The 36th edition of Express Food & Hospitality Expo, held in Goa recently, witnessed the who’s who of the Goa food and hospitality industry visiting the tradeshow and participating in the power packed knowledge sessions on all three days of the show
By Akshay Nayak
The three-day exhibition, organised by The Indian Express Group and Global Fairs & Media was inaugurated by chief guests, Suraj Nair from Kerala Bureau of Industrial Promotion (KBIP) and Chef Sunit Sharma, VP, Culinary Forum of Goa (CFG).
Followed by the inauguration there was a GMs Conclave wherein leading general managers like Gaurav Apte, GM, Goa Marriott Resort & Spa; Pracilo Dsilva, GM, Resort Rio; Ranju Singh, Complex GM, Novotel Goa Shrem & Novotel Goa Resort and Spa; Shridhar Nair, GM, The Leela Goa; Hasanullah, GM, Lemon Tree Beach Amarante Goa; Cajetan Araujo, GM, W Goa; Rajendran Menon, GM, The Zuri White Sands Goa Resort & Casino; Rajeev Kumar, GM, The Fern Kadamba; Rajesh Malliya, GM, Hyatt Centric Candolim Goa; Victor Soares, Sr GM, Radisson Blu Resort Goa Cavelossim Beach and Gagan Sharma, GM, Lemon Tree Hotel Candolim, Goa, shared their views on the potential of Goa as a MICE market. The panel discussion concluded with the panelists giving a unanimous view that Goa has lots of potential as a MICE market, but it should also at the same time work towards retaining its age-old charm.
There were two panel discussions on the second day which saw the presence of F&B managers and purchase managers of leading hotels in Goa speaking on topics like ‘Farm to Fork: Back to Basics’ and ‘Procurement Challenges in Goa’ respectively. The first panel discussion had as panelists Amit Malhotra, EAM, F&B, The Leela Goa; Sadan Gaunker – F&B manager, The Zuri White Sands, Goa Resort & Casino; Amit Kumar Mathuri – operations manager, The Fern Kesarval, and Chef Deep Prasad, sous chef, The Fern Kesarval. They remarked that the concept of Farm to Fork first which emerged in the Western countries is quite evident in India now and is also appreciated here. They noted that though it is still in its nascent stage of being adopted by our farmers, it is gaining popularity as a trend in the country. The panelists for the second panel discussion included Vikas Khandagale – asst. purchase manager, DoubleTree by Hilton Goa Panaji; Constancio Gonsalves, purchase manager, Taj, North Goa; Nandkishor Kothamkar – purchase manager, Le Meridien Goa Calangute; Rony Rodrigues – materials manager, Vivanta Panaji, Goa, and Sanju Shirodkar – purchase manager, The Leela Goa. They highlighted that Goa has a lot of dependence on its neighbouring markets like Maharashtra and Belgaum in Karnataka, for procuring fresh produce and perishables. They stated that the dependence on outside sources is due to the negligence of quality maintenance and poor handling of materials within the Goa market.
On the third day, a panel discussion on the topic, ‘Sustainable Housekeeping Solutions’, was conducted in which executive housekeepers from leading hotels in Goa participated. The panelists who included Abhishek Upadhayaya – EHK, Le Meridien Goa Calangute; Krishna Sawant – EHK, Deltin Suites; Renjith Paul – deputy HK, Azaya Beach Resort Goa; Shailesh Mordekar – EHK, Taj Holiday Village Resort & Spa, Goa; Vijay Joshi – EHK, Vivanta Panaji, Goa, and Kishore Pudota – EHK, Hard Rock Hotel Goa, spoke about how the hotels not only in Goa but across the length and breadth of India are now more environmentally sensitive, and also how the various departments of operations within these hotels are making continuous efforts to convey the importance of sustainable housekeeping solutions to their team members as well as hotel guests.
Organised by India’s leading media publication The Indian Express, EF&H is a focused B2B trade show and one of the most visited platforms for trade and consumers in the food, beverage and hospitality industry in the country. This year the event had leading exhibitors such as Blue Star, Haier, Sleepwell, Amul, White Owl, KBIP, among others. The event featured an interesting line up of workshops, conferences, seminars, and live competitions including the Great Indian Culinary Challenge (GICC) in association with Culinary Forum of Goa and the Mixology Championship in partnership with Indian Flair Bartenders Association.
The expo also saw visits by the Goa Catering Association (pic to the right) and the Tarkarli Tourism Development Sanstha (pic below).