Professor with background in French, Indian cuisineavailable to discuss "The Hundred-Foot Journey"

Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 08:57

In the movie "The Hundred-Foot Journey," the owner of a celebrated restaurant in a rural French village clashes with a family of immigrants from Mumbai, India, when they open their own restaurant across the street.

Bharath Josiam, professor of hospitality and tourism management at the University of North Texas and a native of Madras/Chennai, India, will offer a unique perspective to the movie, which opened earlier this month and has grossed $11 million more than its modest production budget.

Josiam received training in both classic French and Indian cuisine while earning the three-year diploma in hotel/restaurant management, culinary arts and nutrition from the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition in New Delhi. He chose to go into the management side of the hospitality industry. Josiam became the manager of Burgundy, a French restaurant owned by the master chef Robert Moncourt in new Delhi's five-star Ashok Hotel. Moncourt had opened the restaurant to introduce French cuisine in India, just as the movie's Kadam family introduces Indian food to a small French village.

Josiam says "The Hundred-Foot Journey" is true to life when the owner of the French restaurants begins connecting with the Indian family because of shared love of good food.

"The stresses, joys and triumphs in the restaurant business are the same, regardless of the type of cuisine. The goal is always to delight the customers through food and service," says Josiam, who adds that others have observed him making connections with chefs around the world within five minutes of meeting them.

He also notes that both Indian and French cuisine are constantly evolving based on changing tastes and preferences of patrons, as depicted in the movie.

"I think the movie did justice to both cuisines, and the kitchen scenes were very authentic," he says.

Josiam previously researched perceptions of Indian restaurants in the U.S. by Caucasian Americans, South Asians and those of other ethnic groups. The study was published in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.

Josiam may be reached at josiam@unt.edu or on his cellphone at 214-695-6216.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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