Australia is well-known to have a unique culinary culture stemming from a juxtaposition of diverse cultural elements and features.
Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden has historically been a host to different food festivals around the year, and is renowned for their multicultural approach to culinary arts. This year, they arranged once again an Australia-themed food festival named - A Taste of Australia – which featured authentic Australian cuisines and decorations.
We spoke to Christoph Voegeli, General Manager of Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden about what they had brought to the table at A Taste of Australia.
How was the preparation for the event - A Taste of Australia?
We had a great advantage because we have an expert and a native Australian which is our Executive Chef Jed Archdeacon, and he brought all the knowledge and the expertise to the table. He did a tremendous work by coming up with new innovations of very well-known Australian dishes and food preparation. Hence, this has been a delight for our guests, I'm sure. Apart from the unique culinary experience, the rooms and our restaurant was very elaborate in its decoration. There were eucalyptus trees placed all around so that you could smell the eucalyptus leaves, which made a combination of food and visual experience all together. That's how we produced an authentic Australian experience.
How was the Australian food festival different this year?
Just like last year, the Australian food festival this year, has been successful as well. We tried to improve every element related to the event this year. So we imported quite a number of items, a very popular feature of that for example, was the whole lamb on the barbecue grill. We served a wide variety of sweets and desserts, Lamington cakes, all of which were presented in a very attractive way. We also brought the cheese board back with a four to five-metre-long wooden board with various types of cheese which are produced in Australia on display.
In Bangladesh, more people than in other countries have a very high preference for local food
Tell us more about the ingredients that were featured in the festival?
Yeah of course. We had to import some ingredients from Australia, on the other hand there were some items which are easily available in Bangladesh. For example, the taste or texture of carrots here are not so different that we need to import them from Australia. However, there are special meat cuts and very specific things like bush herbs from the Australian outback. There are some components that are really unique, so we had to import them to make sure that we could convey the exquisite feel and taste of Australia.
With different hotels organizing different international food festivals, how do you think this is impacting and affecting our food culture?
It does impact the culture. In Bangladesh, more people than in other countries have a very high preference for local food. Compared to other countries in the region, they are not that used to different food cultures yet. But this will surely change because people get to experience and enjoy the food here with us, for example during food festivals, and in this way they are more exposed to different preparation and different cultures.
What was your favourite part about A Taste of Australia?
I’d been looking forward to hosting a lot of guests, and glad that it was fulfilled. Many local residents came in to spend some good time. It's mostly these families or some friends, and it's always interesting and engaging because they're typically more inclined to start a conversation to ask things about the ingredients and the preparations.