The Spice Route Revival Project is a key initiative undertaken by the Kerala government. It was revealed at a programme held in Chandigarh recently. 

Kerala's endeavor to revive and promote, through tourism, the two millennia-old spice route that links the south western coast of India to Europe, has received a boost with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) pledging support to the venture.

In September, Kerala’s local spice markets amazed those who normally amaze people with their culinary genius. Around 17 teams of chefs preparing for the Spice Route Culinary Festival scoured Kochi’s traditional markets to pick up ingredients for the competition. They effused about how thrilling the sights, smells and sounds of the market were, even likening it to ‘arriving in paradise’.

The festival itself unfolded on a high note. Leading chefs from 15 countries dazzled the crowds with the most exotic and delectable dishes – inspired no doubt by the historic Spice Route. Each team was an ambassador of their respective country’s culture and cuisine; collectively they gave the ambitious Spice Route Revival Project a global platform and springboard.

The four-day celebration came to a close with the prize distribution – the French team taking the biggest honours, with duos from Egypt and Thailand also making the winner’s list. Giving a boost to exponents of local cuisine, top teams in the ‘Kerala Chef’ competition were also felicitated.