An afternoon with George Calombaris, and the Master Class!

Master Chef Australia is a family favourite show at my home. We never miss a show and eagerly watch and look forward to each episode, and all three Master Chef Judges are like superheroes for us. So when we first saw the bill board with the three familiar faces in Bangalore, announcing the “World on a Plate” program at JW Marriott, we all squealed with excitement… The first thing I did after coming home was book a ticket for the Master class with George Calombaris. Honestly, I was confused as to whose class to attend and since George’s class was at a convenient time, I booked for that. My excitement was mounding every day, and we were literally counting each day until the big day arrived – Saturday, June 04th, 2016.

Meeting one of world’s best food idols was like a dream come true, and I was completely dazed and equally nervous when I finally entered the Living room of JW Marriott. All the people were equally excited and there were some kids who came all the way from Pune, just to meet him. It was amazing and thrilling to be part of such an excited group, and as soon as we were all seated, the chef gave a brief introduction and welcomed George. And he walked in to a squeal of excited welcome and applause!

It was indeed a goose bumps moment for me. My hands were shaking as I tried to take some pics while he introduced and joked about his assistant sous chef for the day. He spoke about how excited he was to be part of this program and how he loved and enjoyed all the great Indian food. The intensity with which he spoke about food, his simplicity, his passion for flavors, everything struck a chord with the audience who were passionate about each word delivered from his mouth. He talked about how he loved the yeastiness; the crispiness of the Appam he had for breakfast that day with the yummy, flavorful Mutton Curry. OMG! How I wished I had made some Appam and Mutton Stew for him!! For a moment I wished I was working at JW Marriott, cooking something exotic from my menu collection for the Master Chef himself.

He went on with his talk, about his love for Greek food and how Indian food has similarities with Greek cuisine. Meanwhile, the sous chef was preparing the Salad as part of the Master Class a gorgeous Beet root Salad with different varieties of Beetroot; baked, pickled, pureed with Paneer and sugar coated fried Pappadom crumbs (Indian Cornflakes, he said), topped with herbs and fried curry leaves!! A splendid sight to behold after he arranged everything on the platter. It is a pity I didn’t get to taste that. Then he wrapped up the Souvlaki in front of us with Kerala Paratha instead of Pita Bread, with crispy fried soft shell crabs with Indian Masalas and pickled cucumber and onions which they served to each of us.

Although the day came to an end, this delightfully beautiful day is going to be etched in my memory for a long, long time. Thanks to my family and to all my friends and to my readers for partaking in my excitement and joy. Live your Dreams and a Big God Bless!!

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