Brighton chef Kanthi Kiran Thamma hosted a cookery masterclass and one-off Curry Leaf Café pop up restaurant in the Swedish town of Lidköping in November 2015.
Organised by the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival and Swedish wine importer Triplus Vinhandel as part of a weekend of food and drink events in Lidköping, Kanthi ran two Indian food masterclasses for students at Rudenschöldskolan demonstrating the use of authentic south Indian spices before the students prepared their own curries.
Ann Katrinn Rundkvist, school principal:
“It has been a unique opportunity for my students to explore how to make proper “curry powder”. They found out that it is a huge difference between homemade curry powder and the powder their parents have been buying at the supermarket. It is not often I have seen the students being so interested and I also have to say that Kanthi is not just a Indien Chef he is also a great teacher. We at the school hope that Kanthi will come back in the future and teach more students about how to cook Indian cusine.”
A four course feast of Indian food was served at a pop-up restaurant in the Stads Hotel on Friday night, including a refreshing fruit chaat, vegetable pakora, Keralan seafood moilee, and gulab jamoons with cardamon and saffron ice cream. Each course was matched with English craft beers from Horsham’s The Beer Collective.
“Its been a cultural experience for both my diners and myself”, said chef Kanthi. “Its my first time in Sweden, my first chef exchange and the first ever Indian restaurant in Lidköping. The response has been terrific and I’m looking forward to participating in more festival events such as this in the future.”
Kanthi was joined over the weekend by food and drink colleagues including Ridgeview Wine Estate, Blackdown Artisan Spirits and The Beer Collective, who also showcased Sussex produce as part of an afternoon tasting session for Swedish consumers.
Torbjörn Rundkvist, Triplus Vinhandel:
“Lidköping have been one great experience richer having Kanthi as the first Indian Chef visiting our city. All of us that were at the restaurant experienced a new sensation that Indian food is not just hot and I’m that when the guests visit the UK in the future that they will look for Indian restaurants. Being part of organising this event I felt really lucky when I saw the smiles on the guests faces and how they thanked Kanthi after the meal. Hope to have Kanthi back in Lidköping in the future.”
Chef Kanthi Kiran Thamma started off his food career as an apprentice at the Taj Hotel in Goa in 1996. After a variety of catering roles in Southern India, Switzerland and the USA, in 2007 Kanthi moved to the UK to take up the position of Senior Chef de Partie and Pastry Chef at the Imperial Hotel in Torquay. A stint at award-winning Brighton restaurant The Chilli Pickle and Jamie Oliver’s Recipease – as Food Champion – followed, before in April 2014 he with teamed up with journalist Euan Sey to open his first restaurant, Curry Leaf Cafe.