The Food & Kitchen Expo held last week in Palace Grounds was a must visit for Team Zoink! The expo played host to having countless stalls of many restaurants, food service outlets, kitchen equipment, bakery produce, dairy products, food machinery and packaging, etc. The expo was mainly an opportunity for businesses to create new leads, promote their brand, and advertise their products to the Suppliers and consumers of food and food related industry- Food manufacturing, Food retail, Food service, Restaurants, and Kitchen Equipment & technology.
This expo was not just going to be an assembly of foodies, but also an opportunity to network with and interact with distinguished personalities from the hospitality industry. At the expo, ‘food stalls’ took a new meaning – gone were the single counters manned by 2 people who’d furiously be taking your orders. Some of the restaurants (Zaffran and The Solitaire Hotel) had set up full fledged stalls with dining spaces so that the customers could sit down and have a good meal (we actually found this quite delightful). Other stalls were Hungry Hogs (where you could find some juicy hot dogs catering to the Indian palate), Prawn Crunch (with high-end tablet PC’s offered as menus to order from) Beijing Bites (who doesn’t love Indian Chinese? :P) and Pizza Corner to name a few.
But more than anything, what really grabbed our attention was Just Bakes’ attempt in breaking the Guinness record of baking the largest fruit cake in the world – which weighed a whopping – wait for it – 3510 kgs (our jaws dropped just as much as yours did). The dimensions of the cake were 20ftx30ft (yes, much bigger than the HUGE carpet from your grandmum’s house). Preparing this cake, of course, was no Herculean feat.
The fruit mixing and preparation of the cake began in early September. 1700 Kgs of fruits, 500 Kgs of flour, 550 Kgs of sugar, 17,500 eggs and 150 bottles of rum (oh, wow!) went into making this ginormous cake. The processes of baking all of the fruit cakes and preparing the fondant and icing started only 15 days prior to the expo. Edible gum paste and plenty of fondant went into keeping the large cake together and giving it that unbelievably immaculate Christmas cake taste!
Mr. Rami Reddy, Director of Just Bake said “We always wanted to do something innovative with baking every year. Last year, we made Asia’s largest Choco Jungle, and the year before last, we made the longest cake in India. This year, we wanted to do something different again and decided to break the Guinness record of the largest fruit cake.” Customers could place orders in the expo for the cake (priced at Rs.400/kg), which could be picked up from any of the 45 Just Bake outlets in the city.
What also intrigued us was the Starvin’ Marvin’s ‘BBQ Eating Contest’. Inspired by the TV show Man vs Food set up a large stall with live counters for grilling meats wherein food fanatics could claim their right to glory by destroying gigantic proportions of BBQ chicken in record time. We tried, but failed (somehow, finishing an entire chicken in under 4 minutes was too much of a task for us – our excuse was that we needed some more time to devour the flavour and succulence of the meat).
We personally thought this was an impossible feat, but Starvin’ Marvin’s Founder and ‘Chief Grill Officer’ Sarfaraz Soudagar assured us otherwise. “I have finished this BBQ chicken under 4 minutes on umpteen occasions. And it’s not a sole achievement – many of our patrons have done this earlier on, and so I’ve banned them from participating in the contest”, he cajoled. But Mr. Narayan, a self-claimed carnivore, did manage to finish the BBQ chicken in 4 minutes, and was absolutely ecstatic. A huge crowd cheered him on, and along with being able to eat for free and earning bragging rights, he also managed to get a space on the Wall of Fame. Pretty damn cool.
And, yes, that was pretty much what you missed at Bangalore’s first Food & Kitchen Expo. Though we felt that the overall response was lukewarm, there were some things we did enjoy – like the BBQ chicken, the delectable prawns and sampling the largest fruit cake in the world. Who says dreams don’t come true? 😛