Suleman Raza: Why the ultimate culinary experience is a lot more than just food

Food is one of the most captivating elements to capture the fancy of humans since our existence began. It has never been about simply filling our stomachs. It has always been about enhancing our culinary experience to gain a lot more than just full tummies.



Suleman Raza, founder of the Spice Village Group and president of the Grand Sapphire Hotels & Banqueting, knows how to create the perfect culinary experience for guests. Here, Suleman reveals some of the secrets.

Ambiance matters

“Why do we prefer to dine out on special occasions when we could easily order in? Think about it,” says Raza. “The environment in which we eat our food matters. It always has.”

Come to think of it, even in our homes, we all have our preferred nooks for every kind of meal or beverage. A cup of tea by the window, snacking in front of the television, or a full meal at the dining table — we all have our favourites. And of course, if it’s a special occasion, we choose a dining space by first deciding on the ambiance.

Service makes a difference

“If the service is good, we can even forgive a little disappointment on the taste front. But if the service is bad, even the best dishes in the world cannot save that culinary experience,” says Raza.

Attentive servers, the chef coming by to have a little chat, and maybe the owner keeping an eye on service standards and ensuring that everything is alright — all these elements come together to add to the experience of a wholesome meal while eating out.

Lastly, it’s all about that special ingredient called love

“There’s nothing cheesy about the fact that even with the most skilled chefs cooking up the best dishes in the world at the best restaurants, a culinary experience is incomplete without the element of love,” says Raza.

Indeed, when dining with friends, family, or our partners, every culinary experience seems more magical. Take this element out of the equation, and all other efforts cease to make an impact.

In addition to his entrepreneurial pursuits, Raza also uses his success to run socially impactful campaigns such as the ‘One million meals’ campaign. And just as he explains, with the help of these three elements mentioned above, there’s a lot more to a culinary experience than meets our eye or even our taste buds.


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