City Palate March April 2017

Page 22

EATING W I T H A L B E RTA F O O D T O U R S by Catherine Van Brunschot

From the semi-circle of garden chairs arranged under a ficus tree, I can just pick out the corner of a swimming pool edging out into the lawn. Birds trill and hoot their unfamiliar tunes in trees frothed with pink blooms. Beneath the ficus, our host takes his place behind a table laid with a propane stove and an assortment of cooking pots. The call to prayer rises from an unseen minaret and someone hands me a Kingfisher beer. Welcome to my cooking class in Delhi. Our host is Sumeet Nair – fashion industry leader, cookbook author, organic farmer, and home-chef extraordinaire – and we 21 travellers are here in his gorgeous garden through the efforts of Karen Anderson, owner of Alberta Food Tours. Karen has brought food enthusiasts to India annually since 2012, and this is Day Two of her “Eat, Pray, Play” tour – a two-week immersion into northern India’s culinary and religious traditions. As we taste, scribble notes, and photograph our way through tandoori cauliflower, prawn masala and green beans poriyal, we couldn’t feel farther from the bustle of our Delhi expectations.

The bustle of Chandni Chowk Bazaar in Old Delhi, photo by Karen Anderson

Cooking class at Sumeet Nair’s, photo by Karen Anderson

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