The latest offering of the Navhind Times Planet J team was a culinary workshop held at, and in partnership with, the South Goan luxury resort, Alila Diwa Goa, specifially at the Spice Studio premises on Monday the 9th November.

Seventy-one students in the age group of 16 to 21 along with a couple of teachers and parents participated in the half-day workshop which was conducted by Chef Rakesh Kumar.

In addition to South Goan participants, students from locations as far as Panaji, Dona Paula and Porvorim made up a sizable presence at the programme. While Resort General Manager Siddharth Savkur welcomed the delegates, Chef Rakesh outlined the shape of activities to come.

Participants were then divided into four groups, and given a station each, with each delegate also given smart black aprons and chef caps bearing the Alila Diwa logo. Understandably, the would-be culinary experts were raring to go!

Located on an elevated platform that spreads naturally around a banyan tree and surrounded by a water body, the Spice Studio with its verdant surroundings was the perfect venue for the proceedings. Chef Rakesh had his work table placed strategically under the tree and the four stations together with the participants took to the platform.

The first item on the agenda was Mediterranean Lasagne, with the resource person demonstrating how to go about making one. Throughout the master class Chef Rakesh dispensed tips and answered queries. The tempting aromas that wafted during the demo had everyone waiting to sample the mouth- watering preparation. However there was a short wait as participants at each table had to first make their own lasagne. Besides the vegetarian variety, the participants also made chicken lasagna.

Next on the menu was tricolour chocolate mousse with Rakesh explaining the dos and don’ts of making a mousse. After the demonstration each table also made their own glass of mousse, with chocolate seemingly everywhere. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, what with the finger licking!

By workshop’s end, delegates were more than ready for the lunch spread that the hotel had laid out. Besides the items on the buffet, participants also got to taste their own lasagne.

To round off, General Manager Savkur handed out certificates of participation to each budding chef along with a printed copy of the recipes. The participants were also allowed to keep their aprons as mementos. Those who wished to look over the property were obliged by gracious PR manager Rashmi Chittal.

Needless to say, the planning and execution of the entire workshop by the Alila Diwa Goa team was simply flawless.

With the curtains down on this event it is time now to look forward to the next in what is certain to be a long line of such monthly Navhind Times Planet J endeavours.