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Odisha Govt teams up with local Chef to create millet magic



Odisha Millets Mission is taking major strides in collaborating with Restaurants and Chefs to promote Odisha’s millets.

Odisha’s mission of bringing its Millets from Farm-to-Plate is on the rise, as the State Government is taking various unique initiatives to promote the consumption of millets across the State. One such drive was seen at the ongoing Millet Food Festival.

Odisha Millet Mission, along with Michael’s Kitchen, a fine-dining restaurant in Bhubaneswar, is organising the Millet Food Festival to commemorate the International Year of Millets 2023. The 15-day festival, scheduled from 5th May till 20th May, features various organic national and international dishes, with millets as the lead ingredient. The festival is  attended by various celebrities along with the people of the Capital City with gusto.

The festival also featured a masterclass from May 7th till 11th, helmed by the celebrated master chef and owner of the restaurant himself, Chef Michael. The master class aims at orienting how to manage a restaurant and how new dishes and food items can be made from millets. The session was attended by 30 participants from Mission Shakti WSHGs, eager to learn how to manage their own businesses.

The Odisha government is leveraging every opportunity possible to promote the consumption of millets produced in the state. While collaborating with restaurants and chefs not only promotes the state crop, it also creates an opportunity to learn from and interact with experts and leaders in the sector. Speaking on the success of the event, Dr. Arabinda Padhee IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment said, “We are happy to see local professionals coming up and joining hands with the government to bring about a change at their own level. Professionals like Chef Michael with their influence can create more acceptability around millets as a day-to-day crop and the government is open to supporting any such initiative.”

Commenting on the session, Michael said, “It brings me immense joy to be part of a mission so important. The general public should understand the immense nutritional value millet brings to their plates. Training these wonderful groups of women, so they have a better understanding of new recipes and management skills, brought me absolute pleasure.” 

The excitement to learn was visible as the attendees watched Michael and his team showcase various aspects of running a restaurant business. When asked how they felt about the session, one of the attendees said, “All of us are happy to get the chance to learn from Chef Michael. He was very kind and thorough throughout the session. We learnt various new recipes and methods to cook millet, and how to make our dishes more presentable and appetising. I am excited to apply what I learnt here.” 

While the food festival helps promote state produced millets, such training sessions help upskill and empower Mission Shakti WSHG members. The Millet Food Festival concludes on 20th May, till then people can visit Michaels Kitchen and savour various local and international dishes prepared in-house by Chef Michael and his team.

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