Exclusively curated shows have been the backbone of the Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF) in Goa, a multi-disciplinary event which has offered artists and creative individuals a platform to showcase their talent, spread awareness on crucial subjects, bring novel ideas to the audience and more.
This year, Goa’s Prahlad Sukhtankar, founder of the iconic Black Sheep Bistro and the classy Black Market Goa restaurants and one of the 10 curators of the 5th edition of the SAF, will be curating the important culinary quotient through a series of workshops decoding food as we know it. The festival’s culinary segment has over 35 workshops lined-up according to Prahlad. “This year, our main purpose is to integrate art with sustainability as it’s a popular topic all over the globe right now. Making sure we convey a particular notion is all that is necessary, given that we live in a world where we consume far too many resources and foods.” Says Prahlad.
“Agriculture sustains and art always inspires. So, we reasoned, why not incorporate agriculture and art into this culinary theme? Another unstated goal is that many young chefs who are interested in the industry or want to try something new would be motivated by some of the things we cover at the workshop and put forth a genuine effort,” he adds.
Prahlad claims that he has always viewed cooking as more of a craft than an art, a talent which one must hone. He mentions, “It’s as if someone were honing their knife every day to make it the sharpest. Similarly, cooking is a craft that requires practice,”.
The segment curated by Prahlad will have culinary gurus from Goa such as Avinash Martins, Pablo Miranda, Shubhra Shankwalkar, Jason DeSouza, Sid Mewara and Aniket Chatterjee, who will share in-depth knowledge about different aspects of the culinary world. They will also conduct workshops and masterclasses during the festival.
Shankwalkar will present Goa’s distinctive Gaud Saraswat Brahmin food at a workshop, while Martins will host a Tribal Table at the Art Park, where he will collaborate with local tribals to produce Goan fare using native ingredients.
Maia Laifungbam will instruct the audience on traditional Meitei cuisine, while DeSouza will demonstrate ways of putting together a vegetarian carpaccio. French Chef Patrick will also teach participants how to create international flavours using regional ingredients. Participants will learn about Koji (a mould that grows on rice or grain that can be used to add flavour) from Prachit Sancheti. Siddhant will discuss tribal food and Nakul Bhonsle, who creates craft beer, will discuss how to choose a beer based on your flavour palette.
Prahlad reveals that his curated segment will feature a few restaurateurs like Tataki and Melt Pizzabar, Petisco and Creme Choc at the Arena; a space, which will also host power packed performances by renowned artists from all over the nation.
Prahlad also has a slice of advice for prospective culinary artists. “Culinary arts is not just about attending culinary schools; it also involves getting real-world experience and reading books, both of which are very important. Take a creative approach to your work and begin experimenting with different elements. The results may or may not be successful, but learning should never cease,” he says.
The Serendipity Arts Festival 2022 celebrates a variety of artistic mediums, including dance, music, culinary arts, and more. The 5th Edition of Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF) returns with a roar from 15th-23rd December 2022 to Panaji and has a lot in store after a two-year hiatus.