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King kitchen stirs up Games cuisines

The country’s biggest and soon-to-be busiest kitchen cooked and served 33 different delicacies on its opening day. Sneak peek into the kitchen at the Games Village

delhi Updated: Sep 17, 2010 00:29 IST
HT Correspondent

The country’s biggest and soon-to-be busiest kitchen cooked and served 33 different delicacies on its opening day.

Cuisines, including Asian, African and Continental were prepared for the “soft launch” of the Commonwealth Games Village on Thursday.

The kitchen functions on 120 tonnes of world-class culinary equipment flown in from London and dishes out 36,000 meals per day on a 24X7 cycle.

Behind the scene is a regime of strict hygiene and nutrition management.

Every worker picks out disposable caps from a dispenser to cover their heads inside the kitchen. They need to take a bath at the Catering Staff Muster Area before entering the kitchen. Sanitised uniforms are kept for them and there is also a tailor to see that the fit is as per guidelines.

The Cold Kitchen — temperature kept at 10°C — is where around 2,500 kg of vegetables, 700 kg of mutton, 800 kg of fruits and other such items are cut, chopped and diced every day. To avoid cross-contamination, each type of item is dealt with at different sections, using colour-coordinated chopping boards and containers.

“None of the items will be mixed. This ensures maximum hygiene,” said Ajay Grover, Consultant-Catering.
Outside it, the hot kitchen runs on Piped Natural Gas (PNG) supplied by Indraprastha Gas Limited and there is no source of open fire anywhere.

“Some of the kitchen staff from India upon entering for the first time were looking for the stove. There is no stove in the traditional sense,” said Jiji Thomson, head of catering at the Village.

Delaware North Company (DNC) from Australia and their Indian Partner Tajsats did 15 days of food tasting.

After the food is cooked, they are quickly transferred to a heavy-duty fridge that can decrease the temperature of a vessel full of boiling hot curry to -20°C, in which food is kept. “This arrests the nutrition right after cooking and keeps its goodness intact at the time of the serving,” said Grover.

The dishes are washed automatically in a dishwasher, which uses soap water, hot water and RO water to clean the dishes.