Thursday, December 8, 2016

FBAIDailogues 2016 - A Morning Well Spent

I have been very openly skeptical about FBAI since it started a few years ago and viewed it as a bunch of bloggers going from restaurant to restaurant doing reviews. I did't see how it functioned as an association of bloggers or how it helped blogging in any way. And so I kept my distance.

Over the years I met Sameer Malkani at random events and gatherings and got acquanted with him and his wife Saloni who is also a part of FBAI now. My friend Rushina has been associated with FBAI for quite a while and told me about the FBAIDialogues, something interesting that was not about reviewing restaurants but was about conversations related to food, the various aspects of the food industry, and bloggers who wrote about these things. For various reasons I'd been unable to attend the earlier two sessions and after Sameer called me to invite me once again I decided I simply had to attend this one. And I am so glad I did.

The FBAIDialogues Season 3 started with a panel discussion on Ethical Blogging with Rushina Ghildiyal, Kalyan Karmakar, Nikhil Merchant, all very senior bloggers, and chef Ashish Bhasin, Executive Chef at The Trident, BKC, on the panel with Bhisham Mansukhani moderating. The conversation covered many areas of being an ethical blogger ranging from the importance of research, identifying your audience, responsibilities to your audience and writing constructively even when doing a negative review. The idea of a charter outlining basic blogging ethics was also proposed. A healthy and fruitful discussion followed by an interactive session with the audience made this session well worth my journey from Kharghar to Juhu.

There are many issues that dog the food blogging world and it was good to see many of these issues being acknowledged and discussed on an open forum with bloggers, journalists, restaurant owners and chefs in the audience - instead of being confined to private conversations in closed rooms. It was good to see a relevant and constructive discussion about issues that affect blogging and the food industry.

The next session had restaurateur and icon Rahul Akerkar speaking about the Next Chapter in the Indian Restaurant Business. To say the least, I was star struck!

Unfortunately I couldn't attend the subsequent sessions but my experience of that morning gave me great hope. Here we were talking honestly and openly about issues that affect the ecosystem of bloggers, food professionals, restaurants, and the entire food and hospitality at large. Dialogues solve problems and I was happy to see meaningful and constructive dialogues that morning.

There is hope after all and I have a positive feeling about the FBAI and its role in the future helping bloggers improve their game. 

1 comment:

Salloni Malkani said...

Thanks for your candid review. And that's what FBAI has always been about,honest and informed growth.