For the hands that wield the ladle and rule the culinary world, it is celebration time. A sigh of relief has gone up from the F&B industry after the Bombay High Court decriminalised the consumption of beef in the state, allowing restaurants to sell imported beef (Read the full story).
Shaival Chandra, owner of Hopping Chef in Worli, was relieved that beef will now be back on the plates. "We own a bespoke luxury dining service and beef is an important ingredient for us. It will be great to go back to clients who ordered beef burgers and beef steaks before the ban. We offer a lot of barbecue dinners in the private sit-down section. Steaks also form an important part of our Italian meals," he said.
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Pankil Shah, co-owner of Neighbourhood Hospitality that runs Woodside Inn in Andheri and Colaba, and The Pantry in Kala Ghoda, however, questioned the mechanism to ascertain whether the beef has been sourced from outside the state.
"Sure, it is not a crime if you possess beef from outside the state. But, what kind of mechanism will be put in place to check if it is local or from out of the state? Maybe, five-star hotels will be able to import it or high-end restaurants may be able to get beef specialties back on the menu with imports from Kerala or Goa, where it is legal to slaughter cattle.
At Woodside, we used water buffalo beef even prior to the ban because there was no consistency in the supply of cow beef," he said.
Senior counsel Firoz Bharucha, who represented one of the petitioners, said, "With this judgment, hoteliers can now import beef from neighbouring states and serve people in this state. Nobody can stop people from eating what they wish to."
A chuffed Paul Kinny, executive chef, Bellona Hospitality, which has 212 All Day Cafe, Sichuan House, Craft Deli Bistro and Amaaya under its wing, said, "There is no denying that this is going to make many of our patrons ecstatic. I am so happy to learn that in a city where new-age diners are all about experimentation and inclusion of different ingredients and cuisine, the government has agreed to lift a ban and offer beef-eaters an opportunity to enjoy their favourite protein. More power to them! As a chef, it's heartbreaking when we are not able to give our customers what they desire, and with this, I see many smiling customers at Craft and 212 All Day."
— Inputs by Suprita Mitter, Dhara Vora and Krutika Behrawala