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3 Cooks Begin Restaurant The place You Meet Farmers Behind Your Meals

In 2019, the dorm room housing three mates — Raghav Simha, Jatin Talreja and Pragun Bajaj pursuing their lodge administration diploma at a college in Aurangabad — was abuzz with an thought. The trio, whereas on the cusp of their skilled careers, wished to begin one thing of their very own collectively.

Notebooks full of concepts of what the enterprise could be and countless nights spent ideating and enthusiastic about what the longer term held, the three graduated.

At present, Venture Hum — a farm-to-table restaurant within the posh suburb of Bandra in Mumbai is a manifestation of that dream, albeit launched slightly later than that they had initially deliberate.

The elegant outlet popularises clear consuming and connects diners with farmers throughout India who develop the produce utilized in quite a lot of dishes.

Chatting with The Higher India, Jatin who hails from Bhopal says that whereas Venture Hum is an ode to the dream they harboured all these years in the past, they thought it wiser to first get some expertise within the culinary area earlier than launching one thing new.

“I started working at Sofitel and began my set of eating places in my hometown, whereas Raghav was on the Taj in San Francisco adopted by 11 Maddison Park in New York, and Pragun was working with ITC Royal in Bengal,” he explains.

Nevertheless, with the arrival of the COVID pandemic and other people transitioning to natural meals, the trio thought, “Why wait longer?”

“We stop our particular person jobs in 2021 and began work on Venture Hum,” notes Jatin including that he was in control of overseeing the operations and administration of the enterprise, whereas Pragun and Raghav channelled their culinary prowess into curating a menu reflective of the native tastes.

Ganesh Hande, a farmer from Junnar who was the farmer of the month in November 2022.
Ganesh Hande, a farmer from Junnar who was the farmer of the month in November 2022, Image credit: Jatin

Again to the primal components of eating

With quite a few new areas adopting the farm-to-table idea, how does Venture Hum handle to face out?

“This level was an enormous issue whereas we determined the crux of the enterprise,” Jatin explains. “If you happen to go searching, nonetheless, even farm-to-table eating places are primarily advantageous eating ones. So we determined to begin a spot that was extra community-driven, sustainable, accessible and paying homage to house.”

He provides that each time they see a couple of regulars go to the restaurant to select up a sandwich or wrap after which go about their day, they really feel proud that they managed to create the homely pleasant vibe they got down to.

The buddies knew the subsequent step was to attain out to the farmers they wished to be related to, to be able to supply produce. That is the place Raghav’s experience got here in.

“My first job was at a farm-to-table advantageous eating restaurant in San Francisco, the place I learnt so much about provide chain administration and constructing a community with farmers,” he explains including that this data got here in helpful when he spent a month at an natural farming centre in Nagpur, Maharashtra within the months main as much as the launch of Venture Hum.

Right here, he was put in contact with farmers throughout India, whom he then satisfied to have interaction in direct commerce with them. Whereas initially, they had been reluctant to do that, Raghav managed to achieve their belief by March 2021 and obtained the provision chain up and operating.

The interiors of Project Hum are classy and done up in sustainable decor.
The interiors of Venture Hum are elegant and accomplished up in sustainable decor, Image credit: Jatin

“At present a majority of our produce comes from small-scale farmers in Junnar and Nanded,” he says. Venture Hum’s community extends to over 230 farmers from Talegaon, Nanded, Nashik, Kolhapur and different villages.

“All perishable produce is sourced from farmers in Maharashtra. Espresso and chillies are sourced from Karnataka, and fish from the docks of Gujarat,” he says.

With the farmers supplying them with recent produce and their ambient restaurant the primary draw on Bandra’s Pali Hill, Venture Hum was all set to open its doorways to visitors in September 2022.

An impeccable rhythm of sustainability

On getting into the cosy confines of Venture Hum with its glass-bordered interiors and stylish spacious seating, it’s virtually like getting into a parallel world the place sustainability is the norm.

“Every thing we use at Venture Hum is biodegradable,” explains Jatin including that the crockery and cutlery are made out of sugarcane or polylactic acid.

“Our lab exams steered that the biodegradation of those begins in six days and completes inside two months. We even have our kitchen waste became compost at a pit in Navi Mumbai. The compost is then distributed to nurseries across the space. Hopefully, certainly one of as of late we will use it ourselves,” he provides.

Except for the sustainable decor, visitors have an array of delectable eats to select from, every unflinchingly loyal to the native flavours they signify.

Project Hum is associated with a network of 230 farmers from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam and other states.
Venture Hum is related to a community of 230 farmers from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam and different states, Image credit: Jatin

Hen and avocado, Cowboy wrap ready with guacamole, cheddar, mashed beans, byadgi chilly macha, connoisseur salads, sandwiches and bowls are served recent. A QR code on every tray permits clients to know the place the components within the dish got here from.

“We’ve additionally constructed a database of farmers and the meals they develop for us. The produce involves our centre in Nanded, the place it’s graded. From there the very best quality produce involves the restaurant. We help farmers in promoting the remaining produce within the APMC mandis (market) and have channelised a logistics system that eliminates the necessity for middlemen,” says Jatin.

However the primary draw at Venture Hum, he reveals, is a idea they got here up with that lets folks meet their farmers.

“By the use of the ‘Farmer of the Month’ program, folks get an opportunity to spend time with the particular person behind their meals in a literal sense. It indulges lots of people who care about what they’re consuming. The farmer of the month is set on the idea of what vegetable or fruit was consumed essentially the most in a month and which farmer was accountable for rising it,” he provides.

Final month Ganesh Hande from Junnar was topped with this title for his beetroot and candy potato. “We introduced him to the restaurant and invited our group to return to satisfy him. It was an honour for him too to know whom he’s feeding via his produce,” Jatin provides.

Raghav Simha, Jatin Talreja and Pragun Bajaj, the founders of Project Hum
Raghav Simha, Jatin Talreja and Pragun Bajaj, Image credit: Jatin

Pragun in the meantime sees Venture Hum as a breath of recent air from a advantageous eating chef’s perspective.

“It’s at all times nice to cook dinner with recent components, however it turns into even higher when who grew the greens or the place they got here from. I like having conversations and understanding the best way they farm. I be certain that I make one journey to Junnar each month to see what components are in season and what we will cook dinner with subsequent season,” he says.

The trio emphasise that this symbiotic relationship that Venture Hum shares with its farmers helps the latter earn “60 per cent greater than they used to”.

The restaurant, they are saying, serves “500 folks day-after-day” and sees “40 lakhs value of gross sales per 30 days” and is on the best way to leaving its mark on the culinary map of Mumbai.

Edited by Pranita Bhat



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