BACK TO ROOTS: DISCOVERING ONE OF THE OLDEST SUSTAINABILITY CUISINES
One of the oldest cuisines that dates to the early Kalinga period, Oriya Cuisine, is among the few Indian culinary cultures that contributed in creating the four-main technique on which the foundation of the Indian Cuisine – and the eventual sub cuisine that were built henceforth – including that of Bali.
What made it such a unique cuisine? Two things: First, its tribal origin, which made it seasonal and sustainable; and two, the simplicity and versatility. Folklore has it that one of the reasons the Gupta Dynasty attacked the portal kingdom of Kalinga twice was to understand and adopt the culinary nuances. In fact, Gautam Buddha too found the easiness of the cuisine an important factor that made him adopt to the cuisine as his food.
In this Session, Chef Ajay Sahoo (Head Chef, Diya, The Leela Ambience Gurugram) takes you into the lesser known but widely enjoyed world of Temple Food. He will demonstrate how simple food can be made tasty using eco-friendly tools, local produce, the ancient technique of food layering, creating and changing your spice mixes, the importance of tempering and of course, a special class on the tribal practice of bamboo cooking.
Indian Master Chef Ajay Sahoo
Indian Master Chef Ajay Sahoo leads the culinary operations at Diya, our pan Indian restaurant. Chef Ajay has a rich experience of 14 years including Indian as well as International cuisines.
Having started at a young age of 7, he learnt cooking Oriya food from his grandmother and would cook particularly on weekends. While he enjoyed making different types of chutneys, his first dish for his family was Khichdi and there was no looking back from there. On his culinary journey, he mastered in Oriya recipes with Pakhala, BadiChura, Macha Bhaja, ChingudiBhaja, Saga Bhaja, Aloo Chakta being his favourite.
While studying food production and craft from the Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology, Orissa, he would visit his friends in Kolkata, where he picked up Bengali cuisine. His love for pickles, took him to Varanasi and then to Mumbai, where he joined Copper Chimney and learned Mughlai cuisine with Chef Chandrashekhar. He later visited Bangalore number of times to master Mangalorean and Goan cuisine.
Having worked with renowned hotel chains as Chef de Partie and Sous Chef, he is skilled in artistic menu creation and all other aspects of restaurant operations. He believes in a team oriented environment and honours creativity, while ensuring health and safety standards, throughout.
Chef Ajay is skilled in traditional Oriya cuisine along with Bengali, Awadhi, Hyderabadi & Maharashtrian cuisines and is dedicated to provide world class customer service, food presentation and quality assurance. He is a great asset to the hotels F&B strength and spearheads Diya’s operations.
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