“My feet start itching when I’m sitting at home,” says chef Saransh Goila. Clearly British tourism’s heavyweight body VisitBritain heard of this when they offered him and his production company, OneDigital, a food and travel show, which will air only online.
The Spice Traveller debuted on Goila’s YouTube channel last week and comprises 20 episodes. These will be aired on Mondays and Thursdays in a made-for-web format which purports to be the first-of-its-kind in India. “We did a lot of research and found people are inclined to change to another video after an average of eight minutes because their attention wanders, so we’ve consciously kept our episodes between six to 10 minutes. However, trying to fit in all that I’ve experienced over the course of the 10-day shoot in England and Scotland into a few minutes and present it in a cohesive manner to the audience was a real challenge,” says Goila.
The show has Goila immersing himself in all things Britannia (the island, not the biscuit company): from being initiated into the mysteries of cheddar cheese-making and designing a kilt to spending the day on a trout farm. “Most people don’t go beyond London or Edinburgh when they visit the UK and they don’t really see the UK as a food destination; the idea behind this series was to change these perceptions.
The British themselves aren’t really aware of places such as Cotswold or Fife and their cultural significance,” says Goila. As for Indians, it’s a chance to see Britain beyond the guidebooks, learn about where the things we take for granted come from. “I mean, how can you go to Scotland and not tour a distillery,” he exclaims.
Since the show began airing, Goila and his team have started receiving offers from tourism boards of countries as varied as New Zealand and Kenya to explore their cultures and cuisines.