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The RED Spice Route - Cultivating connections through curry

Curry - a dish that’s from nowhere and yet eaten nearly everywhere. One that is as diverse as the lands it traverses. As vibrant as the cultures it embraces. Beyond its widespread popularity, it's important to note that in India, the term “curry” doesn't exist.

Curry owes its name to the British, who, during their colonial rule, coined the term to describe a variety of Indian dishes. As the British empire expanded, so did the influence of curry, spreading across continents and oceans to distant colonies. Each region infused its own culinary traditions, creating unique variations of this beloved dish.

South Africa, with its rich tapestry of cultures, is no exception. In South Africa, curry mirrors the nation's diversity, with each cultural group contributing its own interpretation. From the Cape Malay curries of the west coast, featuring a milder blend of spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin, to the fiery Durban curries of the east coast, South Africa's curry landscape is as diverse as its people.

For Keegan Maistry, Executive Chef at Radisson RED Rosebank, the journey of curry is deeply personal. Raised in an Indian community, he was immersed in a world of rich flavours and bold spices from a young age. His culinary mentor, his mother, instilled in him the belief that Indian cooking is an art of intuition, a dance of spices guided by the hands. It's this reverence for tradition and the pursuit of culinary excellence that drives Maistry’s passion for crafting unforgettable curry experiences.

The idea of launching the RED Spice Route, a weekly curry buffet, stemmed from both his Indian upbringing and his professional career. Having worked in kitchens across the globe, Maistry was introduced to different variations of curry, inspiring him to offer a rotating selection of curries each week, drawing from South African favourites to global curry dishes. As he aptly puts it, "It's all about setting the stage for our guests to embark on a culinary journey, to appreciate the depth and diversity of flavours that curry has to offer."

So, why curry? Why now?

“Because curry isn't just a dish—it's a bridge that connects us to our past, our present, and each other,” explains Michael Delaney, General Manager for the hotel. "Curry, despite its colonial origins, has become a dish of heritage, cultural connection, and togetherness. It's a dish that connects people across racial divides, cultural boundaries, and generations. Through the shared experience of a good meal, we come together, we celebrate our differences, and we forge new connections,” Delaney concludes.

In a world where divisions often overshadow our shared humanity, there's something profoundly unifying about breaking bread together. Launching on the 1st of June 2024 at its OUI Bar + KTCHN restaurant, Radisson RED Rosebank invites guests to join them on a journey of flavours, where every bite tells a story of resilience, adaptation, and cultural exchange. As guests savour the flavours of century-old recipes and modern interpretations alike, they're reminded of the power of food to transcend boundaries and bring people together.

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