“Anything But Sugar” is the new sweet Brand which is taking Delhi by storm. Going by the initial response to the Experience Store that came up in South Delhi, ABS is already making heads turn; it would not be wrong to say it is offering something never experienced by Delhi before. Its unique concept of sweets made without white sugar is indeed unheard of in recent times.
White sugar, as your doctor will tell you, are best avoided and one needs to be cautious about consuming sweets as they too are made of white sugar. This naturally disappoints people with sweet tooth. But hold it. “Anything But Sugar” or ABS steps in here and offers sweets made of natural sugars like honey, jiggery, dates etc which are sweet but do not have harmful chemicals that white sugar have. So you can enjoy your sweets without having guilt. ABS is a new concept in the market and is already rage.
There is flurry of activity backstage in ABS store these days. The suave chef Jagdeep says, “The actual test is when we pass the litmus test of customers when they taste our products, appreciate them and come back for more. There is a flutter within us as well as excitement because once it’s a hit then we shall cross the first hurdle of acceptance of sweets made with natural sweeteners that would go a long way in changing the stakes from mindless eating to sensible eating necessary for nurturing a healthy society. We have done our bit in a unique sweet way!”
“Anything But Sugar,” says Ved Pohoja, “could actually come up with a melange of traditional sweets, confectioneries and even get adventurous with sweets from other countries because of Curator Chef Jagdeep”. His words for the celebrated chef sum up the culinary skills of the man who created an extensive range of 60-odd sweet tooth indulgences with the finesse of a magician. Mr Pohoja is the face of this partnership venture that aims to propagate the goodness of natural sweeteners as against white sugar in its products displayed at its experience store in south Delhi.
Recounting his journey with the ABS, the chef said, “I have been associated with Home for Food Traditions (HFT) since the last 6-7 years ago when it was established to promote Eat Right and Healthy, a concept that reflects in brand ABS of HFT, but with a twist. Here our focus is on replacing white sugar with traditional sweeteners as used by our forefather, who believed and respected the tradition of being in sync with nature. That was the key to their health and longevity without compromising on their sweet binge.”
Ruing the fact that different eating fads surface now and again on the diktat of consumer oriented markets pushing their vested interest by surviving on ignorance of people about what to eat, when to eat and how to eat, he is bullish about promoting the traditional culinary wisdom to an increasing population, particularly children and the youth, impacted by everything that is wrong being promoted in the guise of health and wellness. A man of few words, Chef Jagdeep deftly straddles the finicky and vibrant cuisine world keeping people satiated and happy by adding sweet and spice in their lives!
A man with a mission, Chef Jagdeep won’t settle for anything below the standard he has set for himself. A perfectionist to the core, he could be often seen taking a sweeping look at the staff at work in the large ABS kitchen facility with his experienced eyes coaxing them, encouraging them, appreciating them and even at times giving a crisp reprimand snapping them into action to meet his high standards of excellence, a reputation now famous in the hospitality industry.
With over 35 years in the food business with leading hotel chains such as The Taj Group, Mumbai, Landmark in Dubai, The Grand and Seven Seas Hotel, New Delhi and other places, Chef Jagdeep is the2008 Guinness World Record, holder for making the largest biryani dish that weighed 14.060 tonnes (30,996 lb) at one time. “The idea and intentions of ABS partners gave me the confidence to take up this challenging task of creating sweets made from natural sweeteners in over 60 varieties from regions across India and some even from abroad within a short span of six months. It was a wide palate aimed at catering to ‘sweet lovers’ from as varied a background,” he said, adding, “It was an experience of a lifetime and the process was equally exciting. There were innumerable trials and tastings of sweets made with different natural sweeteners such as jaggery, honey, palm sugar, cane sugar before the final product list was shortlisted.”