Thiruvananthapuram: Housed in a makeshift thatched hut was ‘Thattukada Reloaded’ and a few steps ahead was ‘Ustad Hotel'. Kappa and ‘Karimeen pollichathu’ sat alongside yummy chocolate pudding and the ‘Plantain stem punch’ served for a delectable ‘nadan’ thirst quencher. The roofed patio of Bhavani building in Technopark resembled a busy food street on Monday morning as techies queued up at the stalls put up by UST Global employees as part of their annual food festival.
Around forty stalls took part in the show, serving everything from sea food to baked delicacies. The teams comprised chef-turned-techies from different verticals of the company. While some were modest four-member teams, some were in party mode numbering anywhere around 25.
The variety of food on display was mind-boggling and fit to give the eateries in the city a run for their money. The ‘Green Kitchen’, a fifteen-member team, displayed signature dishes made from every edible portion of plantain. From ‘Vazhappindi khorma’ to the Malabar special ‘unnakkay’, almost twelve plantain-inspired treats were spread out for the healthy-eaters. “We even substituted the regular chapatti roller with ‘vazhappindi’ (plantain stem) to make it a wholesome green venture,” said the Green Kitchen team.
The fast-disappearing chocolate cake and ‘samosa’ in front of the ‘thattu kada’ did justice to the bold claim of the make-shift thatched shed which displayed the nameboard ‘Thattukada Reloaded.’ The seafood speciality stall, ‘Kadappuram Kakka’, had mussel and prawn pickles. The 24-member-strong team boasted of an impressive line-up of around 17 dishes. ‘Sweet n Spicy’, described their two male members as the ‘spice factor’ of the stall. Save for the spicy vegetable cutlets and the ‘mulaku bajjis’, the stall featured a predominantly sweet menu.
Network of Women USsociates (NowU), a women’s initiative at UST Global, has been organising the annual food festival, ‘Yummy Aid’ for the last three years. “The proceeds from the sales go towards charity and we are delightfully surprised each year by the increase in the number of participants,” said Hema Menon, India Head, NowU. She added that this year the organisation is contributing the money through UST Global Foundation to the Kanyakulangara Govt LP School to help build a computer lab for the students. The Headmistress of the school, R Pushkalammal, inaugurated the food festival. “We wanted the school authorities to know this was not just charity, but a straight-from-the-heart gesture from our side,” said Hema.
The proceeds from last year’s festival were contributed to the patients’ fund at Regional Cancer Centre. Yummy Aid was judged by Sashi Jacob, general manager and corporate chef, Muthoot Skychef, and Vidya Tiwary, banquets manager, Muthoot Skychef. This year’s edition of the festival also featured a non-competing team comprising male managers of the company. The stall was second to none though and offered a spicy potpourri of Goan, Bengali and ethnic Kerala cuisine.