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Hollywood recreated on a plate – The Manipal Journal
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Hollywood recreated on a plate

Manipal: Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA) kick-started their second semester of the annual year with ‘The Californian Retreat’ Hollywood themed food fest on January 25 at Fortune Inn Valley View.

Keeping in mind the theme for the fest, the decor was minimalistic, infused with the colours of black, white and red, with the students involved also dressed in formals in an effort to give customers a complete fine dining experience. Diners could get glimpses of Hollywood from the paintings as well as the live music performed by WGSHA students.

The fest’s menu was carefully chosen, prepared and served by the students of WGSHA with support from their faculty so as to put forth popular food items from California. The five-course meal for the evening began with a choice of beverage where diners could choose between Hollywood Sunset , a strawberry consommé topped with fresh pineapple juice and ginger ale, or Silver Lining, a vanilla tea milkshake with a hint of cinnamon and topped off with whipped cream, both of which are prepared at the ‘Grizzly’s Bar’ counter.

A still from The California Retreat food fest || Photograph Courtesy: Priyankar Biswas


Drinks were followed by a small bite called Sheen’s Love Bite, an amuse-bouche taco with a relish, which in turn paved way for a deconstructed smoked tomato soup which was uniquely presented to guests in a delicate round flask. For the same value, guests could make a choice between vegetarian and non-vegetarian appetizers and main course based on their preference.

Taking inspiration from Hollywood, the veg appetizer was named Napa’s Veggie Sliders, which is an Italian bun served alongside chips and fresh salad, while the spinach pappardelle cooked in a burnt garlic and mushroom sauce along with its accompaniments served as main course was aptly called Al Pacino’s Feast. The non-vegetarian section offered batter fried fish and onion rings, whereas the Django’s Bavarian Meal for the main course comprised of roasted chicken rubbed in three spices served with mustard gravy and herbed rice. “Keeping both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian options interesting has resulted in an equal demand for both,” said Mrinal Sethi, kitchen head.

A still from The California Retreat food fest || Photograph Courtesy: Priyankar Biswas


For desert, there was Seth Rogen’s Climax – a compilation of peanut butter chocolate brownie, toasted marshmallows and caramelised popcorns topped with a sinful fudge sauce. Bareen Shaikh, bakery head, said, “This time around, we’ve prepared only one desert so that every guest could savour each component to the fullest.”

WGSHA is working to target guests from all walks of life through this food fest – students and families alike. Seema Sharma, who was dining with her family, said, “The food has been very good so far. A lot of effort has gone into each element of the dish. It is WGSHA’s great marketing efforts that brought us here for a delightful dinner tonight.”

The student body is divided into four houses, so the fest was headed by house Shivaji while students from other houses worked as volunteers. “We had about 120 tickets for sale, all of which sold out,” said Ramya Cotah, a volunteer. Adding to that, Ahana Bahl, the host and Ayush Malwani, the overall head said, “There are so many walk-ins already and we’re having to turn down a few due to extended waiting time.”

An adjoining function celebrating a Guinness World Record in hand sanitation was considered a supposed threat to the ambience, but once one walks in through the doors of the fest, all was serene.

Edited by Manasi Susarla

Niharika Nambiar


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