Chef Kamilla Seidler gives Lahore a taste of Denmark

Updated 11 May, 2017 09:39am

Sheharyar Rizwan

Siedler declared Latin America’s Best Female Chef in 2016

The Royal Danish Embassy in Islamabad on Wednesday organised a culinary workshop with a top Danish chef at a local cooking school-cum-bistro.

Scafa, or the School of Culinary And Finishing Arts, in collaboration with the Danish embassy hosted chef Kamilla Seidler, who was declared Latin America’s Best Female Chef in 2016 and is now head chef at Gustu in La Paz, Bolivia.

The workshop was attended by a select audience of food influencers, restaurateurs and critics. It kicked off with a presentation by Chef Seidler describing the philosophy behind Gustu in which she explained how modern Danish gastronomic influences such as foraging, relying on local and seasonal produce, could be exported into another environment.

“In Bolivia, what started as a small culinary school is now a fine dining restaurant. We have 10 schools in Bolivia and two in Colombia. More than anything, it’s a social project. We only use local produce, create modern versions of classic dishes. It’s basically creative cuisine -- whatever is new in season, we develop the best way to cook it,” she told Dawn.

"We have 10 schools in Bolivia and two in Colombia. More than anything, it’s a social project."

After the presentation, Chef Seidler prepared a classic Danish dish comprising cured salmon with preserves as well as classic Danish chicken during an interactive demonstration wherein she was assisted by students of Scafa. The cooking was peppered with her culinary experiences, after which the audience was given a taste of the delicacies that had been prepared.

The students of Scafa also prepared some local dishes, but with a twist: canapés of desi murgh achaar, chicken handi ravioli, and faalsa tarts with white chocolate.

The founder of Scafa, Zaigham Haque, said Chef Kamilla wanted to show Danish influence on food using local produce and ingredients. She used farm produce from here, but her focus was pickling and curing meats such as chicken and fish, he added.

Simon from the Danish embassy told Dawn that the idea behind the workshop was more about the concept of Scandinavian cooking using local ingredients. “We want to go back to the source of the food, take something that’s simple and make it into something that tastes great instead of going with the flow. And pickling is a great way of doing that and so is curing.”

Originally published in Dawn, May 11th, 2017