Food for thought! India on your plate at Serendipity Arts Festival 2018 in Goa
India’s first multi-disciplinary arts event, the Serendipity Arts Festival 2018 takes Goa by storm
from the 15-22 December 2018, with over 90 dynamic projects highlighting India’s rich traditions of music, dance and theatre, alongside culinary arts, craft, and visual arts exhibitions.
One of the key objectives of the this unique Festival is to be a catalyst for cross-cultural exchange, fostering a sense of unity and erasing regional divisions in the country and offering equal opportunities to artists, artisans, indigenous and folk art forms, performers and other creative practitioners from all over India.
Curated by Odette Mascarenhas, food historian and critic, author and television host and Rahul Akerkar, one of Mumbai’s leading restaurant moguls, the Culinary Arts discipline this year moves away from the idea of food being a means to sustenance, and discovers the different possibilities of food as art/performance, innovation and delight. The Festival provides a unique food experience through curated workshops, with focus on local produce and regional flavours; recreating a Goan marketplace and its unique wares, and celebrating the integral role of spice in Indian cuisine as well as unusual but intriguing pairings in food and drink.
Curated by Rahul Akerkar, Spice Lab, will be a multi-sensory experience, exploring the way spices are combined for use in cooking; whether through dry rubs, wet grinds, oil tempering, infusions, or other ways, while also allowing visitors to share their own taste/smell memories through an interactive spice lab “tree”. Visitors will also be able to interact with the spaces through lecture and demonstrations
Curated by Odette, visitor can also enjoy the Tinto (originally part of the ancient gaunkari system) experience at the Children’s (Art) Park, with stalls serving organic and Saraswat thalis, freshly-made fish dishes, pickles, meat dishes and desserts through an artistic representation of color, vibrancy and flavours communicating a tableau of a true Goan story.
Below are some workshop highlights that will be happening all across the festival and will be free to attend.
A Spoonful of Sweetness on 15 – 16 Dec 2018 at GMC
Honey is one of the world’s most magical of foods- made of nectar concentrated down to a sweet stickiness by thousands of bees working together in the hive. Come learn about India’s unique honey varieties- how their taste, colour, and smell is dependent on which flower bees collect the nectar from and the soil and location where the plants grow. Engage in an amazing olfactory and gustatory experience and learn methods for tasting and evaluating honey, recognize basic aromas and flavour families on a Honey Tasting Wheel.
Coffee & Pepper on 15 - 16 December 2018 at GMC
Interactive, tutored workshops in understanding the relationship in the expression of coffee by comparing the outcomes of 3 different roasts and 2 different brewing techniques of the same coffee. Experiment in roasting single origin coffee bean in 3 different ways and then looking at creating different blends of these roasts to achieve different expressions and flavours of the coffee.
#Foodstagram on 17 -18 December 2018 at GMC
Food, glorious food! Is food a source of pleasure or anxiety? What did you have for dinner last night or for breakfast this morning? How did you decide what to eat and how to prepare it? Do you long for the food of your childhood? Does your religion and spiritual life guide your food choices? How would you describe the flavours of last night’s meal to your best friend? These are the sorts of questions that trigger the most memorable writing on the subject of cuisine and gastronomy. This workshop examines the ways writers, photographers, critiques and food media practitioners depict food, cooking, and eating. We’ll try to look at the many forms of “food writing” and talk about those we find most satisfying.
Chais of India on 17 - 18 December 2018 at Old GMC
Each region in India has its own recipes for Chai based on geographical location and cultural preparations. For example, fresh mint leaves are often added to chai in west India at a particular time so that the leaves don’t turn bitter when boiled with milk. In South India, black pepper is in abundance and finds it way into a cup of tea. Gur Gur (Butter Tea) from the Himalayan regions of India, Nepal and Bhutan, is salty rather than sweet, with butter traditionally made from yak milk. Apart from this, there are several cultural preparations of tea, including Irani Chai, Sulemani Chai, Kahwa, and Noon Chai, among others. Join this workshop to learn a brief history about the various chais of India, followed by a chai tasting.
The Art of Craft Beer on 15 - 17 December 2018 at Old GMC
Learn the art of Craft by attending this comprehensive beer workshop that will teach you the basics of Craft Beer from ingredients to the brewing process, to pouring the perfect pint and learning the art of sampling, food pairing and more. The workshop is hosted by beer evangelists, John Eapen and Apoorv Ranade.
Sugarcane and art on 19 – 20 December 2018
A popular story in Goa narrates the tale of elephants rampaging sugarcane fields across the borders, causing damage to the crops. Inspired by this wild ethos, Mansi Trivedi has chosen sugarcane as the central focus, this time using it as a canvas for art.
Varietals India on 20 -21 December 2018
A look at Indian wine through its diverse grape varieties.
Grandmother’s Recipe: Feni as Medicine on 21 - 22 December 2018 at GMC
The workshop dwells into the traditions of the past, at a time when home remedies were tantamount to survival. Derived from the Sanskrit word phena, meaning froth, Feni was brought to Goa by the Portuguese, and the distilled liquor obtained either from cashew fruit or coconut also fulfils the medical requirement of combating common ailments. Through a street theatre performance, the characters of a traditionally rooted grandmother and her skeptical, progressive grandson elucidate the beneficial nature of Feni, narrating the role it plays in the lives of Goans.
The Assamese Pickling Affair on 19 and 21 December 2018 at Old GMC
This workshop brings the local flavours of the North East to the coastal region of Goa. The pickles of Assam, which are made of fresh herbs, spices, and meat, are a treat to the tastebuds. Conducted by Monalisa Baruah, the workshop demonstrates how to make this condiment, while keeping its authenticity intact.
Traditions & Celebrations on 21 - 22 Dec 2018 at Old GMC
Through melodies, stories, and rangoli derived from food powders, Joanna D’Cunha and Sangeeta Pai Dhungat will introduce the audience to the traditions and different kinds of celebrations in Goa.
The primary initiative of the Serendipity Arts Foundation a non-profit organisation with a vision of energising arts production, awareness and practice across South Asia, the Serendipity Arts Festival is now in its third edition. In previous years, the event energised Goa’s cultural milieu, attracting more than 400,000 visitors, with dynamic projects that included internationally acclaimed performances highlighting India’s rich traditions of music, dance and theatre, alongside culinary arts, craft, and visual arts exhibitions.
This year the Festival will take place across 10 venues in Goa and involve over 1300 artists, transforming Panaji into a vibrant cultural space with multiple exhibitions, performances and immersive arts experiences.
Serendipity Arts Festival is the only arts event in India which unites the creative disciplines, committed to creating tangible change across the country’s cultural spectrum by engaging the public and increasing awareness of how art can impact society. It also aims foster the development of thriving artistic communities across India by making the arts inclusive, educational and accessible.
Projects at the Festival will be further activated by diverse collateral programming including panel discussions, children’s programmes, and workshops for the differently abled. These initiatives are an integral part of the Foundation’s key mission of making the arts accessible and developing arts audiences both in numbers and in diversity.
2018 Festival curators:
Photography: Rahaab Allana and Ravi Agarwal | Visual Arts: Ranjit Hoskote and Subodh Gupta | Culinary Arts: Rahul Akerkar and Odette Mascarenhas |
Dance: Leela Samson and Ranjana Dave | Theatre: Atul Kumar and Arundhati Nag | Music: Aneesh Pradhan and Sneha Khanwalkar|
Craft: Annapurna Garimella and Rashmi Varma
The 90 projects this year will be accompanied by a series of Special Projects including St+art curated by Hanif Qureishi, Out of Turn curated by Asia Art Archive and Meenakshi Thirukode and a Film Programme by Sabeena Gadihoke.
Odette Mascarenhas is a food historian and critic, author and television host. Her stint as the food & beverage manager at the Taj Group of Hotels has helped her define a keen palate towards the nuances of different ingredients used in food preparations. Her passion for the written word is the reason she has nine books to her credit. Odette’s first book, Masci: The Man Behind the Legend, which she wrote on her father-in-law, Miguel Arcanjo Mascarenhas, who was the executive chef at Taj Mahal Mumbai in 1939, won a Special Jury Award at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2008.
Rahul Akerkar is all about mixing his passion for life, food, and science, and has managed to blend these key ingredients into a career as one of Mumbai’s leading restaurant moguls. Regarded as the pioneer of the independent chef- restaurateur-run eateries in Mumbai, he has shifted the focus on fine dining away from the five-star hotel domain. Akerkar co-founded deGustibus Hospitality with his wife, Malini, in 1996. They operate six restaurants in Mumbai, including the much acclaimed Indigo, a bar, an event/banqueting space, and a catering business