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Chennai

*image courtesy The New Indian Express
Food is so important. I mean, its always, food, clothing and shelter, right? There is no fine dine there. There is no Facebook there. Chennai was made to realise this a few weeks back. They say when people are pushed to a corner is when you see the worst in them. Chennai was different. When pushed to the corner, we saw the best in them! How amazing is that? To sort of defy a human behaviour. Every community or society will have good, bad and amazing. Thiruvalluvar, in one of this two line genius poetry said that a few good people are enough for the world. Wonder how Chennai got back to its feet? It is history. Good people outdid others.

"Chennai floods is the first time I saw more volunteers than victims," said an army officer. I'm proud. People helped in various capacities. Some got their hands downright dirty, while some did work online. Every single bit counts. Even a person who shared one post has done something for this relief.

Coming back to food, the topic of (my) interest. Chennai was made to realise the value of food. And the Chennai restaurants and hotels rose to the occasion. All thoughts of profits and services and balance sheets were thrown out and drowned along with the floods. Restaurants set up relief kitchens and some even set aside space in their dining to cook food for the relief. To an extent that there was excess food. EXCESS FOOD. Seriously? Restaurants rose to the occasion to actually make so much food, its not even funny.

While this is list is no way exhaustive and like any review, there is no way to be absolutely right, I will take this post to thank those who helped this city out.

Maaria Kulsum from Adoniya. What can I say? She cooked food, collected blankets and supplies and handles so much that this was a little more beautiful than her cakes. And that is a high standard. Yousuf from Nellai Express. He set aside a full team for relief and had food everytime I asked for some to distribute. He was happy to have excess than have people go without food. Nikhil from Crimson Chakra ran out of supplies and even cooked from whatever people donated to give for the relief. Food Consulate, a unit of Chennai Food Guide did wonders using their network.  A few hotels jumped the bandwagon and acted as relief centres. I personally know Hyatt Regency and Marriott were relief centres on Mount Road and there might have been a lot more.

But this post is not to list restaurants, but to say from the heart of a food writer that Chennai restaurants have served the meal that for most people would have been the most beautiful meal in their lives. And the fact that you did not take short cuts but actually made good food says a lot about you guys. Kudos. 

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