Friday, May 22, 2009

Chef Lyjo James, Student Edible Aspic Work @ CAI

Culinary Artistry or food decorations are used to enhance the overall visual impact of the foods or the places where the food is being served. This emerged as a full-fledged operations of the kitchen brigade specially the Garde-Manger department of a A-grade food establishment .
At Culinary Academy of India I have learned the fine art of making ASPIC-LOGOS with pure melted gelatin and food colours. After picking up the basic aspic logo making techniques from Chef Sudhakar N Rao I started experimenting and brought in my own ideas and today , I started making aspic displays with new and highly acceptable techniques keeping in mind the rules of food decorations and presentations. Apart from what I learned in CAI,( )
I started using techniques such as the “inlay”, ”ensemble” and “embedding” and gave my aspic logos and works a three dimensional outlook. Today I can say that aspic is one of the best and most difficult mediums which can be used for making different centre-pieces for exclusive buffets.
· Straight Cut
· Smudge
· Emboss
· Inlay
· Embed
· Ensemble

Inlay Technique used in making Aapic centre-Peices

Herbs, peels and spices used in in-lay technique

Embedding technique of making aspic centre-pieces

Vegetable like rutabagas used in embedding

Vegetables used in aspic ensemble

Food ingredients in ensemble

Vegetable embossing in aspic

3 Dimensional arrangement with elaborate use of aspic

Smudge technique of making aspic paintings

Smudge aspic painting in making

Smudge Aspic Work display

Display of Straight cut aspic logos

Aspic work with form, flow and pattern with emboss approach.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chef Vijaya Narasimha Raju, Student Ice Carver@CAI

26 Feet Multi Block Assembled Ice Sculpture

Vertical and Horizontal locking method of Ice Sculpting

Final Display of the ICe Sculpture
Final Display of the ICe Sculpture

3-Dimensional central vertically assembled Ice Sculpture

Multi form 3-dimensional assembly by Tongue & Lever method

15 Feet Vertically Locked 3-dimensional Ice Sculpture

Symmetry & Balance - Ice Sculpted Alphabets
Understanding Multiple forms and Balancing

Understanding Multiple forms and Balancing

Life Size 3-D Ice Sculpture with Brand CAI inlay

Our Batch Final Exam product

Abstract Ice Sculpture used as a back drop in one of the national level competitions

Ice Sculptures
Sculpture, Carving, Moulding whatever you call… addition method or subtraction method whatever the approach, 3-dimensional or 2-dimensional these were the words I always loved and wanted to make a career with these. In my 7th Class my drawing teacher named me as an artist of my class since then there was no looking back and I always wanted to be known as an artist. Though I secured 90% marks in my +2 I still wanted to make a career either in visual arts or in sculpting even though my entire family was against it.
While I was in my XI class I already started looking for some new careers in art and sculpture that is where I heard a new term called “Culinary Arts”. After a thorough research on the web I got to know about Culinary Academy of India which offers a Bachelor’s Degree in Catering Technology and Culinary Arts. After browsing the site I still wanted to go personally I check out the college.
I was waiting almost for 8 months to visit the college because I don’t belong to Hyderabad. Once I reached the college I met the counselor who explained to me all the details of the course, career options etc. But for my inquisitive mind I asked the counselor that I would like to see the places where the students learn about Culinary Arts and he was more than happy to take me on a tour of the college.
Culinary Academy of India I say was the place which I really wanted to be because of the best infrastructure and most surprisingly all the labs were full of students and every practical class was a eye opener. But the lab on the 5th floor was special because one french beard guy was taking a class and showing the students how to make butter sculptures. I was astonished to see the class so committed to the teaching going on and all the students were observing the chef with apt concentration. It was then and there I decided that I am gonna join CAI and pursue BCT&CA as my career and one day will be a professional culinary artist.
Thank you CAI & Thank you Chef Sudhakar N. Rao

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chef Syed Abdul Attique

Indian Sweets packed exactly like European Marzipan

Packing and New Look

Traditional Indian Pudding - Phirnee

Indian Dessert & Savoury Display

Indian Sweet Dumpling - Chandrakala

Indian Dessert - Barfi presented more like a roulade in European style on a Mirror

Indian Sweet Marzipan Style
Indian Sweet is known to speak the language of Culture, tradition & love, yet its very presence can make the strongest of hearts melt into infidelity... for when your eyes see more than one variety, it is tough to stay loyal to a single flavor.
The raid of Indian sweet boutiques, designer sweets has set up strong competition to the flower culture in India. And now with India on a health drive, sugar-free and healthy, nutritive sweets are becoming the latest rage.
As people are traveling out more than ever they are able to savour a variety of sweet meats in Europe & America. When they come back, they look for similar flavors and quality here. It is this awareness and demand that has made Indian sweet makers to adapt to the changing demands. This innovative out look has given new dimensions to the sweets of India.
Chocolate is slowly replacing traditional Indian sweets as appropriate gifts during festivals and other occasions; this has propelled shops selling Indian sweets to come up with variations of traditional Indian sweets, to sustain their sales. It has become a mandatory token of celebration during birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, acquisition and milestones in our lives. Can you imagine Diwali with out Indian traditional sweets?? !!!
To counter the invasion of chocolate in the Indian traditional exchange of sweets for festivals & occasions the favorite Indian sweets, are now made to look as Marzipan. This sweet meat is shaped into all types of shapes, the most popular being fruits. What you can do with it is practically limitless, since you can mix fruit puree into portions of Indian Marzipan ( Khova , Kaju Katli or Badam Katli) as you knead or even paint on the shapes once you've made them, using a regular artist's paint brush and edible gel based colours unlike the powder colours which are high in lead content Besides that, Indian marzipan is great for kitchen crafts, looks better & yet very much traditional.Packaging is given due importance for the easy and safe transportation of items to the destination. Besides, packaging is done in a manner that allures the onlooker and leaves an irresistible impact like that of chocolates & other branded continental desserts.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Chef Vellanki Vishwamitra

With Chef Gupta, Corporate Sr. Executive Chef,
The Ashok Group

With Chef M. S. Gill, Director-Food, ITC Hotels
President, Indian Federation of Culinary Association

With Chef Ferdinand Metz, President, WACS

With Chef Bill Gallagher, Honarary Life President, WACS
and Chef Ferdinand Metz, President, WACS

Every individual wants to win, to get what they think they deserve but a mere handful of them get lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time. I am, thankfully, one of them. I have realized a fantasy at a very early stage of my life - representing my subcontinent at a different level before the world, proving more than just a point to the so called ‘intimidating’ nations.
The day my principal Chef Sudhakar announced the competition, I was as excited as all others in my batch were. I felt a wave of anxiety and the pressure to perform before my mentors overpowering me. I was determined to please the judges' palate (Chef Mathew Crop, Exec Chef, Oberoi Hilton Towers, Mumbai and Chef Subrajeet Bardan, Exec. Chef, ISTA, Hyderabad) and make it through the prelims.
Soon enough, the prelims happened, and surprisingly (I must've prayed really hard), I got through! There I was, all set to represent India globally (a mammoth task, indeed). And believe me, it wasn’t just another big moment for me. It was a matter of reputation of my institute, Culinary Academy of India being at stake, I had this huge responsibility of reiterating the fact to all that it is an ace culinary academy at par with any other school of international acclaim.
I was sponsored a trip to Dubai (my first outside India) for the competition. My mentor Chef Sajja Vijay accompanied me to the venue The Dubai International Convention Centre to attend the 33rd Biennial Congress of the World Association of Chef Societies. I was like the new kid there, as excited and amused as a kid could possibly be, amidst all the stalwarts of the culinary world, you know, names most of us have probably just heard of.
A day prior to the competition, the rules were disclosed and all clarifications made by Chef Bill Gallagher (Honorary life president WACS). Each of us competitors was given a basket of ingredients one hour in advance to decide the menu. Trust me, it really is challenging to bring out perfect dishes with what you have been given and ensure that it is well balanced and all the flavors go well together.
On the day of competition, I carried my entire equipment set to the kitchen hoping for the best. I was competing with U.S.A, Singapore, Germany, Korea and the like. All my competitors had already had a good amount of experience in kitchens and hotels. I was the only ‘fresher’ from a culinary school pursuing my graduation. Competition was tough. But I had all the encouragement possible from Chef Manjeet Singh Gill, Chef Sounder Rajan, Chef Madhu Krishnan, and Chef Sudhakar who always stood by me and kept me going till I finally finished with my competition.
It was a live kitchen. Each and every aspect right from cleanliness, maintenance of hygiene and being organized, speed of work, menu compilation, balance of ingredients, time keeping, and working under pressure was noticed. One mistake we make, we lose and our senses play a vital role. In a situation like this being calm and cool is very important especially when you have to plate the food when your 10 minutes come and three live cameras surround you projecting it live to the chefs in the congress watching the young talent.
Award distribution was on the last day of the congress. All the junior chefs were called onto the stage to be acknowledged for good work. Chef Ferdinand Metz, the World president of WACS, showed his appreciation for India’s participation of talent in such a big event. The time for announcement of result came. I heard them saying, “The bronze medal goes to Chef Viswamitra Vellanki from India”.
For a while I was too shocked. I couldn’t believe I had done it. All the chefs in the congress stood up and applauded for me. I felt so proud and overjoyed. I got a medal on a platform like WACS, for which chefs from all over work so hard.
The biggest learning I received from the Culinary Academy team is “Commitment”, undoubtedly. A very strong word indeed, it is difficult to describe. One can only sense it. Passion is the biggest force that motivates one to reach his/her goal but it’s the commitment and dedication towards work which makes it all happen. I believe in this, hence I abide by it. For me,