HYDERABAD: It was a medley of cuisines at ‘Express Cookery Contest’ held on December 29 at Srigdha Kalakriti, Tarnaka in the city. The participants enthusiastically showcased cuisines from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat, with items like Surali Vade, Bajji Palya, Royal Gavar, Varan Phal, Carrot Dhokla, Poha and more. Speaking before beginning the judgment process, Chef Nitin Prakash Saka quipped, “I haven’t eaten since morning and am looking forward eagerly to savouring the dishes.” The participants, luckily, did not disappoint.
Later, as he went around and tasted each dish, the participants answered the chef ’s questions about how they prepared the dish. The condition was that the dishes must comprise snacks or main course categories. Snacks must not be deep-fried, and the main course must be a complete meal for one person. The dishes were judged against five criteria – visual appeal, taste and texture, balance of flavours, innovativeness, and portion size. Interestingly, the sole male participant in the contest, Ravi Keerti, who prepared poha, was appreciated by the chef and other participants on his resolve to volunteer.
Concluding the event, Nitin Prakash said, “Attitude matters. Winning or losing is secondary. The fact that such a wide variety of dishes were prepared speaks volumes about the cul inary facet of Hyderabadis.” 33-yr-old Nitin Prakash is the culinary director at Pioneer Institute of Hotel Management, Ramnagar and Trinity College of Hotel Management, Tarnaka. The New Indian Express was the media partner for the event, held in association with Pallavi Model School.