About LFEGA 2019

The third edition of the Living Foodz Epicurean Guild Awards (LFEGA) honours the best of food in India—from the emerging and innovative, to traditional and trendy—it is a celebration of India’s culinary diversity as interpreted by talented chefs and entrepreneurs.

This year, we handpick restaurants in 12 categories—cuisines that have added fun and flavour to the Indian food story; hip lounges and bars; innovative, inclusive and cutting-edge concepts for menu, décor and presentation and quaint hidden gems that are preserving regional flavours. The awards also honour homegrown wines and spirits that have put India on the global map; chefs who are championing sustainable practices; and social media stars—Food Instagrammer and Food Entertainers—who are influencing the way people consume food.

In a nutshell, LFEGA honours Taste, Innovation and People behind our vibrant culinary language.

Staying true to its course, LFEGA follows a nomination and selection process that is transparent and rigorous. After shortlisting restaurants across various categories that drive the modern F&B space, an eminent jury comprising influencers, food critics, and gastronomes nominate and elect the top contenders for each category. Following this, the jury dines out at these restaurants, anonymously—a hallmark of LFEGA.

While there are winners in all the categories, only those who have stayed on top in their pursuit of excellence are awarded the Flames—for everyone else, it is an honour to aspire for.

Join our journey to celebrate the best of food in India!

THE CO-CURATOR: Chef Manu Chandra

Manu Chandra is the Chef Partner of the Olive Group of Restaurants and the brainchild behind Toast & Tonic, Monkey Bar, The Fatty Bao, Olive Beach (Bangalore) and Olive Goa.

Manu Chandra’s passion for food surfaced at a young age, wielding the ladle since the age of 12, thanks largely to a foodie family. Later at St. Stephen's College, he wrote, designed and helped photograph a book on fusion cuisine.

Manu then enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Hyde Park, New York, where he apprenticed with some of the city's top kitchens. Armed with top honours from CIA, he travelled to Norway to work with the Michelin starred Chef Eyvind Hellstrom. Late 2004 saw Manu returning to India, where he joined the Olive group of restaurants.

A trendsetter of the culinary arts—he’s credited for opening the first gastropub, bringing the open faced bao and trendy Asian dining and its many interpretations to the forefront, and reviving India’s romance with G&T. From innovative cooking to celebrating India’s biodiversity by championing homegrown produce in non-traditional way to showcasing indigenous cultures around food, his repertoire has won him several accolades as a modern star chef.

Notable Awards & Recognitions:
• 2017 - Awarded Chef of the Year at the Times Food & Nightlife Awards, Bangalore.
• 2015, 2016 & 2017 – Selected by GQ India magazine as one of the 50 Most Influential Young Indians.
• Featured in ‘40 under 40, Class of 2016’, an exclusive list of India's finest young business leaders by Fortune India magazine.

Research Partners – Goya Media

Goya Media is a food media company co-founded by Anisha Rachel Oommen and Aysha Tanya who run The Goya Journal, a digital food platform, and also curate niche offline events for their deeply engaged community. Anisha and Aysha are food writers and first-time entrepreneurs who have been published in both domestic and international publications and have also participated as speakers in several esteemed food conclaves and conferences.

Jury Panel

Our jury is an eclectic mix of influencers and leaders from various fields. Their love for food and appreciation for the finer things in life have come to define the new paradigm in India's gourmet culture.

Gautam John

Gautam John

Gautam John is the Director of Strategy at Nilekani Philanthropies. A former lawyer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist at heart, he has also been an advisor to Pratham Books, Akshara Foundation and a former TED India Fellow.

Antoine Lewis

Antoine Lewis

Antoine Lewis is a food and wine writer and columnist who contributes to various national and international titles and also does a Food, Wine and Book show on 94.3 Radio One’s Good Morning Mumbai.

Palki Hatangadi

Palki Hatangadi

Palki Hatangadi found her calling as a food writer and enthusiast. Travelling around the globe in pursuit of memorable meals, she plans her vacations and weekends around her next food adventure.

Kunal Vijaykar

Kunal Vijaykar

Kunal Vijayakar is a food writer, author and television personality. Best known for hosting the TV series The Foodie which ran for nine years, he is also the author of Made In India, his first cookbook.

Shuchir Suri

Shuchir Suri

As the co-founder of Food Talk India, India’s first and largest online community of food and drink lovers with over half a million followers, Shuchir Suri is a technophile creating novel food experiences.

Diwan Gautam Anand

Diwan Gautam Anand

A keen reader of culinary history and modern trends, Diwan Gautam Anand has redefined India’s culinary and hospitality landscape with his Cuisine India Foundation and other initiatives.

Clinton Cerejo

Clinton Cerejo

Clinton Cerejo is a composer, musician, vocalist and also loves his food. He’s worked with AR Rahman and Vishal Bhardwaj and has lent his voice to many Tamil and Hindi movies.

Romil Ratra

Romil Ratra

An entrepreneur who loves to travel and explore food, Romil Ratra is one of the many faces behind The A Club, a Private Members Work Collective in Mumbai, and also the founder of New Millennium Hospitality Ltd.

Rocky Mohan

Rocky Mohan

Executive director of Mohan Meakins, and the face behind Gourmet Passport, the popular dining privilege app, Rocky Mohan is on a mission of re-discovering the heritage of Indian cuisine.

Kalyan Karmakar

Kalyan Karmakar

The face behind the decade-old food blog Finely Chopped, Kalyan Karmakar also debuted his maiden book The Travelling Belly in 2017 and is a well-regarded foodie in the industry.

Karen Anand

Karen Anand

Karen Anand is responsible for popularising Farmer’s Markets in India. With over 25 years of experience, her expertise in the food business is unparalleled.

Magandeep Singh

Magandeep Singh

Magandeep Singh is a well-known sommelier and beverage critic, author of The Indian Spirit and Wine Wisdom, a TV presenter and a lifestyle columnist.

Nikhil Agarwal

Nikhil Agarwal

The brainchild behind All Things Nice, India’s leading wine, spirits and luxury marketing and consulting agency, Nikhil Agarwal is a thought leader and influencer in India’s wine and spirits story.

Nicole Mody

Nicole Mody

Nicole Mody is a foodie and blogger who loves travelling, cooking and eating. She is the Food Curator and Festival Coordinator of Mumbai’s Kalaghoda Arts Festival.

Dr. Pradeep Rao

Dr. Pradeep Rao

Dr Pradeep Rao particularly takes up work assignments to destinations where he can explore local food. The urologist enjoys discovering new restaurants and cuisines.

Ruma Singh

Ruma Singh

Former journalist Ruma Singh is a writer and wine expert. As a member of the exclusive London-based Circle of Wine Writers, Ruma has been educating us about wines and wine culture online and offline through her eponymous blog.

Ruth Dsouza

Ruth Dsouza

Ruth Dsouza Prabhu is a well-known food writer and consultant and provides food-based content and solutions for several hospitality establishments in the country.

Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal

Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal

Gastronome and food consultant, Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal runs the culinary brand A Perfect Bite Consulting and a state-of-the-art kitchen at APB Cook Studio

Categories List

Nomination Process

How We Got Here:

1.Nomination

Members of our esteemed jury are invited to nominate their top 3 choices for the 17 categories. The award categories are divided into awards for excellence in cuisine and service; for providing the finest experience to patrons with innovative concepts and an inclusive culture; and to individuals and institutions whose vision and effort have led the way for change.

Read more

2.Jury Deliberation Round One

Members of the jury meet, deliberate and vote individually to nominate the top 2 in 13 categories for cuisine and concept.

3.Dining out & Review

Members of the Jury dine out anonymously and review the finalists under each category. Each restaurant is graded within strict parameters.

4.Jury Deliberation Round Two

A second round of jury deliberation assigns the winners. One, two or three Flames are awarded to the most deserving among the winners.

5.Awards Night

A glittering evening to announce the winners and present the Flames.

MGB Advisors Private Limited is the process advisor for Living Foodz Epicurean Guild Awards 2019.