Top Chef’s glam girl, Padma Lakshmi, and Grand Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor hosted the second annual Varli Food Festival and Food Cook-off, held in April at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan, NYC. It’s one of the largest Indian cuisine celebrations, blending renowned Chefs typically from the Northeastern region. Over 60 exhibitors participated in the event.
Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor savored a sample of sizzling Andhra Shrimp, topped with fresh coconut and roasted coriander seeds, prepared by Thali’s owner and Executive Chef Prasad Chirunomula. The New York Times review said it was their favorite. Chef Kapoor also sipped Chef Chirunimula’s hit signature drink, called the “VarliTini”, made specifically for the occasion. “It is smooth as sugar cane juice, but drinks like a very special cocktail. It’s gingerly and perfumed with elderflower, saffron, turmeric and fresh limes. The base is vodka. A thousand VarliTinis were poured in approximately 2.5 hours with a never ending line.” Chef Chirunomula comments.
Chef Chirunomula also judged the competition with three fellow celebrity chefs: Rajesh Bhardwaj – restauranter and owner of Junoon Restaurant in NYC, Kunal Kapur- Chef and host of MasterChef India, and of course, the Grand Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor.
Some of the most the popular chefs in the industry participated. Among them were Chef Harpool Singh Sokhi -founder of the famous culinary show, Khana Khazana, Chef Pankaj – 2010 first winner of MasterChef India and host of Kya Zayka on Star Plus, Shipra Khanna-winner of MasterChef Season 2, and Chef Vicky Ratnani, well known for his popular show, Vicky Goes Veg, on NDTV.
Varli Singh, founder and Editor-in-chief of the Varli Magazine, and brainchild of the Varli Food Festival, enjoyed the event with her children, and took time greet everyone.