisine is influenced by various cultural civilizations, including Mughal, Silk Route, and Persian traders.
  • It can be divided into Kashmiri Muslim cuisine, featuring heavy meat dishes, and Kashmiri Pandit cuisine, known for its unique cooking methods and flavors.
  • Wazwan, a multi-course royal feast, is a part of Kashmiri Pandit cuisine and is prepared only on special occasions.
  • Kashmiri saffron is renowned worldwide for its aroma, purity, and beautiful spicy flavor.

Culinary Innovation and Fusion Dishes

  • Chefs start with their traditional cuisine and explore international cuisines, evolving their art over time.
  • Cultural background, personal experiences, travel experiences, and emotional state of mind influence a chef's final dish.
  • The speaker shares examples of fusion dishes, such as "Paan Kota" and "Platter Brotherhood," which represent Kashmiri heritage and harmony.

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