'Great things happen when you never diet.' Finely Chopped wins the Best General Food Blog Award at the IFBA2017 Awards

With the trophy for the Best General food Blog from the IFBA 2017 Awards

This happened last night!

I checked my phone when I woke up in the morning and the pictures folder confirmed it.

Last night I had the honour and good fortune of receiving the Best General Food Blog Award at the IFBA 2017 Awards (for work done in 2017) held at the JW Marriott Hotel, Juhu. This is the 4th time in the 5 years of its existence that this baby has come home. The other year it was for the Best Culinary Travel Award.

On stage receiving the award from Chef Ajay Chopra

Last year also ended with my winning the Best Indian Food Blog Award in the first ever Social Samosa and BHG 2017 Lifestyle Influencers Award. So you can imagine why i am feeling over the moon.

I feel fortunate to be in a stage of life where I wake up every morning with new ideas on what to write about and with new activities and media to explore. Taking inspiration from the ever growing community of food bloggers in India and abroad. Hoping that I can stay current and relevant. Loving what I do. 

It has not always been so I know and hence I treasure this even more. I realise how fortunate I am and am filled with gratitude for that.

There she is
This award eggs me on every year, the beat of excitement and suspense in my heart when my category was announced, is to me a sign of hunger. The hunger to create something of  positive value.

There are many talented bloggers and social media creators out there doing some brilliant work. I feel privileged to be a part of our band of food loving story tellers to use Varun Inamdar's term at the awards yesterday. 

Sometimes well meaning folks tell me, "you are no longer just a blogger, you do so much more." While I appreciate their sentiment, I am proud to call myself a blogger. My blog, Finely Chopped, has helped me find happiness in life and I feel committed to blog on and hopefully share some of this happiness with you too. I try to explore new media that comes my way no doubt ... Instagram, Facebook lives and audio lives and vlogs ... all with the aim of telling interesting and useful stories from the world of food.

Stories of joy, harmony and hope.

With K
The picture at the start of the post was clicked by the missus and I was so glad that she was there last evening. She was the one who had started the blog for me a decade back and named it too and helped me keep at it since. The headline of this post is from her Facebook post on last night. She is the wordsmith in the family after all.

Big thanks to my friends and family and my mother for their kind and indulgent support of what I do. To my readers and all those who took time out to vote, this award is possibly more for you than for me and I look forward to your continued support.  

Thanks to the jury, folks in the food industry one has looked up to, for your kind nod of approval. And special thanks to Saloni and Sameer Malkani of team FBAI and everyone who worked hard behind the scenes for the awards. Your efforts means a lot to us. And to the sponsors, last evening happened because of your faith in us.

A big thank you to everyone who came up and said hi at the event yesterday and to everyone writing in messaging me. Means the world to me.

I'd also express my gratitude to Dr Daisaku Ikeda, the honorary president of the Soka Gakkai International. He has been a wonderful inspiration to try to live ones life by.

With Sameer and Saloni Malkani of FBAI and Sujit Patil of Godrej

To those who blog or want to blog, it’s time to tell a billion wonderful stories folks and to celebrate the world of food because if you love food, it loves you back a million times over. 

They say that you are as good as your last act, but today is about treasuring this award and I would love to share this joyous moment with you my readers, because you are the ones who made this happen. Yes, we are in this together.

Thank you once again. 

PS As you might have guessed, we didn’t get to give a vote of thanks on stage last night. Perhaps it was a wise idea on hindsight. You can't ask a Bengali to be brief.

Pics from last night...on meeting friends old and new and making new ones

With Vernika Awal of Delectable Reveries who was the runners up
in the best general food blag category. A talented young blogger and friend

Old friends who stand the test of time
Sameer Malkani who threw the evening opne

Packed house. Not used to sitting in the front as you can see

With Nikhil Kamath who came from Delhi
Sumana Mukherjee from Nagpur

Rohan and Andrew whose blog http://bombayreport.com/ I enjoyed reading
Co-winners in bes restaurant review category yesterday
Waiting for it to start

This year I accepted the offer to be a part of the jury too
The categories were kept separate and jury votes were by secret ballot
so I could participate in one category and be a part of the jury in another

I was rather happy