Goa, a haven for food enthusiasts and the local spot to discover the truest ingredients – this magical experience was recently brought to Aafreen – Inspired Indian at The Westin Pune Koregaon Park with a specially curated 7 course meal with the perfect wine pairing.
The meal featured some of the Goan dishes, such as the Tender Coconut Carpaccio, which was made using coconuts sourced from Chef Avinash’s coconut plantation. Chef Vikram Khatri and Chef Avinash Martins brought the Goan pop–up to Pune sourcing the ingredients from the local artisans to reinvent and curate special recipes of their favourite Goan cuisine, which showcased their love for the local ingredients and flavours.
The personal touch and attention to detail were evident throughout the meal as Chef Martins went around the room, explaining the core childhood memories behind each dish. These memories were reflected on the plate through the garnishes, sauces, and gastronomical elements, adding an emotional aspect to the culinary experience.
With the alluring yet cozy interiors, the pop-up at Aafreen – Inspired Indian was a unique and unforgettable experience, embarking on a journey of adventure and exploration to enhance your palate and rekindle your love for Goan food. The event showcased the potential of local ingredients and flavours, inspiring people to experiment with their cooking and appreciate the culinary heritage of Goa.
The curated meal brought up Chef Avinash Martins and Chef Vikram Khatri at Aafreen – Inspired Indian offered a unique opportunity for Punekars to experience the authentic flavours of Goan cuisine. The chefs’ passion and love for the local ingredients and flavours were evident throughout the meal, creating an unforgettable dining experience. It was a celebration of culinary heritage, showcasing the potential of local ingredients and flavours, and inspiring people to explore Goan culture even more.
About Chef Vikram Khatri
Chef Vikram Khatri who completed his Bachelor in Hotel Management (B.H.M) from S.Nijalingappa College, Rajaji Nagar, Bangalore, later underwent 6 months of training at the renowned restaurant ‘Ocean room’ in Sydney. He has spent seven years learning the craft, nuances, and techniques behind a good professional kitchen. With 21 years of experience in the hotel industry, working with chefs from around the world, Chef Khatri’s opinion on a satisfying dinner should have balance in both flavour and colour. The flavours shouldn’t compete with one another and should be subtle. According to him, the ability to mix flavours harmoniously comes naturally, cannot be taught, and sets a decent cook apart from a great one.
Chef Vikram Khatri has won numerous awards, including “Chef of the Year Award” at the 7th International Chef Awards, in 2010, and “Culinary Excellence Top Chef Award” at the Delhi Gourmet Club in 2015. He also served as a mentor to the group of chefs that won first and second place at the 2016 National Sushi Championship.
He has curated a mix of classic recipes and trending dishes with comfortable flavour pairing, to ensure that the core flavour, aroma, texture and taste of the dish are not lost. Also work towards redefining the hotel’s gastronomic offerings, recognizing unique blends of creative flair and passion for food, balanced by strong business acumen.
About Chef Avinash Martins
Avinash Martins started his career with the Oberoi group in 2002 where he did his management training program at the Oberoi Centre of Learning and Development. After forming his foundation in the Indian hospitality industry, he travelled to different parts of the world to gain experience and train under various Michelin star chefs such as Chef Georges Blanc in Lyon France and chef Thomas Keller in the Napa Valley, California.
Fast-forward to 2013, he came back home to Goa to start my own business, Cavatina. After executing global cuisine for 6 years, he re-discovered his love and passion for his motherland and cuisine and told himself that he had to highlight these flavours and Goan culture to the world.
About Aafreen – Inspired Indian
Bringing delectable Indian Comfort Food to the loyalists of The Westin, the luxury hotel is all set to launch Aafreen this month. Aafreen is a tour of different parts of India on a single plate with authentic and traditional flavours with a modern twist. The scrumptious menu is curated and conceptualised, by none other than Chef Vikram Khatri, bringing in warmth and contentment with every dish. With the changing times and lifestyles of people, Aafreen aims to bring about a change in presenting Indian cuisine. Till now Indian food is known for its simplistic yet complicated flavours, with a minimalistic style of presentation. With Aafreen, we will be bringing out a completely new visual and a blend of flavours which have never been tried in the city before.
With a first of its kind at The Westin, Pune, Aafreen brings a unique concept of small plates in Indian Cuisine to the Punekars. Aafreen’s vision is clear, to be pioneers in creating an experience with a never-before marriage of Indian flavours from different parts of the country.