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Watching food unravel on screen can be a fairly exciting event, as Masterchef Australia has so wonderfully shown us. There is a certain drama to the way in which many different culinary elements intermingle and complement and contrast each other at multiple stages to ultimately result in a beautiful work of art.
Some of Pune’s restaurants, having recognised the power of the audiovisual medium, have gotten onto the YouTube bandwagon and featured in short videos and movies, either through their own initiative or by participating in someone else’s venture.
On the eve of the iconic Vohuman Café’s relocation, the Irani eatery collaborated with social media collective Pune Eat Outs to make an equal parts hilarious and poignant short film on the place’s 37-year journey. Starting out with the familiar scene of the establishment’s bespectacled old owner (better known as the eccentric ‘Bawa uncle’) buttering pao against the backdrop of the café’s quaint interiors, the video chronicles the story of Pune’s favourite breakfast venue interspersed with shots of their legendary masala chai, cheese omelette and bun maska being prepared in the kitchen. Le Plaisir too chose the occasion of their relocation to release a highly evocative, artsy, visual treat of a film that covers a day in the life of the European bistro, capturing the painstaking culinary process that goes into creating each of their signature dishes via some truly gorgeous food videography.
A charming 27-minute Marathi documentary was recently made on the renowned Udupi joint, Hotel Vaishali, which gives viewers a glimpse into its history, the inner working of the business, and the magic that unfolds behind the counter, with glowing reviews by patrons – young and old – shot during their visits, scattered throughout. Multicuisine restaurant Soul Spice, meanwhile, has done a pithy but stunning clip giving a brief insight into the making of their flavoursome food.
Fish Curry Rice and PapaJee’s, instead of doing entire films, have stuck to short clips with a single aspect as the cynosure: the journey of their seafood from the market to the restaurant in the case of the former, and, in the case of the latter, a quick peek into the amount of stirring required to get the beautiful end-product that is the restaurant’s famous dripping-with-ghee Gajrela.
Some city restaurants have also featured on popular food channels. Alternative food blogger Chowder Singh has interviewed proprietors of the rustic Gujjar cold drink house (where Pune’s favourite drink ‘Mastani’ originated), as well as long-standing misal haunt Bedekar, besides also presenting the recipes of Parsi restaurant Dorabjee & Sons’ much-loved akuri and that of the unique ‘egg alti palti pav’ found outside Pune Railway Station.
Follow Mrunmayi @moonogamy