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Goenchem fest 2017 at The Park Calangute Goa

By on August 19, 2017
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The Park Calangute Goa recently hosted the Goenchem Fest, organised by The Goan Culinary Club.

The club, started by food critics Odette and Joe Mascarenhas, is a not for profit organisation which 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.
This year at The Park on Holiday Street, the  sundowner event celebrated the days of yore with fun, food and music. With this in mind member chefs researched local flavors. No ‘common’ preparation was one of the parameters set. Chefs picked from styles of Saraswat kitchens, Hindu-centric (Spice Goa), inspired Goan (The Park, Cidade, Moki), Portuguese outside India (Cerveja), Portuguese-inspired Goan or Christian Goan. Each chef brought in two preparations for the 200 invitees who helped celebrate the event.
There were many interesting challenges to keep the mood going. To set the mood, Kingfisher and Myra created the festive avatar. Proprietors Shefali Gandhi and Aziz Lalani (KOI) and Anisha Hassan (Saligao Stories) backed by Kokni Kanteen and Spice Goa set the event, the beautiful ambience of The Park on Holiday Street had little competition. General manager Saurabh Khanna made it a memorable evening with the poder’s cycle with fresh bread brought in by Michael Mascarenhas of Flying Dolphin.
With a Feni Cocktail Challenge, the Recipe Bazaar Challenge and more, winners received prizes from Moki, Holiday Inn, The Fern Kadamba, Flying Dolphin, Bay 15 and others.
Lavinia and Sancho provided ‘catchy’ Goan medleys and dancing music. A fashion show by Philu Martins inspired by the cuisine was a highlight of the event. The models were Culinary Club members, chefs, proprietors, general managers, and home kitchen enthusiasts, who sashayed down the ramp in creations inspired by the poder, local chillies, the bhendo and mango. The showstopper for the evening was sorpotel and sanna with a headgear of chillies worn by club co founder Odette Mascarenhas. Singing sensation Varun Carvalho sang live at the curtain call with a few of his popular numbers.
More than 20 dishes were spread out on the beach and invitees compared notes on the jirem mirem and the torachi uddamethi. Kolyatle sungta left layers of opened empty banana leaves behind as the prawns were feasted on with fervor. Nostalgic memories of the past were shared in today’s ‘newly’ defined spirit of Goa. 

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