Chef Avinash Martins’ food is everything one imagines from a modern-day chef. It is sourced locally and reimagines Goan cuisine, giving it an avant-garde global upgrade. The 40-year-old, Goa-born chef has always used local produce for his restaurant, Cavatina, which he runs with his wife, Tiz. The pandemic and its erratic supply of fresh produce was when he realized his dream of building a community of farmers from whom he could directly source his produce. His only condition is working with farmers that adopt sustainable practices like growing seasonal vegetables and using crop rotation practices.
His restaurant Cavatina is known for offering re-imagined Goan dishes from the Saraswat and Portuguese communities where he uses only local ingredients and presents them in a contemporary manner. His latest project is ‘C’est L’avi — A Table in the Hills’, an artisanal farm-to-fork bespoke experience that is set against the backdrop of a cashew plantation near a freshwater spring. Collaborating with farmers from the Vellip community, his farm-to-fork experience highlights the Gaunti (local) ingredients and his dishes reflect the changing produce of Goan seasons.
Dishes on the C’est L’avi — A Table in the Hills menu include a Goan mezze platter consisting of flame-roasted vaingee (baby eggplant), chauli bean hummus, pineapple sansav and cashew and coconut taramasalata. Other dishes include tiger prawn togarashi cola chili, chouris risotto with an amsol glaze, rechadoverde banana fish and turmeric cauda smoked duck among others. While these may sound like fancy upscale dishes they are as Goan as they get and are made using local ingredients that all Goans are familiar with. Believing that all dishes have both a soul and a story to tell, Goa’s hot new chef creates poetry on a plate with his food.
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