|On the wheels: Road to London... A Gourmet Journey|
|Dilpreet Bindra (left) and Naveen Handa|
“What an incredible journey this has been. We had planned meticulously for over six months and everything worked to precision. What made it remarkable was the cultural exchange, the thrill of traversing the Silk Route, the magnitude of nature, and the impeccable highways that made driving such a pleasure.”
After flag-off from Imphal and clearing the customs at Moreh, the Indian border outpost, the self-driven expedition made its way through Myanmar, Thailand, and the rain forests of Laos, before entering China and being dazzled by the state-of-the-art Dragon country. What welcomed them next was the vastness of land and warmth of locals as they drove through Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Further on Russia showed its gentle side while Latvia, Lithuania and Poland delighted them with East European generosity and courtesies. It was a breeze here on as the convoy manouvered through Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France to finally cross the English Channel and let out a hurrah in London.
Bindra wasn’t only at the wheel during the trip as the hotelier in him made sure he peeped into kitchens at restaurants and highway inns, cooked and ate (and even sang) with locals, gathered spices and collected an assortment of recipes. Once back to work in Chandigarh, cuisines were discussed with the F&B section at the hotel. Lead by executive chef Naveen Handa, the team worked for over a month to recreate what Bindra had tasted and the result is Road to London... A Gourmet Journey, a five-day food festival on the culinary trail of 18 countries, that commences today. At the preview on Thursday, I tasted a sample of what’s on offer and all I can say is the palette of flavours pleased the palate enormously.
The desserts section is a medley of sweet temptations: cakes, tarts and flaky pastries. One that took me back to my trip to Poland was karpatka. Delicious! Matterntaart from Belgium, xianhua bing, a Yunnan rose-flower cake, marlenka from Czech Republic, baumkuchen from Germany and klingeris from Latvia were some others in the irresistible club.
That it was a huge learning experience for the chefs was visible in their enthusiasm to explain culinary nuances of what they had laid out. For it’s not every day that a hotel gets to prepare Latvian, Uzbek, Krygyz, Kazhak or Polish dishes. This fest is an absolute must-visit, especially if to you passion means food.
What: Road to London – a gourmet journey
Where: The Café@JW, JW Marriott,
Sector 35, Chandigarh
When: August 11 to 15, 2017
Brunch: 12.30 pm to 3.30 pm,
Rs 1,550 plus taxes
Dinner: 7.30 pm to 11.30 pm,
Rs 1,950 plus taxes