What a pleasure it was today for Peceli and I to attend the Tiri Restaurant (of the Fiji Institute of Technology Catering School) for Peceli to do a make-up for his Rotary Club. The Suva North club are very fortunate to meet at such a worthwhile venue. The young men and women were outstanding in their care of us, the attention to detail, from the flower arrangments to the fine three course meal beautifully presented. We talked with some of them, including two girls who came from Labasa. Some of our relatives have completed courses at the FIT Catering School and one now works at Vomo Island. I noticed a story in the Fiji Times about a Labasa girl who learnt to make kebabs at this school.
Kebabs switch on taste budsSunday, August 24, 2008
The kebabs and meat balls were amongst the favourite foods being sold at the Hibiscus Festival. Of course, this is apart from the traditional barbecue - one lamb chop, sausage, egg, salad and cassava - and candy floss for the tiny tots......
There to serve up this delicacy was Karishma Nand who volunteered to help out with cooking at their stall although she works in promotions with the food company.Her colleagues were busy helping out with the other cooking methods while Karishma handled the finishing touch of skewing 10 meatballs topped with tomato sauce. Although she has never prepared or cooked kebabs before, Karishma did not mind sharing her experience making this South Asian cuisine.
"I used to help out with making kebabs at the showcase and it seems to be a favourite for a lot of people.
"I never really knew what these were but when I took catering courses, I learned different kinds of foods. It is very easy to make and it tastes great too. Kebabs can include a variety of foods apart from the meatball kebabs we sell.It is basically varieties of meat put on a skewer or stick and grilled over an open fire. Sometimes the cooking style differs like in our case where the meatballs are cooked first then skewered and garnished with tomato sauce.".....
Karishma knows better especially when customers lined up one after the other during lunch hour to get a glimpse and taste of how this wicked dish is put together.
Whether an expert in kebab making or not, Karishma is proof that one does not need to be a professional in making a particular dish but rather have a keen interest in other cultural dishes like kebab.
"I never really knew how to cook when I was younger but I learnt a few cooking and catering skills when I attended Fiji Institute of Technology's catering school in Nasese.
"It's a good experience for me too because I get to learn how to make these and I can even experiment with cooking by making my own kebabs."
Originally from Naleba in Labasa, Karishma is the eldest of five children. She attended Naleba Bhartiya primary and Naleba College before going to FIT. Her catering knowledge came in handy when participating in events like the Hibiscus Festival. She is looking forward to a similar experience next year.
And meeting with Suva Rotarians was another experience. I'm not always comfortable with these kind of men and women - the wealthier professional workers, as my comfort zone is the fringe, the artist kind of people,the money-less - but it was enlightening to meet some older expatriate lawyer types who have lived in Fiji for thirty years or more. Most of the members were vavalagi it seemed And the speaker was interesting - on the Fiji Sports Council.