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    ITC Grand Chola marks World Environment Day with a special brunch


    THERE is an inadvertent overlap of sorts between some aspects of being environmentally conscious and living healthy — consuming food made with fresh, local, organic produce, for instance. The break comes when healthy eating choices involve exotic ingredients and products that aren’t locally or seasonally available. This is the kind of situation that has me gleefully pointing a ‘J’accuse’ finger at, say, Ajit Bangera, ITC Grand Chola’s executive chef, over a preview of the hotel’s World Environment Day brunch buffet this Sunday.
    Herb treatment
    The buffet at Madras Pavilion, tagged as a locavore spread under ITC’s Responsible Luxury banner, is meant to highlight healthy, local foods, while showcasing the hotel’s green initiatives (many which seem to come with the territory of being the world’s largest LEED Platinum Green Hotel). One, for example, is the refreshing sunya water—RO water, infused with tulsi or fennel and cinnamon and bottled on-site. However, the difficulty of a luxury hotel going all-green comes through in its need to import certain ingredients (salmon, for instance), given guest demands. But it does get credit for trying. The buffet will feature its fabulous cold-pressed Pavillion Pure juices of organic mango and mint and apple. Equally fabulous are the tiny muffins showcasing grains and nuts — they are not all bright and glossy with less rise, but are cleverly paired (berries & rolled oats, pecan & peanut butter), and irresistible.
    Local perfect
    The One-Bite Wonders, usually only seen at banquets, will also make a welcome appearance at the brunch. Again the pairing impresses — mango and tuna, caramelised banana and chicken — accompanied with local ingredients and in-house greens. Their Local Loves like bajjis and banana dosas along with other staples like idlis should not be missed. Before you roll your eyes at the ‘Five-star idlis’ as I did (visibly), know that they are arguably the softest you might try. After all, each batch of batter is hand-whipped for 45 minutes. Need we say more?
    Rs 2,195 ++. On June 5, 12.30 pm to 3 pm. Details: 22200000

    — Ranjitha Gunasekaran


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