The Michelangelo brings a taste of India to Africa

For four days The Michelangelo in Joburg’s upscale Sandton neighbourhood will be transformed into a cosmopolitan melting pot of gastronomic tastes, colours, sights and experiences when Taste Of India launches on August 20th 2013.

Overlooking Nelson Mandela Square with its large six-metre sculpture of the country’s first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela, the Renaissance-style hotel will be sending guests on one of the wildest culinary trips of their life.

“India bristles with an eclectic melange of cuisine that is both intoxicating and astonishingly diverse,” says Roberto Rosa, General Manager of the Michelangelo Hotel. “The Michelangelo has previously hosted a number of decadent food promotions and festivals with authentic dishes from various countries across the globe, including Mauritius, Malaysia and Mexico, but we’re more excited than ever to bring guests a taste of Indian magic.”

Offering guests a delectable spread of traditional Indian dishes, from savoury jewels like Papad ki Sabz, Chole bhaturei, Poppadom Curry and crispy
flatbread to platefuls of decadently sweet treats like Gajar ka Halwa, Idli,
Kuzhakkattai and Sakkara pongal, top Indian chef Jerry Mathew will be
transforming the freshest ingredients into favourite vegan, vegetarian and
Jainism dishes.

Arriving in South Africa from his home country of India later this month
(August 4) Mathew is a member of CGH Earth, a family-run enterprise
providing authentic experiences of true Keralan hospitality, Ayurveda and
Heritage through responsible tourism initiatives. He’s renowned for having
successfully implemented the Farm to Fork concept at Marari Beach Resort in
Alappuzha District of Kerala, India, utilising organic farming techniques.

“Food is about sensory escape. I believe in creating dishes that tease all
one’s senses,” says Mathew. “Eating starts with the eyes first, then the
nose, then the ear, then the touch (feel) and lastly the taste buds in the
mouth. Every traditional food has a reason to be so and hence there is
absolutely no need to improve it, add to it or take away from it. Memorable
food experiences are about going back to basics.”

Mathew will be taking diners on a culinary adventure through India in the
heart of Nelson Mandela Square, together with Chef Rob Creaser’s culinary
brigade. Creaser of Michelangelo’s Piccolo Mondo is renowned for designing
dishes that do not just feed the appetite and appease the taste buds, but
bring with them a visual signature never seen before.

“This is truly a not to be missed event” adds Rosa. “It allows us to bring
the culture and heart of Indian cooking to the South African foodies without
leaving Sandton. Guests can experience one of the many themed nights,
including a special charity evening – a Dinner Of Gratitude – taking place
on Friday August 23. Proceeds from the dinner will go towards an incredibly
worthy cause.”

The event is being strongly supported by South African Tourism.

“India is a key growth market for South African Tourism and in recent years
we have seen a significant increase in tourist arrivals from India. In 2012
we welcomed 106 774 Indian tourists to South Africa and grew by 18.2%. We
have strong Indian communities in South Africa, but we still have the
challenge of adequately catering for the very specific dietary requirements
of Indian travellers, which will help enhance our destination’s reputation
as a welcoming and friendly country that caters for the needs of our
tourists. The Taste Of India event and chef Mathew’s presence here also
helps our tourism hospitality products sharpen and improve their skills in
better catering for the variety of dishes needed to service Indian
tourists,” says Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer at South African

In addition to the taste temptations, a highly skilled dance group form the
Ghungroo Dance Academy will entertain diners with traditional and Bollywood
dance numbers. With entertainment sponsored by South African Tourism, each
night will be filled with graceful twirls and breathtaking footwork that
will add to the full cultural experience this event has to offer. The event
will also show case the exotic Indian decor and designs, sponsored by CS
Events. Deeply rooted in the country’s culture and history, Indian decor
features rich textiles and colours, often handmade using traditional
methods, and guests will not only experience a cuisine feast but a cultural
one too!

Connect with Edward on FacebookLinkedInTwitter and ChamberlainBell.com!

Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Editor's choice