We all love food.
There is a group that loves desserts, while another group loves biryani. But it is almost impossible to find someone who does not have a favourite food.
Many people have multiple favourite foods, and if asked about what they love most – oops, it can be big trouble.
Food makes everyone happy – especially whenever we get to eat our favourite meal – we are the happiest.
Every person has a food story and recently, a group of top bosses at some large corporations have revealed their food stories to The Business Standard.
Shehzad Munim, Managing Director, British American Tobacco, Bangladesh
He smiled and immediately said, "beef and paratha."
His answer was simple. Beef curry with paratha is a traditional cuisine often enjoyed by Bangladeshi households for breakfast. Many people prefer homemade bread or chapatis with beef, but for Munim, there is nothing more delicious than freshly made parathas served with spicy beef curry. Munim joined BAT as a territory officer in 1997 after he graduated from IBA at Dhaka University. In his long career with the company, he had had to travel to many places inside the country and overseas for work.
"Every time we are out on a market-visit we would try out the local food," he said adding that during market visits he often asks the territory officer about the local restaurants and cuisines worth trying as he is a big fan of Bangladeshi food.
Munim recalled a story to explain his love for beef and paratha. "During a work trip to Singapore with my colleagues, one evening, I was craving my favourite dish and announced that I was going to eat beef and paratha at an Indian restaurant. I invited my colleagues to join me, and some of them came along," he said.
Asked about his kitchen experiments, Munim said that he would make Sujir Halwa, a very popular sweet in every Bangladeshi household, and his wife lovedit. The IBA grad also noted that during his university days, he would often eat at Nirob Hotel, a favourite restaurant of almost every Dhaka University student.
Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer, Robi Axiata Limited
When it comes to food, the Chief Executive Officer of Robi Axiata Limited is a true adventurer.
"I grew up in Old Dhaka, and I love all the foods that you can find there," he said. As the conversation picked up, the Robi boss took a stroll down the memory lane and said that since his roots are in Old Dhaka, his tastebuds still held the flavours from that part of the city.
"Back then, there was Alu puri in the morning and Dal puri in the afternoon. Many people preferred biryani every day – Murag Pulao and Tehari in the morning and Kacchi in the afternoon" he said recalling his early childhood.
After so many years when he has become the top boss of Robi, Mahtab still looks out for his favourite items every time he is visiting Old Dhaka.
"My family lives abroad, so every time they are here, we would visit our Old Dhaka family-home, and on our way we will drop by at some of the most iconic food places in the locality. For example, we will stop at Nirob Hotel for tea with khasta paratha or pick up some Bakorkhani at Nazimuddin Road on our way, and sometimes I indulge on the dinner buns you find at Ananda Bakery and Noorani drink at Chawk Bazar," he said with a joy in his voice.
"But my most favourite is the tea they serve at Star Kabab and Restaurant. Many things have changed over the years, but the food in that area still tastes the same," he also said, adding that the streetfoods of Bangshal had been his favourite for years.
Asked if he loved to cook, Mahtab said that he liked cooking and would make Roshmalai and Kheer sometimes as he was a fan of desserts.
KSM Minhaj, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever Consumer Care Limited
Minhaj is a big fan of street food.
The Dhaka College Alumni and Dhaka University graduate has spent a major portion of his youth on the Dhaka University campus and its adjoining areas. When asked about food, he mentioned that he loved chotpoti, fuchka and bhapa pitha around TSC.
"I am a chaat-lover. I would often eat the fuchka", he said adding that he loved to eat different varieties of food.
"Woodhouse Grill is one of my favourite restaurants and I love the steak there. One of my former colleagues owns the restaurant and he makes sure that I always get the best service," he also said.
"I love the twister burger from Takeout and often visit the outlet with my family. I also love Korean and Japanese food, but my forever favourite is Kacchi Biryani," Minhaj said.
Minhaj elaborated on the type of Kacchi Biriyani he loves to eat.
"I love to eat the kacchi biryani they serve at weddings. The most important of that biriyani is the analysis of the food taste after the feast. The debate that follows the feast makes the biriyani even more delightful," he said.
Minhaj has a deep relationship with the kitchen, as he loves to cook. He fell in love with cooking even more during the coronavirus shutdowns. "I have been experimenting with my cooking skills sometimes when I get time. But during the lockdown, I have improved a lot. Now, I can make roshogolla and golab jamun," he also said.
Tanvir A Mishuk, Managing Director, Nagad
Another fan of Kacchi Biriyani is Nagad's top boss. Mishuk loves to eat too, but his love for Kacchi Biriyani is unparalleled.
During a recent conversation with The Business Standard, Mishuk revealed the type of biriyani he loved to eat.
"If you ask me about food, I would say Kacchi Biriyani is my favourite. There are lots of restaurants where you can find Kacchi Biriyani, but the type I like is the one they serve at weddings," he said.
Mishuk also revealed why he loved the special "biye-barir" kacchi biriyani.
"When you go to a wedding, you get to see pure happiness. Two people are coming into a union, two families are getting close and there are a positive vibe and happiness all around you. I love to see happy faces. I love to see happy people around me.
The feeling of sitting amid happy people and eating my favourite meal makes it even tastier," he said.
Adnan Imtiaz Halim, Chief Executive Officer, Sheba XYZ
Adnan's food reflects his simple personality. During a conversation, he said that he loved deshi foods. "I do not like rice, but I am a home-made deshi food lover that includes bhorta, basic salads and vegetables," he said.
"I do not eat that much but when I do, I prefer fish over meat and local deshi food over overseas cuisine. I like to keep it simple and basic. My preference is rather grilled fish and barbeque over curry," he also said.
Adnan eats a balanced diet that consists of whole meals and is balanced with vegetables and fruits. As one of the most successful entrepreneurs of Bangladesh, he gives importance to his health because only good health can ensure the strength required to run a sustainable business.
Asked about his experiments in the kitchen, Adnan smiled and said that his wife had mastered the art of cooking and he loved the food she cooked. With a lot of simplicity and a grin on his face, Adnan said that Star Kabab and Restaurant was one of his favourite restaurants.
"I love Star Kabab food. If I am eating breakfast, I would take a tandoori roti along with the curry available and tea. If I am there in the evening, I prefer grill. But a cup of tea is must," he said with a smile.
Emran Hasan, Chief Executive Officer, Shanta Asset Management
"Its sushi!" Emran said with a big smile.
The chief executive officer of Shanta Asset Management loves to eat different types of foods and at the core are the homecooked khichuri and beef.
Although he did not cook, but he said that his mom and wife were both brilliant in their cooking skills and he loved to indulge in the food they cooked from time to time.
But he said that his favourite was Sushi, which he first came across during his school days.
"My father used to work for a Japanese company and I first tasted Sushi at a dinner hosted by his Japanese colleague," Emran recalled adding that the first attempt to eat raw fish was not very tempting.
"It was not very easy to gulp down the raw fish," he laughed and said that till date he had tried different types of sushi in Bangladesh and many countries around the world.
Emran said he also loves to eat deshi food particularly different types of bhorta and he would often eat out with his family.