Food Lab 2021


To say this past year has been stressful would be an understatement. Every routine we were familiar with was disrupted, and all our attention was directed to the virtual world – to stay connected with friends and family, for entertainment, and of course, for work. One of the most pleasurable activities – cooking together, eating together – was no longer possible for so many in the way we were used to. And yet, one of the greatest escapes of this time has been food. Thinking about food. Consuming it through YouTube videos and Instagram reels. Experimenting with recipes both elaborate and simple. Connecting through food by sharing photos and videos of things we cooked with family and friends, or on social media.
 But food is so much more than that. At a time when we are questioning the ways in which we consume, food is one of the areas in which inequality is glaring. Food consumption is intrinsically tied to our environment and the positive and negative impact in can have on it. In a country like India, the food histories and traditions are immeasurable.
For this year’s Serendipity Arts Residency, we invite two residents to think about the power of food, and all aspects associated with it through a Food Lab. We invite you to address a variety of issues including Food Origins/History; Food Inequality/Sustainability; Food Policy; Food and Culture/Traditions, Nutrition, Food Writing and even Food Design, or any other topic within this area of inquiry.
Over a 3-month period, between Aug-Oct 2021, we intend to run this as hybrid residency model which is part virtual part physical (conditions permitting), with an outcome being showcased at our Foundation C340 space. We hope to supplement this residency with a robust programme of (online) talks and workshops.
We are keen to keep the outcome of the residency as flexible as possible, and invite residents to think about creative and experimental ways in which they can present their work. Given current circumstances, although we hope to be able to showcase the work physically, we encourage residents to think about the ways in which the work can be presented virtually as well.


  • Please fill out the Google form below in order to apply
  • Project proposal – Please submit a 500 word proposal clearly stating the intent of the project and the envisioned outcome of the residency 
  • Bio – A brief bio consisting of a maximum of 150 words
  • Supporting information – This could be links to texts/publications/projects previously worked on associated with the culinary, or any information which would help us understand the impetus behind your proposal
  • Deadline for submission: July 07, 2021
  • Age limit: There is no age limit for this residency
  • Who is this residency for?
    • Only for Indian Residents
    • Culinary students
    • Chefs
    • Food critics
    • Food Historians
    • Environmentalists who work closely with food sustainability
    • Artists who work with food
    • Food Designers
    • Anyone from any field who has worked closely with food with a clear idea for a project
  • Residency Timeline: August – October 2021,  With August and September sessions held online, and the October session and showcase to be in person in New Delhi (if conditions permit)


  • Can I apply with a preexisting physical project that can be developed further?
  • Yes, an existing project can be further developed, keeping within the application guidelines of the Food Lab Residency, and keeping in mind the final outcome of the residency
  • Can I apply for the residency as a Duo/Collective?
  •   No, the Residency is only open to a single resident
  • Can the project be interdisciplinary?
  • Yes, but the focus of the Residency must be on the areas mentioned in the guidelines – food history/sustainability. Note: What are interdisciplinary projects? Interdisciplinary projects are proposals which go beyond a single area of practice and inquiry in Art, Literature, Science etc.


Sohail Hashmi is a historian, academician and filmmaker. He is well-known for his immersive Delhi Heritage Walks for children and adults.  Hashmi also writes about about Delhi, a city he loves, its food, languages, water bodies and monuments in Urdu, Hindi and English, and is an avid cook. He writes and blogs on issues related to culture, language, education and communalism. Sohail Hashmi is the founding Trustee of SAHMAT (Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust).
Manu Chandra is the chef partner, responsible for the hugely fun and first of its kind Gastropub brand–Monkey Bar in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi; the trendy Asian Gastro Bar The Fatty Bao in Mumbai,Delhi and Bangalore and more recently Toast & Tonic–the East Village inspired International restaurantand bar in Bangalore. He is also executive chef of the much-acclaimed Olive Beach in Bangalore. Manu’s passion for food surfaced at a young age, thanks largely to a foodie family. Manu enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Hyde Park, New York, where he apprenticed with some of the City’s most celebrated kitchens, including Restaurant Daniel, Le Bernardin, Gramercy Tavern, Café Centro, Jean Georges and Town and also opened the now legendary Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Manhattan. A lover of slow cooking, Manu leans towards painstakingly controlled and cooked things, a process that enables one to extract flavours and textures. On the flip side, he’s fond of incredibly fast cooking, which keeps the integrity of ingredients and freshness intact. A minimalist, he believes that removing an ingredient rather than adding one usually improves the flavour of a dish.
Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi, a graduate of the International Culinary Centre in NYC, lives in Mumbai and writes mostly about food and travel for several publications. She is a contributing editor at Vogue magazine, and has been published in Conde Nast Traveller, Roads & Kingdoms, The Hindu, Mint Lounge,, The Hindu, Saveur, The Guardian, and Travel + Leisure, among others. 
Over her 15-year career, she has been the food editor at Time Out Magazine, the restaurant critic at Hindustan Times, and the food columnist at (the erstwhile) Mumbai Boss, and The Daily Pao. She currently writes across Conde Nast publications in India, and reviews restaurants for Brown Paper Bag.  Roshni is crazy about obscure ingredients, and she always knows where to go back for seconds. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @roshnibajaj.