The venue – The Westin Palace Madrid
The third European roadshow event, hosting the incredible Freshworks tour, was held in the stunning Westin Palace Madrid.
Having completed a successful first week in London and Manchester, this was where Safia now headed. She flew into the beautiful city of Madrid to deliver our role in the Indian culinary experience and head-up the chef team at the local venue.
Commissioned by King Alfonso XIII in 1912, the iconic hotel The Westin Palace, Madrid is located in the renowned Art Walk. This area links the city’s most enriching museums to the most important monuments and some of the best tapas restaurants in town. Topped by a breathtaking stained-glass cupola, La Rotonda Restaurant the Asia Gallery and the Green T Sushi bar and the 1912 Museo Bar. The 470 guest rooms and suites and state-of-the-arts meeting rooms all together add up to 2,400 m2 and comprise the largest events facilities in Madrid.
Meeting the Executive Chef and his team
Safia arrived the day before the event to meet the Executive chef, José Luque and his talented team of chefs. She was primarily working with two of his team, Rocio and Miguel to teach them how to prepare the traditional Punjabi dishes.
Luckily, Safia speaks Spanish, having studied Spanish A Level, and so this was hugely helpful when going through all the stages of food prep. Rocio was on the savoury dishes with Safia, and Miguel was the head pastry chef and so made the dessert with her.
They could not have been more welcoming and accommodating.
Our meal kits in action
Our meal kit instructions had been delivered to the venue in advance, along with the ‘shopping list’ of fresh ingredients to be bought. Safia then arrived with our Pure Punjabi spice blends, (our Garam Masala and Tikka Paste), needed to work with the chef’s team to create the freshly cooked dishes.
Safia and Rocio went through all the instructions in Spanish, and Rocio made her notes accordingly. Whilst Rocio began the prep for the mains, Safia and Miguel started on the dessert.
Indian dessert-making is a slow and delicate process, and is very much regarded in the same way as pastry chef training. It is a separate discipline, and Indian desserts are often made over several days. We selected the dessert of Besan for this roadshow on the basis that it is a faster one to make, (can be made in one day), but also because it is naturally gluten-free and vegetarian. In addition, when it is made with oil instead of ghee, it is also naturally vegan and dairy-free. It is also quite delicious, (a sort of fudge), and happens to be the favourite dessert of Surinder.
As Miguel and Safia were busy stirring away, the executive chef came by and said in Spanish “I’ll be dead before this is cooked and ready”! As he walked away I whispered to Miguel that this dessert is one of the faster ones to make, which he found very amusing!!
The morning of the event, a member of the event team sat with Safia to write the dish descriptions in Spanish for the buffet station.
Back in the kitchens, Rocio, Safia and the rest of the kitchen team worked on having everything ready promptly for service. Safia then headed into the buffet area to greet guests as they arrived.
Freshworks, GroundSwell & Pure Punjabi
After lunch, Angelica from Freshworks invited Safia up to talk to guests about the menu, and how the process of feeding everyone across the roadshow has been put together following the principles of Indian Democratic Design through our Pure Punjabi Meal Kits.
As Safia entered the room, it was so appreciated when guests stopped her and said “felicidades, toda la comida fue muy rica” (congratulations, everything was delicious).
Next city… Paris…
Goodbye to the beautiful city of Madrid, Safia headed off that night to set up and prepare for the 4th city on the European tour…Paris.
To read about the previous cities on the European tour…
Click HERE for Manchester
Click HERE for London