Maharashtrian cook-off: MNS searches for the best local cook
If you talk to many people living in Mumbai, you may be under the illusion that Maharashtrian food goes no further than vada pav and missal pav. But the state's culinary scope stretches to all sorts of regional cuisines like Konkan, Desh, Khandesh, Vidarbha and Marathwada. Many people in Mumbai have never tasted these regional variations, and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray’s wife, Sharmila Thackery, tells the Indian Express that she blames this on the Maharashtrian people.
"Maharashtrian people themselves are to be blamed for not pushing Maharashtrian food to increase its popularity," she says. “I think somewhere, we aren't entrepreneurial. We want to showcase our food but... we think, how are we going to cook for so many.”
So now, in an attempt to popularize the great variety of Maharashtrian cuisine and in celebration of the state's 50th Foundation Day, the MNS has launched a city-wide hunt, from April 21-29, for the women who can make the best local food. The competition will narrow down 400 participants to the best 36 each representing a different assembly zone in the city. A live finale will be held at the Maharashtra Mazha Khadyamahotsav (Maharashtran food festival) on April 30 at the Andheri Sports Complex and stalls serving traditional food will be set up at the stadium from April 26-29.