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Charity begins @Signatures

Food has a way of bringing people together. And in this particular instance, it’s bringing philanthropy into its taste trail of flavours. Bringing the best chefs in the city together, pouring over recipes, to curate a one of a kind, supper that promotes charity, the Food Lovers’ Chefs for Charity Potluck that will take place on February 25 consists of 16 chefs, curating a meal full of signatures at Lalit Ashok’s lush garden.

The brainchild of Food Lovers’ Kripal Amanna, this delectable and charitable meal was inspired by how gastronomy and charity can together make a difference. And if it comes packed with such exotic flavours, why not, right? The foodie has 60 signature dishes in an early bird offer of Rs 1,750.

“The idea of food going past its taste trail, this particular chefs for charity’s  proceeds will be donated to registered organisation, recommended by each chef among which are Angel’s Orphanage, Colours of Life, CRY, Cuddles Foundation, Goonj, Parikrma Humanity Foundation, Kritgyata Trust, Mathrushree Manovikasa Kendra, Round Table India, Sai Healing Trust, Sankara Eye Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages, St. Gaspar Charitable and Educational Trust, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Volontariat    

For Chef Suvaranjan Banerjee of Lalit Ashok, who’s rustling up signature Khanom Tom Khao, it was a matter of tradition, “Oko has the traditional Thai dessert which is a signature. A dessert prepared in Thai homes, and enjoyed on major festivals such as Songkran. It is a sweet dumpling with a filling of coconut and jaggery, sealed in a green pouch made of rice flour.”

On a charitable note, he adds, “No other culinary event happens in such a grand scale across India.” The ticketed event began humbly and Kripal explains, “About eight to 10 years ago, I was working with chefs, and discovered that they were helping an orphanage by donating bread, curries, trimmings. The chefs were going beyond the call of duty to help those in need, that moved me to organise this act of giving. The vision was to galvanise this act of giving into a much bigger, cohesive and sustainable force.” But that is not all, from one cause in its first year, 2017 sees it supporting 16 causes.

Who wouldn’t want to be dined and wined by 16 restaurants and expert chefs and go back heart and tummy happy? Kripal feels that this access to 16 restaurants and chefs putting out four signature dishes each, which brings the meal quotient to 64 dishes, spanning 11 cuisines, is the best part. “We call it a gourmet grazing experience,” he adds.

The seasoned Chef Abhijit Saha, Fava who has fashioned a Tenderloin Stuffed Turkish Style Ravioli, says, “It is a wonderful platform bringing food and philanthropy together.”

There is Chef Suresh Thampy, executive chef, Sheraton Grand Bangalore who’s Muhammara, a Persian dish, he explains, “We chose it as it is unique. One needs experienced people to get it right. We have Chef Gopal who will be making it,” and he goes on to add, “Since each restaurant/hotel has four dishes, there is no financial burden — it is a shared effort. The Persian Terrace will help children from Chennapura village (Shree Sai Healing Trust), in welfare and education.”

A meal that encompasses the best of the best… and also brings foodography and philanthropy together, Kripal adds, “What’s great is that there is so much to choose from. Our Chefs for Charity regulars often skip dinner the previous night, and breakfast in order to do justice to the lavish spread. Also, 50 percent of the menu is vegetarian.”

Chef Balaji Balachander, Salt, is serving the Olive Masala Paniyaram, a stuffing of olive, mushroom and cheese with tomato garlic chutney. “My work partner Michael Anthony based in Puducherry actively participates in providing aid to an organisation Volontariat that provides shelter and care for orphaned children,” says chef Balaji.

On an average, Kripal has raised up to Rs 4-5 lakh with each edition but the best take, he feels is how both chefs and customers start interacting with these causes even beyond the event. Delicious bests, in a meal extravaganza that goes on to give a new lease of life to the needy, “Any one who is a ‘food lover’, will not get a better opportunity to witness the best of the city come together for such a noble cause,” he concludes.

Poke

Ingredients
50 gm salmon
50 gm seabass
10 gm quinoa
10 gm spring onions
5 gm sesame seeds
5 gm bird’s eye chilli
5 gm charred jalapeno
10 ml olive oil
3 gm ginger
3 ml light soy
3 gm dehydrated lemon
2 gm freeze-dried dashi
5 gm fennel micro-greens
50 ml tomato distillate
4 gm Spanish onion
10 ml lemon juice
Method
Blitz tomato distillate with xanthan, heat and chill.
Mix ingredients except fennel and micro greens.
Pour distillate around the poke mixture.
Add micro greens and toasted sesame seeds.
Dress with some olive oil

— Recipe courtesy Le Jardin, The Oberoi, Bangalore

Muhammara

Ingredients
15 gm sun dried tomatoes
30 gm walnuts
15 gm Turkish chilli paste
10 gm pomegranate sauce
5 gm salt
10 gm pepper powder
10 gm olive oil
10 gm paprika powder

Method
Blend walnuts and sundried tomatoes together.
Add in the Turkish chilli paste, pomegranate sauce, paprika powder, pepper powder, salt and olive oil gradually.
If the paste is too thick, add ice water and blend.
Garnish and serve with pita bread.

— Recipe courtesy The Persian Terrace, Sheraton Grand Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway


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