CHENNAI: With the smell of ghee sweets getting packed in a corner, it is that time of the year to unfurl the aroma of spices and dry fruits into the air. Marking the beginning of the holiday season this year, Hotel Savera was among the first of the hotels in the city to initiate the rich tradition of cake mixing. The festive spirit was in full swing last Friday as the hotel premises resonated with the joyous essence of this cherished ritual, with guests and in-house chefs partaking in this celebrated custom. The event saw Krithika Radhakrishnan, a culinary enthusiast and a television star, as the chief guest, along with the Savera loyalty card members.
Amidst the excitement of the cake-mixing event, the day commenced with yet another significant affair — International Chefs Day. They recognised the achievements of the 12 in-house chefs who had garnered awards in various categories such as plated appetisers, innovative biriyani, plated petit four and praline, and more at the sixth edition of the chef competition organised by the South India Chef’s Association. “My respect for the chefs increases every day because it is not easy to churn out dishes to perfection each and every time they’re being cooked, and the quotient of love that the chefs infuse distinguishes this place from the rest,” says Nina Reddy, joint managing director of Savera Group, while congratulating and extending wishes to the chefs.
On the occasion, an extensive medley of 200 kilogrammes of various dry fruits, including nuts, raisins, black currants, apricots, cherries, figs, dates, candied ginger, and orange peel, was brought together. Additionally, 30 litres of beverages, such as rum, whisky, and wine, were added to the blend. “It was in 1968 that we first began mixing the cake for the holiday season, and the fruits that we have mixed today will have a second batch of mixing in December before they’re used for baking”, said the executive chef, Jesu.
Interestingly, concealed within the array of assortments were 10 coins, heightening the excitement among the participants. It was said that finding a coin was akin to receiving a fortunate blessing for the upcoming year. Well, who would want to miss that luck right? “We usually do the cake mixing a couple of months in advance to ensure a good mix of all the dry fruits, nuts, and beverages, allowing the flavours to marinate,” says Nina.
As the ceremony drew its curtains and the ingredients harmoniously melded, the wait for Christmas started to trickle down. With the season of joy only a few weeks away, the wait to dig into the freshly baked cakes was all that one could think of. Well, as the saying goes, just like fine wine, the longer the mix is left, the sweeter it becomes, and this trail of hope lingered in the air as the day drew to a close.