Global chefs are fly­ing to this food hub in India

Khaleej Times - - FRONT PAGE - Jaideep Sarin

Am­rit­sar has al­ways been fa­mous for its rich food. Think stuffed breads called

kulchas, grilled Am­rit­sari fish, the but­ter chicken, thick, creamy sweet­ened but­ter­milk with saf­fron. But when in­ter­na­tional-level chefs de­scend on this Sikh holy city next month to fill the city with the aroma of their food art, it will be a culi­nary treat of a dif­fer­ent kind.

Chefs from at least 40 coun­tries are ex­pected to par­tic­i­pate in the World Heritage Cui­sine Sum­mit & Food Fes­ti­val 2018 be­ing held at the his­toric Gobindgarh Fort from Oc­to­ber 12 to 14.

“Two chefs from each of these 40 coun­tries will present their heritage culi­nary art skills, share their knowl­edge and make Live demon­stra­tions,” said Chef Man­jit Singh Gill, Cor­po­rate Chef, ITC Ho­tels, and chair­man of WorldChefs (which has 12 mil­lion chefs across 108 mem­ber-na­tions).

Ad­di­tion­ally, two chefs from at least 20 In­dian states will also dis­play and demon­strate their skills and knowl­edge. The fo­cus of the event will be on tra­di­tional food from par­tic­i­pat­ing states and coun­tries.

The chefs will show­case the best of their eth­nic food and heritage and the phi­los­o­phy of food. There will also be a chefs’ pa­rade to the Golden Tem­ple fol­lowed by lunch and lan­gar (kitchen) pre­sen­ta­tion.

“Seek­ers of au­then­tic culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ences will be de­lighted at this first event of its kind in In­dia. It will cater to all man­ner of palates — the reg­u­lar foodie, the one with ad­ven­tur­ous taste­buds, the gourmet, and the epi­curean. What’s cook­ing, you ask? We’ll have to wait and see. But it prom­ises to be a cel­e­bra­tion of long-stand­ing food tra­di­tions.

It is the first time an in­ter­na­tional food event on such a scale is be­ing held in In­dia.

Pre­sented along­side the Mas­ter Chefs’ recipes will be age-old tech­niques from across Pun­jab.

Gill is among the torch-bear­ers of var­i­ous global ini­tia­tives like Chefs Man­i­festo SDGs —Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals.

“The chefs’ aim is to cook and cre­ate hap­pi­ness with his tasty food, they bridge the gap be­tween the farm and fork by in­flu­enc­ing what we grow, what we put on our plates and how we think and talk about food. If chefs take a lead in sus­tain­abil­ity is­sues — such as tack­ling food waste and sus­tain­able sourc­ing — din­ers, farm­ers, busi­ness and even govern­ment will fol­low,” Gill said.

The au­di­ence at the Am­rit­sar food event will com­prise stu­dents, chefs and food en­thu­si­asts. Though open to the public, the show will be tick­eted.

Chef Gill, him­self a Sikh with roots from Pun­jab, said, “Pun­jabi cui­sine is whole­some and fra­grant. Pre­pared with in­dul­gent dol­lops of ghee (clar­i­fied but­ter) and home-churned but­ter, it is flavour­ful and rich in spices”.

He spoke about how the “Cen­turies-long Per­sian, Afghan, Greek and Mon­gol in­flu­ences have en­sured the cui­sine is ro­bust and earthy, rich and ex­otic, all at the same time. In­dian bar­beque or ‘tan­doori’ is prob­a­bly one of the old­est forms of out­door cook­ing. Called

bhatthi, it is now a sta­ple in Pun­jab.”

If that hasn’t swayed you to book your flights to north In­dia, think about the kulfi and other desserts you’re miss­ing out on. To ex­pe­ri­ence the lan­gar right here in Dubai, how­ever, head to the Gu­rud­wara in Jebel Ali. The doors are al­ways open.

Chefs from 40 coun­tries will par­tic­i­pate in the fes­ti­val be­ing held at a fort in Am­rit­sar from Oc­to­ber 12 to 14... a chefs’ pa­rade to the Golden Tem­ple will be fol­lowed by lunch and

lan­gar pre­sen­ta­tion

WATCH THE POT: Gur­dayal Singh, head cook at the Golden Tem­ple in Am­rit­sar stirs a vat of lentils. He’s worked there for over 35 years, be­gin­ning as an ap­pren­tice and work­ing his way up. The Golden Tem­ple’s lan­gar serves up to 40.000 free meals a day. Vis­it­ing chefs will be given a tour of how this grand kitchen func­tions

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