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Updated: September 22, 2013 19:02 IST

Banking on food

SUBHA J RAO
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In tune with taste buds: Lalitha Gautam.
The Hindu In tune with taste buds: Lalitha Gautam.

The Kovai Foodies page on Facebook has stirred up a lot of interest amongst those who enjoy eating

As a marketing official in a bank, Lalitha Gautam travelled frequently both within the city and neighbouring towns such as Erode and Pollachi. During such trips, when hunger pangs drove her to third-rate eateries, Lalitha wished there was some list of restaurants she could bank upon — a list that would mention restaurants in a particular area, their specialties, price range and user feedback.

This is what prompted her to start a Kovai Foodies, a Facebook page, in March 2013. The group had a formal launch in the presence of celebrity chef Damu.

All about food

Today, the 2,300-odd members of the group avidly discuss food, post reviews and debate food trends. The group also serves as a great forum for home entrepreneurs who are in the business of food. To boost the popularity of the page, Lalitha conducted a food photography contest; it received 190 entries. Once the group became active, she decided to organise offline events too. “I’ve always loved to taste good food. I know of so many people who are cooking great stuff from home, but remain unknown because there is no platform for them to showcase their services. Kovai Foodies became that platform,” says Lalitha.

Down memory lanes

The page also allows members to initiate discussions. For instance, someone posted about nilaachoru, and received replies soaked in nostalgia. Another wanted to know what she could make with baby corn, cheddar cheese and bread. The replies came in almost immediately. She ended up making corn cheese balls.

The group also works with a conscience. Recently, members visited the TELC home for boys and girls in Palladam and shared a meal (biryani and cake) with them.

Lalitha sets aside time to monitor the group; sharing her work is Shanti Suresh, co-administrator of the group. In recognition of the group, Rathna Residency offers its members a 10 per cent discount, while Nala’s Aappakadai gives a 15 per cent discount.

And yes, during her official tours, Lalitha now knows just the right restaurant to head to.

On October 2, the group hosts another offline event, Kaimanam, with Chef Damu, featuring vegetarian dishes. It will be held at Rathna Residency, Variety Hall Road. The entry fee, inclusive of lunch and high tea, is Rs. 500. There will also be a fireless cookery contest. For details, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/Kovaifoodies/.

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