I’ve never been to India, though that has never stopped me from offering my opinion on Indian food in this city.
That opinion has been guided by the same criteria I use for most other cuisines. Freshness and flavour, texture and complexity. What I’ve always resisted doing was judging Indian restaurants by that dreaded word: authenticity. Because, really… How was I to know? And besides, authenticity, it could be argued – and I have – doesn’t really apply when you are trying to recreate a subcontinent dish at 44.5° degrees North. It simply won’t taste the same. Or so I figured. But really, what do I know?
It’s been a gaping gap in my culinary education. One day, I told myself, I’d get there…
Well, opportunity has knocked. The Coconut Lagoon, on St Laurent Boulevard, is a South Indian restaurant I have long admired. Its chef, Joe Thottungal, is offering a guided culinary tour of his homeland, Kerala, in March. Fifteen days of exploring South Indian cuisine with a chef who knows his stuff? I’m in.
It’s being hosted by Bestway Tours. More information on the Discover Kerala trip, can be found here. (I’m told there are still a few spots left.)
This photo is courtesy of Raju Banarjee, one from her collection of Kerala memories.