- 12 Aug 2017
Courtyard by Marriott has prepared the best dishes from the Punjabi Cuisine as a part of their ‘Punjabi food festival’
Text and Image credits: Nikhil Wilson
What caught my eyes the moment I entered the Courtyard by Marriott, was the open ‘Chaat counter’ and the wide spread dessert table. I was very excited to be covering the Punjabi food festival happening at Courtyard by Marriott. I was welcomed by Mr. Anvesh, the marketing executive. He was the person who was with me throughout the entire event. From the lobby itself, I was able to see the restaurant was beautifully set in candlelight ambiance with some little spotlights to highlight the dishes.
Mr.Anvesh took me to the open kitchen that was set up in the restaurant and he introduced me to the chef who was leading the food festival, Chef Naveen.
“Chef Naveen is from Tamil Nadu and he has been the acting head chef for this event and he has done a great job with the dishes”
comments Anvesh. Chef Naveen is a man of talent and he always had this smile on his face. He even took the time from his busy schedule to make some live fire for the camera.
The festival has 20 Punjabi dishes, of which 5 are starters and 3 desserts. There is also a counter which includes Kerala dishes and Chinese dishes and much more. After quite some time, chef Naveen came to me and we had a small chat which included a few questions from my side like :
1)Of all of the regional cuisines, why Punjabi? How is it special to you?
“ We have lots of Food festivals here. But Punjabi food festival is our favorite. It is the most celebrated and successful food festivals we have here at Courtyard. Sometimes we conduct Punjabi food festivals twice a year. The customers love it. We chefs love it. Everyone loves it.”
2) Have you tweaked the menu to suit the Kerala palate?
“ No, we haven’t. It's mainly because the customers we have here are mostly international guests. We have a separate counter for Kerala dishes and other continental dishes.”
3) Being the Head Chef, how has been the experience for you and your team?
“ Well, how can I put this into words? You could say that every day is like a new chapter for each us. If I am working on the tandoori chicken, the next day I’ll be working with another dish. We change our roles so that we are able to experience every element we present to our customers. The team has become a family, where we know everyone's strengths and weakness and work according to it."
After the small chat with Chef Naveen, I went to speak with one of the manu customers who were having their Punjabi dishes. While most of them didn't want to take their photographs taken, Charmie from the Philippines was more than happy to get her picture clicked. When asked about the food, she commented that
“ The food is great and I loved the Rasagula”.
Well, that was it, I couldn’t control my cravings for the desserts and the Chaat Counter. I went to the Chaat Centre and got myself the King of Chaat items, ‘Paani Poori’. The taste and icy feeling of the paani and crunchiness of the sev, smashed potatoes, onions, coriander leaves and the Poori, it felt like I was on cloud 9. I wanted to have more, but I wanted to try more of their dishes and I left the Chaat counter, waving goodbye to those great looking Paani Pooris. The next destination was Kati Roll and I ordered a chicken kati roll. The chicken was so moist and the roti was so soft. I had the Butter Panner, the star of the Punjabi dishes and after I had a bite of it, I knew why they called it the star of the festival. Then to the desserts table and I was confused to pick which one. So I took a slice of the chocolate pastry and some Rasagula. I knew why Charmie said why her favorite was the Rasagula after I had a taste of those littles balls of heaven. I left courtyard with a happy tummy and a joyful heart filled with great food.
The festival is open until August 15.