The Jilpa Guide to organizing a World Food Festival

It was late evening and we felt like eating something light, healthy and nutritious. So we chose Pizza Hut in Adyar. And guess what, they were having a World Food Festival. I was seriously looking forward to Lebanese, Russian, Italian and American fare. I love Pizzas and I love Geography. Things just couldn’t have been better.

That was till I saw their “World” Menu.

So if you are a multi-billion dollar food giant and wanted to conduct a “World Food Festival”, how would you do it?

Hire chefs from around the world and create a truly eclectic pizza menu to satiate diverse tastes? NO

Train existing chefs in diverse cuisines and create a truly eclectic pizza menu to satiate diverse tastes? NO

Reword the menu by the intelligent use of ethnic sounding words which incidentally happen to be ingredients in the existing pizzas anyway, to create an illusion of global cuisine diversity, thus exploiting the public’s curiosity while not spending anything more than the cost of printing a new glossy menu? BINGO

Don’t believe me? Here is proof.

Original Menu (indicative sample)

Veggie Exotica

Chicken pizza

Pepperoni Pizza


World Food Festival Menu (heavy Jilpa filters applied)

Veggie Exotica from Mexico (Why? The cunning use of Jalapenos provides a Mexican passport, visa and citizenship to this pizza. The rest of the ingredients – the same. You know what’s interesting? The original Exotica had jalapenos in the first place. The world food festival version simply decided to use that as an excuse to call it Mexican.)

Lebanese Chicken Pizza (The chicken in the original pizza has been conferred the honorary title of “Lebanese” through the intelligent use of Garam Masala. None of the other ingredients have changed)

Pepperoni Pizza from USA (He he. Pizza hut already had an American dish on their menu. They didn’t have to do anything new. They just put the “USA” stamp next to it)

Pasta Stroganoff (How does one make a quintessentially Italian dish Russian? By sending it to the Gulag?No. By Putin in to it, a glass of vodka?No. By the subtle addition of a sauce named after a Russian nobleman? Yes)

You know what? If Pizza hut can conduct a “World Food Festival”, so can Murugan Idli Store. Here is how they should, taking a leaf (and a branch, actually, the whole tree might be useful) out of the Pizza hut book.

Mediterranean Idli – uses olive oil in the idli podi (a.k.a Gunpowder in North India)

McVada – shove Medu vada in between 2 slices of bun smeared with chutney.

Simon and Garfpongal – Pongal seasoned with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. It once was a true love of mine

Oothapizza – regular oothappam, but get dhoti wearing waiter to come to each table with a humongous piece of Parmesan cheese and a grater and ask customers “Would you like some Parmesan with your oothapizza?”


29 thoughts on “The Jilpa Guide to organizing a World Food Festival

  1. Clap Clap. The McVada idea is too good. Coat a vada with jaggery and you have a donut as well 🙂
    Speaking of pizzas, the Little Italy one is good. I personally like the Bella Ciao one the best 🙂

  2. Yup, that’s American marketing for you. That’s what I wrote about a while back, albeit with more “gravitas” to use your words!

    Marvelous concoctions! Your marketing lungi, oops, lingo, I mean! 🙂

  3. //
    Simon and Garfpongal

    Am in splits.

    And here’s to you Mr. Krishashok,
    Blog readers love your blog more than you know.
    wo wo wo.

    Voracious Blog Reader

  4. 🙂 that was too good! Simon and Garfpongal and seasonings – LOL!

    BTW, during a (rare) business trip, I had visited the Brittany region of France, where crepes are a big speciality. In those creperies, you also get a dish called “Galette” – that is reasonably close to rava dosai and quite good of course. So special masala rava dosai could be “Special Masala Galette” or kal dosai could be “Kal Galette”. The plain dosai if made real real soft could be marketed as Injira (ethiopian): Injira with Inji chutney.

  5. Yes…those dastardly Septics a.k.a seppos* have a lot to answer for.

    Personally speaking, my teeth are set on edge when I see these Seppo kaapi kadais advertising ‘chai tea’.

    Chai is not Chai unless made duly kadak, overbrewed oversweetened and ladled out of a samovar by a hairy halwai scratching his pot belly.

    Cockney influenced rhyming usage in asthreylia (as pronounced by the screenfilling lovelies on Sun TV).
    Yank=Septic Tank. Therefore septic or seppo!
    For those of a nit picking bent of mind, no ,it does not discriminate between Yanks and Southerners.

  6. Su, Mahendra, Pok
    Thank you very much

    Thank you and yes. Ive had Galette, but not in France. I tried it out in the very unfrench environs of Texas 🙂 But yes, crepes are very much rava dosa. The galette I had was of the potato variety though.

    Brilliant. One day, if you don’t start a blog before that, I will create one, and simply use your comments here as posts 🙂 Yank = Septic Tank, LOL 🙂 I thought it was a east london cockney thing, didnt know the aussies were into it too

  7. I think I’d rather attend the food fest at Murugan’s instead of the Hut.. 🙂 I saw those ADs on TV about the ‘world’ food fest, and I really did think they’d bring in chefs from other countries and I can try some new stuff.. thanks for the warning, I doubt if Hyd is any better in this aspect 😉

    P.S: I had 4 of my colleagues actually get up from their seats to give me this quizzical look on why I’m laughing my head off at 9:50 AM when I have a code freeze to freeze! 🙂 the next time I comment could be from a loony bin, so watch out!

  8. Oh no, the cockney influence is rife alright. Plenty in use.

    However, a classic that even we curry munchers have worked out is ‘How ya going me old China?’

    Mate=China Plate, shortened to China.

    As for the blog….. it’s coming.

  9. OMG the Simon and Garfpongal was brilliant I say! LOL

    How about an unlimited Dosa experience named:

    Dosa were the days my friend. I thought they’d never end.

  10. Soundar,
    We will look forward to your blog. Blogroll space booked and reserved.

    Thank you. Awesome reference to the Raskin/Hopkins classic 🙂

  11. Had a similar reaction when I went to Pizza Hut (craving some mozzarella) a few days back. Plus, the quality of food has deteriorated, and service doesn’t exist. Even the manager’s offer to take the pizza off the check didn’t help the bad taste in the mouth!

  12. Simon and Garfpongal ranks among your best so far.

    Two waiters, both alike in indignity
    (In Murugan Idli Store where we set our tale)
    In dhoti and banian
    Toting a battered Gibson
    Crooning in harmony
    While you slurp on your chutney…

  13. You should have known. World Food Festival at Pizza Hut.

    I’m rather worried about ‘oothapizza’. It does sound like a foul word in Tamil.

  14. Malaadu, where are you sevaing all this bundhhi before you chop and we suey? Do you sui mai point? If you wontonow moru, sit down for a chat. As far as pun neer is concerned, how do I do it? It would be just a case of pud ding in pon(gal).

  15. Jillumadrasi,
    Thank you, and yes. Relative newcomer to public blogging at regular intervals. I have started and dumped several blogs in the past. They usually dealt with serious issues such as my problem with religious superstition etc, till I finally realized that I don’t quite have an ability to write thoughtfully on matters of importance 🙂 Thus I stuck to Jalsa and Jilpa, something that comes more naturally, having generally played the fool all my life.

    Thank you

  16. Heheh.. The write up about Murugan idli store is hilarious.. And even ur new item added to the top of ur list in the profile is a good one too.. Jalsa and Jilpa.. i miss chennai and its tamil!

  17. LMAO this was awesome :

    Oothapizza – regular oothappam, but get dhoti wearing waiter to come to each table with a humongous piece of Parmesan cheese and a grater and ask customers “Would you like some Parmesan with your oothapizza?”

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