Cooling off with carved fruits and vegetables

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Maria Fernandes | NT KURIOCITYPost

Despite the oppressive heat, 52 students along with teachers and a few parents attended The Navhind Times Planet J workshop on April 14 at the Agnel Institute of Food Craft and Culinary Sciences in Verna. The three-hour workshop aimed at giving youngsters tips on how to create edible art from simple vegetables and fruits. Conducted by carving artist Taeng Orn Silva, the workshop was an attractive mix of education and fun with student’s creativity shining through in the practical session.

Silva commenced the workshop with a brief note about herself and her journey in the field of carving. Stressing on how her hobby turned into her livelihood, she encouraged participants to learn the art, which she said: “Will always come handy.” She then familiarised participants with the different types of knives and techniques of carving. Holding the knife correctly and controlling it, she reiterated, was very important. Starting with a cucumber, she showed participants how different vegetables and fruits like carrots, onions, lady fingers, brinjals and ivy gourd (tendli) could be turned into works of art. Keeping in mind that most participants were new to the art, she kept her creations simple yet absolutely beautiful. Participants were mesmerised by her dexterity and were glued to the screen as they watched her create amazing flowers and designs using a simple knife and toothpicks. In the concluding part of the session, she explained the technique of deep carving and demonstrated the same on a watermelon and papaya.

After the demonstration, participants were ready to try their hand at what they had learnt from Silva who along with her two daughters and assistant, Francisco went from table to table teaching the youngsters how to go about with the carving. The buzz and excitement was very contagious and every single participant replicated at least one of Silva’s creations. Some were more ambitious and made several carvings. “Practice will help you get better. Be patient, don’t give up and you can do wonders,” she said to each table. Her encouraging words and invaluable tips gave a boost to all present.

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