Latte Art at Hotel Le Meridien
All photos by Ridhi Chhabra; Copyright: Right Impact Media Inc.
Have you ever wondered how a simple regular task of making coffee could become an art? Have you ever tried experimenting with typical coffee by adding your own inputs? Do you think its fun to bring a twist to the original recipes? If your answer is yes, then you are a good judge of creativity and innovation.
We attended the coffee extravaganza held at Hotel Le Meridien, New Delhi titled ‘Around The World In Seven Days’ as a part of ‘Coffee week’ running throughout the world from 22nd to 28th June, promoting a famous brand “Illy Coffee”. But that’s not its only motive. It was also a reaffirmation of Le Meridien’s commitment to coffee culture; linking it with art. The visitors were enthralled by the master pieces of some great contemporary artists like G.R Iranna, Suparna Mondal, Binoy Varghese and a few others associated with the Palette Art Gallery, along with the euphoric effect of coffee.
After leaving their traces in China, Northern Europe and other continents, the year-long coffee campaign, ‘Inspiration Brewed Here’ reached South East Asia to compact the rich Indian culture in a cup. The Master Baristas, Mahima Malhotra and Rahul Tewari, recreated the impression of locally inspired Indian symbols such as the Taj Mahal, Buddha, peacock, lotus etc. Talking to fnbworld, Master Barista Mahima said, “Le Meridien’s passion for contemporary art is self-evident as the flooring and interiors reflect that. This provides us ample reason why Hotel Le Meridien took up this opportunity to stimulate dialogue and contemplation through caffeine infused art”. This culinary program aimed at giving a modern twist to the classic flavours and traditional presentation. Mahima added, “While in China, we curated a dragon in the coffee. Northern Europe saw the huge Eiffel Tower doing wonders in the cup. This is how we blend the colloquial culture with the expresso.”
From this exhibition, we were apprised about how a normal coffee can have an interesting taste by just adding some local spices like cinnamon and cardamom. The spice trail was one such experiment which aroused our tingy taste buds. If you are looking for a healthy yet caffeinated drink, then Thai Breeze is what you should try. Made with complete natural sugars, the beverage combined the strong single expresso with the sweetness of mango, pineapple and vanilla syrup. To accompany the brewed coffee beans, the organizers offered us a wide range of éclairs including the signature éclairs from New Delhi called ‘Darjeeling Express’.
Making the gastronomical trail more interactive, Master Chefs organized an éclair making demonstration which saw active participation by the people, particularly enthusiastic children. Filling the hollow éclairs with four different stuffings-chocolate, strawberry, vanilla and pineapple- the kids then dipped it into chocolate and garnished it with their favourite toppings. All this turned out to be an intriguing yet fascinating. “It was undoubtedly an extraordinary evening. Our talent was able to connect to the people present, despite the fact that they were quite different from each other in many ways”, remarked one of the chefs.
The audience was allowed to let their imagination go wild and transform a plain coffee cup into an artistic creation. The guests responded with equal fervor and zest, making the stepping stone in this direction, a huge success. After our sweet tooth was delighted with the éclairs and latte, we could also gorge on some appetizing snacks like finger sandwiches filled with ham and fresh lettuce, tiny sausage rolls that one can pop into ones mouth ,bagel stuffed with salmon and olives etc. Savoring delicacies, smoking hot and chilled cold coffee, rose, cardamom éclairs and the contemporary setting were a treat to eyes and the tongue.
Art has no boundaries, no borders and this was the true essence of the celebration. People with relatively less similar backgrounds bonded with each other through these customary coffee making techniques. The world is a small family. If we delve deep into the theme and purpose of this retrospective, we discover that it is an amazing notion to bring humanity a little closer by intermixing of the global with the local.