India The final stop on my tour of India was Kolkata, like everywhere in India this city was just as historic and colorful.
For me this is when being in India really set in, seeing the world you see in movies and books was more than incredible. Everything you think you know about India comes from Kolkata, the British architecture, infinite markets, the Ganges river, the really old indestructible cars, narrow alley ways filled with street food vendors, and so much more, well, so much more is such an understatement. We will get back to sight seeing later.The Olympiad is turning up the heat. Kolkata was the last leg of the journey and after one last semifinal round the top ten were announced. If you have ever competed then you know the stress and tension right before they announce the finalists, a reliving moment for some and an anguishing one for most.
The final challenge was to make 16 tapas and 4 main courses in 90 minutes.
One of the interesting things about judging an international culinary competition is the allowed ingredients, where they came from and how they balance the familiarity that different countries would have with them.
When judging flavor the only thing that counts is whats on the plate not what happened to get the food on the plate, but with technical judging you can get an idea of how tasty a dish could be from the technique.
Back the sight seeing there was one more thing I had to do before the closing ceremony and the 30 hour plane ride home, I had to stop at the spice market and a long list of spices one third of which I can't pronounce. I got so many spices it seemed I got a spice shop and some more lasting souvenirs. Mama bought and wore a beautiful saree.
But, ultimately the best souvenir was the memories and plus when I read the history book and it comes to India I have experienced some of what the book talks about.
It's kind of sad to wrap up such an incredible journey and not relive it while writing the blogs and looking through the photos, and its also hard to move on from being a rock star with touring, preforming, fans, airports, and a surreal experience for just a kid from Tennessee.
Thank you, Dr & Mam Bose, Mr. Hoon, Mam Sudyshna, Mr Sweet Naveen, My girl Mansi, Chef Bhurat, Priyam and the IIHM students, and Young Chefs!
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Ps. I forgot one more detail I was on a billboard in Delhi which is extremely fun and another thing crossed off the bucket list.