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Food festivals in hotels and restaurants are always a welcome initiative for both the guests and the organisers. In addition to the regular menu, these festivals are meant to increase footfalls as well as ring up the cash registers. Depending on the time of the year and the demand for a particular regional cuisine, the festivals can be theme-based or festival-based. In the case of regional cuisines, executive chefs coming from that region act as star features of the show.
Kolkata has been open to such festivals, and other than local festival-based food festivals (such as the Bengali New year and Holi) or seasonal food festivals (such as monsoon specials and cool summer); the regional ones are also quite popular here. It is this popularity that inspires and encourages different food festivals on national and international cuisines.
In the recent past, ITC Sonar held a very successful Telangana food festival, where Chef Sankara from ITC Kakatiya, Hyderabad, came down with his team to cook. Hyatt Regency Kolkata, after a successful ‘chill and grill by the poolside’, ushered in the Chinese New year with a special spread. The Oberoi Grand had a ‘Soi Thai’ or the Bangkok street food festival at the iconic Baan Thai, for which Chef Klae Somsuay curated the menu. Novotel carried out a Lucknawi food festival, where Chef Abid Qureshi presented some of the dishes from Awadhi cuisine, which the city had not seen before.
Along these lines, then, Novotel has now organised a Jodhpuri food festival at The Square, their all-day dining restaurant, where some of the cuisine’s traditional and popular dishes are on offer. The popular dal baati churma, kesaria ghewar, lal maas, gatte ka pulao and many more make an appearance with some uncommon dishes, such as the ker sangree, which is a vegetable made with desert berries and sangree beans. This festival will be on till 20th March 2016.
Another festival to look out for is the ‘Gout de France’, where the top eight restaurants of Kolkata will participate in a global annual event spearheaded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. Unfortunately, only one day is dedicated to truly savour the delicacies of French cuisine: on the spring equinox (21st March 2016).