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Food for thought

Regional cuisine from across the country wows guests and initiates a dialogue on marketing Coimbatore better



Marvel in bread (L) and rumali roti being tossed at the counter. Pics: K. Ananthan.

THE CROCODILE and turtle-shaped breads at the salad counter did their job well.

They introduced guests, who were at the Hotel Alankar Grande to partake of Desi Khaana, to vegetable and bread carving.

However, their life-like presence at the salad counter did not deter people from sampling regional salads like podalangai salad, rajma dal and mixed dal salad and thandi Banarasi macchhi (Cold fish).

The food fest, featuring cuisines from Kashmir to Kanyakumari had been jointly organised by the Hotel and the Department of Catering Science and Hotel Management (CSHM) of SNR Sons College, on the occasion of World Tourism Day.

Though the dishes had been slightly treated so as to be suitable to the South Indian palate, guests said they tasted a lot different than what is normally served in restaurants.

The guests, numbering around 270, got to partake of dishes like Kashmiri Bharwaan Naan, Kanchipuram idly, Karaikudi dosa, Kur-muri Gobi, Bhindi Jaipuri and Gatthe Ki Sabzi from Rajasthan, Palakkad Avial, Bengali Kabuli dal, curd rice, Kashmiri Pulao, Karnataka Chitrana, Idiyappam and paaya, Matka Biriyani, and Goan Fish Curry.

The tempting sweet platter included Wheat halwa, Shahi tukda, the delectable Malpua, almond milk and coconut balls.


Chief Traffic Warden Baghirathi Ramanathan, who was among the guests, said she had tasted the dishes before when touring and the fest, even though representative, brought back memories of those journeys.

Among the guests were the CSHM students of the college, who said being present there as diners helped them understand what guests expected in terms of service.

"Also, seeing the bearers conduct themselves showed us how we must treat our guests," they added.

Earlier, at a seminar organised on the occasion, those in the hospitality and travel industries spoke on the scope for Indian tourism and how best local destinations could be marketed.

Also, in a bid to market Coimbatore, the gateway to nearby towns of tourist importance, as a place where travellers can break journey and spend a day or two in style, plans are afoot to form a consortium of those from the travel and hospitality industries as also the police, so that there is a holistic approach to tourism, said Kevin Renaux, General manager of the hotel and R. Singaravelavan, HOD, CSHM of SNR Sons College.

SUBHA J RAO

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