Orkut, at some point, was a rage and the first group that I became a member of was my class in school. As I was browsing groups and came across some pretty interesting and pretty weird ones, chennai food guide popped out.
Pradeep Ragunathan had written a stern message on the group page that 'Spammers will be banned in this community' as a tag line. When spamming was the norm in Orkut groups, there was none in this one and I immediately joined the group. The group grew and slowly we started having some wonderful reviews of places. Then pradeep brought up a rule - each restaurant should have one thread and if someone posts a query again, they were redirected to the original thread with a line 'This thread is up for deletion in 24 hours'
Vasista and Me were made moderators in about 6 months, because we were active and also stuck to the one restaurant one thread rule and encouraged members to do the same. My first meeting was with five people, all men, at Ashvita cafe. The owner gave us a 40% discount which made us all very happy. Events grew slowly and soon the CFG meets were all sponsored. The first big event at Casa Picola, a CFG favorite was a super duper hit. The meet at THE FARM is something that will not leave any of our minds. And then came the first flop. We had scheduled a meet and having made arrangements for about 50 people, only five turned up.
That is when Nishanth Radhakrishnan was brought in as chief events officer and he ensured that the next event, organized within two months of the failure, was a grand success and he was rewarded with Morderator post! ( Yes, at that time, it was a big deal). That was about the time, I had started my blog and slowly I used to post by blog details on the forum in the specified thread and anytime anybody wanted any info about any restaurant, all you had to do was to type it out in the search box and you had all the reviews about the place!
Slowly as Orkut was moving towards its death, I used to go to Orkut ONLY to check out chennai food guide. That is when our Chief, Mohammed Ali started the group on Facebook. And we have come a long way since then. CFG is now all over the place, with invited reviews, food workshops, photography workshops and almost anything and everything to do with food. My food blog has also taken off and the CFG group did play a big role in its growth. Today, we have so many bloggers from Chennai blogging about food, recipes, baking and what not and that is a great thing for the food culture in Chennai.
We believe that a strong food community is good not just to get good food, but to socialize, to learn, to experiment and also, yes, eat.
And we are celebrating eight years of our existence, this Saturday, 29th September at Residency Towers, T. Nagar. There is going to be a food quiz, a stand up comedy, meet and greet with fellow foodies, over Rs. 60000 worth prizes to be won, and yes, food too! Tickets are almost sold out, online tickets have been sold out and so not available anymore, but you can call Nishanth at 9840340490 if you want tickets, priced at Rs. 999 (not inflated due to demand, but the real price)!
Like somebody said, people who eat together, grow together.
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