The occasion could not have been more apt and the timing more precise, for Vivanta by Taj – Fort Aguada to hold its American Seafood Festival, at its popular Marisco Restaurant, perched at a height with the spectacular Arabian Sea offering a majestic backdrop. The decision of the premier North Goa Resort to hold a food festival offering American delicacies linked to the seafood, during US President Barack Obama’s visit to India, though unintentional, is nevertheless pleasurable.
“Although, America like Europe or say Oriental countries has no illustrious culinary history as well as tradition, the same has gradually evolved from the influence of the European kitchen,” said chef Mohit while informing about the American Seafood Festival being held at Marisco Restaurant till February 1, stating that the food fiesta will showcase American delights, which are far from the fast food items such as hamburgers generally associated with the US. “Just as Goan food carries the whiff of Portuguese cuisine, the American cuisine also displays European touch, with lot of herbs and spices used in the food.”
The executive chef Amarendra informing about the festival said that the highlight of the food festival is the use of the block of pink Himalayan salt for cooking the dishes. “In fact, lot of research has gone while preparing the menu for this food festival as well as finalising the methods of cooking,” he mentioned, pointing out that options are also offered to the connoisseurs of food to order dishes grilled on mango wood and lava stone, or for that matter steamed, wine poached or pan seared dishes, which provide different yet unique flavours to them.
“There are lot of natural minerals in the salt block and the food cooked on the same has natural taste minus synthesisers or stabilisers,” chef Mohit said.
The salt blocks most commonly associated with cooking come from mines in the Salt Range in Pakistan, almost 200 miles from the southernmost edge of the Himalayas. The salt blocks carry traces of minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, potassium contained in the salt. They retain heat as well as an iron skillet and also be used to chill foods or as a serving dish.
Speaking further, chef Mohit informed that the fish including rock fish, red snapper, sea bass, tuna, Atlantic salmon and John Dory are being imported, especially for the food festival. “And then we are also offering fresh catch of the day, that is dish prepared from local fish,” he informed.
“Furthermore, the sea food recipes offered at the food festival are supported by authentic American sauces and accompaniment,” chef Mohit said, adding that red pepper chimichurri, romesco sauce, garlic butter chunky tomato, marsala mushroom cream sauce, roasted fennel pesto, creamy leek sauce, olive tapenade and pommery mustard sauce are some of the special preparations of sauce and salsa that will enhance the taste of the recipes in the food festival menu.
The dishes right from the starters to main course to marinations extend a treat to the lovers of sea food. The chef’s special appetisers like Chilean crab cakes with tomato and bean relish and mustard aioli provide a journey into the untreaded territory of foodland.
As the theme of the food festival goes – “everyone has the liberty to choose the food” – the event opens up the doors to countless recipes, with each one having freedom to opt for the dish of his own liking.
(The American Seafood Festival will be open at the Marisco Restaurant, Vivanta by Taj – Fort Aguada, till February 1, between 7.30 and 10.30 in the evenings.)