I am sure we all have beautiful memories of our summer vacations, be it grandparents or any vacation spot. Besides the location and people, every place on this planet has food that is specific to summer. Growing up, I spent most of my summer vacations in Mumbai and the rest in Goa and Mangalore. We would wait the whole year to relish that summer special food.
India being the most diverse country in terms of food and culture, some of the foods have become a lost treasure and forgotten in the name of fast and fusion food. This summer, the food festival at Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road is bringing out those lost treasures and forgotten food. I am super happy to bring some of those specials from multiple regions of India. This season, five (5) inspiring women, who are passionate about their regional food, besides their career, have curated a menu for us to enjoy this summer cool special.
Special mention to Chef Nitu and team at Novotel chamiers road, without whose incredible support this summer food festival was impossible. How fast the entire team adapted to new recipes, techniques and ingredients was such a pleasure to watch.
Kavitha Bothra, hails from Rajasthan, settled in Chennai, a jewellery designer by profession whose love for food made her a home chef and recipient of many awards such as Super Chef Chennai, Creative Chef award, Jito MasterChef, Home Icon etc. Kavitha runs a cloud kitchen in the name of Blend Town. All her dishes are self-curated, unique and out-of-the box recipes. She makes healthy and creative fusion dishes which are not only appealing to the eye but scrumptious also.
Nithya Franklyn, a doctor by profession with an MBBS, DNB (Paediatrics) and Fellowship (Sleep Medicine) is a MasterChef Tamil Season1 Runner-up. Coming from Southern Tamilnadu she grew up on Pandya Nadu and Nanjil Nadu cuisines which have influences from Sri Lanka and Kerala and this uniqueness was showcased in her dishes.
Smita Premkumar, a German Translator and Teacher, a Goan from Mumbai settled in Chennai has brought in some authentic Goan and Maharashtrian food. Her venture Kokum, blends traditional methods, regional local ingredients and heirloom recipes in every meal.
Hyma Sakhamuri is an Entrepreneur, Educationist turned Chef, her passion for preserving heirloom recipes motivated her to start Andhra Deli, a Cloud Kitchen specialising in Andhra Cuisine. Andhra Deli over the past 3 years has been serving homemade Andhra speciality dishes. Creating fusion recipes with traditional methods are also her speciality.
Harshini Diya, belongs to a family in which food was at the core of everything. She credits her vast culinary knowledge of Kongu food to her upbringing and grandmother, and her grandfather a renowned hotelier from Kovai. Despite majoring in International Business, she joined Le Cordon bleu London, to learn the techniques used in modern day restaurant cooking. With a combination of inherent kongu living and modern-day technique, entered into culinary ventures in Coimbatore, like Corner Kitchen, 10 biryani mandi and Sree Vidya meals room and the legendary Kovai Alankar Vilas.
The menu changes every day but what we had on day 1 From Hyma’s Andhra Deli Kitchen – Perugu Vada (Dahi Vada) and Mamidikaya Royyalu (Prawn mango curry) Special mention about the perugu vada that was so refreshing and had the flavour of mango ginger hit the right note.
From Harshini’s Kongunadu kitchen – Ragi Kali (soft finger millet ball), Keerai Kadasil and Vazhaipoo Vada (banana flower vada). Ragi cools the body and gives the body nutrition required in summer, special mention to the texture and flavour of the kali.
From Nithya’s Tamilnadu Kitchen – Kayalpattinam Kalari Kari, Nungu Sarbath and Palapalam Payasam. Loved loved the Sarbath because it was so cooling with the temperatures so high outside.
From Kavitha’s Rajasthani Kitchen – Rajasthani kadi and Badi ki Sabji the kadi was just how it has to be for a summer afternoon.
From Smita’s Konkan and Maharashtrian Kitchen – Sol kadhi and Raw Jackfruit Dangar. The jackfruit was crisp from outside and soft from inside with the perfect blend of masalas and Sol kadhi is not only a Summer drink but also the most amazing digestive drink.
If you are looking at homestyle food made using heirloom recipes by the home chefs you just need to head to Novotel Chamiers Road, Chennai. The menu changes everyday but you will find at least 10 dishes from the home chefs till 28th May.