For the joy of sharing

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Published On: 17:44:14 PM

Bangalore is home to a growing number of weekend flea markets. Not only do these provide a place to pick up quirky things, indulge in good food and groove to great music, but also they provide inspiration for business ideas. Pig Out, a Coorg cuisine catering service, started by sisters Anjali and Ambika Ganapathy in 2011, is one such example.

Says Anjali: 'The idea came to us at Sunday Soul Santé. Being regulars, we wanted to participate. Our father was in the Air Force and so as children we spent most of our time outside Bangalore. Summer holidays, however, were spent with grandparents and relatives in Coorg, where each meal was an occasion. With every meal there was a growing appreciation for the cuisine and tradition associated with it. So when we decided to have a stall at the Santé, food and Coorg cuisine, in particular, was an obvious choice. It’s something we love and we especially enjoy sharing the experience.'

While Ambika is a freelance filmmaker who juggles Pig Out and her film work, Anjali was working with a beer company in a marketing capacity. 'After overwhelming responses at Bangalore’s flea markets, we continued our participation and took on catering orders when we had the time. Over a period of time we realised, Pig Out had a definite following. It was around December 2012 when we decided to take it on full time and there was no turning back since,' Ambika recounts.

From catering for engagements and birthday parties to corporate dos, house parties and personalised orders for one or two people, Pig Out goes all out to make bellies happy.

Stating that they were surprised to find 'Pig Out was popular amongst a wide spectrum of people,' Anjali adds: 'We even cater to foreigners who love their spice! The response to Pig Out is always encouraging and positive and sometimes people are surprised when they meet us perhaps because they expect us to be older.'

Through Pig Out, the sisters have had the opportunity to connect with people and dig deeper into their own roots.

'We love that our immediate and extended family and friends take an active part in all food tasting sessions and contribute to recipes. But mostly, we love that Pig Out has grown to have its own personality, and it’s given us a platform to learn, experiment and take chances,' Anjali says.

Ask them how challenging it is to run a setup like this and Ambika responds: 'Our approach has always been to ‘keep it simple’. So far it’s been fairly straight-forward and easy as we are a small unit. Our approach is hands on. We do the research and food experiments ourselves. We have trained cooks whom we use when it comes to making large quantities of food.'

That said, she adds: 'So far logistics would have to be the only challenge we face on a regular basis. We have had to turn down orders in Whitefield, Malleshwaram, Jaynagar, etc, due to the distance. We are currently working on a solution for this.'

Regarding their future plans, Anjali informs: 'At present our main focus would be to get as many people as we can to try our food and eventually have Pig Out and Coorg food be synonymous with each other.'

The latest development on this front is their association with the Westin Hotel in Pune, where the duo was invited to showcase their food at a 10-day festival.

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This column features those who choose to veer off the beaten track.

Courtesy : The Hindu

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