The flavor of the varied Indian gastronomy today stars the XV Gastronomic Congress of Popayán, which will be held until next Sunday in this city in southwestern Colombia.
India seeks to show that in gastronomic terms it is much more than the curri for which it is world famous, and for this reason, this festival brings a sample of its cuisine coordinated by the hotel The Ashok, New Delhi and prepared by the chefs Pradeep Kumar Ahirwar and Baijnath.
The Indian show includes a presentation of the Bhangra dance group, led by Amit Pal Singh, on Friday, and as part of the festival’s academic conference on Saturday there will be an Indian cooking workshop by chef Kumar Ahirwar.
The opening day, which was held on Thursday night, included a cultural event honoring honorary president of the Gastronomic Corporation of Popayán, Guillermo Alberto González Mosquera, creator of the festival, and was awarded the Life and Trajectory Award to Josefina Muñoz of Bonilla, known as “Doña Chepa”, an institution in the field of confectionery in the city.
For the Indian ambassador to Colombia, Prabhat Kumar, the election of his country as a guest to this congress has a special meaning because it coincides with the 70th anniversary of the independence of the United Kingdom.
“We are honored that they chose our country as a guest of honor in celebrating the 70th anniversary of India’s independence,” he said at the opening of the festival.
The diplomat assured that “the British left India on August 15, 1947, but could not leave behind the taste (of their gastronomy) and that is why today 15,000 restaurants continue to serve Indian food” in the United Kingdom.
Also participating in the festival are the vice president of Culinary Arts at Kendall College, Chicago, USA, Christopher Koetke; the Venezuelan chef Sumito Estévez and the Colombian gastronomic researcher Charlie Otero.
The gastronomic festival will count on four days with tastings, pairings, workshops and academic days, in addition to “Sabor al parque”, an event in which the public can attend gastronomic shows and cultural performances.
Popayán, capital of the department of Cauca and also known as the “White City” for the color of the facades of its historic buildings, is part of the network of creative cities in the category of Unesco gastronomy.