Chef Cyrus Todiwala has opened his first restaurant in India, at the Acron Waterfront Resort in Goa, on the banks of the Baga river.

Called the River restaurant, the 60-seater site is run on a day-to-day basis by executive chef Mark Smith, who has been working closely with Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala in the development of dishes that make full use of Goa’s fresh produce. India’s smallest state, Goa is particularly the renowned for its abundant seafood, seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Cyrus Todiwala said: “I spent eight formative years in Goa, so The River Restaurant marks a homecoming for me. Before I came here as executive chef of the Taj properties, I was mostly enamoured of classical French and other European cuisines.

“It was my need to learn more about Goan food to meet the demands of our guests then that led me into a deeper exploration of what Indian food is all about. Goa today is evolving into India’s culinary hub. I hope that this new restaurant enables me to bring to Goa the food innovations I either developed or absorbed as a chef working in Britain, while raising the profile of Goan food in the eyes of the rest of the world. It is still early days and we are treading carefully and will be evolving ourselves, but in time we hope The River Restaurant will be considered a true bastion of fine cuisine in Goa.”

The launch of The River restaurant coincides with the first ‘Taste of Goa Food Festival’ taking place in Goa from 9 to 11 January 2015 and organised by the charity Goa for Giving. Joining Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala in India were top British chefs John Feeney, Colin Bussey, Sarah Hartnett and Paul Cunningham who participated in a series of masterclasses and culinary demonstrations sponsored by Churchill China showcasing for local chefs and festival goers emerging trends in British cuisine, including how Goan produce can be used in contemporary British and European dishes.

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