When I got an invite from Jayeesha, Head Marketing Communication, The Westin, Pune to attend and review their ‘Italian Masterclass’ event, I was little apprehensive. To be more honest, hardly interested!
The event was about hard core Italian cuisine wherein my familiarity with that region is meagerly restricted to pizzas, pastas and Sonia Gandhi.
But then on a second thought I decided to go. I took along my daughter, Aleena as well in pursuit of making her taste the authentic pasta and pizza (we are so used to having the Indianzed, rather Punjabi version of these Italian staples. The other day I had put sweet peas, paneer & little garam masala in my home made red sauce pasta. Good gracious!
The Masterclass was in Prego, Westin’s upbeat & chic Italian restaurant. They specially flew Chef Emiliano and Chef Giuseppe from Westin Gurgaon to create an explosion of flavours and bring together the best from the North and South of Italy.
As I reached, the session had already begun and chefs were busy demonstrating recipes live across the counter in their heavy Italian accent. We settled down and tried to get a hang of ‘what’s-going- on’ hurriedly. There were approximately 40 other guests/bloggers/invitees (some were even busy scribbling down notes).
I would really not like to go in the intricacies of ingredients and recipes as I myself did not get half of them. So thoughtful of Westin People, they gave all the attendees handouts of the recipes chefs were preparing that day. Seriously, I cannot even pronounce the names correctly.
But the best part was, chefs were gracious, courteous and FUN to be with. They were constantly cracking jokes on each other, which kept the mood light and going.
After 45 minutes or so, they finished making the dishes for the day and guess what? There was no pasta and pizza in the menu……..damn!
They served a three-course lunch on our tables.
The artichoke salad was not liked by either of us. The veggie is a harder version of our good ol’cabbage.
That followed Gnocchi Sorrentina (don’t try pronouncing it), which was dough blanched in boiling water for couple of minutes and then dipped in sundried tomatoes, olives and garlic red sauce. It was passable but nothing close to little spiced up arabita Sauce that we are used to.
The dough balls were bland and had almost no taste. Felt like asking for some hot Tabasco sauce.
Then there was the fish-dish, which I anyways was not interested in. Pan seared fish with mashed potatoes.
Lastly, the best part of the meal was dessert – an apple pie served with vanilla ice cream and blueberry sauce. Now this was truly amazing. We indulged in that sinfully.
While we were about to take leave, Aleena murmured in my ear, “Mamma can we have McD burger after this?” Poor darling was not satiated.
Ok..so now let me do what I was there for –
Ambiance – Honestly? Sad. Nothing lively or feel good about the place.
Food – Even sadder. Dessert was the savior.
Dear Italian food lovers, please excuse my amateurish attempt for Italian cuisine. I really do not have the taste for it, hence this disappointment.
Service – Average. Usual.
GUD Fun –
The server came to me and asked,
Mam, red wine or white? I said – None.
He gave me a scornful look which meant ‘Nun?’
Now, the best thing that has happened during the whole event was THIS –
While I was interacting with other bloggers, busy exchanging cards, building up networking, Aleena penned down her own experience. Like mamma, like daughter!
Read her write up, which is absolutely adorable and creative for an 8 year old.