At First …
After dealing with mundane household the hustle and bustle at the wee hours of dawn, I was greeted by the most exciting email from the esteemed Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) #MPOC India, #thinkpalmoil, #mpocsocial. I clicked onwards to learn, that I was invited to be part of a ‘food hunt event’. My excitement knew no bounds, and I signed up for the same, at a drop of a hat!
The event was organized on the 30th of September 2019. Participants were expected to dress up like famed Bollywood actors and actresses, and briefly enact their part. Chosen winners would be announced in the male and female category.
I started gathering myself with gusto, and readied all that I was to wear for the event. On the 30th of September 2019, the famous yester year’s actress, ‘Vaijanthi Mala’ made her enigmatic presence felt at the Sunville Banquet Hall, at Dr. Annie Besant Road, at Worli. Fervour and excitement gripped me, and got into the very skin of my character, ‘ Vaijanthi Mala’. My act earned a thumping applauds, and I bagged the best actress award! I was thrilled! My limitless joy urged me to take innumerable tick-tok videos at the gala. I was fast assuming recognition as the tick-tock queen!
The eminent buzz, just grew with time as Dr. Bhavna Shah (Country Representative India and SriLanka – Malaysian Palm Oil Council) and Mr. Sandeep Bhan (COO of Siam Darby Oils, Part of Siam Darby Plantation, the biggest producer of sustainable Palm Oil. He has been in the industry for more than last 23 years, worked in various countries.), imparted their valuable insights on the advantages of palm oil, and how the ingredient could be used for regular cooking purposes as well. Soon after we were grouped and sent off on our food hunt mission.
The next part of the event involved, taking to the hunt for real! The clues were scattered at eminent restaurants in the city. The first clue that we got was #baraanamumbai. We all gathered there. At a blind tasting, organized by the restaurant, we were made to recognize the dish. As soon as I dug into the first bite I was certain I was having ‘Moong dal, gram flour and spinach fritters, fired in Palm oil. The beauty of the fritters was that it didn’t leave a sticky oily residue in ones hands, and imparted a delicious flavour to the dish. Palm oil has lesser trans-fats as compared to other oils, and also has a very high melting point. Which is why lesser amounts are used to fry more. It is famously incorporated in confectionary as well. Our team won this round too!
We soon earned the next clue, at #thegamemumbai #goplaygoinsane. This was really a game! The confusion amused us a great deal! We were led and misled, but perhaps it was about trying a chef’s patience and perseverance. I am certain we all lacked that, and were absolutely delayed for the next part of the event.
By now it wasn’t really about winning the hunt, or getting to Malaysia. It was about delivering the best at what we did, and overcome the numerous challenges that we encountered, with a genuine heart-felt smile.
During the course of the competition we learned that everyone was the best version of themselves, and I simply wanted to enjoy the moment to the fullest.
We soon made it to #lighthousemumbai, which was very close to the banquet hall. There we were asked to prepare a delicious salad. The ingredients included a delicious array of products that had lettuce, sprouts, boiled corn, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, onion, carrot, vinegar and palm oil (#thinkpalmoil, #MPOCIndia #mpocsocial). I would secretly like to add, that our salad looked super dashing. The blast of colour had certainly done justice to the appeal. A splash of Malaysian Palm oil out could have transported the binger to seventh heaven! Our group members entertained themselves by christening the salad, and calling it, ‘Keep Calm with Palm Salad’.
As soon as we were through with making our salad, we were guided back to our venue, and were asked to prepare a dessert using Vanilla ice cream, Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, and Hide and Seek Biscuits. Did you know that Malaysian Palm oil that’s present in the ice cream, and other confectionaries, could simply uplift the taste? Yes indeed it does! (#thinkpalmoil, #MPOCIndia #mpocsocial)
The plating was an essential aspect here, and we won some extra brownie points on that! Perfection is a key to becoming a good chef!
Did you know that the Malaysian Palm Oil industry (#thinkpalmoil, #MPOCIndia #mpocsocial) has played a critical role at uplifting Malaysia from its financial crisis? The industry has been growing leaps and bounds at a rocket fuelled pace! Malaysian Palm oil is the suggested and cost effective replacement to the other animal and vegetable oil variants.
What started with a competitive spirit, ended on a high note, where learning about Malaysian Palm oil (#thinkpalmoil, #MPOCIndia #mpocsocial) proved beneficial for my understanding as a chef and blogger! The invigorating theme, in conjunction with the games and learning made this event a fun one overall.