An elephant never forgets

This was not only about an elephant in the room…but elephants in the wild. And yes there was a time when a herd of elephants came trampling through this vicinity.

joe elephant

Situated on the border, between Goa and Karnataka is the Shangrila Jungle Resort….just the place to commune with nature.

Resort

The rooms are interesting…the suites heavenly. If numbers don’t spook you…this was one to try out.

shangrila

The beauty of the place, this space is where you can opt for a ‘rain dance’ once they open the sprinklers.

odette n joe

Or take that elephant ride and say hello to the horse as he nuzzles your hand.

horse

Just the place that children would love. Open spaces, water creeks and nature. At the Shangri La Jungle Resort its a holiday one will never forget. Just like the elephant.

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Goenchem Fest 2017

The Goan Culinary Club believes in retaining its legacy…its authentic culinary preparation. For its 50 strong members, it is a platform of learning where recipes are shared, home styled preparations are invited to be shared and a platform of networking and professional trust is established. Since its inception 6 years ago, Co founders Odette and Joe Mascarenhas have worked hard to retain its identity.

This year at The Park on Holiday Street, it was a sundowner like the days of yore….fun, food and music. Watch GM Saurabh Khanna on the poder bicycle.

GM Saurabh Khanna rides the Poder cycle

With this in mind member chefs researched the local flavors..From the Saraswat Kitchens (Kokni Kanteen/Voltaire) – Prawn Lonchem/ Toranche Udhamethi and Bangda Hooman /  Chavli Batata Tonak. The Hindu centric (Spice Goa)- Kholyatle Sungta / Sungta che kadi , Inspired Goan (Moki, The Park, Cidade )- Kokum chili glaze yam pops / Pane cracker cafreal hint chicken and  Crisp fried cheese pockets w Balchao mayonnaise & cafreal dip. Portuguese outside India (Cerveja) – Feijoada/ Cavala com Arroz de Tomate, Portuguese Inspired Goan or Christian Goan (Taverna Panjim, Saligao Stories) – Grandma’s  Chicken roast with stuffing /Goan Pulao  and Salted tongue and Olives/ Pork Assado…….the chefs from Holiday Inn, Fern Kadamba, Fidalgo, Bay 15, Flying Dolphin, they all researched and took their pick

Judges for the competition Ms Amita salatry and Chef Nitin Dhar

There were many interesting challenges too. Two member chef’s were challenged in a cook off…they were blindfolded and given to taste the preparations. With just their palate they had to identify the spices and flavors. The two judges Chef Nitin Dhar and Ms Amita Salatry found it very difficult to judge the winner… the chefs from Bay 15 and The Park were stupendous.

Chef Sunit Sharma conducts the McCain Burger competition

The next challenge was the ability to gorge a Mc Cain burger…Fastest burger finished first. Yes, chef’s are known to have a ‘quick’ meal but the contestants were even faster, The winning time was 1 min 20 seconds. Those burgers were really wholesome.

Nolan judging the cocktail competition with Aziz Lalwani and Viren Sinh

There is no fun without spirits flowing…With feni cocktail challenge (create your own mix)…lucky winners ahoy.

The music with Lavinia and Sancho was ‘catchy’…old Goan medleys and dancing music too. And the ‘highlight’ of the show was the fashion show of Ms Philu Martins…inspired by the local cuisine. We had the models (our very own members…chef’s, proprietors, GMs, home kitchen enthusiasts) walk in creations inspired by the Poder, local chillies The bhendo, the Mango.

curtain call joe, philu martins, odette mascarenhas

The showstopper for the evening was the Sorpotel and Sanna with a headgear of chilies worn by the clubs co founder Odette Mascarenhas (nicknamed as The Culinary Queen of Goa). Our very own singing sensation Varun Carvalho sang live ‘paka paka’ at the model’s curtain call, besides a few of his popular numbers.

Nostalgic memories of the past in today’s ‘newly’ defined spirit of Goa. The magic of fun, food and music definitely remains. This time the Goan Culinary Club really made it happen.

Un-Pho-Gettable!

Foodies who want that An Unforgettable experience. Well that was at the Taj Vivanta Panjim, where Chef Sherap Lodoe brought in the choicest Vietnamese preparations to stimulate the palate.

Chefs at work

A break from his kitchens at the Blue Ginger – Taj West End Bangalore, he bonded with the local chefs to create a 6 course menu.

Soup

The Soup: Pho Ga (chicken breast in chicken stock) and the Pho Chay (Tofu and button mushrooms). The accompanying sauces add zest to the flavor.

The Appetizers and Salads: Crispy Squid butter garlic…the light crunch…just divine. The salads mouthwateringly good. (Goi Xoai (Spicy green mango) and the Goi Chay (lettuce and Asian herbs)…don’t miss this on the a la carte)

The colorful designed menu for the festival said it all…The Fresh Rolls included fresh rice paper roll with roasted duck and the Fresh rice paper roll with water chestnuts.

Mains

Mains: Wok tossed lamb with bamboo shoots and Saigon sauce, Vietnamese chicken Red curry, Stirfried mushrooms, squash and bottle gourd in Sate sauce and Vietnamese vegetarian Yellow curry with sweet potatoes and eggplant. A confession to make. The Red and Yellow curries seems to the palate a richer version than those served in the neighboring state. Well let the battle of opinions rage….just my palates opinion.

Noodles and Rice: Vietnamese Style Stir fried rice noodles with Bokchoy, Carrots and Mushrooms and steamed Jasmine rice.

Dessert

Desserts: Mindblowing Che Chuoi. Banana with sago pearls and coconut milk sweet soup. Served in a champagne saucer…it was Cheers to this heavenly repast!