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Land snails in chocolate and the best meal I have ever had!

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food” George Bernard Shaw

The important realisation

If you are still working in the corporate world by the time you reach your 30s, chances are that work is a huge part of your life, but it is important to realise that it only part of your life.

It is important to fuel your passion and make time for them because the unbridled joy that you experience when you follow your passion is unparalleled.

The beginning

It was in my 20s while living on my own and working, that I started cooking.

I would love the process and the chance to create a dinner even after a long day at work, no matter how tired I was. I would never make anything regular, they were always experiments thought of in the morning, something I tasted somewhere or simply whatever I was craving that day.

A table for one to a table for two

It was stimulating to say the least, my tiny kitchen in Bombay was one place where all ideas were accepted. I went as far as my limited equipments allowed me, it was a table for one on weekdays but the dinner always felt special.

I seriously believe that food has the power to transform and create better bonds. Today married for a few years, making a simple meal and sharing it with my husband is the best time of the day.

To a table for many with OpenOut

This is what I thought when I hosted my first OpenOut called the ‘Eat local Travel more’ Bhutanese cuisine experience. Food had always been a big part of my life, like it is for many people; family bonding and conversations all usually happen around food and we as bengalis value our food more than anything else.

Eat Local. Travel more - My motto

The best way to discover the culture, history and traditions of a place is through food.

Therefore, when I travel, even before I book the tickets, I start researching on the local food of the place. I buy books which talk about the food, make elaborate lists of the must do places, scour food & travel blogs for local information and even contact local food bloggers for recommendations.

In Pondicherry we discovered an amazing escargot bread (land snails with chocolate), in Bangkok we had the best chicken curry in a small bangladeshi restaurant. It is without doubt that I have had a life changing experience with food wherever I go.

Tryst with Bhutan

In Bhutan, a local recommended us to a small joint that could hardly seat 6 people. I remembering ordering food, looking at pictures as I did not know the language. That Shakam Shukam Datshi (Beef cooked with golden white chillies and cow milk cheese) with red rice and the national dish of ‘Ema Datshi’ (Chillies cooked with butter and cheese) and a Cola (local brand) after a long journey tasted like one of the best meals I ever had.

This was the base for the first OpenOut experience where I got back ingredients from Bhutan and created a menu so that I can share the amazing food and the amazing country that I felt needed to be discovered. It was also a great catalyst to relive memories.

Welcome to A Mid-Summer Night dream

My next experience is an ode to all the wonderful memories connected to summer, especially summer holidays. Summer vacations were often in Kolkata (we lived in Ahmedabad) while growing up and usually meant long lazy days living in a huge ancestral home with orchards with a dozen mango trees, a huge garden which was more like a small forest with every fruit possible and a pond which was completely green in color with water hyacinths.

Summer also meant sitting below a tree on a hot afternoon and eating star fruit smeared with salt and chilli powder or going to eat ice lollies or golas in the evening of every possible color. My next OpenOut experience is an ode to the summer and summer memories and all that it represents.

Summer in Bangalore is short (and we thank god for that :-)) but it brings some amazing produce.

Why I would love to see you at this OpenOut

I have crafted a hyper seasonal menu using locally available ingredients but in new forms, there is a surprise with every dish. Each dish is made out of a summer memory and it is something that will make you smile for sure.

If you love everything about food then we have to meet :) For me OpenOut is a beautiful way to meet the amazing set of people in Bangalore too!

Join the Mid-summer Night dream OpenOut here for May 13th & May19th

Looking forward to meeting new people, welcoming them to our home and making new friends, and bonding over great food- all the things that make Openouts so unique.

With love,

Pratyusha