For the first time ever, South India Chef’s Association (SICA) organised SICA Europe Culinary Tour 2017 for 25 corporate and executive chefs. Chefs from south India took part in this tour covering Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Spain from September 11 to September 27, 2017. Leading professionals from the culinary world were part of the delegation. The chefs visited facilities of renowned organisations like Blanco, MKN, Fonderia Finco, Electrolux-Italy, Electrolux-Switzerland and Salva.
The team reached Frankfurt on September 11 and was received by Blanco’s representatives. Blanco is Germany’s largest kitchen equipment manufacturer. The SICA team tasted the authentic Maultaschen – a traditional German dish that originated in the region of Swabia in Baden-Württemberg in Frankfurt. Blanco also hosted a special dinner at Loewenthor restaurant which dates back to 1701 and boasts of interesting medieval interiors. The chefs got the opportunity to visit the Blanco factory along with the vineyards in southern part of Germany.
On the third day, chefs travelled to Wolfenbuttel by train. The town is known for ancient historic buildings and is also the only place where Jägermeister herb liqueur is distilled. MKN, one of the world’s leading kitchen equipment suppliers is based in this city. The team visited the MKN factory next day as the visiting delegation participated in a chefs’ workshop and cooking master class of German cuisine. This was demonstrated in the Flexi Chef combi-oven and SICA members experimented with Indian food recipes in the oven including some kebabs. The session offered a great learning experience of Sous Vide cooking in combi-ovens. Later the chefs had dinner at Ristorante Giovanni to indulge in Italian cuisine.
After exploring Berlin through river cruises and Oktoberfest, the world’s largest folk fair and beer festival, the team moved to Venice. The local host Fonderia Finco, Italy’s five-decade-old manufacturer of cast iron utensils for healthy and natural cooking. From factory visits, special cuisine workshops to local wines, many local experiences were organised by Fonderia Finco.
SICA chefs along with chefs from the Electrolux Chefs Academy prepared Indian food in their combi-oven. Electrolux chefs also conducted some interesting demos on how to use technology to one’s benefit. A memorable experience for the team was the opportunity to Prosciutto di Parma dated 2005.
On September 21, the team drove down from Pordenone, Italy to Electrolux Professional production centre at Sursee Switzerland. This is where the Thermaline brand is manufactured and was also their worldwide competence centre. A master class for SICA chefs was performed by Chef Helen with Electrolux Professional’s Thermaline range of equipment during the factory visit.
The members also had a lifetime experience of Seafood Paella. Paella is a Valencian rice dish and considered by many as Spain’s national dish while in San Sebastián.
Their visit to the Basque Culinary Centre led to a master class in bakery as Salva had organised a bread making session with some of the best bakers in Spain. This was followed by a day-visit to the Salva factory where the team learned more about the bakery ovens, and a lunch at the Basque Culinary Institute along with the students.
The SICA team completed its 17-day Europe Culinary Tour with enhanced knowledge of local cuisine and equipment developed by some well known brands. The workshops also enabled them to test Indian dishes and share their skills with the host.