There I was, back in Rhapsody, after nearly 8-9 months. And I was here to attend the Cook & Dine event at Rhapsody, Courtyard by Marriott. It is a cool concept, people who are interested in cooking come over, be a part of the event, and get to not only sample dishes made by the Chef but also a lavish buffet lunch at Paprika, the coffee shop. 

I noticed it was all women, and many of them have been regulars, infact 2ladies told me they have not missed a single session. They actually said there was another friend who joined them but she was currently travelling. Another lady I met is an Expat [like most of them who were there for the session] said “I enjoy the food here and so to learn how the Chef makes some of the dishes is fun, apart from this I also get to meet so many other interesting women. There is a contest held during the event, and we partner with whoever is willing, so language, nationality, nothing matters. It is fun”. There were 3 women who had brought their kids, one was a baby in the stroller, while other 2 were probably around 1.5 to 2 yrs of age. The kids were running around, but were quiet, oh and did I mention they were adorable!?

So, what did Chef Paul stir up during the session?? Lo behold, it was all Salads and one dessert. What a treat it was. 

Caesar Salad  came first. With Romaine lettuce being the star of the salad with a dressing made with egg yolk, anchovies, parmesan cheese, worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic and garlic croutons sprinkled on top for a bit of crunch.. A nice creamy/cheesy salad. For vegetarians, just make mayo minus egg and anchovies or buy them off the shelf. 🙂

Next up was Tuna Nicoise. Pan seared Tuna that had been gently coated with salt and pepper served on a bed of fresh crunchy salad made of green beans, potatoes, olives, cherry tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, lemon juice, aragula [rocket leaves], capers, olive oil, salt & pepper and one boiled egg. I tried the salad minus the tuna and it was good, light and filled with flavour. The chef used boiled baby potatoes, a nice touch [I havent used potatoes in salad, should try]

The 3rd salad was Grilled chicken salad with honey mustard dressing. The salad had Asparagus, cherry tomato, spring onion, mixed lettuce, thyme, honey, boneless chicken breast, olive il, mustard sauce, lemon juice, salt & pepper. The ladies in the row ahead of me exclaimed this was their favorite [after the tasting]. The Chef did add a bit of blue cheese which he said was optional.

Then came the Italian Rustic salad with Balsamic. This was my favorite salad of the day- it had grilled bell peppers, garlic confit, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms, mixed lettuce, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard sauce, salt & pepper. It was so yummy, I loved it. You can do away with garlic if you dont like the taste/dont eat.

Now, onto the healthiest salad of the day- Healthy mixed sprout salad – as the name states, it was a salad that had a mix of bean sprouts, green peas sprouts, black chick peas, white chick peas, onions, tomatoes, mixed lettuce. The dressing was Yoghurt based- yoghurt with roasted garlic, thyme, lemon, olive oil, salat & pepper. I make something like this at home, but I prefer the chick peas boiled, not raw. 

And then came the last of the salads- Cobb salad, made the traditional way. Hard boiled eggs, bacon/turkey, cos lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, blue cheese, mustard sauce, red wine vinegar, 
worcestershire sauce, garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper. The salad was bright and a feast for the eyes. 

When I went around speaking to some of the ladies, I came to know there were different Chefs who handled this event, and some better than the other. They all said they enjoyed the contest as it gave them a chance to experiment, test their cooking skills and take home some goodies.. 😀 

Oops, wait, the event is not over. There was the dessert yet to be made.. It was Oats & Honey Granola pie, quite an easy dessert. All you need to do is make the tart, fill it with either oats granola bars, or add oats, raisins, dry fruits, walnuts mixed up and bake in oven for about 25- 30 mins. It was heavenly, loved it. 

Phew, finally, all were glad to get off their seats and walk around. Earlier, in the other section of the restaurant, I noticed a table with various ingredients and wondered the purpose behind it. And the answer was revealed when the Chef announced it was time for the contest, today’s theme was “make a salad of your choice, not necessarily what you had seen during the demo”. There were 5 teams, all had about 5 to 6 members except for one that had just 2 women. Each one churned up an interesting salad, some used all ingredients, while others used minimal. Infact,the team that had used minimum ingredients but packed a punch was the one that WON!

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And that is when the curtains came down on yet another session of Cook & dine! toodle doo till next time!

If you wish to attend one of these, all you need to do is register with Rhapsody, Courtyard Marriott, pay Rs800 and you get to spend 3-4 hours learning. This event is held 3rd Friday every month. 

Contact: 044 66764000 to know more..
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