Returning to her home city, Chennai, she started making various dishes at home and served them to her family and friends. Though she didn’t start as a venture back then, Manisha started getting many orders. “I started selling vegetarian Gujarati dishes and the first international cuisine I introduced was Lebanese. Curating vegetarian dishes from various countries was a new concept to many Chennaiites and within a few weeks, I started receiving a decent number of orders. A few years ago, I launched the cloud kitchen as a venture and started Food Saga (@the_foodsaga). So far, I have made food from 24 countries and several Indian cuisines through the weekend menu series. The number of cuisines offered is set to grow as the weekend menu series continues,” Manisha Kumbhat tells DT Next.
The homemaker has also done several pop-ups in the city where she showcased different types of bread. “The cuisines I cook include Greek, French, Mexican, Chinese, Italian, Indian, Burmese, Afghani, Turkish, Korean, African, American, British, Lebanese, Cambodian and more. Every weekend, I change the cuisine and over the years, the entire process got more interesting. Sometimes, I get in touch with food bloggers who do food trails in different countries to keep myself updated about the cuisine. I also read and research a lot about the food I make. These days, we get all ingredients in Chennai itself, I also make masalas, sauces, etc, at home. I am also curating a la carte menu for get-togethers,” she adds.
Last month, Manisha curated an Afghani weekend menu featuring selected dishes from the region. Part of the proceeds from each meal was donated to help Afghani families and individuals. The seasoned chef informs us that food from each region is rich in culinary traditions. “For eg, Lebanese food is generous and rich in the culinary traditions of the Levant region. Many of their staple dishes are vegetarian incorporating legumes, whole grains and fresh vegetables. The flavours range from earthy tones to fresh bursts of flavour making it a flavourful cuisine. If you look at Japanese food, it is characterised by traditional and innovative modern techniques. The flavour profile of the cuisine is defined as sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savoury or umami,” Manisha concludes.