Desserts stormed with creativity

French philosopher, Francois-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire, said, “Ice-cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal.” Portuguese poet, Fernando Pessoa aptly said, “Look, there’s n
Ashutosh Awasthi, Kitchen Executive
Ashutosh Awasthi, Kitchen Executive

French philosopher, Francois-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire, said, “Ice-cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal.” Portuguese poet, Fernando Pessoa aptly said, “Look, there’s no metaphysics on earth like chocolates.”

These luminaries surely echoed the opinion of several people for whom every moment of joy or success can only be best cherished with a dessert.

The Park, Kolkata has gradually developed a dessert menu that speaks of out-of-the-box thinking and exercises in food experimentation, resulting in desserts so different that they leave you simply excited. Just the ice-cream flavours alone could give a person with a sweet-tooth an instant sugar high.

Would you ever imagine wasabi or green tea ice-cream?

Both so delicate in texture and taste while retaining the pungency of wasabi and the subtleness of green tea. For the diners open to new tastes, there is a wide array of unusual or as the hotel puts it “crazy” flavours to choose from—sichuan, peppercorn, basil and lime and chilli ice-creams. Savoury ice-creams such as achaar (Indian pickle), balsamic, sun-dried tomatoes, kasundi (Bengali mustard sauce) and olive paste ice-creams accompany signature risottos.

There are even ice-creams with a desi twist—paan (betel leaf) gulkand, chandan (sandalwood), nolen gurer (jaggery available during winter) rasmalai and rose petal. Bailey’s Irish cream, Cointreau, apple pie and fudgy brownie ice-creams are the season’s hot favourites available at the hotel’s three restaurants, The Bridge, Saffron and Zen. Chef Ashutosh Awasthi and his team work diligently to bring new flavours and combinations to appease the changing palate of the city.

“There was a time when people wouldn’t have been so open to trying the different ice-cream flavours and desserts. But today, a number of our preparations are well-received by the patrons,” smiles Ashutosh Awasthi, Kitchen Executive, The Park, Kolkata.

The unconventional concoctions are mostly a team effort. “All the chefs hang out after the day’s work and discuss about different flavours. We suggest ways to combine diverse elements and flavours and that usually results in a fantastic dessert,” adds Awasthi.

And it’s not ice-creams alone. Take for instance the divine mishti doi (sweet yogurt) cheesecake. Mishti doi is as popular a Bengali dessert as the famous Rasogolla and the new dish is an attempt to blend the traditional with the contemporary. Even the semolina fritters with melon rabri was the outcome of one such creative session of the chefs.

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