By Sharafath Yoosuf
Cricket Australia’s Field of Flavours food market provided the cricket fans a great opportunity to enjoy an extended range of food options when they attended the Victorian Bitter One Day International Series between Australia and India at Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.
The Field of Flavours concept has been developed in response to feedback from fans seeking greater food options at cricket matches and in recognition of the cultural diversity of cricket fans in Australia.
The concept has been inspired by popular late-night food markets around the world and gave fans the chance to enjoy cuisines including Indian, Vietnamese and Mexican.
Celebrity Chef Peter Kuruvita gets candid in an interview with Indus Age representative Sharafath Yoosuf . Excerpts:
How did you get involved in the Field of Flavours? What inspired you to take up this initiative?
This was a Cricket Australia’s initiative, they did most of the work.This was the response to fans request. We all love food festivals, but there was a missing link in the major sports events like Cricket. The missing link is the food, where Cricket Australia came up with a brilliant idea to fulfil this. This event was different, with major cricket game, live bands and great venues.
It was a free event to attend for general public, different varieties of food, nothing too expensive. With 5 cuisines that catered to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. We had separate bar area, live music, created festive atmosphere. Each city had a different cuisine and everyone enjoyed the event.
Do you expect this initiative will be taken up by other sporting events?
I can see this is expanding to other sporting events, each event will feature different options.
I think Indian IPL should create a similar event with Hot Dog and Pizza stand for IPL games.
How did you manage to run a successful event like this?
This was planned for 3 ODIs only, my job was to try and the assist the vendors, to put the food out quickly, serving a dish every 20second or so. We focused on easy to prepare, fresh food, with easy to consume.
Do you have any future plans for the similar events?
If Cricket Australia wishes to continue, I will be more than happy to be part of it, we will look at similar initiative when Sri Lankan Cricket Team come to Australia next year.
You have a very unique experience with Mexican and Sri Lankan flavours, how did you get to this stage?
I started cooking 34 years ago.
Mexican food combination came long time ago, when I visited Mexico. My journey went on for 3.5 months in Mexico. During this time we didn’t see any tourists, we drove over the mountains in Chihuahua, on the border down all we saw was guns and gangsters. This journey helped me to explore the real Mexican food. Most of the food we know came from Mexico such as Chillies, tomatoes, avocado, corn, beans, chocolate, chewing gum etc. Without Mexico, our world would have no flavours.
Mexican food is so simple and fresh food, Mexicans are so family oriented, community based.
We had armed guards during the journey to stop us getting kidnapped. Unfortunately, it is a very dangerous place, however, I would love to return to Mexico anytime.
I love travelling, my Sri Lankan journey forged my passion. I am now trying make modern Sri Lankan food in my restaurants. Taking traditional Sri Lankan curries and deconstructing it and serving in a modern dish at five star restaurants. Sri Lankan food is very rich in flavour and very different to Indian flavours.
I am writing another book about sub-continental vegetarian, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and Nepal, most of these countries are vegetarian even in the old days.
Any new restaurants coming up?
Not planning any new restaurants in the cities. But there is a new one coming up in Samoa.
I guess, the big cities can host more Field of Flavours Festivals, I would be happy to return for the future events.
Photo Credit: Matthew Lodge