Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bloggers Table @ IICA, New Delhi

Food is what brings people together. A fact that we all are aware of, but often forget. A lot of us even take food for granted, eat only to stay alive etc. Although I find it hard to believe, because food is a very important part of my life, and always has been, for a lot of people, they just eat for the sake of eating and some don’t even enjoy their food. Maybe it is to do with my very Punjabi roots where every meal was crucial, and till date a lot of thought and effort goes into menus and food preparation. My Dad, loves to go spend his early part of Sunday, thinking of an exotic breakfast, even if it means picking up the famous puri-channa from one part of Delhi, and then picking up meat and fruit in the second half for the week. I guess, I may not have traits of a food connoisseur, but I definitely inherit the appreciation for good quality produce and food at large.  My brother is no less- he shares his food experiences miles away, with us through our i-devices. Thanks to the time difference, I see it first thing in the morning on my phone and most often, all I can say is Yum.
                Anyhow, food amongst other things is what has connected me and old school friend again, and we have been catching up. She is on her way to a wonderful new adventure which is sort of food related, and it was coincidental that I happened to meet her the day I got invited for a Blogger’s Table event, hosted by the International Institute ofCulinary Arts (IICA), New Delhi. She agreed to be my plus one, for this very interesting vent. One doesn’t get to savour a lot of French cuisine in Delhi often, and I was looking forward to it. IICA is associated with the Indian Culinary Forum and offers various programs and hobby courses for those interested in French cooking and patisserie. Founded by Chef VS Datta, the institute is a family-run business, offering multiple programs, suited to all audiences.
               The hosts were gracious, and took us all (Me, Sid, Charis, Mukta, Aishwarya and Himanshu) for a tour of the campus and a sneak- peek into the kitchen where the chefs were busy dressing up the meal that lay ahead.
Along with a Salade Nicoise, we were served an assortment for freshly baked bread. This was followed by the Classic French Onion Soup (Soupe a l' Oignon) and Pan-seared sole fish with sautéed spinach. The soup was nice- lighter than what I have had on many occasions in France- but I assume anything heavier would not work for the 45 degrees C in Delhi.  We were informed that this was also because the original beef broth was replaced by chicken broth. Oh, what a pity!
The Poulet Saute Chasseur (Hunter style chicken) was the dish that worked for everyone on the table, and for me, more than the chicken; the bundled vegetables were a great idea. This was followed by a Mango and cream based dessert- Mangue Romanoff that we had seen being dressed up earlier with the caramel sticks; the dessert floored everyone and everyone licked their glasses clean.  I am a bit spoilt when it comes to cream, and anything slightly liquidy or frothy just doesn’t work. But the flavours and the blend were just right I guess.
More than the food, I think the IICA is a great place for those who need an avenue to discover food as a passion. They have a lot of offerings and are happy to customize, for everyone. As far the Bloggers Table is concerned, everyone of course, had a lot of fun. 
Here is what the others have to say:
Mukta Varma @ Bake-a-mania

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