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Fire and ice.

Byline: Ceri Edwards

(Images:eat1.jpg,eat2.jpg, eat3.jpg)

"Wait!" With my spoon poised to delve into an interesting concoction, explained to me as 'Spicy Ice,' my curiosity was far from quelled when Chef Ramesh Kularatnam, senior sous chef at Senor Pico Mexican restaurant at the InterContinental Hotel and the creator of the dish before me, suddenly halted my tasting session and dashed off to get me a bottle of water. "Don't try it without a drink," he warned. Even more apprehensive than before, I took a tentative taste of Senor Pico's new range of Mexican ice creams. With flavours including spicy pumpkin and red chilli, chocolate, pepper, honey and cinnamon, pineapple and jalapenos as well as tomato and Tabasco, the list doesn't read like your regular dessert menu might. However, Chef Ramesh said that the new dishes, available from May 1 and throughout the month in recognition of the Mexican holiday Cinco De Mayo, are sure to attract curious customers. "I'm sure diners will think the ice creams sound odd, but after trying them, I think they will enjoy the experience."

Chef Ramesh, originally from Sri Lanka, has been a chef for 14 years and has enjoyed an extremely varied culinary background, working in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Jordan to name a few and experimenting with cuisines as diverse as French Polynesian to Japanese. "I love to produce things that are slightly out of the box," he informed. Not only do his latest creations fit this mould perfectly, but according to him this range of ice creams can also be good for you. "Pepper and honey is soo-thing for a sore throat. Plus, the

combination of hot and cold is

effective for cleaning the palate,"

he explained.

Returning to my first impression of this alternative dessert, I was told to expect a rush of sweetness, followed by a fiery kick. Not a lover of spicy foods, alarm bells started to sound in my ears as the forewarned 'kick' reared its head. Though certainly not for the faint of heart,

these ice creams are begging to be tried and will open up a whole

new door of possibilities for a treat after dinner.

[c] Apex Press and Publishing

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Publication:The Week (Muscat, Oman)
Date:May 10, 2008
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