Oz Fest India : Masterchef Australia in Bangalore

Oz Fest, a cultural festival that will showcase the vibrant and diverse Australian culture and creativity, among other things,  was launched at New Delhi by the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gilliard on the 16th of October. The festival will run from 16th October 2012 to 5th February 2013.

George Calombaris, Abhijit Saha and Gary Mehigan

Australia comes to the living rooms and entertains millions of Indians – I’m not referring to ‘swinging the bat on the pitch’, it’s ‘wielding the ladle in the kitchen’ – what with the hugely popular reality show ‘Masterchef Australia’ becoming a household name.

Porcini mashroom parfait with tomato glaze,parmesan cream and brandy jelly

Porcini mashroom parfait with tomato glaze,parmesan cream and brandy jelly

It is perhaps the only international TV show being aired in India that has a captive audience across several demographics.

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Hence, it is not surprising at all to note the huge interest generated by the news that two of the celebrity judges from the show, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris were chosen as ambassadors of Oz Fest. Their tour titled ‘Gary and George unplugged’ gave them an insight into the celebrity status they have in our country and also an opportunity to experience India’s culture and cuisine.


The grand finale of their tour was in the garden city of Bangalore, where they wined and dined in style, thanks to their host Chef Abhijit Saha – founding director of Avant Garde Hospitality.  Chef Saha’s association with Australia goes back four or five years when he visited the Western Australian wine region – Margaret River.

New age tiramisu

New age tiramisu

Two years ago, a chef flew in from Australia for the Western Australian Wine and Food Festival at Chef Saha’s signature restaurants – Caperberry and Fava, in Bangalore.

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Small wonder that the Australian Government chose this acclaimed chef/entrepreneur to host Gary and George on their maiden visit to Bangalore.

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Good venue, good food and a chef whom they could relate to – these were the requirements and it goes without saying that Chef Saha had it all on a platter!


Prismma’s association with Chef Saha goes back a long way, and we are thrilled and delighted to bring you the story and the exclusive pictures of this special event. Lunch at Caperberry was an exclusive affair, where Chef Saha delighted the guests with avant garde European cuisine.

Galouti flavoured smoked baby lamb shoulder with quinoa risotto and dates chutney

Galouti flavoured smoked baby lamb shoulder with quinoa risotto and dates chutney

This included a cheese course and dishes like ‘Galouti flavoured smoked lamb shoulder with quinoa risotto and dates chutney’ – executed perfectly and presented in style, and finally wrapped up with flourish with ‘New Age Tiramisu’.

Dinner at Fava was a gala evening, where 150 guests enjoyed signature bowl food, mingled with each other, and interacted with the celebrity judges. Chef Saha excels in fusion and progressive modern cusine. Baked samosa triangles served in the evening and ‘Murg malai (kebab) pinwheel’ were really appreciated.

The Fava Team with the Masterchef Australia Team

Chef Saha states that he is a fan of ‘Masterchef Australia’ and that he watches the show whenever he can take time out from his busy schedule.

Chicken liver parfait with cherry glaze,apple puree and brandy jelly

Chicken liver parfait with cherry glaze,apple puree and brandy jelly

He goes on to add that his wife Shruti, 7 year old daughter and 5 year old son, are all regular viewers of this show that has captivated the Indian audience. Asked about his views Chef Saha says,


Masterchef Australia is a wonderful show with an inclusive format. The show has inspired a whole new generation!

Cheese Course

Cheese Course

Chef Saha takes pride in the fact that he was given a role in this important event.


Indians are not only capable of showcasing excellent Indian cuisine – we are adept at international flavours as well.

To say that he proved this would be an understatement – “We saved the best for the last” – these words from Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris says it all!

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Text : Rajini Kartha — Images : Sanjay Ramchandran — Fava Gala Evening : Avant Garde Hospitality

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