M&S accused of cultural appropriation over 'biryani' wrap | UK News | Sky News

M&S accused of cultural appropriation over ‘biryani’ wrap | UK News | Sky News

Marks and Spencer has been accused of cultural appropriation after it released a vegan wrap labelled as a biryani.
The chain has been criticised by a top chef and an London-based Indian restaurant, who say the product is inauthentic and does not reflect the traditional dish.
Indian cookbook author Maunika Gowardhan took to social media to question the product – while restaurant Darjeeling Express tweeted that the wrap was “so wrong at SO many levels”.
There are over 20 different regional varieties of biryanis across india. With spices & techniques unique to regions. That might be too technical to convey but atleast get the basics right. It’s a dish. Flavours are relative to regions. The common thread they all have rice! https://t.co/Yii1EKlBhu
— Maunika Gowardhan (@cookinacurry) January 29, 2019 The wrap, which costs £2.80, contains sweet potato, rice, buckwheat and roasted red pepper.
An Indian biryani is traditionally a meat-based rice dish served in a bowl.
Juliana Ali, manager of the Jewel In The Crown curry house in Swindon – open for 32 years, told Sky News it’s the fact the product is in a wrap that is the issue.
“I wouldn’t say that (the wrap) is a biryani because a biryani is a rice-based dish and we don’t use wraps when we make one – that’s a no-no. And sweet potato is something we don’t traditionally use either.
More from UK Coldest night of winter so far expected after snow disruption Two babies die after contracting blood infection at neonatal unit in Glasgow Emiliano Sala: Recovered seat cushions ‘likely’ to be from missing plane Boy, 7, and mum shot in ‘bungled gangland hit’ Government defeated in legal battle over criminal records disclosure ‘Zombie knife’ attacker Joshua Gardner jailed for three-and-a-half years as judge increases sentence “It’s great that M&S is trying to show that there are different varieties of food out there, but we’d like it to be truer to its nature,” she added.
Image: A chicken biryani is among the most popular dishes in Indian cuisine It’s not the first time the retailer has been accused of cultural appropriation.
It was criticised over the authenticity of its curry kits just last year, while Jamie Oliver came under fire for selling microwaveable jerk rice.
Even the humble Cornish pasty hasn’t escaped the controversy, after a vegan version was launched.
But while some find the wrap culturally offensive, others simply see it as just another grab-and-go option for lunch.
Food scientist Dr Anil de Sequeira, from Bath Spa University, works with students to develop new products for supermarkets.
He told Sky News that Marks and Spencer has not committed cultural appropriation:
“They’ve basically taken a biryani and innovated it and put it into a wrap… it’s still got the composition of a biryani, it’s still got the characteristics of a biryani. It’s got the rice, it’s got the vegetables… I don’t see any problem with it.”
In a statement, the company said: “M&S is famous for its food innovation and our developers use a fusion of different flavours and ingredients to create an exciting range of products to appeal to customers’ tastes.”

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N.J. mom thinks outside the Gerber jar in new baby food cookbook

N.J. mom thinks outside the Gerber jar in new baby food cookbook Updated January 31, 2019 at 9:12 AM ; Posted January 31, 2019 at 9:11 AM New Jersey resident Leena Saini found a new career as a cookbook author after her daughter rejected traditional baby food. ( Christine Han By Tracy Ann Politowicz The Star-Ledger
Imagine a restaurant where the decor is homey, and the waitstaff is exceptionally attentive. The place is frequented by your relatives, but would you enjoy dining there if the menu offerings were bland and unimaginative?
Of course not, so imagine how your baby feels when you serve her typical baby food. That was how Leena Saini’s daughter Kirina reacted to her first experiences with boxed rice cereals and jar foods.
“My daughter would eat none of it and I would try day after day to give her this food and she rejected it,” says Saini, a former lawyer who is now a full-time mom in Monroe Township in Middlesex County. “As someone who has been so into food and culture, I was distressed because she wasn’t enjoying the eating experience, which is one of life’s gifts.
“It was kind of a lightbulb moment where I started thinking, how can I make this better for her, tastier?”
Saini began experimenting to create more flavorful food for her daughter.
“It started with adding a pinch of this and a pinch of that. I put cinnamon in something, I put saffron in something. I pureed an avocado, put some cumin and some cilantro and a little bit of lime juice in it. She started eating and enjoying it and it kind of snowballed from there.”
Saini’s culinary journey resulted in her book “Around the World in 80 Purees: Easy Recipes for Global Baby Food” (Quirk Books, 160 pp., $19.99).
“Babies have from 2,000 to 10,000 taste buds. The best way to nurture flavor receptors is to expose them to different tastes as early as possible, which encourages babies to try new foods as they get older,” writes Saini. “Studies have shown that babies who are exposed to a variety of tastes grow up to be more adventurous, less fussy eaters.”
She says her efforts were influenced by her childhood.
“We have an Indian background, but I didn’t just grow up on Indian food. My mom was really into trying cuisines from different cultures … so in preparing meals for Kirina, I would do the same thing. I would be like, OK, what are babies in India eating or what are babies in Japan eating? Let’s draw inspiration from that.”
Saini did research to find out what babies’ first foods are around the world. She read articles and books. She asked parents from different backgrounds. When she and her husband Sunil traveled overseas, she visited local grocery stores to check out their baby food options.
“I discovered that jarred foods are not as huge around the world as they are in the States. The offerings they did have were very unique, like in France there was a salmon and spinach puree with herbes de Provence, which fascinated me.”
She also found that restaurants in other countries didn’t have “standard kiddie menus.”
“You would maybe order smaller portions of what you were eating for your child,” says Saini. “Children in Europe, for instance, are acclimated to just eating what their parents are eating.
“This whole thing taught me that when you are starting your child young on flavor exposure, spices, seasonings and diverse ingredients, you are creating food habits.
“If you start with bland, it will lead to bland toddler food and then bland child food and then you are at that kiddie menu at the restaurant that’s chicken nuggets and mac ‘n’ cheese, and that’s what a child will become used to,” says Saini.
Amy Bentley, author of the James Beard Award-nominated “Inventing Baby Food: Taste, Health, and the Industrialization of the American Diet,” expands on the benefits of Saini’s approach in her foreword to Saini’s book.
“Creating a wide variety of globally inspired complementary foods for weaning infants not only is a question of taste, but may also be a question of optimal nutrition and health,” writes Bentley.
Saini understands that some American parents may be reluctant to think outside the baby food jar. “We are relatively conservative when it comes to spices and seasonings and adding flavor to babies’ food.”
She pins that hesitancy in part on a misinterpretation of the word “spice,” which “always leads people to think that you are giving your baby heat, chilies and things like that.”
Also, Saini says, for years commercial baby food was promoted as the best choice. According to Saini, the big manufacturers, such as Gerber and Beechnut, in effect said, “We can do it safer than you can. We can make strained peas better because we cook it a certain way and we preserve it a certain way and it’s better for your baby and it’s convenient.”
“As a new parent because you are so scared of hurting your baby or damaging your baby’s health, you would drive to the grocery store and buy a jar of mushed bananas, but you wouldn’t necessarily think about mashing a banana at home in a bowl, let alone adding anything to it,” says Saini.
While she was developing more creative meals for Kirina, Saini found “baby-friendly spices — milder spices that are pleasing to the palate, like cinnamon, cardamom, saffron, basil, oregano” — that could be added to a variety of foods. For example, she says applesauce with saffron is “mild, but it’s interesting.”
She also made for Kirina some of the dishes she had enjoyed when she was young. “My mom was into slicing bananas and sprinkling some ground cardamom on it with a little bit of sugar. I remember that was such a big after-school snack.” Such memories are particularly poignant for Saini since her beloved mother passed away in 2005.
As Kirina got older (she is now 7), her mom would puree whatever foods the adults were eating for her.
“The more types of diverse cuisines we would introduce to her, the more she would enjoy them,” says Saini.
When Saini and her family, which includes a second daughter, Ela, now 4, had dinner at the home of Korean friends, they were served rinsed kimchi, which Saini calls a “very spicy Korean condiment.” But all the children, who ranged in age from 2 to 7 years, “ate it right up.”
Saini is working on more globally-inspired cookbooks, including one on cooking with your children.
“The most lasting gift you can give your child is being open to cuisines and flavors — not just herbs and spices, also different ingredients, different grains and different vegetables,” says Saini.
“That you can teach a child culture through food has been an amazing discovery. They can be 5 years old and not think eating dal or curry or miso soup is strange, it’s just food.”
Tracy Ann Politowicz may be reached at tpolitowicz@njadvancemedia.com.
Leena Saini’s tips for expanding your child’s palate 1. Introduce a new food or a new ingredient alongside something familiar. For example, add cinnamon to applesauce.
2. Be patient. Saini says our taste buds need time to acclimate, and it can take seven to 10 tries for a baby or child to get used to a new flavor or texture. Don’t give up on something because your little one spits it out a couple times.
3. Change the cooking method to change the flavor. For instance, if your baby doesn’t like pureed carrots that have been steamed, try roasting or baking them instead.
4. Always seek the advice of a pediatrician regarding your child’s diet.
— Tracy Ann Politowicz
MEXICO Avocado With Cilantro and Lime “In Mexico, babies eat their avocados sprinkled with chili and lime. The creamy, smooth flesh of this fruit is a versatile base for many Mexican, Caribbean, and South American seasonings. … This version is a bright, citrusy homage to Mexican flavors that your little one will love.” For babies ages 6 months and older. Makes about 4 ounces. Avocado with cilantro and lime is a Mexican-inspired dish for babies 6 months and older. (Christine Han)
1 ripe avocado 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice 1 teaspoon washed and minced cilantro leaves 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1. With sharp knife, cut avocado in half. Press knife blade into pit until firmly in place and then twist gently. The pit should pop out. Scoop out flesh with spoon.
2. In small bowl, combine all ingredients and mash together with fork or wooden spoon.
3. For babies younger than 9 months old, puree in mini food processor until smooth. Leave chunkier for babies older than 9 months old.
— All recipes from “Around the World in 80 Purees: Easy Recipes for Global Baby Food,” by Leena Saini (Quirk Books, 160 pp., $19.99)
THAILAND Chicken Poached in Spiced Coconut Milk “Poaching guarantees a moist dish flavored with whatever herbs and aromatics are in the cooking liquid. In this recipe, the lemongrass, basil, and even the coconut milk imbue the chicken with quintessential Thai flavors.” For babies ages 6 months and older. Makes 2 to 3 servings. Chicken poached in spiced coconut milk includes some “quintessential Thai flavors,” according to cookbook author Leena Saini. (Christine Han)
1/2 teaspoon chopped lemongrass

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How ancient India cooked – The Stars Post

By starspost Jan 31, 2019, 12:13 pm 0 1 0
Late Yeshwant Nene, founder of the Asian Agri-History Foundation, had often rued how, despite being one of the oldest civilisations, nothing much is documented about India’s agricultural history. The Foundation was his initiative to contribute to the documentation and dissemination of the vast agricultural knowledge in the country. The same argument goes for ancient Indian food. There is little information about what civilisations of yore ate. Recipe books from Mughal times are available, as are books on Indian cuisine from the British Raj, but when it comes to food from the kingdoms of Vijayanagar, Chola dynasty or Rajputana, the information is woefully inadequate.
Many references and works are present in Sanskrit, regional languages, Persian and Urdu, but there are no recipe books as such from these times.
One of the greatest sources of information is a compilation by KT Achaya. His book Indian Food – A Historical Companion is a source of immense information. He has documented what various kingdoms ate. He writes in depth of the Manasollasa ( Abhilashitartha Chintamani ) written around 1130 AD by King Someshvara III of Kalyana in Central India. It has a chapter titled ‘Annabhoga’, where 20 pages are devoted to the making of a variety of dishes.
One can also find the recipe to make ‘Purana’, which might be our present-day puranpoli . There are copious references to ingredients, fruits, vegetables, cereals, milk products, meat… From ancestral legacies to touching upon the Harappan spread and the coming of Europeans, Achaya has covered a huge range: several methods of preparation, cooking styles, utensils and ingredients are given in the book.
Another book of his — A Historical Dictionary Of Indian Food — describes its intent in the preface, “several readers of my earlier book Indian Food – A Historical Companion felt there was need for a historical dictionary that would bring together, in alphabetical order , material scattered all over the earlier volume”.
The dictionary is worth its weight in gold, as it puts almost all vocabulary used with cooking and recipes — food, ingredients, utensils with meanings and references — in one place. Try this: “ adai — shallow-fried circlet of the Tamil world. The thick ground batter consists of almost equal parts of rice and as many as four pulses. It is described in Tamil Sangam literature between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD as a snack served by vendors on the seashore.” There is a long description on Bengali sweets. It is a one-stop place for the antecedents of food in India.
Two other famous cooks from our mythology are Bheema from the Mahabharata and King Nala. Nala pakam is a term which originated from Nala’s proficiency in cooking.
Pakadarpana of Nala is a book by Madhulika, edited by Jay Ram Yadav and brought out by Chaukhambha Orientalia Varanasi. It is a translation of the Pakadarpana procured from the Sarasvati Bhavan Library of Sampurnanand Sanskrit University in Varanasi. It has 24 folios. The Sanskrit shloka with its translation in English. In the chapter on ‘Payasa’ — with recipes for preparation of garlic payasa and wheat payasa , there is also a process for preparation of syrups from fruits and flowers. It is an interesting book which works as a guide to cooking, trying recipes and experimentation. One needs to decipher and read into the mind of a cook to understand how these recipes work.
INTACH’s The Soopa Shastra of Mangarasa III – Culinary Traditions of Medieval Karnataka (edited in Kannada by SN Krishna Jois), edited by NP Bhat and Nerupama Y Modwel, brings out the fineness of vegetarian cooking between the 15th and 16th centuries.
Apart from recipes, their origins are also referenced. The recipes cover a wide spectrum, there are nectar breads using cream, curd, bread flavoured with mango juice and more. There are drinks galore and umpteen number of ways of cooking vegetables — brinjal, banana stem, flowers and jackfruit.
There are plenty of documentations of recipes and new ones which are recorded. Trying to revive forgotten foods and their recipes are the two books by Centre for Science and Environment — Down to Earth: First Food – A Taste of India’s Biodiversity and First Food – Culture of Taste . (Three of the writer’s stories find their way into the second book.) Navdanya has a wonderful book with recipes on amaranth ( chaulai ). It has some interesting modern take-offs like apple cake, fruit bake and more.
Akshat , an ode to different varieties of rice, has recipes. Earthbound – Navdanya’s Guide to Easy, Organic Cooking shows some fast everyday recipes. Several of these recipes use old forgotten grains in new innovative ways to suit the palette of today. It can be eaten with panache at a café! Related

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British Rums You Need To Try

January 31, 2019 British Rums You Need To Try
Rum, once considered an unrefined tipple for sailors and pirates, has certainly made a comeback. Whether you want to take it in a cocktail, on rocks or neat, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the vast selection of light, dark and spiced rums.
For cocktails, a light rum like the Bacardi-style is a favourite. It is crisp and tart, giving your cocktail that striking taste. Dark rums, on the other hand, are characterised by intense spicy notes with big bold flavours .
The Navy rum is an excellent example for this category, which features a blend of pot still, a light column still and heavy sweet demerara rum, giving it an intense and robust flavour.
But enough of our preamble… here’s our selection of famous British rums you should try in 2019.
Gosling’s Black Seal 151
Ranked among the best sipping rums in the world, Gosling’s Black Seal hails from the middle of the Bermuda Triangle. Its name is a result of the black wax used to close the original bottles.
From a rear view, you can easily mistake this rum for red wine given its dark reddish-brown hue. The rum is adored for its sweet vanilla and spicy notes.
It feels very pungent on the nose and has a dense, treacly taste on the tongue that finishes off in sweet and spicy notes. Gosling’s Black Seal 151 is a great sipping rum, but it also makes a fantastic long drink when mixed with cola, ice and lime.
Old Salt Rum
Old Salt is one of the few rums made in England. The rum is distilled thrice in small proportions using traditional copper still. It is this process that gives Old Salt Rum the original taste of rum that dates back some 200 years.
It has a Pirate theme on the rear label and is sealed with red wax inscribed with the initials ES (English Spirit) at the top of the bottle. English Spirit is a distillery based in Cambridgeshire and is credited with producing this rum. Old Salt rum is extremely pungent, evocative of an Overproof rum that inches closer to a Jamaican-style rum. It feels smooth on the tongue, albeit with a slight after-burn.
Alnwick Rum
As its name suggests, this rum originates from Northumberland and comes in three varieties- dark, light and spiced. The spicy dark rum is based on a recipe that was first created ninety years ago.
In the bottle, it has a black hue with and deep brown colour to the edges, and in the glass, it takes on a dark, reddish-brown colour. It feels moreish on the nose given the rich, deep treacle toffee aroma.
On the tongue, this rum gives off a short and bitter taste, leaving a slight tinge of sweetness. Alnwick rum is a lousy sipping rum but great when mixed with other drinks. You get to enjoy the Jamaican notes with a slight coffee twist, though the bitter aftertaste lingers for a short time.
Dark Matter Spiced Rum
The rum hails from Aberdeen, Scotland, which is known as a hotbed for producing rum. Dark Matter Distillers was established in 2011 by two brothers John and Jim Ewen. However, the two brothers only ventured into the production of spiced rums in 2015, and this spiced rum is their first .
In the bottle, it takes on a dark brown appearance, and when poured in a glass, it has a slight light brown shade with an orange tinge. It feels rather strong on the nose without being overbearing like other spiced rums.
Ginger and Allspice notes are dominant, featuring a peppery heat created by the young rum base. The finish is slightly bitter, leaving the throat with a black pepper burn instead of the usual alcohol burn. This feature makes the Dark Matter Spiced Rum an excellent accompaniment for spicy food.
Rumbullion Rum
This spiced rum features a combination of Madagascan vanilla, Caribbean rum, clove, cardamom, orange peel and cassia. In the glass, the rum has an intense red-brown colour. It releases strong wafts of orange zest that are reminiscent of marmalade.
Fans of spicy rums will find this rum incredibly tasty as it produced using authentic flavourings. Cardamom gives off a slight curried note evocative of an Indian Cuisine. However, the vanilla notes are laidback. It has a lot of alcohol burn and intense spicing, which may not be enjoyable when taking this rum neat; as such, you may want to pour it over a few ice packs when sipping .
When mixed, Rumbullion starts sweet, but this feeling fades quickly creating a dry, bitter finish. The cardamom and Ginger notes remain dominant. It makes a great wintertime spiced rum.
Premium Harrogate Rum
The rum is made using triple distilled molasses, vanilla, cherries and red hibiscus flowers. It has a distinct taste produced by the Harrogate spring water and homegrown wildflower honey added during the production process. The creators recommend serving this rum with ginger beer for an intense flavour combination. Follow:
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Impressive

Christmas week trip planned in Mumbai and so I decided to stay around the Bandra-Kurla-Complex [BKC]. A quick review of the area online and I settle on The Trident Hotel. I was put up on the 8th floor, view of the pool and of the neighbouring building but nothing beyond that. Ambience – It seems very spacious. Just the right amount of furniture, big windows with motorized shutters./drapes. They stuck to light and pale colours that ensures brightness throughout the room at any time of the day and so it is easy on the eyes. 8/10 Cleanliness – For someone who holds room cleanliness at a high standard, I was impressed. 8/10 Attitude – Extremely Friendly staff and accommodating to all requests. They were inundated with customers so a slight delay was expected. Extra brownie points for checking me in without any additional charge when my flight landed earlier than expected. Come to think of it, other 5 stars wouldn’t do the same and if I was given the choice between them when I’m flying in early, I would take the Trident anyday and stay with them. 9.5/10 Cost – The room service and the restaurants are quite nominal for a 5 star. If cost is your main criteria, choose the trident. You’ll get similar service at other 5 stars too but it will cost you more. 9/10 Breakfast – They have 2 areas for breakfast; Upstairs and Downstairs. Downstairs – This place is a disaster – The chef was able to ruin scrambled eggs three different times. The South Indian section was rubbish. Food choices are not as great as the downstairs section. They should reconsider their upstairs section completely. 0.9/10 Upstairs – This place is amazing. The food choices here are quite extensive and the quality has been maintained throughout. There are individually dedicated stations for pancakes and others. Also, this place caters to every possible cuisine preference you could have in the am post a nice snooze. The staff – especially the waiters are very cordial and extra bonus points for prompt responses. Advice to them – Some folks like a nice mimosa for breakfast on a Sunday morning. We are afterall on vacation. They should consider opening the bar for breakfast. 8/10 A last note for the bellboys out front – Brilliant welcoming smile and attitude throughout the day. Kudos to them. Will definitely stay here again.

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Crossroads Maldives Redefines the Islands Vacation Experience

Crossroads Maldives Redefines the Islands Vacation Experience Crossroads Maldives Redefines the Islands Vacation Experience
Male (Maldives) – January 26, Ask most people what images the Maldives conjures and chances are its cerulean seas, palm-fringed bays and overwater villas will top the bill. The Indian Ocean archipelago is also often described as the holiday destination of a lifetime — a kind reference to its reputation as an ultra-luxury bolthole that is considered beyond the reach of many travellers.
A brand-new development is, however, redefining this perception. By reviving the islands’ rich history as a meeting point for people from all walks of life, Crossroads Maldives is set to introduce the one-time exclusive Maldivian experience to a new generation of 21st-century explorers.
Book your luxury resort in the Maldives at Crossroads, Hilton or Hardrock and around the world at best rates available. Pay at the hotel. Book now at HotelWorlds.com and Earn HolidayClicks Points for every dollar spend!
Managed by S Hotels & Resorts, the hospitality arm of Singha Estate Public Company Limited, the Maldives’ first “one-stop, non-stop” lifestyle destination comprises iconic oceanfront resorts, upscale lifestyle outlets and entertainment offerings, as well as the stunning natural, cultural and nautical attractions.
Offering travellers a wholly original resort experience on the tropical archipelago is the Maldives debut of the world-renowned Hard Rock Hotel brand and the first Curio Collection by Hilton property in the Maldives. The 178-key Hard Rock Hotel Maldives will feature family suites, beach villas and one and two-bedroom overwater villas complete with stunning views, infinity pools and legendary amenities, while SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton caters to couples, families and friends in search of a playful destination getaway with its 198 guestrooms and stunning variety of villas.
The resorts, scheduled to welcome their first guests in June 2019, command dedicated islands, both of which offer direct access to the array of leisure and lifestyle options at The Marina @ Crossroads, the centrepiece — and heartbeat — of the development.
“Only fifteen minutes by boat from Malé International Airport, the lifestyle island combines world-renowned restaurants and retail outlets with cultural activities, an iconic beach club and leading-edge events hall — all centred around the eponymous luxury yacht marina,” says Martin van der Reijden, Vice President of Operations, Crossroads Maldives.
Many of the retail outlets and restaurants at The Marina at Crossroads are located along the expansive, breezy boardwalk, including the culinary delights of Sri Lankan chef Dharshan Munidasa’s Ministry of Crab and Nihonbashi, both of which are listed in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list 2018. The island really comes to life as the sun plunges into the Indian Ocean. From the live sounds of Hard Rock Cafe to the laid-back beats at the iconic Café del Mar beach club – both firsts for the Maldives – a day at The Marina @ Crossroads caters to all tastes.
>From international cuisine to local culture, a considerable onus is placed on promoting the Maldives’ heritage. At the Maldives Discovery Centre, visitors are given a window into the world of their host nation and its inhabitants that aims to enlightening guests on the history, handicrafts time-honoured traditions that have shaped the islands over the centuries.
Local culture also plays a key role in the design and style throughout the Crossroads Maldives development. Designed with an eye towards days gone by, and mindful of the natural environment, Crossroads Maldives, much like the archipelago’s history, showcases a rich tapestry of colourful and cultural influences.
Book your luxury resort in the Maldives at Crossroads, Hilton or Hardrock and around the world at best rates available. Pay at the hotel. Book now at HotelWorlds.com and Earn HolidayClicks Points for every dollar spend!
“The references of the far-flung cultures that for centuries traded in Maldives have been tastefully mixed with local identity and seafaring flair to shape the playful design philosophy at Crossroads Maldives,” says Dirk De Cuyper, Chief Hospitality Officer, S Hotels & Resorts. “We’ve looked at the past to present our vision of the future of tourism in the Maldives; a future that will focus on inclusivity, accessibility and sustainability.”
The sustainable practices however go beyond action to incorporate education, which is where Marine Discovery Centre plays such a vital role. Located within The Marina @ Crossroads, the Marine Discovery Centre aims to educate and inspire both the local community and resort guests on how they can make a difference. Experts will educate visitors on the diversity of local marine flora, fauna and wildlife, and the latest coral propagation programmes, including coral transplantation activities and the ‘3R concept’: Recruit, Rehabilitation, Release.
“To truly understand the Maldives is to understand the sheer significance of the sea; how it has shaped the archipelago and will continue to do so long after we have gone,” adds Dirk De Cuyper. “To underestimate our impact would be to jeopardise the future of the marine life and local communities.”
About S Hotels & Resorts S Hotels & Resorts, a subsidiary of Singha Estate Public Company Limited, is a new era Thai-inspired personalized hospitality brand that caters to upscale travelers with an independent spirit. The group offers guests a portfolio of 39 properties in 5 countries with a total of 4,647 keys and provides guests with the opportunity to experience the best destinations from a unique perspective while enjoying world class facilities and tailored services. S Hotels & Resorts’ properties are located in attractive, unspoiled locales to provide an exclusive playground built around nature, culture, wellness and adventure, with a generous helping of creature comforts and fine cuisine. Each property boasts its own distinctive, destination sensitive designs and unique signatures while also providing consistency thanks to a well-defined brand philosophy and a service culture that focuses on exceptional guest experiences backed up by Thai-inspired hospitality and global quality standards.
About Crossroads Maldives Crossroads is the first and largest integrated tourist destination in the Maldives. The development will offer an extensive array of attractions for visitors, including Hard Rock Cafe; Café Del Mar, a 30-berth luxury marina; extensive retail, food and beverage outlets; a Maldives Discovery Centre supporting local arts and crafts, a Marine Discovery Centre, a multi-purpose event venue and a junior beach club.

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Sally the salad robot debuts at IU Health Bloomington Hospital

Sally the salad robot is the first fresh-food robot in the world to be in a hospital. People at IU Health Bloomington Hospital can have Sally make a custom salad for $6.99. Ty Vinson Buy Photos
A new chef is in town at IU Health Bloomington Hospital. She works 24 hours a day and can make variations of one dish: salad.
Sally the salad robot dispenses lettuce and other fresh ingredients to make personalized salads for staff members, patients and visitors. There are about 50 salad robots worldwide — mostly at college campuses, surgery centers and offices in the U.S. and Europe — but this is the first one installed in a hospital, according to a press release about the machine.
“People are always huddled around it trying to see what’s going on,” said Jonie Gates, manager of marketing and public relations at the hospital.
The machine is owned by Chowbotics, a California-based company that creates food service robots.
IU Health Bloomington is the first hospital to use an automated salad robot. Sally allows customers to customize salads to their liking.
Although Sally may not have many human qualities, the company wanted to give the machine a name with a human feel to it, said Hasti Afsarifard, Chowbotics customer success manager.
“There’s a lot of fear out there about robots taking over,” she said. “This makes it so staff members can feel like Sally is a part of their team, not something there to steal their jobs.”
Sally’s first day of work at the hospital was Jan. 23. Since then, the machine has made about 20 to 25 salads a day, said Becky Amt, director of food and nutrition services at the hospital.
The toppings range from shredded carrots to bacon bits, and a variety of dressings sit at a nearby table. Customers can choose premade salads or design their own with up to six toppings, but the salads are always $6.99 each.
Because the ingredients sit in separate, airtight tubes at 38 degrees Fahrenheit, Amt said they stay fresh longer. And if the ingredients go bad, the machine automatically stops dispensing them.
Amt said Sally is a healthy alternative to vending machines, which are typically the only food options available after 7 p.m. at the hospital.
“In a vending machine, you never know how long that sandwich or whatever has been sitting there,” she said.
The machine is located in the middle of the hospital lobby, nestled between the outpatient surgery center and the emergency department. It is more accessible for visitors than the vending machines spread throughout the hospital, Amt said.
“People don’t want to be too far away from their loved ones having a surgery,” she said.
Additionally, the machine allows less risk for cross-contamination of foods than if a person were to make it, Afsarifard said. This is important for people with food allergies, she said.
“People with allergies might be familiar with coming to the hospital because of allergic reactions, so we like to think we’re decreasing that risk,” she said. “I think a lot of people are reluctant to eat from a salad bar at a hospital otherwise.”
Founder and CEO Deepak Sekar imagined the idea of Sally after making food in his kitchen and realizing he did not want to spend time on repetitive tasks like stirring and chopping ingredients, according to a Chowbotics press release.
Now, Chowbotics is planning on installing machines at other hospitals across the nation, Afsarifard said.
Amt said the company is considering installing machines in Bedford and Paoli, Indiana, where health facilities are smaller than in Bloomington and have fewer food staff members.
Afsarifard said the company also has machines that supply other food like grain bowls and Indian cuisine. Additional food options will likely crop up in the future, she said, but for now the company is focusing on installing more salad robots.
“We’re hoping to scale up pretty quick,” she said. “We’ve been seeing really great traction.”

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Hruska’s Kolaches appeared on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.’ Here are other Utah restaurants featured on Guy Fieri’s show | Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” host Guy Fieri visited Salt Lake City to sink his teeth into a local family-owned bakery, Hruska’s Kolaches.
Fieri’s experience at the bakery was featured in the episode “Handy Helpings,” which aired Friday, Jan. 25 on the Food Network .
According to Hruska’s Kolaches website, the bakery began with three siblings from Texas and “a secret recipe from their grandmother.” The sweet and savory pastries are made daily at locations in Provo and Salt Lake City.
But Hruska’s Kolaches isn’t the first Utah restaurant to be featured in “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.”
Here are other Utah locations featured
Burger Bar An episode on Burger Bar, located in Roy, aired on “All Kinds of BBQ” during season 3 of the show.
“Guy says the Burger Bar in Roy, Utah, has been “doing it right” for 52 years. He loved the Big Ben burger, and although he ordered his as a single, you can order yours double, quarter, quad and even bigger. No burger is complete without the uber crunchy, thrice-fried fries served with fry sauce,” according to the Food Network.
Red Iguana Mike Terry, Deseret News FILE – The Mexican restaurant Red Iguana, located in Salt Lake City, was featured in “A Taste of Everywhere” from season 4 of “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.” Red Iguana, located in Salt Lake City, was featured in “A Taste of Everywhere” from season 4.
“The Cardenas family has been serving Mexican food 365 days a year since 1965. While their extensive menu offers everything from cochinita pibil to enchiladas suizas, the collection of mouthwatering moles (seven in total) is the signature showcase and a tribute to Mexico’s national dish,” according to the Food Network.
Lone Star Taqueria Lone Star Taqueira, located in Salt Lake City, was featured in “Doin’ Their Own Thing” from season 4.
“Lone Star Taqueria near Salt Lake City always attracts the crowds — Guy said ‘it felt like (he) walked into a fiesta.’ Locals love the carne adovada burritos and steak tacos made by Manuel Valdez and his brother. Guy was amazed by the shrimp burrito, calling it ‘nothin’ but happy,'” according to the Food Network.
Pat’s BBQ Another Salt Lake City restaurant, Pat’s BBQ, was featured in “Neighborhood Favorites” from season 5.
“Who says great barbecue is reserved for the South? At Pat’s BBQ in Salt Lake City, Pitmaster Pat Barber is what Guy calls a ‘culinary gangster’ because of his unbeatable briskets, chickens and sausages that he smokes for 10 hours at a time, or as Guy put it, ‘cha-ching money,'” according to the Food Network.
Oh Mai Vietnamese Sandwich Kitchen Located in South Salt Lake, this restaurant was featured in “International Family Style” from season 19.
“You can expect real-deal Vietnamese food at Oh Mai. The garlic-butter rib-eye steak topped with veggies, mayo and black pepper-onion vinaigrette is a must-try. The brisket pho is also a standout. Guy likes to put Thai basil, jalapeño, bean sprouts, lime juice and Sriracha in his for the perfect pho,” according to the Food Network.
Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery Maxwell’s is located in Salt Lake City. The restaurant was featured in “From Meatballs to Lollipops” from season 19.
“The Chicken Parmigiano is one of Maxwell’s most-popular items; it features chicken that is lightly breaded and sautéed, topped with mozzarella, then served with Mom Mom’s Gravy (marinara sauce) and a side of fettuccine. Guy loves the 10-ounce meatball you can add to any of your pastas,” according to the Food Network.
Tin Roof Grill This Sandy-based restaurant was featured in “From Meatballs to Lollipops” from season 19.
“Tin Roof Grill offers a little bit of everything: pizzas, burgers and even Asian-influenced appetizers. Take Guy’s lead and start with the croquettes stuffed with gooey cheddar cheese and succulent bits of smoked Canadian bacon. Then dig into a decadent pizza topped with pesto, white bean purée and tender slices of flat-iron steak. Finish with a slice of the raspberry charlotte cheesecake, which features a pound-cake crust and a creamy filling studded with fresh berries,” according to the Food Network.
Proper Burger Company This Salt Lake City burger restaurant will be featured in “Handy Helpings” that airs Friday.
“Their Burger Menu is intense and full of such originality and creativity you’ll smile just looking at it. A fresh and never frozen patty is the first choice, or you can change it up with a chicken patty, vegan burger, etc,” according to a fan site for “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. “
Blue Plate Diner Tom Smart, Deseret News FILE – Food Network star Guy Fieri, shooting at the Blue Plate Diner for his “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” show in Salt Lake City, Utah May. 8, 2008. Blue Plate Diner, located in Salt Lake City, was featured on “Bar Food” from season 4.
“The Blue Plate Diner prides itself on homemade food, a sentiment that is clearly evident in their popular corned beef hash and smoked salmon — both are done completely in-house. Guy was impressed by their Mexican dishes, such as tamales and pork chili verde,” according to the Food Network.
Moochie’s Meatballs & More Moochie’s Meatballs & More, located in Salt Lake City, was featured on “Grabbin’ a Sandwich” on season 4.
“When Philadelphia native Joanna Rendi moved to Salt Lake City, she wasn’t happy with the quality of the sandwich shops in the area — so she made Moochie’s Meatballs. Guy says the meatball sub will ‘knock your head off.’ Also try the authentic Philly cheese steak with Joanna’s marinara sauce,” according to the Food Network.
Ruth’s Diner Tom Smart, Deseret News FILE – Located in Salt Lake City, Ruth’s Diner was featured in “Places You Sent Me” from season 5 of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”. Located in Salt Lake City, Ruth’s Diner was featured in “Places You Sent Me” from season 5.
“Not only is Ruth’s Diner almost 90 years old, but it’s also home to “biscuit-baking bad boy” Ines Monreal, who has made nearly 3 million biscuits (including some blindfolded). Guy devoured the fluffy biscuits. Meanwhile, locals love Ruth’s braised chicken and deep-fried mac and cheese,” according to the Food Network.
Sammy’s Bistro This Park City restaurant was featured in “Cross Country Comfort Food” from season 19.
“Guy stops by Sammy’s Bistro to try the gourmet items that can be had at affordable prices. He marvels at the creativity of dishes like the savory chicken bowl, featuring tender chicken coated in spices, and the “Chivito” Club Sandwich composed of pork tenderloin, fried eggs and other tasty fillings,” according to the Food Network.
Tom Smart, Deseret News FILE – Jon Huntsman thanks Aristo’s owner Aristides Boutsikakis as he leaves a fundraiser Aristo’s restaurant on 224 South 1300 East Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Aristo’s Greek Restaurant was featured in “International Family Style” from season 19. Aristo’s Greek Restaurant Located in Salt Lake City, Aristo’s Greek Restaurant was featured in “International Family Style” from season 19.
“Guy swings by Aristo’s for old-school Greek cuisine with a modern twist. He swears the grilled octopus drizzled with Cretan extra virgin olive oil and lemon will make a convert of anyone. The lamb tacos are also a hit; Guy says ‘the lamb is perfect, tortillas are great (and) the feta is fantastic,'” according to the Food Network.
The Silver Star Cafe Another Park City restaurant, The Silver Star Cafe, was featured in “Cross Country Comfort Food” from season 19.
“With its eclectic menu and prime spot by the Silver Star chairlift, this cafe is a great place to eat after skiing. Locals rave about the pork osso bucco and the vegetarian mushroom stroganoff. Guy can’t resist the pork belly with braised white beans, caramelized apples and Carolina BBQ sauce,” according to the Food Network.
Finn’s Cafe Located in Salt Lake City, Finn’s Cafe was featured in “Cultural Twist” from season 29.
Comment on this story “Chef and owner Finn Gurholt Jr. is carrying on his father’s tradition of serving American cuisine with a Scandinavian twist at Finn’s Cafe. Customers rave about the classic Weinerschnitzel and the Jule Kake French Toast, which is made with a traditional Norwegian Christmas bread with raisins, citron and cardamom,” according to the Food Network.
Curry Pizza This West Valley City restaurant was featured in “Cultural Twist” from season 29.
“At Curry Pizza, chef and owner Bhinda Singh combines classic Indian sauces and toppings with his thin and crispy naan-based pizza dough,” according to the Food Network .

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The best things to eat in major cities around the world, according to people who’ve lived there

Shakshuka loosely translates to “all mixed up,” which is the true essence of the dish. You can use bread to soak up the sauce and cheese in any shakshuka dish. Business Insider Source: Culture Trip 3 / For Toronto-based blogger, Nellwyn Lampert, it’s all about the fusion and international cuisine scene in her city of 10 years. A watermelon dish at one of Toronto’s Asian-fusion restaurants, DaiLo. Source: Nellwyn Lampert of Nellwyn Lampert blog , Toronto Life 4 / With access to both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the selection of seafood in Cape Town is plentiful. Cape Town-based travel blogger, Kiersten told INSIDER it’s one of the best things to eat in the city she’s called home for two years. Kingklip is a type of fish found off the coast of southern Africa. iStock/Getty Images Source: Kiersten of The Blonde Abroad 5 / She also suggests visitors “sneak a proper braai experience with locals” during your trip. A braai involves lots of meat being cooked over an open flame. Source: Kiersten of The Blonde Abroad 6 / I lived in Cape Town for six months, and having been to several myself, I think the weekly Sunday braai at Mzoli’s in Gugulethu Township blows all classic barbecues out of the water. At Mzoli’s, you pick out your meat at the butcher, and wait at tables outside for it to be cooked. There’s always loud music and plenty of drinks for sale. Per-Anders Pettersson/Contributor/Getty Images 7 / Amsterdam-based food and travel blogger, Danika, told INSIDER when in Amsterdam, you’ve got to have some fries — the double-fried variety. These are some loaded fries. Source: Danika of NoDestinations.com 8 / You can ask for the fries with peanut satay sauce, mayo, onions, curry ketchup, and a number of other toppings. Source: Danika of NoDestinations.com , I Amsterdam 9 / She has lived in the city for a year, and said Dutch cheese is also one of the best things to eat there. Gouda — pronounced how-dah — is one of many cheeses native to the Netherlands. Here you can see counters lined with different types of cheese. Source: Danika of NoDestinations.com , Awesome Amsterdam 10 / When it comes to other Dutch cuisine, Danika labels it as hearty comfort food — so as a local looking to diversify her diet from traditional meat and potatoes, she says she eats a lot of the international offerings instead like Indonesian, Indian, and Ethiopian food. Pictured here is traditional Ethiopian spongy bread topped with different stews and vegetables. Source: Danika of NoDestinations.com 11 / The Dutch-classic stamppot — or potatoes mashed with things like greens, sauerkraut, and other vegetables — is typically served with sausage. Stamppot is a hearty dish. Source: Danika of NoDestinations.com , I Amsterdam 12 / Marjolein de Bruijn, Amsterdam-based food blogger and project manager for BI Studios, says you’ve got to try osseworst — a close-to-rare sausage snack made from smoked beef, sometimes spelled ossenworst. Osseworst can be served with pickled peppers, onions, or mustard. Wikimedia Commons/Attribution-Share Alike 13 / She told INSIDER you can either eat it on a sandwich or on a plate as a snack, and you can find it at the “brown bars” — or traditional cafés — in the Jordaan neighborhood of Amsterdam. Kim van Velzen/Flickr 14 / One blogger from Mumbai, Brinda Shah, told INSIDER the best dish to try in her city is called the Mumbai sandwich — which may contain fresh slices of cucumbers, beetroot, tomatoes, and mint chutney. She’s lived in Mumbai for 22 years. You can see the Mumbai sandwich layers here. Source: Brinda Shah of Seamless Symphony 15 / It can be served in four triangles, which Shah says helps keep the layers from spilling out the sides. “Toast and grill sandwiches have the most refreshing tangy taste after each bite,” she says. “It’s affordable and a must-have if you’re in Mumbai.” Source: Brinda Shah of Seamless Symphony 16 / Seven-year New York City dweller, Elspeth Velten, says the array of Chinese food across the five boroughs is not to be missed. Source: Elspeth Velten of TripSavvy 17 / She told INSIDER, “From the cheapest Fujianese dumplings in the Lower East Side and Xi’an cumin lamb dishes across Queens and Manhattan to Cantonese classics in Sunset Park, you can travel so much of China without leaving the five boroughs.” You may find a variety of steamed dumplings on different menus city-wide. LWYang / Flickr 18 / Other native New Yorkers, like myself, might say if you can only have one meal in New York City, grab a slice of pizza — if the place is tiny and has a line out the door, I’d say it’s probably worth the wait. There are plenty of options at pizza joints around New York. ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock

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Pakistani restaurant in Hong Kong gets Michelin star

Pakistani restaurant in Hong Kong gets Michelin star AFP January 30, 2019
5:07 pm A pair of his father’s old tandoor ovens helped Hong Kong restaurateur Asim Hussain achieve a dream – the world’s first Michelin star for a Pakistani restaurant, an accolade he hopes will fire interest in the country’s often overlooked cuisine.
Like many of Hong Kong’s 85,000 strong South Asian population, Hussein’s family trace their lineage in the bustling financial hub back generations, when the city was a British colonial outpost.
His great-grandfather arrived during World War One, overseeing mess halls for British soldiers while his Cantonese speaking father owned restaurants in the eighties and nineties.
Hussain, 33, already had some twenty eateries in his group when he decided to embark on his what he described as his most personal and risky project yet, a restaurant serving dishes from Pakistan’s Punjab region, the family’s ancestral homeland and where he was packed off to boarding school aged six.
His father, a serial entrepreneur and even once Pakistan’s ambassador to South Korea, suggested he restore two old tandoors from his now shuttered restaurant collecting dust in storage.
“He comes from a generation that doesn’t throw things away,” laughs Hussain, dressed in a traditional knee-length tunic and sitting in a restaurant decked with paintings by Pakistani artists. “Actually the results are better than if we had new ovens because these things improve with age.”
Those tandoors, frequent trips to Lahore to perfect recipes and a kitchen overseen by head chef Palash Mitra, earned the New Punjab Club a Michelin star just 18 months after it opened its doors.
‘A benchmark’
The success made headlines in Pakistan, a country that is unlikely to see a Michelin guide any time soon and whose chefs have long felt overshadowed by the wider global recognition gained from neighboring India’s regional cuisines.
“It makes us proud, it makes us very happy,” Waqar Chattha, who runs one of Islamabad’s best-known restaurants, told AFP. “In the restaurant fraternity it’s a great achievement. It sort of sets a benchmark for others to achieve as well.”
Hussain is keen to note that his restaurant only represents one of Pakistan’s many cuisines, the often meat-heavy, piquant food of the Punjab. At it doesn’t come cheap – as much as $100 per head.
“I’m not arrogant or ignorant to say this is the best Pakistani restaurant in the world. There are better Pakistani restaurants than this in Pakistan.”
But he says the accolade has still been a “great source of pride” for Hong Kong’s 18,000-strong Pakistani community.
“It’s bringing a very niche personal story back to life, this culture, this cuisine is sort of unknown outside of Pakistan, outside of Punjab, so in a very small way I think we’ve shed a positive light on the work, on who we are and where we come from,” he explains.
It was the second star achieved by Black Sheep, the restaurant group which was founded six years ago by Hussain and his business partner, veteran Canadian chef Christopher Mark, and has seen rapid success.
But the expansion of Michelin and other western food guides into Asia has not been without controversy.
Critics have often said reviewers tended to over-emphasize western culinary standards, service and tastes.
Daisann McLane is one of those detractors. She describes the Michelin guide’s arrival in Bangkok last year as “completely changing the culinary scene there – and not in a good way.”
She runs culinary tours to some of the Hong Kong’s less glitzy eateries – to hole in the wall “dai pai dong” food stalls, African and South Asian canteens hidden inside the famously labyrinthine Chungking Mansions and to “cha chan teng” tea shops famous for their sweet brews and thick slabs of toast.
While she’s “delighted” New Punjab Club has been recognized, she has her reservations: “There is a lot of world cuisine operating way under the radar in Hong Kong and it doesn’t get noticed by Michelin or the big award groups.”
‘Taking ownership’
For some, any recognition of Pakistan’s overlooked cuisine is a success story.
Sumayya Usmani said she spent years trying to showcase the distinct flavors of Pakistani cuisine, so heavily influenced by the tumultuous and violent migration sparked by the 1947 partition of India.
When the British-Pakistani chef first pitched her cookbook to publishers on her country’s cuisine, many initially balked.
But in recent years, she says, attitudes have changed. Pakistani-run restaurants in the west that once might have described themselves as Indian are more proudly proclaiming their real culinary heritage, she says.
“I think it’s really good that people are coming out of that fear of calling themselves specifically Pakistani,” she told AFP. “It’s nice that Pakistanis have started to take ownership of what belongs to them.”
Back in Hong Kong, Hussain remarks the hard work has only just begun.
“I joke with the boys and I say that ‘It’s the first Pakistani Punjabi restaurant in the world to win a star, let’s not be the first one to lose a star’”.

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