Bandipur: A Ride On The Wild Side

Bandipur National Park at Dawn

I like lazing on the beach sipping vodka and listening to the waves. Majestic mountain panoramas take my breath away. But if had to choose one, just one place where I feel calm and at peace, it’d have to be the jungle. And so this week, I decide to take a short trip to the Bandipur National Park, just 80km from Mysore. Keep reading…

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San Francisco: Highlights

SFO's runway by the Bay

SFO's runway by the Bay

San Francisco. Where do I start? Perhaps with the moment my 13 year-old son, who’s sitting beside the window, leans across with a shit-eating grin and says, “Mama, I don’t think you should look out of the window right now.” So of course, I just have to. And immediately wish I hadn’t. It looks like we’re about to land on water. The rational part of my mind – at the moment shrunk to an insignificant two percent of total brain mass – knows that this is not going to happen, that it just seems that way, that of course, the runway at this airport runs alongside the bay. The other part of my mind, all 98 percent of it, is screaming with all its might, forcing my impeccably manicured nails to rake their way unwillingly down my son’s left arm until the plane comes to a gentle and uneventful halt. It’s over. We’re here. I can breathe now. So can my indignant son. Keep reading…

Farewell Ferdy!

As 2007 came to a close, the hospitality world lost a fine denizen: Chef Fernando da Costa, one of Goa’s best-known chefs, passed away on 6 December, leaving behind an invaluable cultural and culinary legacy.

‘Ferdy’, a professionally trained executive chef, studied at Christ College, Bangalore, when only the ‘bad boys’ went there. He was a talented musician, mastering percussion as easily as he unlocked the secrets of the kitchen. His grin seemed to say “life’s cool, man!” and he had a wicked, tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. More than anything else, however, Ferdy was defined by his fiery passion for all things Goan.

Giving up an international career to open Fernando’s Nostalgia in Raia, Goa, Ferdy dedicated his time to keeping traditional Goan culture alive through food, art, and music. The restaurant itself is an extension of his ancestral home, flowing naturally from living space to dining area. An eclectic array of hand-picked, lovingly rescued garrafaos, jars, bottles, musical instruments, and traditional furniture speaks volumes for his determination to prevent the “old ways” from dying out. Mario Miranda and his son have painted a mural on one wall in tribute to Ferdy’s dedication, and his love for art is further evidenced by the menus, each painstakingly hand-painted on a plate.

Ferdy truly cared about preserving the Goan culinary tradition. Although Nostalgia’s menu features carefully retrieved and revived traditional recipes rarely found in Goan restaurants today (including ox tongue, feijoada, and bolo sansrival), Ferdy went a step further, establishing St. Sebastian’s Culinary School. His goal: to educate young boys of the surrounding area, provide them with a vocation and training, and help them cash in on Goa’s remunerative tourism trade while ensuring that otherwise-dying recipes were not lost forever.

Ferdy’s wife, Margarida De Noronha Távora e Costa, has decided to keep his dream alive. Although she feels unable to continue to run St. Sebastian’s, Fernando’s Nostalgia will continue to dish out old favourites and encourage Goan musicians and artists to showcase their talents. As of now, the stage seems to wait in silence for Ferdy to stride up and set up his drum kit.

We miss you, Ferdy. Wherever you are, we know people will be laughing and well-fed.

Fernando’s Nostalgia
608, No Bairro Ozro, Raia, Salcete, Goa
Phone: 91 0832 2777054 / 91 0832 2777054
Email: nostalgiagoa@yahoo.co.in