Sunday, March 13, 2011

Aarti Sequeira Cooking Demo at the Giant Eagle Market District

My weekend started out with a bang at the Giant Eagle Market District at Robinson.  Fellow foodie friend FoodBurgh Mike invited me to a blogger event (thanks, Mike!) featuring Aarti Sequeira who was the Season 6 winner of The Next Food Network Star and host of Aarti Party on the Food Network.  The "VIP breakfast" featured two of Aarti's recipes, the Pumpkin Oatmeal and Indian Omelet.  Both were yummy!

Because my body is egg yolk-unfriendly, the fabulous chef at Market District went waaaaay out of her way to make a special omelet for me with egg whites.  That was so nice of them, and it looks ridiculously good to boot!  I'd like to give Market District a special shout-out for their amazing hospitality!

After a brief chat with Aarti herself and some photo ops, we went to see her cooking demo.  In honor of St Paddy's Day, she made the Hair of the Dog Hash: Corned Beef Has with Ginger, Garam Masala and Whiskey, which is like an Indian-Irish marriage - well, Aarti is married to an Irishman after all - and a more traditional Indian dish, Aloo Gobi.  Aarti infuses her demo with not only helpful tips (such as how Indian spices should be purchased whole, heated to get the flavor out, then ground) but also fun stories about her show and from her days on The Next Food Network Star.  I can't say that I was familiar with Aarti before I went to this event - not because I'm anti-Food Network or anything; I just don't watch much TV in general - but she really sold me on her bubbly, personable, and down-to-earth personality.  Her recipes are also creative - in addition to traditional Indian dishes, she is known for putting an Indian spin on American meals.  I have already scoured her recipes online and hope to try a few soon...well, just as soon as I figure out where to find some of the traditional Indian ingredients!

Aarti's expressive personality shines through during the cooking demo.  We each got a bite of the two dishes she made and both were AMAZING.

Thank YOU so much for coming!

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