Friday, 9 November 2012

Crazy for Food

Mumbai has many treasures for the foodie. From high end restaurants serving international cuisines to the budget restaurants serving amazing Indian delicacies, there is a lot to explore and relish. But given the sheer size of the cities it often becomes difficult for one to travel from one corner of the city to another to try a new restaurant. Also it’s sometimes difficult to convince people to come along to a far flung place. A few Mumbai foodies, however, have found a solution to this problem. They have come together and formed a group 'Pet Pujari’s', a group of people who will do anything for food! Discovering Mumbai today features Sushil Cherian, the founder of this fabulous foodie group Pet Pujari’s.
Pet Pujaris at 'Bagelwala'

Sushil has spent a large part of his life in Saudi Arabia. He has travelled to Dubai, Qatar and Singapore for Work and has completed his Masters in Media Management from London. Presently working as a Digital Marketer in Mumbai, Sushil has donned many hats through his professional life. He started his career as copywriter, but along the way, he has also worked as a Brand Consultant, and RJ and Event Manager.

Pet Pujari’s was an idea that stemmed from a conversation I was having with a bunch of friends over dinner” says Sushil. Each one of them was finding it extremely difficult to get their friends to try new restaurants in the city. They were discussing how great it would be to meet people who wanted to check out new restaurants. That’s when his friends suggested him to start such a club as he was then in the midst of setting up clubs for Bombay Elektrik Projekt.
Pet Pujaris at Mia Cucina

Inspired, Sushil came up with the idea of Pet Pujari’s. He created an event on his Facebook page inviting people to join him for a ‘Fatka meal’ at Global Fusion, Bandra. “I really didn’t expect anyone to come, in fact I brought along a friend so I wouldn’t have to eat alone”, says Sushil. Ten people turned up that night. Excited by the response he set up the Facebook page Pet Pujari’s the very next day. “The rest as they say is history”, he says.

From the start Sushil had one thing in mind that Pet Pujari’s should be affordable for all. “That’s where the Fatka and the Kadka nights came from”, says Sushil. The Fatka and Kadka meets happen at the beginning and end of the month respectively. Mid-month they host the Breakfast Club for early risers, over the weekend. Once or twice a quarter they host a Yummy Yatra where the Pujari’s are taken out of Mumbai. Earlier the venue’s used to be decided by poll, but to balance out venues for both Veg and Non-veg, now Sushil and his partner Kumar Jhuremalani choose the venues. Sometime they also get invited by PR companies handling restaurants.

Pet Pujaris scouting Mohammed Ali Road during Ramadan
At the first few events majority of the participants were Sushil’s friends and a few of their friends. After almost a year, he says that, most Pet Pujari meets are attended by strangers who he hasn’t met before and only handful regulars. The typical age group is 25 to 35, with a good mix of men and women as no alcohol is involved in any of the events. Most of the attendees are working professionals who are looking to make new friends in the city.

Pet Pujari’s is all about great food and fun people. “I think the highlight of Pet Pujaris has always been the Mohammed Ali road trip during Ramadan. It gets a large following and just the idea of walking down the streets with 20+ people looking for great treats from stall to stall puts a smile on my face” says Sushil. Being big foodie’s ourselves; we can understand what a delight it must be. Pet Pujari’s is more than a year old now, so where does it go from here? “Well Pet Pujaris will be taking a much needed vacation in November and December and will be coming back bigger and better in 2013. So look out for that”, says Sushil. We look forward to the new avtaar of Pet Pujari’s, long live the foodies!

You can follow Pet Pujari’s on Facebook and Twitter.
There is no membership fee; all you have to do is to ‘Like’ the page to become a member of ‘Pet Pujari’.

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