What if you could find a good eatery with good company and some healthy discussion with your fellow foodies all assorted and served on a platter? It would be awesome right?
The enthusiastic and full of life, 27 year old techie, Rohit Srivastava was at a loss when his buddies relocated elsewhere for the purpose of work. An ardent foodie and a cook himself, he missed his jamming sessions over a plate of biriyani along with his friends. This is when the innovative idea of Foodies of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack (FoBC) sprang to life. He considers it as his baby and has now gone into creating its sibling, his website- Foodfindo.com.
Some excerpts from an informal chit chat about Mr. Shrivastava’s brainchild:
What drove you into giving birth to FoBC and Foodfindo?
When my friends travelled out of Odisha, I was alone here. Apart from being a big time foodie, a lover of networking, I also loved socialising and meeting new people. On a venture to make a new set of friends, I came up with this idea. Back in 2012 there was a dearth of such pages and info sources and food related communities which would tend to people’s queries regarding the best food joints, food pictures and the like. People from all walks of life congregating over a plate of biryani or kebab seemed like an amazing proposition.
Tell us about your journey so far?
Initially it was just posting queries and food related pictures on the page in Facebook. I then started with the concept of “food raids.” It started off in Cuttack, in 2012 with just three people, my wife Alka, brother Rohan maybe because people had probably not come to terms of dining with strangers, so no one else turned up. The second one met with the same fate despite of having some confirmations. This made me change the venue from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar for the third one. Seven people turned up and I considered that as the first proper food raid. It was held at Pakwan, Jaydev Vihar (now closed) and the numbers have gone up since then, the latest one with around 40 members held at Moti Mahal, Cuttack.
Word goes around that some food raids are FREE. Are they really?
(Laughs merrily) No! Not exactly all of them. You have to be real lucky to come across one such event. Actually there were just two food raids which were on the house. One of them was held at Moti Mahal Cuttack on the eve of their launch. The other one was at Hotel Crown which was the venue partner to the inaugural function of Askme.com. The others were always split between the present members.
A quick something about food raids and food walk!
It was actually food raids which paved out the way for food walks. Food raid is where the confirmed members (positively strangers) come down to the selected place to have tasty food and chirp in merriment and finally the bill is split among the present lot whereas, food walk is like a small journey where the zealous foodies walk for a certain distance and have food at the most uncommon gallis (lanes) and indiscreet bazaars, each of which have a story to tell (recently held in Cuttack)
How do you wind up with the list of people to join you?
First an event is created and invites are sent out. There are different sorts of foodies including food enthusiasts, food influencers, food bloggers, food photographers and other people too. Generally all of them have a generous friend list. The crowd is completely organic. From a 6 year old to a 60 year old, everybody’s welcome here.
Have you ever experienced any motivating or awe-inspiring moment?
Everything about these raids is actually good. One happy incident of which I remember is that, on this particular day I was standing at Naraj Chowk and a guy waved at me from the other side of the road. He then came near me and asked me, “Are you Rohit from FoBC? I am a loyal follower and I love your idea.” This was a mesmerising moment.
Something about your website Foodfindo?
Foodfindo is a space where i post restaurant reviews, exciting food articles along with information regarding several food events and promo offers concerning various eateries across the city. I am working towards this alone now and it’s still in a nascent stage, however it will soon come up in a full fledged way in a few months time.
Do you find your medium of propagating your message effective enough or you have any other plans?
It’s gradually picking up speed and I am happy with the ever increasing follower base. I plan to make the Facebook page of ours more indulgent and informative. We are also trying to popularise the website and update it regularly. That apart, Rohit says there are some strategies which he is currently working on and we wish him luck for all his endeavours.
If you are a fervent foodie and wish for a one stop solution to your food and food related queries, congratulations, Mr. Rohit Shrivastava brings you just that with the right amount of ingredients, masala and namak swaad anusaar.
Pic Courtesy: foodiesbbsrctc