Cultured Cuisine

Art consultant Samira Sheth curated an intimate and exclusive rendezvous between art and cuisine as part of Cashew Trail 2016 at the Park Hyatt Resort & Spa

It is not often that you get to share a meal with one of Goa’s most renowned artists, Dr. Subodh Kerkar. And that too, a meal conjured up in conversation with the artist, as he talks about Goa’s culinary heritage.

In a very special experience brought together by noted art expert Samira Sheth, two worlds of art were connected – visual and culinary. Dr. Kerkar introduced cultural enthusiasts to Goa’s history through art and a heritage walk followed by a stylish five-course meal prepared by the master chef Saulo-Bacchilega at the Park Hyatt. In its annual event, the Cashew Trail that seeks to showcase Goa’s most famous fruit, the Park Hyatt puts together a host of exclusive experiences in harvest season. This time, a host of experiences including master classes with feni and urak experts, a bike ride to a cashew farm followed by a farm to table meal, a cocktail making class and more, made space for an art segment as well.

The artistic encounter was kick started with a morning walk with Dr. Kerkar as he led interested guests through Goa’s narrow streets lined with coconut palms and gorgeous heritage homes. Although widely travelled, Dr. Kerkar has lived in Goa all his life and is a walking encyclopedia on Goa’s cultural history. He recently founded MOG, the Museum of Goa that has been receiving a great deal of acclaim for its unique presentation of the history of Goa through contemporary art. The walk was an eye-opener for non-residents of Goa as well as some of the local guests as they saw and encountered various little-known aspects of Goan life and its cultural history.

In the evening, Dr. Kerkar showcased some of his art work in a slide presentation that focused on food in Goa. So many ingredients that we can’t imagine Goan food without are not even native to Goa! Viewers learned about the origins of maize, chillies, breadfruit and more in an in-depth presentation. Dr. Kerkar has done a significant amount of work that draws on the ocean for inspiration and what it has brought to Goa’s shores in terms of trade, culture, religion, colonization and food of course. With some of his sculptures on display Dr. Kerkar led an enthralled audience through a mini food history of Goa.  Did you know red chilies came from Peru, the Goan bread or pao  with the Portuguese colonizers, maize from Brazil and so on? Guests mulled over these nuggets even as they partook of an elegant five course meal in the contemporary Casa Sarita.  Chef Saulo Bacchega had cooked up an exquisite meal with the same ingredients featured in Dr. Kerkar’s talk. Corn, chillies, breadfruit and more were stylishly served up and paired with different varieties of feni through the elaborate courses. Shatbhi Basu, expert mixologist and India’s first woman bartender explained each variety, demystifying feni for the guests.

Private, personal and packed with insight and expertise, it was an art and culinary experience that guests won’t forget in a hurry.

For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.

Author: Planet Goa Team
For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.

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