Posts filed under India

El Somni Is Truly a Culinary Opera Dream Come True

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For over a year now the famed Roca Brothers of Spain have been crafting a unique culinary presentation, El Somni, a culinary opera.

Their truly amazing creation is a stunning collaboration of cuisine, form, music and wonder – worthy of the esteemed name, ‘Opera’.

The universality of this 'great work' (for that is what the word ‘opera’ actually means), is reflected in the diversity of the first 12 individuals invited to experience the work.

The premiere guest list included an HIV researcher, a fellow chef, an anthropologist, an actress, a theoretical physicist, a poet, an artist, a film director, a research biologist, a conductor, a food writer and a robotics researcher.

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The composition of the work is divided into 12 concepts or courses that wrap the viewing diner in The Dream that is the experience’s title translated.

The courses pay homage to the great French chef François Vatel, who killed himself in 1671 when his concept for a vital banquet that was to be served to the French King Louis XIV was destroyed by the late delivery of fresh fish from the coast.

Such was the temperament of a dedicated artist when art was an expected part of the 'noble' life.


  • Prelude: Water Nymph (Vegetable soup at low temperature, sprouts, flowers and light)
  • The Dream Begins (Moon)
  • Space (Foams frost Indian figue) 
  • Ophiucus (Electric eel)
  • Under the Sea (Shrimps, plankton, and anemones, sea urchins, cockles, seawater, crustaceans)
  • Garden of the Hesperides (Anarkia)
  • The Courtship (Ying yang Palo Cortado oysters with garlic and white all black)
  • The Carnality (Pueblano pigeon breast with mole, grilled strawberries and roses)
  • Apple/Brittle (Golden apple)
  • War (Royal hare roial with blood orange and beet)
  • Mercy/Death (Parmentier potatoes with purple bone marrow,caviar, purple flowers and incense smoke)
  • Glory (Dessert mass mother, mother dough ice cream)
  • Awakening (Sweet spring)
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Yet the wonder of the evening does not rest solely on the event's innovation cuisine. Expanding on the talents developed in the three brothers’ world famous restaurant,El Celler de Can Roca, these three creative chefs also collaborated with a diverse group of visual artists, includingFranc Aleu, Daniel Molina, Pere Grife,andPeret, to create an experience that defies the limits of culinary classification.

After its initial premiere in Barcelona, this unique work will be hosted at 12 different locations around the world, followed by a documentary book, exhibit and finallya filmby Mediapro.

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If possible, do all you can to attend.  Like listening to great opera performed well for the first time, afterwards you will never view the world in quite that same way as before. And that is, truly, the definition of great art. 

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Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2013

How to Feed 100,000 People a Day

In a world that seems unable to work together even to solve the simplest of problems, Valerie Berteau and Philippr Witjes have produced a stunning documentary film, entitled Himself Who Cooks, that follows the efforts of hundreds of volunteers at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India as they feed up to 100,000 people every day. 

Yes, that’s correct -100,000 meals in a day from the Temple's Langar Kitchen.  Bertau and Witjes capture in beautiful imagery, frame by frame, the spontaneous choreography of hundreds of hands moving in unison to the pulse of a spiritual expression found through the creation and sharing of food for all. 

The Golden Temple is itself as unique as the film, because it is not only a central religious center for Sikhism but also serves as a shining symbol of brotherhood and equality for all people. As a result, everyone, regardless of creed, race, sex, nationality or social status, is welcome without hindrance or restriction to dine respectfully together in peace and fellowship.

What makes this documentary even more unique is that Philippe Witjes, who worked with Berteau as co-author and film maker, is himself a professional chef.  As a result, many images of everyday beauty, that others might have overlooked, are captured and presented as moments of meaning within food service.

Many thanks to this creative team for reminding us all, that between the plates and pans, food, when all is said and done, is about fellowship with others and so, hopefully, with the world around us.

Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2013