Masters of Food and Wine, Park Hyatt






Ting Ting Ting Ting Ting. The sound from the glass of Park Hyatt's GM. No response. People were too busy enjoying the pre event snacks and drinks.

Ding ding ding dang dang dong dong. The sound of the piano that was at The Apartment. Everyone turned around to see the F&B's EM taking his hands off the piano. I don't think he has played the piano in his life, but his attempt to get everyone's attention paid off!

We were told what this event was all about. Most of us already knew and we couldn't wait for it to begin. All of us were ushered in.

9 Chefs lined up. The mic was passed around. Some spoke few words, some a little more. The sommelier from Italy had the maximum attention. For his broken English and his charm. I think it was more for his charm. More attention from the ladies including from the lady who was with me! Hmmph....Anyways.

Every chef finished the long or short speech with, 'please visit my counter.' I was pretty sure I wanted to try it all. 6 months back when I was here for the first time, I was mind blown. I was expecting the same. Only this time, it wasn't the same. The counters were different. Most of the chefs were different. I then realised that the theme itself was different. Seafood.

And then a pleasant surprise. Indian Salmon. Wow. Times when Alaksan and Norwegian Salmon is what fancy hotels pride in, the Seafood theme at this year's event was involved in sourcing and promoting local foods. So Indian salmon. And Indian Sea Bass (please, not basa, but Sea Bass). And Indian Cheese, le Pondicherry.





I started with the humble idiyappam (string hoppers) at Chef Balaji, the executive sous chef's counter. Wanted to start with something familiar. There was nothing simple about it. What looked like a little idiyappam with gravy on top was a layered masterpiece. And then I saw him make it. A layer of egg, topped with gravy, topped with idiyappam. Once the egg is cooked, he turned it around. Placed some more gravy on top. Placed the quail pieces on top. Chopped coconuts and more condiments then. Slurp. Such a simple idea. Wife has already tried it at home!

And then the dish of the day! Chef Megha, who is considered a super star here, cooked up scampi. These slightly-larger-than-prawn crustaceans, were grilled and topped with a heavenly sauce that we went ooh and aahh. And ooh and aahh again. And again. And again. Right next table, the humble looking tortellini's were not humble either. I think there was a squid ink sauce, but whatever that black sauce was made of, it was delicious.

And then a little east. Vietnamese rolls, Korean Bimimbap, which I had, much to the sheer shock of the chef, without the egg. We agreed that I will have it with egg white as I am yet to, well, acquire the taste of raw egg yellow! Right now, I hate it, but I guess, I will have to acquire it real soon. The executive chef's Morrocan counter with the tagine and the rice was next!



And then the desserts! What better way to have mid eastern desserts than fly down Chef El Sayeed from Egypt and have him make it for you! Among the trillion desserts he had lined up, we loved the Basbusa and the Baklava. None of the other names could be pronounced. Luckily he didn't require us to pronounce it for us to eat it. And we finished with an unbelievable dessert table that was a piece of art. Being the first to 'destroy' that piece of art, there was some guilt, but it went away as the others destroyed more of the art! That glass table had an amazing strawberry profiterole which we just loved!

At the mother of all luxury buffets, (where we don't count the number of counters, but the quality), this quarterly event at Park Hyatt is something that I have now come to eagerly await. Every season. As I realise that the theme will change every time, my intrigue is much higher now. At 3500 per head for this quality of food, if there is only one 5 star meal I would have every quarter, this will be what I save up for!