Meraki is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity and love. And that’s what was evident at the event ‘Meraki’ hosted by the students of V.M. Salgaocar Institute of International Hospitality Education (VMSIIHE).
Held entirely in the virtual mode, the vibrant student-led event included a plethora of contests in photography, vegetable carving, flower arrangements, food plating, singing, fashion and more.
“It was challenging to organise, plan and conduct the entire event online but it was a tremendous learning experience for us. We had to ideate and plan the event while working remotely. The experience will help us to be able to comfortably work remotely during the pandemic and beyond”, said Sharlene Colaco a student of VMSIIHE who was part of the planning committee.
Meraki encouraged students to explore their creative talents to the fullest. The flower arrangement competition saw students repurpose daily objects such as teapots, ladders and even a cycle wheel into dainty and beautiful flower arrangements. The winning entry created by Dionne Gouveia included the traditional Goan grinding stone and a ladder which was adorned with colourful flowers and foliage. The bright colours of the flowers contrasted with the rustic objects. The added element of a jet black teapot with a bunch of bright pink flowers placed in it added to the drama of the creation.
Culinary Arts does not involve merely cooking a tasty dish. Plating the meal to make it look like a piece of art while adding elements which add to the gastronomic experience is a big part of the learning. Participants of the food plating contest were judged on the aesthetics, colours, balance of flavours and textures, all of which make for the perfect plate. First place winner Breanna Moraes’ submission saw a melange of colours and flavours visible on a single plate. Seafood was paired with fresh vegetables and herbs with a hint of flavours from the sauces used which culminated into a beautifully plated meal. Second place winner Kevin Raj Silas’ creation was just as fascinating with beautifully cooked prawns and the crunch of crisps coming together.
The singing and fashion themed contests required students to send in their submissions through a short video which was judged by an external guest and an internal faculty member. Breanna Moraes won the award in the singing category. The photography contest meanwhile saw submissions coming in from a number of students, many of whom had captured the beauty and landscape of Goa through their lens.