Ring in the Diwali “Festival of Lights” at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove

Chef Ramesh

This Thursday marks the beginning of the Diwali “festival of lights” in which ancient Hindu tradition holds that the spiritual soul enters a new phase. Similar to “Chinese New Year”, Diwali is celebrated with family gatherings over lots of food. The five day long feast peaks during the third day, which is considered the New Year’s Eve. On this day, light trumps darkness, knowledge outdoes ignorance, and good hails over evil. The good fortune is hoped and believed to last for the entire year till the next Diwali.

It’s an annual rite of passage, and to celebrate in proper fashion, Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove’s executive chef Ramesh Kaduru is inviting Indian cuisine aficionados to a family-style feast at Bizcaya this Thursday, October 23rd.

Kaduru will be cooking up the bold and native flavors of his homeland of Chennai, India right in the heart of Coconut Grove. The evening won’t be limited to just food, although the menu is enough of a reason to not miss the spiritual celebration. On it are some of chef’s favorite dishes like chicken tikka masala, as well as Indian staples like dal makhni, naan and garlic naan. Indian dancers and glowing candles will pay tribute to the tradition and frighten evil spirits away till next year. The celebration cost $69 per person ($39 for kids under 12), plus tax and gratuity and beging at 7:30 p.m.

And should you want to learn a thing or two from Kaduru, he’s inviting guests back this Sunday, October 26th for a intimate and exclusive cooking class where aspiring home cooks can learn to make some of his favorite Indian delicacies like chicken tikka, mixed biryani, masala dosa and dal makhani from the comfort of your kitchen. Enjoy bites between dishes, as well as a traditional Lassi (yogurt-based) beverage. Demonstrations begin at 4 p.m. through 6 p.m. and cost $65 per person (excluding tax and gratuity).