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Bingeing in the rain

Artists and chefs come together to celebrate regional monsoon specialties This is one food festival that stands out from the crowd. Artists and chefs have been brought together by ‘curator’ Anoothi Vishal for the ongoing Monsoon Cuisinart Festival at Fire, to create a menu that reflects monsoon specialties of states from across the country.

india Updated: Jul 31, 2010 00:30 IST

Artists and chefs come together to celebrate regional monsoon specialties This is one food festival that stands out from the crowd. Artists and chefs have been brought together by ‘curator’ Anoothi Vishal for the ongoing Monsoon Cuisinart Festival at Fire, to create a menu that reflects monsoon specialties of states from across the country.

The menu is extensive, featuring everything from rainy day comfort foods such as aduchi vadi (Maharashtra) and patrode (Mangalore) to items like ghewar, modaks and jave, that are typical of this season’s festivals. The USP here is that instead of having artists simply paint their menu (what most five-stars do), Fire decided to do a true blend by asking some famous artists to share a recipe or name their favourite regional monsoon dish, thus preparing an ‘artist special menu’.

foodExplaining the concept, Aditya Jaimini, executive sous chef, The Park, says, "We thought of doing something different, and therefore incorporated regional favourites when it comes to monsoon special dishes. It reflects the real culinary unity in diversity."

We tried the batata vada, a Maharashtrian staple, which was crisp and hot. The Naga-style chicken with young bamboo shoots tasted excellent, but could have been better if, for symbolic reasons, there had been a hint of the famous naga mirchi.

Mutton yakhni, a recipe by artist Baba Anand, was a rich and tangy preparation. But the best item of the lot was Bengal’s iconic khichuri platter, served with alur dom, beguni and chutney. It was both a visual and gastronomic treat. Ghewar, a traditional monsoon dessert in the central belt of UP and Rajasthan, nicely rounded up the meal. The festival is on till August 1 at The Park, 15, Parliament Street; Cost for two: 2,000 (+ taxes)