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Thursday, January 7, 2016

World’s Biggest Young Chef Olympiad For Culinary Students

When I was invited for an exclusive food bloggers meet with Mr.Suborno Bose, the director of IIHM and Celebrity Chef Shaun Kenworthy at IBIS in Mumbai, I had no clue that there was an important event brewing up and the young chefs from 67 countries were to come together for an event called ‘Young Chef Olympiad’ This is an event that will bring the whole culinary world under one umbrella. Some of the well known chefs, and the important people from food industry from all over world have been roped in as consultants and judges.

Over a cup of Cappuccino, I learnt about this biggest ever event that is to take place on our 67th Republic day in Delhi that will bring culinary world together.  The students who will participate in this event are the best young student chefs that will represent their country; these are the students who are undergoing graduation in food and hospitality in their part of the world.

The format is that the event will be held in four cities over the period of six days. Starting with Grand opening ceremony on 27th Jan 2016 at Talkatora Indoor stadium, New Delhi;

In the round one in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, the students from 67 countries will participate in the competition, Round two will be narrowed down to seven participants in Kolkata, who will then compete in finals at Kolkata on 1st February 2016

The competition will be on their creativity and the techniques they use while churning out a dish. There will be marks on cleanliness and hygiene and how effectively they use their ingredients. For example: if they are given 600 grams of fish with its skin on, and 500 grams of potatoes, they are asked to cook for four people, then they are judged on how they utilize the ingredients proportionately. Another example, if they are asked to cook three course meal and not allowed to same ingredient twice, then how they used their creativity. Thus they will be judged on their skills.

This event will be important because it will connect different chefs, mentors and well known personals from food industry around the world, and the students will be able to learn new techniques through interaction with other students from different parts of the world.

Looking forward to this events, I am sure it will be the most interesting and a good learning experience for young chefs.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Traditional Asian Meals at China Bistro

I love folk tales and also love food stories, so when I got an invite from FBAI for Food-bloggers meet at China Bistro with the promise of listening to the stories about terracotta army of the first Emperor of China, King Qin Shi Huang, I couldn’t refuse.

The story starts at the entrance itself where two terracota warriors at the gate and one at the door welcomes you at the entrance.

The interior of the China Bistro at Worli (they have four branches spread across city of Mumbai) is very appealing with chinese paintings on the walls, and the restaurant divided into sections of different shapes and sizes for private dining experience.

I was guided to a well-lit room, big enough to seat 12 people, table arranged with great precision so that one could identify the non-vegetarian and vegetarian from a gold and silver ribbons wound around folded napkin.

The story, as was narrated by Mr.Nikhil, (the party host), was about Chinese Warriors, who tended to be more romantic and had distinct personality as influenced by Confucianism and the same reflected in the way they ate. Their food had earthy flavors that possessed the resemblance to their charm, strength and indignation with the use of spice and local meats. Like their King, they protected their recipes too. China Bistro believes that terracota warriors came to protect these recipes like they protected him in his afterlife, behind his grave.

The secret unfolded as the colorful drinks made their appearance at the tables. I had ordered ‘Watermelon and Basil Mojito’ that I sipped throughtout the meals, crunching on the soft watermelon pieces in between meals. There was a great variety of drinks (Cucumber and Wasabi Mojito, Green Apple and Basil Margarita, blue-moon Martini, Raspberry Mojito,etc and each catered to individual’s palate. Bellini seemed to be the favorite of all (I took just one sip out of curiousity ) and was on our table discussion for the longest time.

I am still relishing on the taste palate that had stumped me on that day. (Okay, I am still drooling) When there is a large variety to choose from, one is confused on which ones to linger on. it is advisable to just take a spoonful of each. We often forget that and start devoring all the dishes in large quantity till tummy protests to stop. But who can resist when the food is tasty?

Yes, I had all these dishes, but was only able to nibble on small portion to get their taste. If I had to go back again, I would order only two starters, my favorite  would be `Korean BBQ chicken’ (the sizzling hot, tender chicken was amazing) and pancake-shaped Boa, that seems to be the latest trend, it was soft and sweetest, it paired wonderfully with BBQ Pickled Chicken.

Okay I was too stuffed and wanted to go for a small walk. A small contest for best photographs and some quiz was held in-between meals for some interaction while we cooled and cleansed our palate with lychee popsicle.

This was followed by dinner of some more food (actually plenty more). Having nibbled on all the dishes, there was appetite for some more. Had I feasted on starters, I would not have been able to enjoy the delicious dinner.  I loved the Thai Green Curry with Jasmine Rice, it took me back to the memories of my Bangkok visit.

I am not too fond of desserts and did not taste the Thai Guave icecream and Sponge Cake with Caramel Topping, but I think that everybody was too full and were not able to eat/relish the big piece of sponge cake either (such a waste to eat only half and leave the rest in plates)

China Bistro is a good choice for me and I would definitely visit again, I like spicy, delicately cooked and tasty food and the cuisine here did not disappoint……

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