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Art on a Plate

The art of fine dining − the fashionable way!

20 Nov, 2016 by Nolan Mascarenhas

The art of fine dining − the fashionable way!

When was the last time you went to an eating establishment and stared at the dish placed in front of you, arresting your visual senses, and throwing you into a dilemma of consumption versus appreciation. Welcome to the mad world of ‘art on a plate’ −  from the pioneers in the Goan culinary world and their tales behind their creations. 

The Aqua Broth −  Delicately cooked scallop and prawn, served on a bed of edible soil, with an organic lemongrass broth. 

Inspiration behind the creation?

Living in a coastal area, and blessed with an abundance of fresh seafood, the chef’s idea behind the Aqua Broth was to present it in its native form, hence the concept of the prawns and scallops, in what appears to be an aquarium. In today’s date and age, eating healthy has taken precedence in our eating habits; hence the use of muesli, dry fruits and micro greens, that are added for a healthy zing and also for enhancing its visual appeal. The lemon grass infused in the broth gives it a delicate flavor, which compliments the seafood mix.

Location: Alila Diwa Goa, Salcette

The Opera − A symphony of sweet temptations. Components include, the chocolate pot de crème, Mississippi mudpie, meringue, lemon curd, wild berries and mascarpone. 

Inspiration behind the creation? 

Mr. Ranjit Phillipose, area director Taj Goa and general manager Taj Exotica, is a well travelled foodie and wine connoisseur. He wanted to make a statement by offering a dessert masterpiece to Goan diners. Inspired by something he had seen during his travels, along with inputs and the mastery from his executive chef Bhasker Kargeti, they created this sensational dish. 

Location: Miguel Arcanjo - Taj Exotica, Benaulim

The Egg….But NO Egg! − A sweet concoction of coconut and mango, with representation in four variations of egg the cracked, the sunny side up, the boiled, and the coddled.

Inspiration behind the creation? 

When you have this dish only one word comes to the mind − Psycho reflection. They serve a dairy-free, sweet, edible art instillation focusing on an ‘egg’, inspired by Goa. Imagine a vegetarian eating four versions of an egg, interspersed with feelings ranging from awe, laughs and shocks. The idea is unique and has evolved over the years, to add more variants to the ‘egg’. The produce is regional and locally sourced. The cracked egg is made of lemon grass jelly and mango sorbet. The sunny side up is a sinful coconut fondue with mango puree. The third creation ‘the boiled egg’ is coconut gelato with coconut crisps. Lastly, the coddled variant is a tender coconut panacotta, passion fruit and mango coulis served with mango candy (aam papad) and an edible wrapper made from dehydrated alfonso mango. 

Location: A Reverie, Candolim 

Crispy Mackerel marinated in sabayon, bedded on a saffron risotto and drizzled with scallion ash. 

Inspiration behind the creation? 

Mackerel is a staple fish here, which is loved by every Goan. However, everyone stays away from it, and prefers imported expensive fish, as it is considered cheap. But this dish showcases it a star ingredient, with the entire dish revolving around it. Keeping the flavors intact, it is marinated it in a sweet sour brine to give it a different dimension. The sabayon came from a Christmas inspired dish, served at the time with panettone & vanilla sauce. Keeping the flavors sweet and sour, overcooled risotto, with fresh prawns and small calamari, makes a firm base for the mackerel. The scallion ash adds a touch of dark bitterness to the setting. 

Location: Park Hyatt Resort & Spa, Cansaulim


Figgin Mess − Wine poached figs, playfully married to a homemade mascarpone, topped with crumbled eggless walnut brownie

Inspiration behind the creation? 

Quality is at the essence of this dish. Using locally produced figs, this dish made itself a star on the menu. The tangy wine poached figs, compliment the creamy mascarpone. The walnuts add the necessary crunch and add texture to this vegetarian creation.

Location: Black Sheep Bistro, Panjim

Lamb Chop Barah is served with lentil khichdi and sautéed French beans. 

Inspiration behind the creation? 

It is a fine dining, pre-plated restaurant. Most of the clientele of Indian origin is fond of Indian food, with a western plated experience. The whole idea behind the dish is to serve well-plated Indian food, which can live up to the modern standards of guests, in taste and presentation both. This has received rave reviews from European guests as well. 

Location: Bay 15, Oxdel 

Written By

An award winning photojournalist, Nolan is torn between food & travel. Having held multiple exhibitions across- he loves to capture the essence of a meal or moment through his lens. Known for his love of food he believes in making viewers salivate over drool worthy pictures, titilating their palates over social media. His photography added vivid dimensions through his contribution to the book The Culinary Heritage of Goa which won the Gourmand Best in the World for Historical recepies in 2015. Author of the ever popular food/travel blog, many have commonly referred to his wit or 'twit'iness. A recepient of the prestigious REX Karmaveer Chakra award by UNESCO he spends most of his time divided between sampling the various offerings of the gastronomic world and his unending quest for new and far flung places.

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