IndiaFEST: Bollywood pops and masala spices come to West Palm Beach waterfront

IndiaFEST enters its 13th year. (Palm Beach Post file photo)
IndiaFEST enters its 13th year. (Palm Beach Post file photo)

The flavors, rhythms and hues of India will descend upon the West Palm Beach waterfront Saturday, as IndiaFEST celebrates Indian culture, from Bollywood to biryani.

The daylong fest, hosted by the Palm Beach India Association, kicks off at 10 a.m. and goes until 10 p.m. at downtown’s Meyer Amphitheatre.

Expect plenty of music, thanks to Bollywood playback singer Jonita Gandhi, singer Indian-American singer Vidya Vox, rocker Anirudh Bhola, and Bangladeshi-American DJ Sanjoy Deb.

Chef Michael Swamy. (Contributed photo)
Chef Michael Swamy. (Contributed photo)

To that lively soundtrack, yoga sessions will happen, vendors will showcase Indian fashion and jewelry, and aromas will rise from kiosks cooking and serving Indian dishes.

Chief among those cooking will be visiting Mumbai chef Michael Swamy, a Cordon Bleu-trained cook who counts several Michelin-starred chefs as his mentors. Swamy now works with an Indian private chef service called Hopping Chef.

On Thursday night, he offered a taste of his cuisine at a private, multicourse dinner of event organizers and guests, who gathered at Le Rendez-vous restaurant in downtown West Palm Beach. He whipped up two menus, one for vegetarians and one for meat eaters, with dishes that included spicy chili and vanilla-rubbed chicken wings, a light carrot-coriander soup scented with cumin and chili, a Central Indian-style smoked chicken in a herb-spice curry sauce and a spiced crème brulee.

“My food is very experimental,” he told the gathering. “I stay true to the flavors, but using the French culinary techniques I learned at the Cordon Bleu.”

The festival, which enters its 13th year on Saturday, is free to the public.







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