What’s Cooking at the 4th Edition of the LF Epicurean Guild Awards 2020

With new jury members, new categories and evolving parameters, LFEGA 2020 is setting new benchmarks.

Annabelle D’Costa

The LF Epicurean Guild Awards (LFEGA), India’s premium food awards, has been honouring Taste, Innovation and the People behind the country's vibrant culinary language since 2017. Now in its fourth year, LFEGA has evolved with time. Continuing to reflect the change in the food business in India, the 2020 edition of the awards will see the introduction of three new categories—Best Western-Inspired Restaurant, Nightlife Category has been sub-categorised into Best Cocktail bar and Best Live Music Bar, and Book of the Year.


Under Cuisines, a new category of Western-Inspired has been introduced. Restaurants that have been simultaneously pushing the Indian ingredient story and exploring the biodiversity of Indian produce, are being considered for the award. The winner will be a restaurant whose cuisine demonstrates the ability to use codified techniques and styles whilst holding up high benchmarks in innovation and creative freedom.


After a hiatus of one year, the Japanese category has made a comeback. The winner in this category will be one that honour’s the Japanese culinary traditions, flavours, cooking techniques, and art of presentation while introducing diners to the simplicity of seasonal ingredients and diverse meal styles.


The Experiences segment awards India’s best lounges and nightclubs under the Nightlife Category. This year the category was sub-categorised into Best Cocktail Bar and Best Live Music Bar. The former will be an award for the lounge/bar that offers an engaging cocktail experience, with the right drinks selection focused on quality, consistency and uniqueness. The latter will look at lounges/bars offering a compelling curation of popular culture, with events, live bands and playlists that keep the crowds coming back.


Under People, LFEGA introduced the Book of the Year category. This award will be given to a cookbook or a food-related book that pays homage to a cuisine, an ingredient, its cultural roots, or a movement. 

 

How We Got Here


The gala awards night that’s set to take place on February 7, 2020 at ITC Grand Central, Mumbai, is the culmination of a year-long process of research, nominations, background checks, jury meetings and anonymous dining. This year, the nominations in each category was a combination of restaurants nominated by our jury and self-nominated entries.


Sixteen jury categories were also open for self-nomination, however that does not guarantee shortlisting as finalists. The combined list was then reviewed and rated by the jury. From here on, the selection process was overseen by MGB Advisors, our process validators at every step along the way.


The People Who Made LFEGA 2020 Possible


LFEGA co-curator, chef Manu Chandra led the jury through animated sessions to draw up a list of worthy finalists. The jury consisted of 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. While some old names, Rocky Mohan, Magandeep Singh, Gauri Devidayal, Romil Ratra, Shuchir Suri, Ruth Dsouza, Diwan Anand Gautam, Antoine Lewis and Kunal Vijayakar came back again, we also had some new faces, Narayan Manepally, Ashwin Rajagopalan, Pooja Dhingra, Suprio Bose, Keshav Prakash, Anish Sood, Rakesh Raghunathan and Sameer Seth joined the Jury Panel for LFEGA 2020. 


This year too we partnered with Goya Media, a food media company co-founded by Anisha Rachel Oommen and Aysha Tanya, to enlist quirky and quaint restaurants across the country for the coveted LFEGA The Oyster Club category.


Watch this space for more on LFEGA 2020, and read about the people scripting the food stories of India.

 

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