Festivals bring joy to a dull and mundane life. And if they are about some really good food, a heart warming music and some captivating dance performances, nothing can’t stop your life to get revived. Such was the experience when Blogger’s Table was called for yet another event last week. It was the opening ceremony of Quartet of European Delights at Hotel Eros Hilton, New Delhi, a time to unveil some serious European gastronomy.
It’s a festival of cuisine from four European countries including Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, starting from 31st October. And we were quite lucky indeed that we were called up at the opening ceremony.
Under the open sky of a starry night, the ceremony started with a brief address by the ambassadors of all four countries followed by a felicitation of the brilliant Chef Marek Brezina from Slovakia, Robert Trzópek from Poland, Csaba Horváth from Hungary and Michal Jerabek from Czech Republic, who flew into India exclusively for this 10 days of food extravaganza.
It was just finished and we got to hear the sound of orchestra, adjusting their instruments, coming from the corner of the stage. It was really lovely live jazz music, which was then followed by some beautiful melodies by Monika Dryl a Polish actress and singer, who after winning numerous festivals and competitions, including the Grand Prix, was here to win our hearts with her very sweet and melodious voice.
And then came the jewel of the evening. A mesmerizing Hungarian folk dance performance by a group of vivacious dancers, which was presented by Csillagszemuek (Starry-Eyed) Dance Ensemble, an institution who teaches dance education through workshops in which children learn their native folk dances. And they really are able to preserve their native folk dances and culture, which was quite obvious from the spirited foot tapping performance of the dancers.
Food, the main attraction of the festival, was nonetheless extravagant. Their were huge buffet counters from all four countries. I tried to taste a sample from each one of the counters, but could not do so, as it was not at all possible. It was comfort food all over. From soups to meaty stews to creamy vegetables to cheesy savory pies to pancakes to warm apple strudel. It was a never ending affair of such good comfort food. And this is right in time, as we can feel the starting nip in air in Delhi these days.
The one which I could taste and really liked were
- Lamb Goulash, Cold Trout with Chive Yogurt, Homemade Gnocchi from Hungary.
- Marinated Duck Breast with Juniper and Apple and Beetroot Salad and Crepes with Walnut Cream & Orange Chocolate Sauce from Poland.
- Cauliflower Pancakes with White Cheese and Chive and Warm Apple Strudel with Vanilla and Chocolate Sauce from Czech Republic.
- Dense lentil & Vegetables Soup, Sheep’s Cheese Pie from Slovakia
All in all it was a wonderful evening spent having some really good food along with experiencing a panoramic view of the cultures and traditions of those four great European countries.
The festival is on till 9th November. Do stop by for this wonderful food affair.
Others from Blogger’s Table who were present that night:
Sid Khullar of ChefAtLarge
Charis of Culinary Storm
Rituparna of Chocolates & Dreams