Day 8: Food Of The Gods
What’s a holiday without some good food? TUTC firmly believes in this and serves you the best of the best, even in the dense jungles of Nagaland. Here’s what Rupert Winchester has to say!
Chef Swapnil & his team doing what they do best!
No description of Kohima Camp would be complete without a huge hat-tip to the camp chef, Swapnil. His brilliance with the pot and the pan demands to be saluted!
As an example of his capacity to surprise and delight, the other day a guest was asked how his dinner was, and if there was anything else he would like. ‘Lobster,’ the guest jokingly replied. Remember, we are a very rugged 1,350 km from the nearest port but Lo and behold, the next night the guest was presented with a steamed fresh lobster. To say he was stunned would be an understatement.
So far, Swapnil and his team have offered us baked Brie with mesclun, calamari, New Zealand lamb chops, broccoli and almond soup, Thai green and red curry, Caesar salad, deluxe stuffed chicken breast, lemon and coriander soup, fettuccine and ratatouille and quattro formaggio risotto. And that is not, by any means, an exhaustive list.
Indian food that Swapnil has produced for us includes dum ka paneer, dal makhani, methi malai matar, Kandahari rogan josh, aloo kohlrabi, dal tadka, lauki santula, mutton barra kebabs and motia pulao.
Breakfasts are exactly what you’d expect from a five-star hotel: muesli and cereals, fresh yogurts and fruit, eggs any way you like, potato wedges and baked beans (for us Brits), bacon, ham and chicken sausages, eggs Benedict and freshly squeezed fruit juices, as well as masala dosas. In short, everything you need to set you up for a day of wandering.
And as if that wasn’t enough, with the cocktails by the bonfire after sunset, trays of canapés appear miraculously. Bite-sized fish goujons, goats’ cheese tartlets, barbecued paneer, chicken tikka, mini pakoras – the list goes on.
And the desserts! Chocolate torte, blueberry cheesecake, lemon tart, chocolate and apple strudel, gulab jamun, crème caramel and Mississippi mud pie. And the guy is producing it all from a tent buried deep in the jungle. Everything is fresh, organic and generally as locally sourced as possible.
As if Swapnil’s efforts weren’t enough, we had a local Angami Naga chef, who won the television show Nagachef in 2013, to cook for us the other day. She produced chicken with oyster mushroom curry; bitter tomato, brinjal and fermented fish, assorted Naga beans with wild ferns and local cabbage leaves, and black rice. As a first-rate taste of Nagaland, it could not have been more authentic, or more delicious.
Oh, and then there’s the staff canteen, which turns out spectacular Indian food all day long for the hard-working but very discerning staff.
I came up here to Nagaland expecting that long treks through the jungle and climbing steep hillsides would see the excess pounds melt off; instead, I’m swelling up like the Michelin Man under the continual onslaught of Swapnil’s incredible food. But I can’t complain.
To taste Chef Swapnil’s delicious food, BOOK NOW!