About Sanjoo

 

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I have had the good fortune to come from a diverse upbringing in India. I am a Punjabi, born in Calcutta, grew up in Bangalore and Chennai, studied in Manipal worked in Goa and have also trained in Mumbai and New Delhi. I can speak four Indian languages and understand the nuances of local cultures and subcultures in India. I have a degree from Welcomgroup School of Hotel Management in Manipal. After moving to Stockholm Sweden I got a Masters in International Business at Stockholm University and have since worked for companies such as Ericsson, Electrolux with the concept for the future home & kitchen and managed global events at Globe Forum and Future Design Days and ITIM International. ITIM gave me the opportunity to hone my skills in intercultural management.

I come from a foodie family with great food coming from both my veins. My maternal grandmother used to run a café out of her garage in Calcutta and people still talk about her gorgeous food and warmth. In her later years after the passing away of my grandfather, she started a small café serving the best of Punjabi snack food. I grew up with this wonderful heritage of standing beside her to soak in all the sights, sounds, stories and smells from her very popular café “ Chat Ghar”. My biggest food inspiration is my mother who is not only fantabulous but also an intellectual  cook. Her food accentuates the local & authentic and the international with her own sensibilities. Her Indian food  plays with combining subtle spices, tastes and flavors from different cities she has lived in. Srinagar, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Darjeeling, Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore and Chennai. As part of the third generation of this wonderful foodie family, food became an even greater passion for me ever since I moved to Sweden 17 years ago, as I had to manage my own food. Influenced by my mother’s style of cooking, in Sweden and being innovative, I created my own concept of Nordic Indian fusion food as a way to accentuate Nordic food with vibrant flavors of India.  My recipes have been published in Sweden and I also appear on Swedish television from time to time promoting Indian food & culture.

In October 2011, I won a global competition and was selected as a Quality Hunter (Food & Drinks) for Finnair and Helsinki Airport’s Quality Hunting Programme, a global social media initiative. This was an exciting project where on behalf of Finnair and Helsinki Airport I visited Kyoto, Tokyo, Paris, Singapore, Berlin, Prague, Bangkok, Rome, Helsinki and New York to blog on food & drink trends, innovations and based on that present ideas that Finnair could implement. My idea for a “Meat Free Monday” was the best voted, whereby now Finnair has introduced vegetarian cuisine as an alternative on all its long haul flights, a concrete way to reduce its carbon footprint.

I have a deep interest in promoting and showcasing India to the world. In collaboration with the Indian Embassy of Sweden I have started a branding platform connecting Sweden and India called India Unlimited, to strengthen both economic and cultural ties between our countries. My own company Out of The Box Travel, arranges specialized tours to India. Last year, I organized a food journey through the four southern states including visits to tea, coffee and spice plantations, temples, churches, understanding ancient spice trade, vibrant markets, farm visits, private homes, cooking classes and provide insights on religion, culture and society through food. I teach Indian Food with bespoke classes for private, corporate and school children in Sweden while supporting childrens charities in India. In addition, I organize Secret Dinners in Stockholm where one can taste my fusion cuisine in a Secret setting, Bollywood parties to promote Indian popular culture, wellness sessions and a host of other promotions for India with support from the Indian Embassy in Sweden.

Here are some useful links last updated 15th August 2014:

Swedish Institutes film on me to help promote Swedish education in India(English): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isKghl5Dr7I

Swedish TV 4 Food Reality program (Swedish): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyXIHYg_KPY

My Showreel from a few years back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipNvT-SjNMc

An article from my Finnair project: http://media.ootbtravel.com/2014/05/foodie-report-Finnair-quality-hunter-sanjoo1.pdf

An article of my cooking class in one of Swedens largest day papers: http://media.ootbtravel.com/2014/02/2014-02-03-192838.pdf

India branding platform website: http://indiaunlimited.se/

My travel website Out of the Box Travel: http://ootbtravel.com/

My blog: https://sanjoomalhotra.wordpress.com/

Bon Appetit and Cheers, Sanjoo

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