A Foodie’s Day Out At Kalaghoda Arts Festival 2018

By Mumbai Foodie February 14, 2018
Chef Gautam Mehrishi cooking up some deliciousness!

You know how certain occasions mark certain times of the year? Like how the onset of the rains equals starting a new school year, or how you know it’s December when you see juice stalls exhibiting bright red strawberries with pride. You know you have settled into the new year when Kala Ghoda Arts Festival comes back around.

Anticipating the intense throngs of people, we decided to make our visit on a weekday. Every year, they up their game with the art installations and stalls. Although we were particularly excited to explore the food stalls that dominate our personal KGAF experience, this year we only found one large chaat stall by Chetna, and one by Punjab Grill. At the Chetana stall, to calm down our sharp hunger pangs, we devoured a portion of a Jaipuri Chaat, and a plate of hot, crispy jalebi.

Feeling disheartened by the dearth of food stalls, we were going to head home with a heavy heart, but last minute, decided to attend one of the wonderful food workshops they organise each year.

Little did we know that we were in for treat! Organised at Westside, just across the road by Bertolli Olive Oils, who were the food partners for Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2018, was a cooking workshop organised by, none other than Chef Gautam Mehrishi. A trailblazer among the Indian Celebrity community, Chef Gautam was all set to prepare an Aubergine Steak, stuffed with green peas, carrots, asparagus, and topped with smoky cauliflower.

Before the actual workshop started, we were all given a little sample of a Tarte à l’orange chocolat, a chocolate cake with a delightful flavour orange in it, made by Parisserie India. The cake was made exclusively with Bertolli Olive Oil, which made it just that bit healthier and tastier.

Since the workshop was organised by Bertolli Olive Oil, Chef demonstrated the use of all their different kinds of oil in his dish, and how each one works differently, serving a different purpose. In terms of retail sale, Bertolli has the highest sale of olive oil in the world. They offer three kinds, Extra Virgin, a mild Classico and an Extra Light. Each, with a specialty of their own, cater to different aspects of the cooking process.

Aubergine Steak - Bertolli Olive Oil

Chef Gautam’s Aubergine steak, stuffed with asparagus!

Chef Gautam used the Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil in his yogurt based dressing that for the stuffing in the aubergine, and the Bertolli Extra Light Olive Oil for pan-frying the aubergine steaks. Chef also used an assortment of dried fruits like oranges and apples, along with edible flowers to deck up the aubergine.

Throughout the duration of the cook, Chef Gautam shared insights and anecdotes about his personal culinary journey. He advised, that while cooking with spices, start at room temperature and work up the flames, instead of introducing the spices to a hot oiled pan, which makes them lose about 90% of their flavour. The fully-packed audience was eager to learn and laced Chef Gautam with a number of questions. The interactive nature of the workshop was probably our personal highlight. Quite a few who attended it, were ardent fans of Chef Gautam’s cooking show. Seeing them interact with their inspiration was a treat to witness.

Thanks to the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, and Bertolli Olive Oil for sponsoring and organising this workshop, we were able to experience this interaction with Chef Gautam, on such a casual and almost personal level. Our day at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival had given us everything we were hoping to experience, the culinary adventure we were hoping to experience.