Let's rewind back to the year 2015. I was working as an Art Director at The Republic designing creatives for restaurants and bars. And here it is quite common for working professionals to hire a Bai to prepare their daily meals and in most cases one doesn't get to communicate with them beyond once every fortnight. With a job like mine it also meant little to no communication time with Bharti (my Bai) and with no mobile phone provision, she was left to her own devices when it came to meal prep.

After a series of disastrous meals it was either staying satisfied with one disappointing fare after the other or finding an alternative mode of communication. And out of that necessity came Gastropictionary- my way of using visuals as a bridge where oral communication failed.
Gastropictionary in America
After I quit my job at The Republic, I took a sabbatical and went to the US. I started my journey in the US with San Francisco. I  went to some of the most fun restaurants and placed my order through hand drawn illustrations of food ingredients. The intention was to get through cultural barriers and understand different cuisines without the use of verbal language as primary tool. It was also a good excuse for me to try different food and connect with the locals there. I got a few wrong orders. But 90% of my drawings got me the food I meant to order. I covered over 30 restaurants in San Francisco and a lot more in New York and a few more in places like Rhode Island, Michigan, Lake Tahoe and Indio, California. Below are illustrations from some of the restaurants I tried gastropictionary in.

New York
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