Local culinary experts are making waves internationally, and the most recent example would be Shaheda Yesmin, culinary curator at Jewel's Kitchen. In February, Yesmin's interpretation of Eggplant Caponata, was announced as a Silver Award winner in Italia A Tavola, a renowned publication highlighting the best of Italian cuisine, dining places and all things gastronomical. The competition was held by the Italian Dining Summit – IDS, where Yesmin participated online, and won in the Photo Category of the Vegetarian Challenge. This challenge was created by Prof Armando Cristofori, the current President of IDS, and organised by Paolo Baratella, the Ambassador of IDS. As a strategic partnership with the World Association of Master Chefs – WAMC, the challenge will continue till September 2020, with new winners being announced for every month.
Caponata, a Sicilian cooked salad dish based on eggplants, was presented with Yesmin's own twist. In her interview sent for the purpose of the competition, she mentioned the Caponata she had back in 2011 when she and her husband visited Portofino in Italy, having a lasting impact on her. With her love for local eggplants, she sought to create this dish in her own way.
Vegetarian dishes are getting more and more attention since healthy eating has become a constant challenge over the years. This particular competition seeks to promote a healthy cuisine and a healthy lifestyle. With Yesmin and other Bangladeshi award winners in this competition, it is quite clear that our local chefs are well prepared to take on international challenges.