I had the good luck to attend a gourmet cheese tasting session, organised by Go Cheese in conjunction with Femina, at the Biere Club, Bangalore, yesterday, along with several other food bloggers. The star attraction at the event was a visit from celebrity chef Ranveer Brar, ambassador for Go Cheese, who flew in from Delhi specially for this occasion! 🙂 I’m so thrilled at having had the chance to hear him speaking about cheese, not on TV but live!
The event started off with a stand-up comedy event by renowned comedian Sahil Shah, who had all of us in splits with his beautiful comic timing and one liners.
Then, Mahesh Israni, CMO, Go Cheese India, took the stage, and educated us about the many cheesy offerings that his firm has come out with. He told us of how Gujarat ranks the first in India in terms of cheese consumption, closely followed by Maharashtra, while Bangalore and Delhi rank third and fourth respectively.
Apparently, Gujarat leads in innovating a variety of recipes using cheese, rather cheesifying (yes, I just coined that word!) very Indian recipes like bhel poori, pani poori, dosa and the likes. I’ve been there, done the cheese paav bhaji and cheese bhel poori, and loved it too! 🙂 Bangalore, on the other hand, is, largely, a consumer of European-style confections using cheese, like canapes, nachos, crackers and pizzas. For some reason, this fact stuck with me.
Post this, it was the turn of the star attraction, Chef Ranveer Brar, to step up on stage, which he did to many hoots and claps. He spoke at length about different ways in which one can serve cheese and little ways in which everyone could incorporate cheese in their household menus. He also explained in detail how to pair different kinds of cheese with the right kind of wine.
It was a pity there were no cheese recipes demonstrated live by the chef at the session, but he surely gave everyone present there a whole lot of food for thought. I’m already itching to try out some of the things he talked about, piled with cheese of course!
I also got to know that the dapper Chef Brar has recently published a book called Come Into My Kitchen, a memoir about his growing up days in Lucknow, interspersed with other foodie memories, stories and recipes. I so want it now!
We were offered a platter containing three cheeses offered by Go Cheese, all made in India, along with fresh fruits, crackers and a dip. We were encouraged to try out our own combinations, and figure out which cheese goes well with what accompaniment. It was so much fun doing that!
We were then offered samples of some cheesy snacks, thought up by Chef Brar. As we hogged on them, he encouraged us not to follow his recipes, but come up with our own unique recipes to use the different kinds of gourmet cheeses available to us today. I’m surely going to do just that, Chef!
The snack platter contained a Beetroot Carpaccio With Herbed Almette And Mini Greens (centre), which was one of the snacks most loved among the present food bloggers. Now, that is some innovation, right?
The Cheddar And Monterey Jack Cheese Nachos With Avocado Salsa (to the right of the beetroot carpaccio) and the Sliced Cheese, Biere Mustard, Tomato And Olive Bruschetta (exactly below the carpaccio) were my personal favourites.
Apart from these, the platter also contained a Cheesy Pepper Agrodolce Calzone (to the left of the carpaccio) and Crumb-Fried Cheese With Chilly Grape Chutney (to the top of the carpaccio).
Next up were two beautiful, beautiful desserts containing cheese, again Chef Brar’s innovations. I loved both – a Saffron Cream Syllabub With Fresh Fruits And Biscotti Crumbles (on the left) and an Amlette Cheese-Topped Hummingbird Cake With Edible Flowers (on the right).
It would have been great to have been handed the recipes for all of these lovely confections, to try and replicate them at home, but then I sort of understand why that didn’t happen.
At the end of this enlightening session, we left with a sumptuous Go Cheese goodie bag, hearts and tummies sated, with a whole lot of ideas brimming around in our heads.
I do have some cheesy recipes coming up on the blog soon, so do stay tuned. Till then, be good and take care!