The #QuakerBowl Indiblogger meet was an occasion to meet with some old friends, and, of course, to make some new ones. In a nutshell, it was a fun-filled event with some interesting activities and lot of enthusiasm.
A rough start for me….
“Ma’am, there is no Indiblogger event at our hotel today. You might have come to the wrong place.” I, almost, sank into a stupor when the concierge at the J.W. Marriott hotel threw a monkey wrench into my plans with the aforementioned words. I was absolutely aghast, languished, and my entire enthusiasm was dampened. My unflappable mind went haywire, still trying to recuperate from my catatonic state. I wondered that my worst nightmare is here – right time, wrong venue – via this dreaded faux pas, and I stand here, mortified, with an abrupt silence waiting for some sort of salvation. I looked askance at this aberration, still unsure that it happened with me, and, suddenly, a vivid image from the Indiblogger’s email flashed in front of me. The venue was J.W. Marriott for sure; hence, I told the concierge with aplomb and a calm demeanor, “I am sorry, but the event is happening here. Could you please check it once again?”
In the same moment, I overheard another lady inquiring about the event, and I dashed to her explaining my dreadful experience. With the help of the lady’s friend, we were at the event in the next minute, which was happening downstairs, and the sight of the Indiblogger team helped me to rebound from the disappointing situation.
The Power of people….
So, I had a rough start, but it was offset by the charm of the riveting and ambient experience at the #QuakerBowl Indiblogger meet. Throughout my professional career, the importance of meeting people in person has always made a huge influence. In all honesty, life is all about making invaluable relationships, connections and bonds. To a large extent, life is not defined by our materialistic possessions, status symbol, or financial positions; instead, the contentment lies in the pleasure we achieve by spending and investing time in our relations. And all this magic and spellbinding effects take place when people come across each other – face to face. No matter how much we communicate or connect via social media due to geographical barriers, lack of time, etc., the powerful impact of meeting somebody in person is beyond imagination, and in some circumstances, transcendental.
When people connect, their strength, energy, aura, and emotions play a cardinal role in initiating a long term relation which opens a plethora of opportunities, both professionally and personally. And this is what I admire about the Indiblogger events. Their team too understand that these meetings give a great platform for the like-minded, due to their flair for writing, and brilliant people to touch base with each other. Hence, without a scintilla of doubt, their conscientious effort in organising these meet-ups is definitely commendable. The versatility of such events when all the food, fashion, lifestyle, photography, video, art, architecture, politics, and travel bloggers come under one roof becomes remarkable. And I say this from my personal experience as I have met a great person in one of these events; more particularly, the BNLF Indiblogger meet-up. Just two days of interaction, and here she and I are today as each other’s confidants, business partners, advisors, and, most importantly, close friends. We struck a chord, and I will always be glad to the BNLF event.
The #QuakerBowl Indimeet was an occasion to meet with some old friends, and, of course, to make some new ones. It was more about the nutritional benefits and the goodness of Quaker Oats, who were also the sponsors. In a nutshell, it was a fun-filled event with some interesting activities and lot of enthusiasm followed by a luncheon. The session was a tad behind the schedule initially; however, a chance to see and meet a celebrity chef was the most fascinating aspect for everyone, and it glued the anticipated crowd to the show. The Indiblogger team did a good job in keeping the name of the celebrity chef a secret; however, when people almost guessed it from the introduction, the crowd cheered and was galvanised by the appearance of Mr. Vikas Khanna.
The hidden secret of the celebrity chef….
Chef Vikas Khanna, an immensely talented and a Michelin-starred chef, comes with an invaluable experience in the food and hospitality industry. He needs no introduction, and this was evident from his huge fan-following at the event. He has been recently appointed as the nutrition ambassador of PepsiCo India where he will help to enhance the brand’s nutrition portfolio. And this relationship starts with Quaker which is a nutrition brand from PepsiCo. The audience was delighted to see him; and even though he looked a tad weary with his shabby hair, his winsome, charming, and charismatic personality superseded the insignificant things. In this selfie era, everyone was extremely excited to take a selfie with him, and he did not disappoint anyone. Everyone was engulfed in his aura, and from here on, the expectations from the event were increased.
The session kicked off in a nice way where the chef formally introduced himself first. He shared the most significant parts of his culinary journey, from working with the restaurateur Gordon Ramsey to his show on the Fox television network, along with his hilarious childhood shenanigans. He shared information about food and nutrition via a question and answer session which everybody enjoyed. Also, it was great to hear his achievements in his ongoing expedition to curb malnutrition in India.
However, I expected more from the chef relating to the nutrition, and I was little disappointed. This meet-up was a great opportunity for the audience and the chef to discuss more about how we can introduce nutrition in our daily diet. Quaker Oats is definitely one option; however, there are many ways where you can enjoy wholesome, nutritious, and delicious meals at home.
When I connected with people during luncheon, I realized that some of these talented minds had so much to share about the nutritious food and discussing the same with the chef along with his inputs could have taken this event to some another level. I understand that the chef had limited time, and he was here to promote Quaker Oats, but a small knowledge sharing session about introducing nutrition in our daily menu would have been great.
The cooking challenge and our team work…
The another highlight of the meet-up was the cooking challenge where the teams were required to make a dish with the given ingredients. We, Team no. 3, decided to make a “Chocolate Oats” dessert with oats and chocolate syrup along with a dash of Cinnamon. As there were some fine fruits and crushed macaroons, we chose a sweet dish instead of a savory one. We had a hazy start with so many ideas coming from different team members, but we managed each other’s expectations and unanimously reached a decision.
Put one tea-spoon of oil into the pan and then add a small Cinnamon stick. Once you get its aroma, add oats and boil them in one cup of water for two minutes. Now add three table spoons of chocolate sauce along with a pinch of salt and stir the mixture gently for the next 4-5 minutes.
Take a bowl and add the mixture in it. Garnish it with the fruits and serve.
In spite of minor disappointments, if I look at the event in its entirety, I had a nice time, and it was so good to catch up again with some familiar people. The event was organised well; hence, a special thanks to the IndiBlogger Team for this applaudable job. We look forward to many more such events.
Disclaimer: All the photographs are taken from the Indiblogger team.