One of the highlights of the second day of Indigenous Terra Madre 2015 (ITM 2015) being organised in Shillong was the focus on preserving indigenous food traditions and passing on the learnings from the past to future generations. Participants from across the world gave their expert views on preserving biodiversity which is linked to indigenous communities and their farming systems.
Chef Sean Sherman from USA spoke about ethnobotany for chefs. He has been preserving and promoting the indigenous cuisine of his region and believes that it is one of the upcoming food trends in the Americas.
In another panel discussion on ‘From field to Fork: The story of chefs, communities and writers’ Rahul Antao, ITM Food & Flavours, a consultant with NESFAS revealed the efforts being made to focus on the younger people so that they remember their food traditions. “We do biodiversity walks with students. We have established a school garden so that they can cook together in school, so it becomes kind of a culinary exchange,” Antao said. A Cooks Alliance had also been formed in the North Eastern states.
Chef Manjit Gill, corporate chef, ITC Hotels stated, “I have been cooking for 40 years and I strongly believe in local flora and traditional practices.”