Joining hands for a world of peace

Joining hands for a world of peace

Joining hands for a world of peace Tuesday, 2019-05-14 13:58:04 Font Size: | Print The 16th UN Day of Vesak Celebrations 2019 in Vietnam gathers more than 1,600 international delegates from 112 countries and territories around the world. (Photo: VNA) Font Size: | NDO – The 16th United Nations Day of Vesak Celebrations 2019 took place successfully at the Tam Chuc Buddhist Cultural Complex in the northern Vietnamese province of Ha Nam. Under the theme “Buddhist Approach to Global Leadership & Shared Responsibilities for Sustainable Societies”, the event honoured and called for the promotion of the spiritual values of the Buddha, contributing to bringing peace and stability to the world. Nhan Dan newspaper introduces some opinions of the international delegates at the UN Day of Vesak 2019.
Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary General of the UN:
Strengthening connection for sustainable development
Alisjahbana expressed her honour to be in Vietnam for the 16th UN Day of Vesak Celebrations 2019. On the occasion, she emphasised the message of tolerance and social justice. She said the world is witnessing increasingly frequent conflict, stating that people should not be “heartless” concerning this issue. Alisjahbana noted that increased social inequality and extremism have been affecting socio-economic development in many countries, leading the poor to suffer increasing inferiority and to become more vulnerable. She stressed the request for shared responsibilities to deal with the situation, saying that Buddhist teachings encourage people to act for a united world. The UN is always willing to accompany countries to strengthen cooperation and connection for sustainable development, the official affirmed.
Alisjahbana noted that Vietnam has achieved many significant achievements in socio-economic development over recent years, which have been highly appreciated by the international community, partly owing to Vietnam’s enhancement of inclusive and sustainable development. The UN official congratulated Vietnam on its gains, voicing her hopes for the country’s continuous growth in the future.
Most Venerable Prof. Dr. Phra Brahmapundit, President of the International Council for Day of Vesak (ICDV):
Consolidating peace and stability around the world
Most Venerable Phra Brahmapundit expressed his gratitude to the Government and people of Vietnam and the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) for having organised the UN Day of Vesak Celebrations 2019. Vietnam has left positive impressions through its three times hosting the event, he said, recalling that, not long ago, he came to Vietnam and saw a number of works in service of the UN Day of Vesak 2019 that had yet to be finished, but in a short period of time, all the workload had been finalised to serve the event.
The Most Venerable stated that Vietnamese Buddhism is increasingly developing, actively contributing to global Buddhism. The theme of this year’s Vesak event is closely related to the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), demonstrating Buddhism’s contributions to the development of the world, he noted. The SDGs were built into topics of discussion sessions within the framework of the event, he said, stating that delegates gathered to raise ideas and messages from the Buddhist point of view, aiming to consolidate peace and stability for the world.
Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament:
Sharing responsibilities for a good society
Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu hailed the UN Day of Vesak 2019 as a sacred occasion and an opportunity to contribute to the creation of peace, connecting Buddhists around the world, and promoting the values of Buddha’s teachings, thus working to help the world to avoid violence and conflict and move towards a full and happy life.
He noted that the theme of the 2019 Vesak event on shared responsibilities for sustainable society is appropriate to continue implementing the teachings of the Buddha and to take joint action. The world is discussing and finding solutions to ensure sustainable development, the leader said, stating that the goal could only be achieved if focus was put on protecting justice in society, developing production and consumption in a sustainable way, staying away from “greed, hatred and ignorance”, and promoting peaceful values by effectively applying the Buddha’s thought on kindness, compassion, gratitude, integrity and uprightness.
R. Tuladhar, a Buddhist from Nepal:
Vesak event’s success stems from meticulous preparations
Many ideas during the seminars affirmed that the core values of Buddhism are also reflected through its participation in addressing the common issues of the world, Tuladhar said. He emphasised that promoting the resolution of conflict and ensuring sustainable development is not only the duty of each individual, country and territory, but also needs the joint hands of the whole world. He stressed the need for a global vision and leadership aiming to cope with common challenges.
The Nepalese attributed the success of the 16 th UN Day of Vesak Celebrations 2019 to Vietnam’s meticulous and thoughtful preparations. The Vesak 2019 space is very majestic and joyful, he said, hailing Tam Chuc as an ideal place to organise major Buddhist events. Tuladhar said when he returns to Nepal, he will tell his friends and relatives about Vietnam, voicing his belief that many tourists would continue to choose Vietnam as their destination.
R. Thero, a Buddhist from Sri Lanka:
An opportunity to explore Vietnamese culture
The UN Day of Vesak 2019 shows Buddhism’s efforts to integrate and share responsibilities in resolving conflicts and global issues, Thero said, adding that the theme of Vesak 2019 highlights the role of Buddhism and honours Buddhism’s humanistic values.
He praised the organisation work of Vietnam, which, he said, has created favourable conditions for thousands of international delegates.
He expressed his delight to return to Vietnam for the second time, adding that he again feels the hospitality of the Vietnamese people. Thero revealed his plan to experience Dharma practice in Vietnam, as well as visit various famous places in the country and enjoy Vietnamese food after the conclusion of Vesak 2019. The organising committee’s sponsored cultural tours to Trang An-Bai Dinh, Yen Tu and Sapa gave the international delegates a great opportunity to explore Vietnamese landscapes and culture, he said.
A. William, a Buddhist from Australia:
Raising awareness of the environment
William said that, as home to many large Dharma practice centres, Vietnam emerged as a great choice to host the UN Day of Vesak 2019. He hailed Vesak 2019 in Ha Nam province as an ideal opportunity for him to gain more knowledge about Buddhism in a Southeast Asian country. The Australian expressed his impression at Vietnam’s miraculous transformation as well as its hospitable people and enthusiastic volunteers.
Environmental protection was one of the issues discussed by delegates at Vesak 2019. He stressed that it is an essential task to raise awareness of protecting the planet, as environmental pollution and deforestation are threatening people’s lives. William voiced his belief that Vesak 2019 will enable people to instill more of the Buddhist doctrine of being responsible for the environment and living close to nature. He also hailed the event as a good occasion to raise public awareness of environmental issues.
M. Duric, a Buddhist from Serbia:
A top choice for many Buddhists and tourists
Duric said Vietnamese Buddhism has a long history and depth in terms of doctrine and spirituality, stating that the successful organisation of the UN Day of Vesak Celebrations has contributed to improving the role of Vietnamese Buddhism in international integration, as well as affirming Vietnam’s policy of religious freedom. According to him, alongside its significant development achievements and a variety of international languages used in the country, owning a lot of beautiful scenery is also an advantage to help Vietnam to be chosen by the UN to host the Vesak Celebrations.
Ha Nam’s Tam Chuc Pagoda, the hosting venue of Vesak 2019, is one of Vietnam’s prominent landmarks, Duric said, expressing his belief that, after the event, the Southeast Asian country will continue to be known to a great number of people around the world, and will be a top choice for Buddhists and international visitors who want to experience Dharma practice, explore culture and enjoy beautiful sceneries.
G. Efande, a delegate from Cameroon:
Advertising culture and enhancing the country’s position
Efande expressed her satisfaction on her maiden attendance at a Vesak event, noting that the presentations of scholars on the occasion highlighted the ideology and spirit of Buddhism related to many global issues, notably the role of Buddhism in sustainable development, or consumption culture in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Vesak 2019 is also an opportunity for the international community to raise voice against racism, one of the emerging issues over recent times, she said.
The Cameroonian delegate stated that by attending Vesak 2019 in Vietnam, she learned more about Vietnamese people, culture and cuisine, especially its vegetarian food. She said she believed that the hosting of Vesak 2019 would help Vietnam advertise its culture and image, thus improving its position in the world.

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Every Foodie Should Attend These 8 Food and Drink Festivals in Greater Palm Springs—#7 is the World’s Largest Tamale Festival

May 13, 2019 Spread the love These 8 Greater Palm Springs Food and Drink Festivals Will Keep You Coming to the Desert Year-Round
Written By: Crystal Harrell Photos Provided By: Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau Food Festivals Palm Springs
Greater Palm Springs is known for its festivals, from Coachella to the Palm Springs International Film Festival , but this desert paradise has even more food festivals to offer that will make your stomach growl and your mouth water. These delectable events offer one-of-a-kind cuisine and beverages to attendees every year—some of which are so famous, they have earned national recognition. From authentic Mexican dishes to exquisite craft beer, Greater Palm Springs provides a flavorful getaway with yearly food festivals that are guaranteed to make you want to grab a plate and come back for a second helping.
Food Festivals Palm Springs
Restaurant Week 2019: May – June
Taking place May 31 through June 9, Restaurant Week returns in a 10-day dining extravaganza at various restaurants in the Coachella Valley. Over 100 eating establishments are participating in this year’s Restaurant Week with special menus and deals at set prices for lunch and dinner. No passes are required for this event, but it is encouraged that guests make reservations in advance, as the restaurants can get crowded. Restaurants that have participated in Restaurant Week in the past include Lavender Bistro in La Quinta, The Nest in Indian Wells, Jackalope Ranch in Indio and Acqua California Bistro in Rancho Mirage.

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Turmeric Fat Burning Coffee Recipe

1 tsp of butter Dash of sea salt 1 squirt each of vanilla Stevia and English toffee Stevia (or a sweetener and/or flavor of your choice) Coffee is more than just a pick-me-up! It has lots of antioxidant activity giving it the ability to help stabilize your blood sugar. A stable blood sugar level helps keep your food cravings under control and reduce the amount of insulin your body requires throughout the day. (4, 5) Cinnamon has some tricks up its sleeve as well, despite its reputation of being “just a spice”. This flavorful ingredient is also an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, helps improve insulin sensitivity, and has proven to fight against neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. (6, 7) Turmeric, a regular in Indian cuisine, adds more to your drink than just color. This spice turmeric is extremely helpful when it comes to reducing inflammation, reducing risk of digestive problems, and has tumor inhibiting abilities as well. (8, 9, 10) Butter, though it may come as a surprise, has some great benefits as well. Butter is actually the richest form of butyrate out there, which can help boost your energy and reduce inflammation in the intestines. It can also help fight various diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and neurological disorders. (11, 12, 13) XCT oil and MCT oil help boost the production of ketones, which can help with weight loss and blood sugar stabilization. (14) Coconut oil unfortunately doesn’t have the same fat-burning qualities and XCT and MCT oil, but it does have other helpful benefits. Coconut oil can help reduce inflammation and arthritis, support heart health, and help balance your hormones. (15, 16, 17) Conclusion This Turmeric Coffee recipe is a perfect addition to your morning routine, and you can drink it gu , it can also help you lose some of those extra pounds in the meantime!

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Indore Marriott Hotel unveils Diamante – Crown of Indore

Indore Marriott Hotel unveils Diamante – Crown of Indore By 0 National, May 14, 2019: Get ready for the miraculous party feel and the most glamorous night outs as Indore Marriott Hotel has unveiled its much-awaited high energy lounge bar Diamante on Saturday, 11th May 2019. With the launch of Diamante, Indore Marriott Hotel is all set to change the game by introducing you to a new era of clubbing. ‘Diamante’ will feature world-class cocktails by South African Mixologist, Tristan Money and under food; the hotel covers International, Asian and Indian Cuisine. Diamante is a high-energy lounge bar with comfortable couch seating that will elevate your evening experience along with a warm and inviting setting for guests who enjoy new places and new experiences. Indore Marriott Hotel hosted a grand launch night ‘THE ROYAL SOIREE’ on Saturday 11th May 2019 to unveil Diamante – Crown of Indore. The event included dance performances, flair bartending and live groovy music by rappers DJ WARAD, The Spindoctor and Shah RuLe. The grand launch night witnessed a night studded with a breathtaking performance by DJ WARAD aka Yash Warad, a 22-year-old Pune based DJ, who knows how to get the crowd swaying heedless of the genre and looks forward to making his own music. What indeed sets the bar above, is the launch promotion, where the hotel provides its invited guests with a cashless card with a pre-set value for the cashless bar experience and also welcomed them with a red carpet and a photo opportunity at the booth near Diamante entrance. Mr. Devesh Rawat, General Manager, Indore Marriott Hotel said, “We are delighted to announce the opening of Diamante that aims to offer our guests the experience of party culture in a whole new different level. As it’s our mission to always look ahead to address the needs of our guests, Indore Marriott Hotel introduces an elevated dining experience that offers a diverse menu infused with International, Asian and Indian cuisine and world-class cocktails—all in a welcoming setting. To ensure that it stayed true to what our guests expect of the brand while also creating something interesting enough to pull in new guests, Diamante is thoughtfully designed to deliver an unparalleled guest experience backed by comfort and great service.” For the party people of Indore, Indore Marriott Hotel brings the finest night outs in town. With Diamante, the guests can experience the highest standards of the allure and grandeur of the nightclubbing lifestyle. The menu is designed to offer a variety of flavorful, fresh items to satisfy every palate, combined with amazing cocktails, great music and the unique ambience that will make you groove along to the hip. With banging vibes, hypnotic atmosphere and infectious energy in the house, get hooked to the new rhythm of clubbing only at Diamante – Crown of Indore. Hold onto your breath for an exuberant nightclub experience and gear up to show off your dance moves at Indore Marriott Hotel’s super high energy Lounge Bar ‘Diamante’. Corporate Comm India(CCI NewsWire)

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The Executive Talk: Central Plaza Hotel PCL (SET:CENTEL)

The Executive Talk: Central Plaza Hotel PCL (SET:CENTEL) ID: 592505
(firmenpresse) – BANGKOK, May 14, 2019 – (ACN Newswire) – Central Plaza Hotel PCL (SET:CENTEL) Senior Vice President of Finance, Khun Ronnachit Mahattanapreut discusses the company’s strategy and outlook in The Executive Talk (TET) by ShareInvestor.com.TET: Given the challenging environment of 2018, how was CENTEL’s performance?CENTEL: Our group has two businesses, the hotel and the food business. Within the hotel business, we own 17 hotels and manage 22 hotels for a total of 39 hotels. For the Food business, we have 11 brands, 5 of which are Japanese with 956 outlets as of the end of 2018 and we plan to be above 1,000 outlets in 2019. During challenging events such as the statement of emergency in the Maldives during the first quarter of 2018, the hotels in the Maldives suffered however because within the hotel portfolio we have assets in Thailand which performed very well to offset this until July 2018. When there was the accident in Phuket and Chinese tourists visits to Thailand declined from July to November 2018, the Thai hotel portfolio did weaken and this weakness in the tourism market continued until the Thai Government announced the incentive scheme to waive the visa on arrival.The recovery came after three months due to the nature of Asian tourists. Thus, the second half of 2018 was indeed challenging plus globally there was the issues between the US and China impacted global growth however our marketing team was very proactive during this period. We refocused our attention on the Indian, Australia, ASEAN, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong markets to attract customers to our hotels and this is why we did not decline as our peers had and the hotel group achieved a new record for profits and revenues. Last year the hotel group occupancy rate, excluding two new hotels, maintained at 83% the same as in 2017 and the overall REVPAR was change -0.1% year on year. A success point was the MICE market which allowed Centara Grand Centralworld to achieve a record high since its opening in 2007.
For the Food business, like the hotel business, there was uncertainty in 2018 as a result of the confusion regarding the election date and the discontinuation of the tax incentive at the end of the year which had been in place in previous years. This resulted in Same Store Sales Growth (SSSG) at only +0.1% but an improvement from 2017 where it was -0.9%. Within the Food business we had interesting developments such as with KFC where a new marketing team was working on menus during the first half of 2018 creating new and innovative menus to attract customers and from July onwards the SSSG been continuously positive. Also, with Mister Donut there was a change regarding trans-fats and even though we announced from August 2018 onwards there were no items with trans-fats, the news and the competition within the industry led to a weaker performance. But when looking at the food business as a whole the total systems sales growth was better than the hotel with +9.2% revenue growth, while profit was +5.7% growth.TET: CENTEL has expanded impressively over the past decade, how does management effectively and/or efficiently manage its hotels and F&B’s?CENTEL: The development of CENTEL as a business did not happen in one day, this was a process over the past two decades. With the first hotel at Ladprao, we had international hotel chain’s managing our properties we learned and understood the requirements, processes to manage a hotel group and when we listed on the Stock Exchange we were able to utilize the capital to continue expanding further. We have to complement our Chairman K. Suthikiati as he was able to draw the best talents and combine the cultures of both the East and the West combining the service-minded culture with the systems-based culture. Furthermore, we received investment support from the IFC who were looking to develop the second tier and provide income to the domestic populations, and they assisted in financing two projects in Thailand as well as became a 10% shareholder in CENTEL. Thus, with these two initial steps of the management and the financing, we continued to expand until today where we have 17 hotels with THB 20 billion in assets, achieving a record profit of over THB 2 billion in 2018. To efficiently manage this, we have to be aware that there are constant disruptions for both businesses and that management has to remain flexible and trust in the ability of all our team members executing. For example, during the SARS crisis, the political protest periods, occupancies in our hotels dropped to 30% then 10% some days it only had 10 rooms and in order to be diversified, we expanded into management contracts where we now have 22 hotels and by 2022 we target other 24 hotels in the pipeline. Another example of disruption is technology, we have opened our own digital marketing department focused purely on the online business which has now grown from 0% to 9% of revenue for the hotel group and we set our KPI for double-digit growth from our own websites. Finally, we launched a loyalty program, C1, which combines with Central Card’s T1 which has more than 10 million members who may utilize their points between the hotels and shopping malls.TET: The CAPEX guidance for 2019 to 2021 are 4x the CAPEX of 2018, what are the plans and why the decision to expand heavily in the coming 3 years?CENTEL: In the past we launched the Centara Grand Centralworld, Centara Mirage Pattaya and Centara Phuket Beach Resort, these three properties cost THB 10 billion, and we did not increase capital, therefore, there was no dilution to shareholders, and once we have seen the success of these projects combined with a balance sheet that is effectively debt free presented us with the opportunity to expand. Our philosophy is quite conservative and less aggressive than our peers but when we execute a project, we have a high probability of success. Now we are planning to invest THB 26 billion over three years which includes renovation and enhancements for the hotels, major renovations of three hotels specifically Centara Grand Central World, Centara Grand Samui, and Centara Grand Hua Hin, and investments and expansion of new hotels, food brands, and food outlet expansions. When we look at our existing hotel portfolio, the net contribution from Bangkok is 30%, outside of Bangkok 50% and 20% overseas, specifically the Maldives. We will still focus on Thailand because of resilient tourism but more outside of Bangkok and overseas.We recently joined with Nakheel Group with a 40% stake for us for a 4-star Hotel in Dubai and we’ll also look to expand further in the Maldives, Middle East, ASEAN especially Vietnam and Japan. In addition to this, we will look at expanding our management contracts at a faster pace compared to the hotel investments due to its asset-light nature. We foresee that in the next four years 68 hotels in our portfolio and a doubling of revenue from THB 10 bn to THB 20 bn. For the Food business, the aim is also to double over the next four years from THB 12 billion to THB 24 billion. This year we will be launching a new brand, Aroi Dee, which is a scalable Thai cuisine restaurant that was developed by the team that manages Terrace. We’ve already launched three outlets at Silom 32, in the PTT Sai Mai station, and at Thai Watsadu Bangna and they are performing very well. An interesting development that we have noted is that at the Silom branch, 60% of business is delivery and for Sai Mai 40% is delivery. This is a developing trend within Thailand with changes in lifestyle and urbanization and allows our food brands distribution to no longer being limited to just the outlet.TET: What differentiates CENTEL versus its domestic and international competitors?CENTEL: When we began managing the first hotel in the Maldives the local investor chose us because we treated them as a partner assisting with the entire process of development, financing, projections and so forth. Because we ourselves are a hotel owner and therefore understand the needs and requirements of partners, having gone through the cycles in the past. Another differentiating factor is that we are from Thailand the culture is very important with the service mindset that comes naturally and in my opinion, only Thailand and Japan currently have this high level of service quality. TET: What are the biggest risks facing your business and what may investors misunderstand about your business?CENTEL: When we first became a listed company, investor relations was a weak point for us but as the company has grown we have ensured that our strategy, our performance, and our long term goals are well understood by our current shareholders and potential future shareholders. However, the main risks for us are uncontrollable factors whether they be natural disasters, political risks and so forth. TET: Where do you see in CENTEL in five years from now?CENTEL: We have spent time building the foundation of CENTEL over the past two decades to ensure that we will continue to grow in a sustainable manner, delivering high-quality hospitality of Thai origin to customers globally. As a business, we focus on the long term and target to double both our food and hotel businesses within the next four years. About The Executive Q&A SeriesThe Executive Q&A Series is presented by ShareInvestor, Asia’s leading financial internet media and technology company and the largest investor relations network in the region. The interview was conducted by Pon Van Compernolle. For more information, email admin.th(at)shareinvestor.com. Website: www.ShareInvestorThailand.com Company information / Profile:

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Avartana: southern soul, global face, and an experience to cherish.

Avartana: southern soul, global face, and an experience to cherish. Crispy Potato Buttermilk Sphere Uthukuli Butter Chicken Lam Rice Aubergine Yoghurt By looking at this food can you say it is South Indian? I couldn’t. If it was not for the brief I got before arriving at the lunch I’d not have known I was eating South Indian food that afternoon. Until I tasted it that is.
I fell in love with south Indian food about 10 years ago when I went to live in the south. Many trips after coming back, learning a few recipes there and my children’s love for the cuisine ensured that even though I am not in the South, I still am connected to its food. So when I got to know chef Ajit Bangera and his team from the award winning Avartana of @itcgrandchola was in Delhi, I was obviously excited.”We thought we should come to Delhi and Mumbai to showcase what we do in Chennnai,” says chef Ajit Bangera, a seasoned ITC hand who spent over two years conceptualizing and creating the menu. “We wanted chefs who were from the south but did not cook South Indian, that would have restricted their creativity.” And so, chef Bangera’s team was created with chefs who were deft in modern techniques and also familiar with the southern palate — a balance crucial for the development of the innovative yet gratifying menu. It is this vision, hard work, and, as the chef says ‘blood and tears of his team’ which have made Avartana one of the most loved places in the city within two years of launching. The pop up at the Delhi and Mumbai properties, says he, aims to showcase the work done by the team. We are only glad that they chose to come to Delhi for the 11 course menu surely turned out to be one of the best meals I have ever eaten — and with how much I eat, that is saying something. Like all good South Indian meals, we start with rasam. Of course you do not know it is Rasam until you drink it. The clarified broth comes in a jug and is infused with fresh coriander before being poured into a Martini glass. The rasam is smooth almost velvety with the aroma of fresh coriander shining through. I devour two glassed even though chef Bangera insists me to stop lest I be too full for the meal. A carrot cone with fried lentils, come next as the perfect amuse bouche. Made with sliced carrot and stuffed with fried lentils, the tiny portion teases both your palate and mind and leaves you wanting for more. Poached Red Prawn Crispy Potato Buttermilk Sphere
The meal starts with poached prawn with pickled onion, served on a bed on homemade cheese, accompanied bu coriander oil. The freshwater prawns turn out to be sweet and flavourful. The soft and salty cheese worked beautifully with the firm prawn; coriander oil and pickled onions meanwhile add a punch. Next comes the lobster dumpling with chilli jam. I am a little shocked to see only one dumpling there, but chef assures I’d get more if I’d like. The beautiful dumpling with hints of familiar flavours and the sweet and spicy chilli jam does make me want another, but I chose to wait. That is when crispy chilli potatoes come in. You’d think they are idlis. The ones they fry in podi and serve with chutneys, but this with its soft and starchy potatoes and the buttermilk sphere, a little blob that bursts to reveal buttermilk, is much superior and stays on your palate. That is when the palate cleanser arrives. A sorbet made with orange and ginger served with lemon foam, shaped like a fruit. I have been to multiple multi-course fancy meals now, and in every meal, barring one at Orient Express, Taj Palace, Delhi, I am done by the time the palate cleanser arrives. Either I eat too much, or the portions are such that after four-five courses your body can really not appreciate anything else. This did not happen here. I was, in fact, looking forward to what next . Cod Tomato Pancake Uthukuli Butter Chicken And next was something I wasn’t sure I wanted. While I do eat fish, I am not too fond of it, and this course brought in Pan Fried Cod with tomato Pancakes and coriander sauce. But I have decided to eat whatever is served and I go ahead. The fish is flaky and soft and the pancake, actually coin sized utthapams, compliment them perfectly. The sauce adds zing. I am glad I gave it a try. What comes next is something I am going to taste for a long time — Uthukuli Butter Chicken with Malabar Parotta and a butter toffee. A small Taluk in Tamilnadu, Uthukuli is known for its rich pure and beautiful butter and the team at Avartana has ensured they make the best of it. The chicken is buttery and peppery and just the right quantity, the parotta is tiny and the flakiest I have eaten, and the toffee, a piece of butter wrapped in beetroot paper is a work of art. The vegetarian version of the dish uses morels, which I find even better than the chicken. (ITC morels are to die for). The lamb rice that follows is just enough to leave you wanting for more; its accompaniment, the velvety raita, is a course in itself with the perfectly fried aubergine and golden garlic. Sago Lamb Rice
No meal in the Southern peninsula is complete without curd rice, and Avartana’s version comes with sago and a little sauce which reminds you of the pickle. The sago is smooth and while you’d expect anything sago to be sweet, this is delightfully salty and refreshing.The sauce and the fried chilli that come along take me back to my canteen meals in Bangalore. At every step of the meal in Avartana one wonders what would could the next course be. I am almost at the end of my meal — and almost full — but am still looking forward to what next. What comes next is a delight. Fennel Panacotta with angel hair caramel, the last course of the meal is also the most extravagant. The pannacota is shaped like an egg, angel hair caramel form a nest. The egg complete with a runny yolk and the nest with tiny edible flowers make it so realistic that you take a while to eat it. Once you taste it though, you don’t want to stop. “Our vegetarian guests in Chennai are sometimes taken aback by this,” chuckles chef Ajit, “but we manage to convince them.” And that is the thing about Avartana, you may have your reservations about certain things, but once you taste them here, you’d be a fan for life. Chef Ajit and Chef Nikhil with their team at ITC Maurya, New Delhi.
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KAMCHENG PERANAKAN GALA DINNER The Peranakan Event of the Year Friday, 7 June 2019, Marina Mandarin Ballroom

Journalist KAMCHENG PERANAKAN GALA DINNER The Peranakan Event of the Year Friday, 7 June 2019, Marina Mandarin Ballroom
The Peranakan Festival returns for an anticipated 3rd annual edition (7 June – 31 July), kicking off with its first-ever Kamcheng Peranakan Gala Dinner featuring cuisine by renowned local chefs, a Baba Nyonya Literary Festival, Halal Peranakan Cuisine Promotion, Wine and Sake Dinners, Locally-Crafted Gin Masterclasses, and exciting fringe activities that will be enjoyed by festival-visitors of all ages.
Celebrating the rich and diverse connections that Peranakans share with other cultures, in particular, Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian customs and cuisines, the 3rd annual edition of The Peranakan Festival heralds the theme Kamcheng Peranakan meaning: Friendship of the Peranakans. Tipped to be the ‘Peranakan Event of the Year’, the festival’s opening Kamcheng Peranakan Gala Dinner to be held on Friday, 7 June, 6pm, is set be a stunning showcase of beloved Peranakan traditions with an anticipated 500 guests enjoying an elaborate 13-course Celebratory
Dinner prepared by Celebrity Guest Chefs Aziza Ali (author, host & chef), Devagi Sanmugam (The Spice Queen), Damian d’Silva (Folklore), Elizabeth Chan (Kueh Ho Jiak), Lisa Kassim (Asian Food Channel), Lynda Seow and Lionel Chee (Casa Bom Vento), Raymond Khoo and Carol Ee (The Peranakan) as well as Chefs Chan Tuck Wai and Daniel Tan from Marina Mandarin Singapore. Dressed in their best batiks and Sarong Kebayas, guests will be welcomed with a signature Blue Pea Flower Gin Cocktail created by local craft brand Brass Lion Distillery, while participants of the event’s Make Over Nyonya showcase will dazzle one and all on a custom catwalk, decked out in batik Qipao by designer Ada Goh and hairstyle creations by Shunji Matsuo Salon. The immersion into all things Peranakan is complete with a lively bazaar featuring authentic Straits Chinese crafts and artisan designs, as well as live music and entertainment that will get everyone in the mood to Joget and Gelek Gelek into the night.
Having always included a goodwill element, this year’s festival bazaar also features vendors displaced by the closing of Sungei Road Thieves’ Market, while a silent auction in aid of Assisi Hospice will be held during the Gala Dinner. Organiser of The Peranakan Festival, Baba Chef Raymond Khoo, shares, “This Kamcheng Peranakan Gala Dinner is a landmark event for our festival and also the Peranakan community, as it is a first-ever feast that brings together so many heavyweight local chefs from the different cultures that have influenced Peranakan cuisine. It is a celebration of the kinship and friendship that has shaped our communities for over 500 years, and it is an opportunity to party in the most Peranakan way possible – with makan, merriment, music and joget. Held on Friday, 7 June, The Peranakan Festival Opening Bazaar is open to the public from 4pm to 6pm at Marina Mandarin Ballroom, Level 1, Marina Mandarin Singapore, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Singapore 039594. Tickets to the Kamcheng Peranakan Gala Dinner are priced at $148nett, $168nett or $388nett, and are available for purchase online at: https://theperanakanshop.com/shop/kamchengperanakan2019/
* Bookings made by DBS Credit cards will receive a $30 The Peranakan restaurant voucher with tickets priced at $148 and $168, while $388 tickets will be bundled with an $80 voucher.
Peranakan Food Festival Highlights As it is no secret that Peranakans are extremely proud of their culinary heritage, this festival edition will see the debut of the Peranakan Food Festival – a curated collection of cuisinecentric events that highlight essential elements of Peranakan cooking. Not-to-be-missed is The Peranakan restaurant’s inaugural collaboration with Marina Mandarin Singapore’s AquaMarine – a Halal-certified buffet restaurant. Guests will have the chance to savour Straits Chinese signatures such as Nasi Ulam, Dry Laksa, Ikan Goreng Chuan Chuan, While Veal Shank Rendang and Apom Bokwa Pisang cooked to showcase their best and most authentic Peranakan flavours thanks to recipes shared by Baba Chef Raymond Khoo. AquaMarine’s Peranakan Delicacies promotion is available from 7 June to 11 July, priced from $60++ per adult. For bookings, visit: https://www.meritushotels.com/marina-mandarinsingapore/offers/peranakan-delicacies.html Over at The Peranakan restaurant, Baba Chef Raymond Khoo welcomes Eurasian cuisine specialist Chef Lionel Chee (every Sunday in June and July) for a presentation of a collaborative Eurasian Peranakan Set Menu priced at $45++ per person featuring mouth-watering favourites such as Devils Curry and Pan-fried Black Pepper Stingray. To explore the gourmet side of Peranakan cuisine, join in one of The Peranakan restaurant’s degustation-style wine dinners paired with Italian, German, Spanish vintages or discover the delectable complementary flavours of our spice-rich dishes with crisp Sake from Nagasaki Prefecture. Singapore’s very own Brass Lion Distillery which launched its flagship Singapore Dry Gin in 2018, will showcase a brand-new Butterfly Pea Gin (made from Bunga Telang flowers and lavender with hints of citrus) that mystically morphs from a deep blue hue to soft lilac shade when mixed into a cocktail. For purists, we recommend checking out their Gin Cocktail Workshop (22 June, $70++ per person); those who enjoy a boozy good time should make a date for High Tea with Gin (14 July, $88++per person) During the festival, travelers visiting the exclusive DBS Asia Treasures Lounges at Singapore Changi Airport Terminals 2 and 3 will savour a rotation of delicious recipes crafted to showcase The Peranakan’s authentic Baba Nyonya flavours and cooking traditions.
Cultural Talks & The Baba Nyonya Literary Festival The Peranakan Gallery, a newly-launched exhibition gallery in the Orchard district, will be the host location of Cultural Talks organized by the festival. Subject experts will delve deep into the heritage’s vibrant material culture – from jewelry and textiles to the elaborate, symbolic artistry that adorns Peranakan porcelain. The Baba Nyonya Literary Festival held on 20 and 21 July, is organized by The Peranakan Association of Singapore (TPAS), and will be an exciting addition to the festival’s latest edition. Expect an insightful gathering of authors and moderated discussions on the publications featured. Tickets are priced at $30 for a one-day pass, or $50 for a two-day pass. For bookings and more information, contact TPAS at tel: 9741 0610.
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The Executive Talk: Central Plaza Hotel PCL (SET:CENTEL)

BANGKOK, May 14, 2019 – (ACN Newswire) – Central Plaza Hotel PCL (SET:CENTEL) Senior Vice President of Finance, Khun Ronnachit Mahattanapreut discusses the company’s strategy and outlook in The Executive Talk (TET) by ShareInvestor.com.TET: Given the challenging environment of 2018, how was CENTEL’s performance?CENTEL: Our group has two businesses, the hotel and the food business. Within the hotel business, we own 17 hotels and manage 22 hotels for a total of 39 hotels. For the Food business, we have 11 brands, 5 of which are Japanese with 956 outlets as of the end of 2018 and we plan to be above 1,000 outlets in 2019. During challenging events such as the statement of emergency in the Maldives during the first quarter of 2018, the hotels in the Maldives suffered however because within the hotel portfolio we have assets in Thailand which performed very well to offset this until July 2018. When there was the accident in Phuket and Chinese tourists visits to Thailand declined from July to November 2018, the Thai hotel portfolio did weaken and this weakness in the tourism market continued until the Thai Government announced the incentive scheme to waive the visa on arrival.The recovery came after three months due to the nature of Asian tourists. Thus, the second half of 2018 was indeed challenging plus globally there was the issues between the US and China impacted global growth however our marketing team was very proactive during this period. We refocused our attention on the Indian, Australia, ASEAN, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong markets to attract customers to our hotels and this is why we did not decline as our peers had and the hotel group achieved a new record for profits and revenues. Last year the hotel group occupancy rate, excluding two new hotels, maintained at 83% the same as in 2017 and the overall REVPAR was change -0.1% year on year. A success point was the MICE market which allowed Centara Grand Centralworld to achieve a record high since its opening in 2007. For the Food business, like the hotel business, there was uncertainty in 2018 as a result of the confusion regarding the election date and the discontinuation of the tax incentive at the end of the year which had been in place in previous years. This resulted in Same Store Sales Growth (SSSG) at only +0.1% but an improvement from 2017 where it was -0.9%. Within the Food business we had interesting developments such as with KFC where a new marketing team was working on menus during the first half of 2018 creating new and innovative menus to attract customers and from July onwards the SSSG been continuously positive. Also, with Mister Donut there was a change regarding trans-fats and even though we announced from August 2018 onwards there were no items with trans-fats, the news and the competition within the industry led to a weaker performance. But when looking at the food business as a whole the total systems sales growth was better than the hotel with +9.2% revenue growth, while profit was +5.7% growth.TET: CENTEL has expanded impressively over the past decade, how does management effectively and/or efficiently manage its hotels and F&B’s?CENTEL: The development of CENTEL as a business did not happen in one day, this was a process over the past two decades. With the first hotel at Ladprao, we had international hotel chain’s managing our properties we learned and understood the requirements, processes to manage a hotel group and when we listed on the Stock Exchange we were able to utilize the capital to continue expanding further. We have to complement our Chairman K. Suthikiati as he was able to draw the best talents and combine the cultures of both the East and the West combining the service-minded culture with the systems-based culture. Furthermore, we received investment support from the IFC who were looking to develop the second tier and provide income to the domestic populations, and they assisted in financing two projects in Thailand as well as became a 10% shareholder in CENTEL. Thus, with these two initial steps of the management and the financing, we continued to expand until today where we have 17 hotels with THB 20 billion in assets, achieving a record profit of over THB 2 billion in 2018. To efficiently manage this, we have to be aware that there are constant disruptions for both businesses and that management has to remain flexible and trust in the ability of all our team members executing. For example, during the SARS crisis, the political protest periods, occupancies in our hotels dropped to 30% then 10% some days it only had 10 rooms and in order to be diversified, we expanded into management contracts where we now have 22 hotels and by 2022 we target other 24 hotels in the pipeline. Another example of disruption is technology, we have opened our own digital marketing department focused purely on the online business which has now grown from 0% to 9% of revenue for the hotel group and we set our KPI for double-digit growth from our own websites. Finally, we launched a loyalty program, C1, which combines with Central Card’s T1 which has more than 10 million members who may utilize their points between the hotels and shopping malls.TET: The CAPEX guidance for 2019 to 2021 are 4x the CAPEX of 2018, what are the plans and why the decision to expand heavily in the coming 3 years?CENTEL: In the past we launched the Centara Grand Centralworld, Centara Mirage Pattaya and Centara Phuket Beach Resort, these three properties cost THB 10 billion, and we did not increase capital, therefore, there was no dilution to shareholders, and once we have seen the success of these projects combined with a balance sheet that is effectively debt free presented us with the opportunity to expand. Our philosophy is quite conservative and less aggressive than our peers but when we execute a project, we have a high probability of success. Now we are planning to invest THB 26 billion over three years which includes renovation and enhancements for the hotels, major renovations of three hotels specifically Centara Grand Central World, Centara Grand Samui, and Centara Grand Hua Hin, and investments and expansion of new hotels, food brands, and food outlet expansions. When we look at our existing hotel portfolio, the net contribution from Bangkok is 30%, outside of Bangkok 50% and 20% overseas, specifically the Maldives. We will still focus on Thailand because of resilient tourism but more outside of Bangkok and overseas.We recently joined with Nakheel Group with a 40% stake for us for a 4-star Hotel in Dubai and we’ll also look to expand further in the Maldives, Middle East, ASEAN especially Vietnam and Japan. In addition to this, we will look at expanding our management contracts at a faster pace compared to the hotel investments due to its asset-light nature. We foresee that in the next four years 68 hotels in our portfolio and a doubling of revenue from THB 10 bn to THB 20 bn. For the Food business, the aim is also to double over the next four years from THB 12 billion to THB 24 billion. This year we will be launching a new brand, Aroi Dee, which is a scalable Thai cuisine restaurant that was developed by the team that manages Terrace. We’ve already launched three outlets at Silom 32, in the PTT Sai Mai station, and at Thai Watsadu Bangna and they are performing very well. An interesting development that we have noted is that at the Silom branch, 60% of business is delivery and for Sai Mai 40% is delivery. This is a developing trend within Thailand with changes in lifestyle and urbanization and allows our food brands distribution to no longer being limited to just the outlet.TET: What differentiates CENTEL versus its domestic and international competitors?CENTEL: When we began managing the first hotel in the Maldives the local investor chose us because we treated them as a partner assisting with the entire process of development, financing, projections and so forth. Because we ourselves are a hotel owner and therefore understand the needs and requirements of partners, having gone through the cycles in the past. Another differentiating factor is that we are from Thailand the culture is very important with the service mindset that comes naturally and in my opinion, only Thailand and Japan currently have this high level of service quality. TET: What are the biggest risks facing your business and what may investors misunderstand about your business?CENTEL: When we first became a listed company, investor relations was a weak point for us but as the company has grown we have ensured that our strategy, our performance, and our long term goals are well understood by our current shareholders and potential future shareholders. However, the main risks for us are uncontrollable factors whether they be natural disasters, political risks and so forth. TET: Where do you see in CENTEL in five years from now?CENTEL: We have spent time building the foundation of CENTEL over the past two decades to ensure that we will continue to grow in a sustainable manner, delivering high-quality hospitality of Thai origin to customers globally. As a business, we focus on the long term and target to double both our food and hotel businesses within the next four years. About The Executive Q&A SeriesThe Executive Q&A Series is presented by ShareInvestor, Asia’s leading financial internet media and technology company and the largest investor relations network in the region. The interview was conducted by Pon Van Compernolle. For more information, email admin.th@shareinvestor.com. Website: www.ShareInvestorThailand.comSource: Central Plaza Hotel PCLCopyright 2019 ACN Newswire . All rights reserved. © 2019 JCN Newswire

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A Dallas Family’s Recipes Are Making Indian Cuisine More Accessible for Home Cooks

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“My mom very much had a rule about eating at home. Monday through Thursday and Sunday were non-negotiable,” Priya says. “We had to eat at home and had to eat as a family.”
Eventually, Priya went to college at Dartmouth, where she double-majored in government and French and started to write for the student newspaper. She wanted to write about restaurants but realized most students weren’t eating off-campus, so she launched a column about how to make the best of dining hall meals. This led to Priya’s first book: Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks: Create Extraordinary Dishes from the Ordinary Ingredients in Your College Meal Plan . Rather than exploring the intricacies of cooking a particular cuisine, she set out to create a sort of meal-hack guidebook, proving to college students that creating healthy, satisfying meals wasn’t impossible.
With her latest cookbook, she’s in familiar territory: teaching novice cooks that building fresh, healthy, interesting Indian meals isn’t impossible. In fact, it’s surprisingly easy — and fun.
“My immediate thought when I was writing this book is that I hope other people of color my age sort of feel seen by the book,” Priya says. “There’s this inherent tension that exists in first-generation and second-generation immigrants. You are growing up this product of American culture, but you don’t feel like you fully fit in to either of those worlds. You’re too American to be Indian, and too Indian to be American.” “My immediate thought when I was writing this book is that I hope other people of color my age sort of feel seen by the book,” Priya Krishna says. Kathy Tran
After college, Priya was working at the now-defunct food magazine Lucky Peach when the publication put together a cookbook called Lucky Peach Presents Power Vegetables . The recipes Priya contributed largely came from the recipes Ritu had been developing over years of living in the U.S. and feeding a family while working her way up the corporate ladder to eventually run software development teams. Her Lucky Peach coworkers were enamored of Ritu’s recipes and encouraged Priya to turn them into their own cookbook teaching American cooks how to make Indian dishes at home.
“I haven’t seen a book out there that, one, tells a really modern story about a modern family in America in 2019 — in this political era — and also one that sort of makes Indian flavors accessible to people, especially to young people,” Priya says.
Her life’s work has been about making good food more accessible. As a freelance writer for The New York Times and Bon Appetit , she loves to explore the origins of the food Americans love to eat. She’s delved into the history of everything from kolaches to Dunkin Donuts to the Italian-American kitsch-fest Buca di Beppo, often sharing how those dishes and restaurants affected her own upbringing as a first-generation Indian-American. For this cookbook, her investigative journalism focused inward on her own upbringing. Krishna’s saag feta uses fresh spinach and feta cheese in place of paneer. Kathy Tran
“It’s a very vulnerable thing, putting the food that you grew up with out there. You can’t help but take it personally if people don’t like it,” Priya says.
So far, Indian-ish seems to have hit the cultural and culinary zeitgeist. The New York Times cited it as one of the best cookbooks of spring 2019, noting that “it is a joy to cook from, and just as much fun to read.” Food and Wine says the book “marks a moment of change for a cuisine once silo’d in the West as Mughlai creamy butter chicken and takeout ‘curry.’” Priya has made several recipes from the book into videos for Bon Appetit ; her dahi toast video has been watched on YouTube 765,000 times. Munchies , the food and drink arm of Vice , posted a video last week of Priya making potato flatbread that’s already been viewed nearly 200,000 times.
The book is built with the beginner in mind. There are lessons on how to cook rice, boil potatoes, cook with whole spices and seeds. You’ll learn how to make homemade yogurt and what American condiments work great in Indian dishes. There are recipes for mother sauces and matar paneer and chaat masala. You’ll learn how much Priya’s father loves mixing ketchup with cilantro chutney to create a hybrid Indian-American “super sauce.” “I want Indian food to be seen as everyday food. I want it to be part of the mainstream home cooking conversation, and I don’t feel that it is now.” – Priya Krishna

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Summer Diet Tips: Try These 2 Healthy Palak Raita Recipes To Beat The Heat

Summer Diet Tips: Try These 2 Healthy Palak Raita Recipes To Beat The Heat Summer Diet Tips: Try These 2 Healthy Palak Raita Recipes To Beat The Heat NDTV Food Desk | Updated: May 14, 2019 18:23 IST Try these two healthy palak raita recipes for weight loss and better digestion. Highlights Raita is a curd-based condiment, which is one of the most popular dishes Making raita is one of the easiest things to do Palak, or spinach, is known to boost our immune system
Summers can be brutal. During this harsh season, detoxifying or cleansing your body becomes as important as cleaning your face (read makeup) before hitting the bed. In a battle to have healthy mind and body in today’s life, it is important to maintain a healthy, balanced diet that comprises all the food groups like carbs ( whole grains , seasonal veggies and fruits ), proteins (eggs, chicken, tofu and soya), and various other essential minerals and vitamins. Drinking enough water and summer coolers like jaljeera , nimbu pani , chaas and lassi may also help you flush out toxins from your body. However, your body needs a good amount of nutrition from foods and drinks but without bloating you up.
There are various ways of adding up nutrients to our body – one is by making right choices in food and second is by choosing right combination of foods. One such easy-on-tummy and much-loved dish is raita .
(Also Read: 7 Delicious Raita Recipes )
Raita is a curd-based condiment, which is one of the most popular dishes of Indian cuisine. No Indian food lover can imagine eating dal chawal , kebabs , khichdi or biryani without raita. Making raita is one of the easiest things to do. It all depends on the kind of curd you use to make raita. You may use Greek yogurt to prepare your raita to have that perfect creamy texture.
Alpa Modi, Mumbai-based YouTuber, has shared two healthy palak raita recipes on her channel ‘Something’s Cooking With Alpa’. In this raita recipe, Alpa has added palak to it to give it a healthier twist. Palak, or spinach, is full of beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein and chlorophyll – all of these components are known to boost your immune system. Moreover, the green veggie provides us with the required levels of magnesium that our body needs to generate energy for daily chores.
So, without further ado, here are two healthy palak raita recipes that you can make at home to beat the heat and stay energised. Healthy Palak Raita Recipes:

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