Best of food and wine at international hospitality fair


New Delhi : An exotic biryani, aromatic nalli korma (mutton) and delectable chocolate mousse decorated one of the tables at the International Hospitality Fair 2007 in Pragati Maidan. All of this, mind you, was whipped up in an hour and a half sharp and was just one of the few culinary delights available.

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Organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the International Hospitality Fair (IHF), which started in the capital Monday, is a four-day affair concluding Oct 11.

Chef Akshraj Jodha of the Kuala Lumpur restaurant at New Delhi’s Shangri-la hotel was one of the coordinators of the culinary and pastry competition at the fair.

According to him, the competition is a tough one in which the competing teams will not only have to concentrate on the taste of the food, but also on presentation, proper usage of the equipments provided, practicality and hygiene.

“There are 11 participating teams in the culinary competition, of which six will be short listed. Each team will have to prepare a four-course meal and four portions of each.

“Two portions are for judging and the other two are for display. Similarly in the pastry competition which will be held Tuesday, there will be 12 competing teams of which six will be short listed,” Jodha told IANS.

Of each of the six teams in the culinary and the pastry section, three will go on to compete in the finals.

As one takes a turn from the culinary section where the chefs are busy juggling and chopping vegetables, mincing meat and taking various dishes in and out of the ovens, one comes to the wine section.

C.T.G. Trambusti Gigliola’s stall is right in front. With wines from 13 well-known Italian wine companies on show, C.T.G.’s stall was quite a crowd puller.

“We have the best of Italian wines in our stall. And what more, customers can also taste the wines like Provenza and Chianti. The best thing is that buyers can come to one place and select from a whole range of wines which suit their palette,” said Swadhin Panda, marketing head of the India office.

While inaugurating the fair, Lt. Governor of Delhi Tejendra Khanna said that service par excellence should be the priority of the hospitality industry to make India a preferred destination for global tourists.

“Initiatives such as these are a step towards the right direction,” Khanna said.

The fair is expected to provide a business platform to meet sourcing needs for the latest in food and beverage, bakery, food service, hospitality equipment, products, services and technology.

Besides the culinary, pastry and wine tasting challenges, there will also be interactive sessions on legal issues in the hospitality industry, which will have a mixed panel of lawyers and industry professionals.

There will also be sessions on shortage of trained manpower and financing, equity and operating options.

The event will include a seminar on revenue management in association with the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), as well as seminars for purchase managers and general managers.

Teams from hotels and pubs will also participate in a special bartending competition.