On the warm & sunny sunday morning on May 6th, 2007, the Indian Vegetarian Congress & Karuna International added more warmth & sunshine into the hearts of an overwhelmed audience as they graciously felicitated Dr. Pratibha Jain & Mrs. Jigyasa Giri for winning the award of Best Vegetarian Book in the world for their maiden venture, Cooking at home with Pedatha.
The morning began with a sumptuous breakfast accompanied by soothing music which ushered the audience to their seats in the cozy Sivagami Pethachi auditorium at Chennai. Mr. Tarachand Dugar, President, IVC welcomed the audience. An impressive backdrop designed by Envission set the right mood & relevant images moved smoothly on a large screen to give the audience a visual treat.
Actor & jazz singer Andrea Jeremiah compered the event in her inimitable style. She spoke about the making of the book & the miracle of destiny in bringing one marwari and another Gujarati to write a book on Andhra cuisine. She said, “Jigyasa & Pratibha have diligently worked towards understanding, standardizing and documenting these traditional recipes.”
She introduced the Gourmand awards won by the book at the country level in 6 categories – Best Cookbook Cover, Best Local Cookery Book, Best Cookbook Photography, Best Cookbook Design, Best Vegetarian Cookbook & Best First Cookbook, moving on to the finalist for BEST Cookbook in the World. She said that the magic continued…and finally on April 7, 2007, at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2006 held in Beijing, this book became a winner and was awarded Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World.
The guest of honour was none other than the Queen of Indian cookery books – Padmashri Smt. Tarla Dalal who has brought love and joy in many Indian kitchens around the world. Another special guest was Anita Ratnam – the stunning danseuse & diva who charmed the audience with her dazzling smile & conversation. Another special guest was the gorgeous and immensely talented artist & fashion designer from Paris – Elise Collet Soravito – an illustrator par excellence who did her country proud by winning at Beijing the BEST Cookbook illustrations for her book – “Elise Et Ses Delices”.
A talk about food, cooking & books followed between the guests on stage & the compere which was interactive & fun. Some members of the IVC offered their felicitations – Shri Surendra Bhai Mehta, Mr. Kailashmal Dugar, Mr. Himmatmal Mardia & Mr. Ramnivas Choudhry who shed some light on his area of specialty, design element.
A special touch to the evening was Kathak performance by Manasvi Chordia, Aditi Jain & Gayathri Shankar, all students of Jigyasa. They danced to the tunes of a Tarana sung by Pundit Birju Maharaj & lengendary singer Vani Jeyaram & also to Vande Mataram sung by the one & only Latha Mangeshkar.