Food Stories: Tale of a community, adversity & a humble peanut | Rakesh Raghunathan | TEDxChennai

Rakesh Raghunathan illustrates the unique power of food to unite people with three intriguing stories that bring to the fore, tales of communal harmony , adversity ending with a really unique anecdote on the humble peanut. Rakesh Raghunathan is a food raconteur, with an abiding interest in food history and practices, and their interaction with socio-cultural norms. His journeys as a food traveler have taken him to the nooks and corners of South India, to discover a vast repertoire of indigenous food. His travels are documented in the form of a television show hehosts on a regional channel. A prolific cook himself, Rakesh however loves the role of the interested observer, as he engages with communities, learning about the diverse ways in which they grow food, cook, eat, and live. His blog Puliyogare Travels is popular for its interesting recipes, as also the stories and legends behind them. Rakesh has also taken food to the realm of the performative. His cookery workshops are a sensory and aesthetic experience with an element of drama thrown in, as he breaks into song every now and then. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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