“The idea behind The Gormei Feast is to celebrate the food heritage of Kolkata through memorable one-of-a-kind meals created by the city's favourite chefs and delivered to customers’ doorsteps,” said Argha Sen, Founder and CEO of Gormei, a Food & Travel Consultancy based in Hong Kong.
Spearheaded by India By Hand (Gormei's India arm showcasing the best of India to international audiences through food, design, art, culture and travel), the programme will take off with a soft launch on September 18 weekend.
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Gormei Feast aims to ride the celebratory run-up to the festive season, especially Durga Puja (even though the actual celebrations will be low key this year). It will continue for a month during which reputed professional and home chefs will prepare different menus showcasing the last 10 decades of Kolkata's culinary influences.
According to Sen, Kolkata has a distinctly local culinary heritage which has been enriched through the ages by settlers from all over the world as well as from different parts of India. The culinary spread will include popular as well as forgotten original recipes for the city’s signature dishes, classics prepared the way they were meant to be, contemporary global interpretations of ancient zero-waste cooking practices, secret family recipes, and more.
Some of the cuisines which will feature prominently include authentic Awadhi cuisine as well as Kolkata’s own interpretation of it, including the Kolkata biryani, Calcutta Chinese, cuisine from the hills of north Bengal, a taste of Burmese (now Myanmar) cuisine, the colonial legacy, including dishes which turned Park Street into a gourmet hub in the 1960s, and more. If you think you are familiar with the range of Bengali cuisine, both from ‘epar Bangla’ (West Bengal) and ‘opar Bangla’ (East Bengal, now Bangladesh), Gormei Feast promises a few surprises, such as authentic dishes culled from the kitchens of Muslim families of West Bengal, the ‘cabin’ food, etc.
Gormei has roped in noted food historian Pritha Sen to curate the menu, which will follow a set meal (for two) pattern.
However, in keeping with the pandemic containment norms, the organisers have decided to stick to the home delivery model. Even the food delivery, which will be undertaken by the Gormei team, has been stylised with premium environment-friendly packaging.
Besides the curated food menu and delivery, Gormei Feast will have live interviews, demos, videos, and on-screen presentations highlighting the food history and cultural legacy.
However, this being an exclusive and limited offer, orders for a particular day will close 48 hours prior and will be on first-come-first-served basis. So it is advisable to register with their Priority List to stay on top of all the news. Or you may follow them on their digital media handles or their website.