Ruma and Chitro Neogy of the Calcutta Club USA organized the Greater Boston’s first Indian and fusion culinary contest “Cuisinier” on Saturday February 20th in Maynard, MA. The Cuisinier contest provided a platform for all non-professional food lovers and cooks to demonstrate their skills in creating and presenting one item which they had mastered or invented.
There was much excitement. "It was wonderful to see the variety of the creations. While some were traditional, others really did innovative things with standard creations" said judge, Anupama Jati Chopra.
Judges included non-Indian professional chefs. Can one judge a cuisine without having strong familiarity with the cuisine? "Yes. Professional chefs have clear criteria that allows them to judge any type of cuisine. We judge the combination of the spices, the presentation and much more" said
Natasha Daniels who came from Johnson Wales University.
Aparna Pattewar, Ayurvedic practitioner who was one of the judges emphasized the importance of bringing the right combination for a healthy diet as per the Ayurvedic recommendations. "For example Ayurved would not recommend eating fruit and yogurt together."
Overall it was a fun event.
The winners in the various categories were:
First - Niranjana AnandaKumar, N. Chelmsford MA - Spaghetti Balls Manchurian
Runner Up - Amrita Dey, Parsipany NJ - Kaale Chane Ke Kebab/ Black Chickpeas Kebabs with Yogurt Dip
First - Sudha Vijay, Acton MA -- Masala Kuzhi Paniyaram
Runner Up - Niranjana Ananda Kumar, N. Chelmsford MA - Indo-Chinese Platter
First - Niranjana Ananda Kumar, N. Chelmsford MA - Pathir Puri Fruit Delight
Chavi Tiwari Mishra, Acton MA -- Mysore Pak
Recipe Display Round
First Place - Padma Balaji , Acton MA ----- Papad Cones with Tofu, Corn Filling
Runner Up - Swapna Ray, Wayland MA ---- Mango Delight
Public Choice - Padma Balaji, Acton MA ---- Papad Cones with Tofu, Corn Filling
The judges for the competition were:
Hema Gopalan, Owner, Spice Canteen
Aparna Pattewar, Ayurvedic Practitioner
Elaina Hussain, Cambridge School of Culinary Arts
Natasha Daniels, Johnson Wales University
Manas Sahu, Chef, The Curry House
Fred Bowers, World Traveler
Sunanda Pepalla, Gourmet Food Fan, Cal Club Member
Anupma Jati Chopra, Epicurean, Cal Club Member.