Food Instagramers at the first ‘Instameet’ held at an eatery nestled inside a bookstore in Central Delhi. (Press Trust of India)

Bonding over food has gone to a whole new level among city food enthusiasts who are utilizing Instagram, the free online photo and video sharing platform, to post vivid and mouth-watering gastronomic experiences.

Food enthusiasts, including reviewers, bloggers, chefs etc. came together for a first of a kind meet —Delhi Foodies Insta Meet held at the Cha Bar, a coffee shop nestled inside the Oxford Bookstore in Delhi.

“The idea was to meet and get to know each other and make it an event. While ‘instameets’ of this kind are very popular internationally here it is kind of a novelty,” says Roma Malhotra who organized the first #DelhiFoodiesInstaMeet.

A total of 28 food lovers participated in the first meet, using the occasion to familiarize themselves with people whom they had known only by their handles, besides offering advice and feedback with one another.

Some even used the platform to bounce off ideas to make the event bigger and spread its reach by roping in sponsors.

While the culture of “foodgramming” i.e. posting pictures of favorite meals has taken off, various restaurants and eateries have used it to their advantage by inviting bloggers and instagrammers for special food tasting sessions in return for a review.

“We believe that the reputation of the industry is getting tarnished because if you have a decent number of followers on your blog of Instagram, you are invited to these chef’s tables and various restaurants to review their new offerings and are expected to write a positive review,” says Malhotra.

Malhotra says she wants the passion of the foodies to remain alive and not get drowned in the market of fancy and upscale restaurants.

“We tied up with Indiameets, a popular handle that aims to popularize instameets of various kinds. All of us are foodgrammers and some of us just don’t write on food but also on fashion and beauty too but we are all passionate about food,” says Malhotra.

Malhotra who is also a blogger says the meet threw up ideas to make the event bigger, with some suggesting the formation of a YouTube channel.

“Somebody wanted to do a YouTube channel with quick 20 second videos of places in Delhi associated with food. Maybe in the near future it will turn into a reality where participants will be able to upload information of say for example the hidden food gems in Chandni Chowk,” says Malhotra.

The average age group of people who attended the first Delhi Instagram event ranged between 18 to 27 year-old, the according to the organizer.

Apoorv Saini, one Instagramer who attended the meet says it was a “delicious event.”

“Instagramers, photographers and food bloggers from all over Delhi and NCR attended the meet and had a fantastic brunch while they shared their amazing stories of being a foodie to food blogging and how they found their love for food,” says Saini.

“The journey for this food enthusiast has just begun and they hope to make it bigger and make such social meets livelier and interesting in the future,” he says.

For Malhotra it is the beginning of an exciting journey.

The blogger who has been active for over 3 years says she plans to host another event in another four or five months but the aim is to keep the occasion accessible to ordinary Instagramers and not get swayed by super bloggers and Instagramers who have mega follower base.