Of the many qualities that I admired in my mother, her culinary sensibility was among the finest. She liked to cook and write, and of the two dozen books she wrote under the name Mrs K.M. Mathew, more than 20 were cookbooks. She always experimented with what she cooked, and never hesitated to tweak age-old methods to make them better.
It is exactly the same thing that every talented chef in India is doing. The culinary traditions of the bygone era are being flavoured for the current generation, and Indians are getting a bigger bite of cuisines from around the world. Times, for sure, have never been better for a foodie. We thought it was also the right time to conduct our first Best Restaurants survey.
The survey, done in participation with IMRB, evaluates the restaurants in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Kochi on six parameters—taste, quality of food, decor and ambience, service, presentation and value for money. Based on these, we devised a Culine Scale to rate the restaurants.
That is for starters. The cover package is a full-course meal with meaty stories and juicy columns, by our correspondents and some of the best chefs and food writers in the country. All served hot.
The heat of agitation is refusing subside in Kashmir despite the words of compassion and “concern over the loss of life” from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While his call for a permanent solution for the issue seems to have little effect on the agitators, it is also unlikely to rescue the besieged PDP-BJP coalition government in the state. That Modi chose a meeting with opposition parties in the state to announce the decision to start a dialogue with Kashmiris does not augur well for the embattled Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Another BJP ally, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, is also not happy with the Union government, as the Centre is yet to grant the state the special category status it was promised before bifurcation. The shrewd politician that he is, Naidu knows confrontation will not help his cause. In an exclusive interview with THE WEEK, he said his party would remain in the National Democratic Alliance.
Naidu is planning to create the best infrastructure for sports in his new capital, Amaravati. Probably, all state capitals should consider this, in the light of India's dismal performance at Rio Olympics. I thank shuttler P.V. Sindhu, who won a silver after a valiant fight against a formidable opponent, and wrestler Sakshi Malik, who won a surprise bronze, for saving the pride. Our coverage from Rio continues this week and takes stock of India's performance in the Games.
Performance appraisals are usually done in April. Urjit Patel, however, got an early promotion as Reserve Bank governor. He might not have the rockstar persona of his predecessor, Raghuram Rajan, but has a CV just as impressive as Rajan's.
I also thought the beginning of Kolla Varsham, the Malayalam calendar, and the auspicious month of Chingam was the right time to give myself a promotion. Jokes apart, the change in my designation, from Managing Editor to Editor, is just nominal.
I wish all our readers a great year ahead.