For those with good taste

Artistic display.  

AGAIN IT'S a food festival — Rusi Food Festival! The theme is not on any particular dish or cuisine.

The festival, being organised by the Travel Club of Madurai for the second successive year, will be a three-day extravaganza from November 7 to 9.

Six hotels from the city, Fortune Pandiyan, venue of the fair, Madura Park Inn, Germanus Best West, Park Plaza and Taj Garden Retreat, and members of the Travel Club will vie with one another in treating visitors with different cuisines such as Hyderabadi, Murudaba (Malaysia), Punjabi, Chettinadu, Chinese and Oriental. Every hotel will serve dishes of a particular cuisine. Besides this, the Dairy Day on its part adds to the feast through its variety of ice creams.

The Travel Club officials said it would be Rs. 30 per vegetarian dish and Rs. 40 for non-vegetarian items. Those interested in munching pastries can barge into the pastry shop of the Fortune Pandiyan Hotel, which would serve pizzas and burgers.

Not just treating the gourmet with different tastes, the fair, which will be open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., will also feature competitions on different aspects such as tasting and identifying different spices and sauces and eating competition, both in a stipulated time, on November 8 and a cooking contest on November 9.

In this segment, the participants will have to present the recipe to win the prize. While a fee of Rs. 20 will be collected for taking part in the eating and cooking competitions, it is free for the `taste-making' competition.

To make the fair more exciting, several other programmes — Bharatanatyam performance on November 7, a magic show on the second day and cultural programmes on the concluding day — will be organised.

For those, who have a flair for cookery, a demonstration on some new dishes such as Mirchi-ka-Salan and Achari Ghost, by the chef of the Taj Garden Retreat, and Chicken Pepper Stake with red wine sauce, Penne a la Bolognaise and Cottage Cheese Stake, by the chef of the Fortune Pandiyan Hotel, will be conducted on the inaugural day.

As a finale to the fiesta, there will be a fireworks display at 9.30 p.m. on November 9.

Just not providing a feast to the taste buds, the fair will also feature stalls of manufacturers of automobiles, health products, umbrellas cottage units, etc., as an added attraction.

Buoyed by the response to last year's fair, the Travel Club has decided to have a bigger hall this year. "Over 2000 visitors enjoyed the fair in 2002 and we expect this number to be doubled this time," said a club member.

"This non-profit affair was aimed at providing different tastes to the city residents, all under one roof, coupled with entertainment," he said.

So gourmets, keep your belly free to fill up with different tastes of India and abroad, during this weekend.

Aravindan M R