Experience: Meeting Chef Raghavan Iyer

Virginia Woolf once said ” One cannot think well, love well, or sleep well, if one has not dined well.”. And who better than a prominent chef to show the importance of dining well with home cooked food.

One of my first food related events in Chennai was a very unexpected one. I got a chance to meet world renowned chef and author of some amazing cookbooks, Chef Raghavan Iyer. Okay I will be honest, I had not heard of him till I got the event invite, but I did some pre-reading before heading to the event and had a fabulous time there.

Raghavan Iyer

Chef Raghavan Iyer

Chef Raghavan Iyer is most famous for his books 660 curries and Indian Cooking Unfolded. The event was conducted by none other than Rakesh Raghunathan of Puliogare Travels, and it was a super interactive session. Chef Raghavan Iyer talked about how he got into cooking in the first place, how he came up with the concept of simplifying Indian cooking especially for those living abroad. He has cooked all the 660 curries that he has written about in his book 660 Curries (Infact it has more than 660 curries. It also has some breads and other recipes in it.). It was enlightening to hear that it takes well over 14 hours to come up with a new recipe, and test it and try it, and only then does it undergo modification to get written into a book. His latest book is all about potatoes (I hope my sister is reading this.) and different potato recipes.

The passion with which he talked about how he travelled to all parts of India to learn more about the curries that are made in each corner of our vast nation was quite infectious. It was amazing and inspiring to hear his story of how he started writing cookbooks. He joked about how he wasn’t taken seriously at home until he wrote, published and sold his first book.

Chef Raghavan Iyer also did a live cooking demo and made a simple subzi with no onion or garlic. The proper Tam Bram way. The highlight of the evening for me was when he rattled off 8 different ways to use one single spice. (I am yet to look it up on the internet and try it out.) 

The session definitely made me look at food blogging in a different way. Moreover it has really increased my respect for those who create recipes. I had such an amazing time meeting fellow bloggers, trying out some exotic food at the Hyatt and discovering something new in the world of food blogging.

A special thanks to Asmita for inviting me for the event and to Food Bloggers Association India for this opportunity. Now I am super excited for more such events in the future.


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