t was a Sunday with a difference as Hyatt I Regency Kolkata hosted the fifth season of Hyatt Culinary Challenge 2018 with the theme -- `people cooking for people' -- which had corporates fighting it out with pots and pans. Held in 14 Hyatt properties across India, the event saw the participants being paired with a child from a citybased NGO.
The winners from each city will join the grand finale in December which, if they win, will give them a chance to spend three nights and four days at Hyatt Centric Times Square New York (for two, inclusive of airfare). The runner-up will get to spend three nights and four days at Hyatt Centric Candolim Goa (for two, inclusive of airfare).
"The Hyatt Culinary Challenge is an endeavour to bring together people to celebrate their passion for food and make a difference to the community while doing so. We are delighted with the overwhelming response from the participants," said Birgit Holm, general manager, Hyatt Regency Kolkata.
Judges for the culinary challenge -- (l-r) Clement D'Cruz, executive chef of Hyatt Regency Kolkata, actor-anchor Mir, PR veteran Rita Bhimani and food blogger (not in picture) Indrajit Lahiri -- tasted each dish, gave their feedback and "liked how each dish represented each contestant and their love for food". "Their enthusiasm, focus and the love they brought to their cooking and plating were up to the mark. Taste-wise, their food was something that they were familiar with but the way they were presented was different. Some were comfort food, some homestyle… be it Assamese or French home-style and that was something I loved," said Bhimani. Held at the Guchhi terrace, the afternoon do had children aged between seven and 12, from LittleBigHelp, an NGO, participating along with the contestants and winning gift hampers and prizes.
The winner of the Calcutta round of the Hyatt Culinary Challenge 2018, R.Z. Borah, with Pratik Das (right), from an NGO. "I am a moody cook but I mostly fail when I cook at home. I did have one trial run at home but nobody really liked when I made this dish. I was taken aback when my name was announced as the winner," said Borah, a retired commander of Indian Navy who will represent Calcutta in the grand finale.
Last year's winner Suborno Bose (right), CEO and chief mentor of IIHM, dropped by to support his friend R.Z. Borah. Amit Khettry, the runner-up, plated up Turkish Tavouk Kebab with accompaniments, and Ayran, a yogurt-based drink. "I had done my hotel management course way back in 1999 and I think that experience came in handy. I was having a lot of fun cooking," said Khettry, manager, purchase, IGS, Nuvoco Vistas Corp Ltd.
Borah's winning dish Masor Tenga, an Assamesestyle fish curry, with steamed rice and mashed potato.
Text: Nandini Ganguly. Pictures: B. Halder.