Ahhh, 2017 is coming to an end and what a year it has been. It was an year, where my blogging journey took a new turn and definitely, I experienced few new things. So, this blogpost is dedicated as a lookback on my learning journey.
“Good morning, this is Mir Afsar Ali” the phone came in the morning, maybe after 10 minutes I reached office and that was mid this year, 2017… And to be honest, I didn’t have any single idea, this phone call will change my life like this. Now, god knows when, Mir thought of a concept of a web series showcasing and featuring food … and the first partner in this crime was Sunando. And, as his fat, middle aged food connoisseur kaka, I took place. The concept is pretty simple, to showcase the versatility of food offerings with a web series and that too, with a comic relief. Wherein, gradually, it’ll be an online interactive platform, where good food joints across Bengal can be showcased. And, within just a few weeks, my identity almost changed from FoodBlogger Indrajit Lahiri to Foodka … And, this single vlog is teaching me a lot of things …
In Kolkata, we hardly get to see new cuisine … but this year, we got to see few new interesting cuisine pop-ups. And, here’s a lookback to them …
The Sheherwali cuisine originated from a land of extreme climate- Rajastan, where food was cooked to last for a long time and reheating deals was not needed. The scarcity of water was compensated with the liberal use of milk and ghee. Lentils and beans replaced fresh vegetables, and gram flour, corn and bajra were also used extensively. Spicy and bold dominant flavors ruled the cuisine . Saffron, rose water, herbs were few used with opulence to increase the flavor, as Rajastan royal kitchens were influenced by the moghuls. But, at the same time, mustard oil is heavily used, owning its roots to Bengal. An experience for the same was initiated by the group Good Vegetarian Food … and needless to say, it was an amazing experience.
Bohri cuisine is one of the most underrated and less available cuisines. AS per my knowledge goes, it originated from the Shia muslim community in Yemen, who later traveled largely to western India and Pakistan. Thus there is a strong gujrati confluence in it as well as an overdose of meat, and we loved it in the Bohri pop-up organized by ITC Sonar.
Kashmiri cuisine is a rarity in Kolkata, or rather the eastern part. But Hyatt Regency gave us an experience on the same.
Cook offs- the battle witnessed
Apart from usual tasting sessions, we witnessed two interesting cook-offs in 2017 in the city of joy. And, here’s a brief…
Corporate cook off at Holiay Inn Kolkata :
Six teams, twenty-four Chefs, one and a half hours and the outcome? An array of delectable dishes of Asian & Indian cuisine. The first ever Corporate Cook Off organised by Holiday Inn Kolkata Airport was a big success !!! and surprisingly, I was invited to judge the competition …
Blogger’s cook off :
We, as food bloggers are generally used to taste the food and review / comment on them. But what happens behind the curtain, mostly remain unseen by us. And Oberoi Grand arranged a cook-off among us bloggers to put us on the other side of the table ….. and the expat chefs along with honorary Thai Consulate team were there to judge us. Again, surprisingly, our team won the title of runners up there.
The foreign consulate chapter :
Apart from hotels, getting an invitation from a consulate office is always a sense of recognition for us, bloggers. And this year two consulates, namely honorary Italian Consulate and honorary French consulate invited us to be a part of their celebrations.
Staycation in a city Hotel :
I am used to food tasting sessions, but staycation in Kolkata itself was something new to me and thanks to Westin Kolkata, myself along with my family got to experience it
Witnessing a CSR event and empowering the tribal community :
food cooked by renowned chefs in town is a regular thing for any food blogger. But, when home chefs from a CSR project by Tata Group gets to showcase their culinary skills to the city, it’s an event of pure joy …
You can check my detailed post on Samvad by Tata Group here
Kid’s masterclass :
In 2017, J W Marriott had organized a series of cook offs for the kids … And the talented culinary team from the J W marriott team tried to train them on a number of items like, pizza, chocolate, Doughnut. My son attended a couple of them and the good part is, the workshop’s were priced very reasonably at 500/- per session.
And, the year-end was studded with christmas wishes from corners of the city and with folded hands, I’d like to love Kolkata for the experiences and love shown. Thus, looking forward to a great learning session in 2018, goodbye 2017 …..
Bon apetit !!!
Comments and critics welcome.
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