The invitation for Pizza Contest seemed exciting, although I had no intention of participating in this contest, it would be interesting to watch other contestant prepare a pizza. I accepted the invitation at Serafina, in Palledium, Lower Parel.
I reached the restaurant to be greeted by food bloggers. The tables were set with big bowls containing flour and small plates with sugar, salt, yeast and oil.
“Do we have to participate?” I asked the host.
“Yes, It would be more fun participating than just watching as an audience.” She said.
While we waited for the others to arrive, I got acquainted with staff and the hostess of the restaurant. The interiors of the restaurant took me in with a warm embrace. Artistically done, the décor is beautiful with interesting murals on each wall. There is a bar closer to the entrance, where one can wait till tables are vacant An open cooking station dominates the restaurant where you can actually see a live coverage of your pizza rolled out and bake in the fire oven.
With every blogger at their table, donning the chef’s cap, the contest began. It was not a serious contest but more of a fun-contest. If you don’t know what to do, you just watch and ape others. Chef Rahul Kulkarni guided us as we dissolved yeast and sugar in warm water and used this to knead the pizza dough. Later, we were led to the cooking station and asked to work in pairs. The cook demonstrated a rolling of pizza technique. There was a strong smell of roasted pizza and it was getting difficult to concentrate on making a pizza without popping some toppings into our mouth. We worked in pairs, creatively adding the toppings of vegetables, sauces and spices and inserting the pizza into oven for three full minutes.
We waited at the tasting table closer to the cooking station. Every participant prepared one pizza and posed for a picture with their creation. (A professional photographer clicked the picture that will arrive at snail mail after few days) Pizza was next brought to the table and explained in details about the toppings they had used; chef took a small slice to taste and graded the pizza. All the participants would then grab a piece to try. There were 20 participants and after trying so many, it was starting to taste the same. Some used extra cheese, some extra sauce; there was difference in taste as per the spices and topping used.
I wondered what was chef looking for? He tasted every pizza and had good word for everybody. He never showed any emotion of disliking any pizza. Every participant thought his/hers was the best. At the end of the contest when we stood round him to hear the results, nobody could guess the winner. Three of the bloggers were felicitated with diploma and it was a happy event for all of us. He said that he was looking for ethnic flavors, the kind that he would love to serve in his restaurant. The pizza may not have too many toppings, but there should be even distribution of flavors.
@mumbaiguru @anujadeora and @kneadwithlove for winning the Pizza making competition
This was my creation. I had made pizza to my liking and I prefer lots of vegetables. (it’s the kind that I normally order at the restaurants) After baking I had added basil leaves and olive oil as garnishing. I wanted to add red chili flakes too, but didn’t want to offend those who don’t like it too spicy.
It was a fun evening and I really enjoyed a lot. Thank you @FoodBloggersAI and SerafinaMumbai for organizing this event. Made new food-blogger friends, learnt a lot from the chitchat with other bloggers. Brought home the pizza dough that I had kneaded during the event, and made mushroom pav the next day.
Recipe of mushroom pav coming up in next post….