A review of the Food Artisans present at the 16th Edition of By Hand, From the Heart, an Artisans and Farmers market in Chennai.
One Show, Many Stories. True to it’s dictum was the event held at Poes Garden, Chennai – By Hand, From the Heart. A bi-annual event weaved together by craft based entrepreneurs, Deepa Sekar and Kshiti Davey. While Kshiti spearheads Eco Crafts & Weaves that specializes in hand crafted purses, clutches and other accessories using up cycled textiles (brocades and silks), Deepa Sekar specializes in handmade natural dye paper jewellery branded as 10 Fingers!
The show casers aptly named as Artisans – good quality, distinctive products made by hand. It goes without saying, handmade is a lot different from commercially produced goods. There’s a story the maker has to say and that the one listening would cherish. There’s a personalised touch to the product being sold. Infused with the maker’s passion, handcrafted but with a perfect finish.
‘By Hand, From the Heart’ is a curated market place. The event is juried. Interested vendors need to apply and selected applicants are invited to participate. They try to bring to us the cream among the artists, designers, and everything creative by hand. It’s a platform that connects small businesses with people.
The market was buzzing with artisans of all kind. Handcrafted gifts were a visual treat. You could see creativity at its heights. Amongst them were Food Artisans many of whom were professionally lawyers, financial experts and the kind but driven by passion and creativity to create. These Food Artisans were geared with hand-made food with a history to share. We’ve rounded up a few of them you’d love to know and try their merchandises.
Nitin Chordia, a certified chocolate taster heads this chocolate tasting club that connects chocolate lovers to chocolatiers and their creations. Nitin’s not a chocolate maker but promotes artisanal brands who make chocolates. At Cocoatrait, you step into the world of fine chocolates which are the real chocolates! Compound chocolates are considered to be of lower quality as they contain cocoa blended with vegetable and other fats. Best chocolates are made from whole cacao beans, minimal sugar and cacao butter for smoothness. Be it the techniques of chocolate making, it’s varieties like bean to bar, single origin etc, how to taste a chocolate, Nitin has volumes to narrate! Discover real chocolates with Cocoatrait.
Virgin honey which isn’t all about the money! An initiative by Sridhar Lakshmanan and his team at the Basecamp Social Research Foundation, a non-profit wing of ecoLogin that’s incubated in IIT Madras. Madhumeeta Honey is unadulterated honey sourced from tribal honey foragers living in the forest lands of Tamil Nadu. Base camp endeavours to bring this medical wealth from the tribal communities and thus forming a connect with the urban crowd. Honey collecting is a risky job for which the people involved need to be rightly compensated, says Basecamp. Discover more about what natural honey is like and how adulteration takes place with Basecamp.
100% organic fruits and veggies at our door step would definitely save us some time! Grown locally by working closely with the farmers community and employing organic farming methods, Door2Door Organics aims at providing fresh produce along with farmers being given their due remittance. Jitendra Prasad heads this wonderful effort. Sorted and packed fresh produce, reasonable price, free delivery every week, stable cost through the year are few compelling reasons to try. Not to forget their weekly recipes that come with each box! ‘Organic food isn’t a luxury. It’s how food is supposed to be!’, says Door2Door Organics, to which we’d for sure agree!
Anusha Dharam’s Padi Payasam is a tradition that originates from the Balamuruga Temple in the village of Ayikudy located near Tenkasi. A specially prepared payasam that’s served on the stone steps of the temple, a ritual practised by devotees. Anusha’s payasam has the much treasured ancient flavors, ceremonious practices and stories of the South. Also available are a range of milk based traditional desserts like the Bubble payasam and Banana Jaggery payasam. Reviving a tradition that’s handmade!
Healthy desserts – Isn’t that an oxymoron? Well, with Flat Tummies we sure are proved wrong! Based out of Mumbai is Flat Tummies that’s loaded with vegan delights made with organic ingredients, dairy free, egg-less, no preservatives and no sugar. No more worrying about calories! Run into their website to find this – “Fat free but guilt free! Healthy but tasty! Gluttonous but gluten free! If the mentioned contradictions haven’t got your attention yet, our menu will!” Radhika Pasari presented a range of brownies, cookies, desserts, spreads and vegan ice-creams. Time for some guilt free indulgence!
Shanthala T Medappa believes the way to anyone’s heart is through the stomach! Being raised in Coorg, she brings out the flavors this place offers due to its outstanding climate and the beautifully translated by product is Old Mercara. Freshly made range of home made Ice creams, Peanut Butter, Honey, Coffee Powder, Seasonal Jams, Jellies and Squashes to dote over! Passionately Coorg!
Anusha Kaushik, a home maker with a simple story to her baking history. Lauded for her brownies and spotted by a friend to showcase in the event. An array of customised theme cakes, desserts and more. Name it and she’d bake it!
‘Purest ingredients made with a mother’s love for her family’ says Tasneem Ayub, who spearheads Ammee’s Kitchen. Zealous about reviving all the dying traditional desserts and give them a new life in this modern world. Be it her wood fire Biryani or her sinfully indulgent Zaffarani Badam Halwa, there is a passion to repeat the story of good food!
Avinash Shroff provides an alternative to packed juices through Paul Street Coffee. Cold coffee takeaway is a new concept in Chennai which is being well received. Brewed by hand and prepared fresh every morning, Paul Street Coffee is available at selective outlets in three flavors- Original, Hazelnut and Éclair. Take a break with some cold coffee!
Chinmaya Arjun Raja, a food and international wine connoisseur who hails from Rajapalayam advises food entrepreneurs to be authentic in their creations. Panakam has a range of homemade pickles and condiments made from recipes which are an inheritance in traditional families. They are natural with no preservatives and colors. Every product has a history associated with it, a legacy of the family who painstakingly prepare it. Indeed, Panakam is tradition in a bottle!
Support the makers. Follow and stay tuned for the next edition for more hand crafted goodies with more interesting stories!
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