The Upper Crust Food And Wine Show 2012
Make it a point to go to the Upper Crust Food and Wine show every year.A great place to learn what's new in town...food concepts,gadgets and products.Stretched over three days,convenient as it includes the weekend.However this time there were far too many weddings to attend.
I went on a Saturday and Chef Devwrat Jategaonkar of Radisson Blu,Alibag was demonstrating Maharashtrian cuisine.He seemed quite popular as many of the women attending said they watched his program on Marathi channel ETV.I watched him make Pudachi Sambhar Wadi (which reminded me of Bhakarwadi) and Varadhi Kombdi Rassa.He's won the Silver Medal at the 2012 Culinary Olympics in Germany for a Butter Sculpture.Do watch the video by clicking on the link to see the sculpture.There were 1800 chefs contesting.You do us proud,Chef! He has also designed a carving set and his cookbook will soon be available.
Farzana Contractor,the dynamic spirit behind the Upper Crust Food and Wine show,Dog A'Fair and the Upper Crust magazine walked in to gift Chef Devwrat Jategaonkar a customized mug.I must confess I have been reading the magazine since its start and haven't missed a single issue.I only wish it was published monthly instead of quarterly.The stalls this year were mostly different,which was good.The show had a food quiz (won by fellow blogger Prachi Joshi and Reshmi Kurien),a cooking contest between top chefs and a cooking workshop for kids by Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal.Was hoping to meet the affectionate food critic Marryam Reshi and fellow blogger Roxanne Bamboat but we just missed each other thanks to a lack of mobile signal
Chef Vineet Bhatia of Ziya was next.The king of fusion food.The hall was packed to the gills.He runs a show on television called Twist Of Taste based on his travels around the country trying out various cuisines and making a dish with a secret ingredient that his spouse Raseema chooses.
Next to the demo halls were food stalls for Indian and Chinese food.We gulped down lovely Lemon Basil Punch from Soam.The main exhibition area was on the first floor.
I picked up a veg sushi box from Sushi and More.They were selling their signature Teriyaki sauce and seaweed sheets.
Like the last time,I saw pickles made in olive oil.
Many stalls with olive oil.Extra virgin olive oil for salads and pomace olive oil for cooking.Also spotted Rice Bran Oil.
Another product I saw last time was the Pride Of Cows milk which comes from Holstein Freisen cows from a 26 acre farm run by Edmund Piper.This is at Manchar between Bheema river and Bheemeshwari mountains.The cows are fed alfalfa,pennisetum,greens,soya and bran.The milk is instantly pasteurized and packaged and is antibiotic free.
My niece Rishika had come down from Pune and was enthralled by the display and tasting.This was her first time.We had delicious steamed imitation crabsticks made from fish at the Gadre stall.We picked up packets of Pink Himalayan salt which is said to be harvested from hidden ancient sea salt deposits from the Jurassic age found in the Himalayas and is mineral rich though not in iodine.
We found a tea stall which had green tea and white tea,which smelled heavenly.
Another stall (Organic Haus) had wild rice which is harvested from grass that grows in shallow water.Wild rice I have tasted at the Asparagus festival at Taj.It is cooked longer than rice and is served mixed with it.It is a potent source of amino acids and omega 3 fatty acids.
Quinoa is a seed which was used by the Incas and is now popular among vegans.It too is cooked like rice and is gluten free.It provides complete proteins and calcium,much needed in today's world.I learnt how to cook quinoa at a vegan class sometime ago.
Spotted wholewheat noodles.Preferable to plain flour ones as it has more fibre.
Saw Chef Wilson Chung teaching Thai cooking
Also saw bright red Washington Apples and thought of making an Apple salad!
No,I didn't buy strawberries but the Bergner glass cooking board with strawberries on top was too much to resist.
Picked up a peeler which made great juliennes and a cake slicer and server.Saw an olive and garlic shaped pepper mill!
Christmas is few days away.The Silverspoon Gourmet stall had Xmas goodies like a delicious Date and Walnut cake in ramekins and Snowball cookies.
Met chef Joshua D'souza and his lovely wife Neha who run it.Sometime ago,a friend had sent me their Get Well Soon hamper with chicken soup in it!
One of the prettiest things I saw were the miniature edible decorations that Bimba Nayak had made.
There was a stall selling thin dry fruit chikki made at home.
WIT,the organization that works for women empowerment,had a stall with tea cozies,cushion covers and jams for sale.
The Farmers Market had a stall.I visit the market often. I wish corporates would have their own farms and compete with each other to provide us the best vegetables grown the natural way.I met the founder Kavita Mukhi years after being her student at the Orchid Finishing School.
There were machines for exercise
It was a fun Saturday afternoon.Next year,I hope I have lesser weddings to attend....