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Food Curator

Eat, drink, decide

When Thomas Friedman, a regular visitor to India, came here in 2009 he spent one evening feasting on ragda pattice, pav bhaji, sev puri, vada pao and other street delicacies. No, Friedman isn't an adventurous tourist who likes to eat what the locals eat. The menu was specially curated for him by Suresh Hinduja, a Bangalore-based food writer and curator.

"As a food curator, it is my responsibility to decide what food/wine should be served at an event, " explains Hinduja. "When Friedman was in Bangalore I knew he would be wined and dined at the all the five-star hotels so when I was asked to organise the menu for a dinner for 80 people, I decided to serve him the street foods of India, since I knew he wouldn't get to taste it elsewhere, " he adds. Food curation, according to Hinduja, is a little understood space in India. "Curation is about understanding your demographic, their tastes and their palates. When a millionaire wants a painting to hang in his den, he's looking for something specific, according to his taste. That's what curating a menu is like, tailored to please and surprise, " Hinduja says.

He is often called into service by MNCs like American Express and Standard Chartered who want to entertain their high net worth clients. "Just serving expensive wines and cheese doesn't guarantee a great meal. " Curation in food isn't as much as about spotting trends but about assembling and matching culinary experiences to taste and preferences. Selective sommeliers too call themselves curators since their job is picking out wines of particular interest to their clients from the millions out there. The Wine Society of India offers its members a curated wine service, which is a handpicked choice of six wines every month.

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