APRIL 2013
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Florida News


Get ready to stir your creativity and your appetite with some mouth-watering curry creations on April 20 in Tampa. That’s when chefs from around the world, including India, Guyana, China, Thailand, Africa, Canada, England, Trinidad & Tobago, and the United States will descend on the India Cultural Center (ICC), 5511 Lynn Road, Tampa. And so will about 3,000 to 4,000 curious and hopefully hungry folks.

Attendees to the International Curry Festival (ICF) will be educated not only on the spices of India and the rest of the world but also on specifically created beers and wine pairings. The evening will be filled with food presentations, silent auction, and entertainment.

“The Curry Festival is a unique way to help charities and have a multicultural event in Tampa Bay. Your taste buds don't worry about race, religion, color or culture when it comes to good food,” said, Dr. Kiran C. Patel of the Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel Foundation for Global Understanding, which is presenting sponsor. Co-host is Georgetown Wesleyan University of The Americas.

Chairperson Dr. Sadhana Ramcharran said that this year, the focus will be on the cooking competition and the education aspect. “Curry has so many medicinal qualities and this program provides a venue to share with a wider audience while having a great time,” she said. “We chose ICC because it was centrally located and since we had the Friday night event there, it would be logistically beneficial, plus curry is an Indian thing.”

As a kickoff the night before, a Black Tie event will take place from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, April 19, featuring curry dishes, special wine and beer tasting and pairings at ICC. Tickets are $150 per person and $250 for couples. Proceeds go to various charities. Eight world-renowned international chefs will spotlight a variety of curry cuisines, food preparation seminars and demonstrations, music performances, and adult beverages that are paired with curries. They are Suvir Saran of New York, Suman Roy of Toronto, Nick Quay of Miami, Massimo of Palm Harbor/Italy, Gaston of Brandon, Viet Vo of the Art Institute, Vicky from Mumbai, Kash of Coco Beach and Nirmala Narine of Nirmala’s Kitchen, a gourmet food company. Celebrity host and MC Deney Terrio of Dance Fever Fame will entertain the guests.

On April 20, the International Curry Festival will showcase a myriad of national, local chefs, restaurants, individuals and caterers vying to claim the first-place cash prize of $5,000 but most important the bragging rights of having the best curry at the Tampa Bay Curry Cook Off.

The festival will feature singer and piano player Poorvi Dinesh of Tampa, Bollywood Dance Club at USF (University of South Florida), singer Ann P, Keisha Prime, rapper Prime Dinero, Monetique, DJ Selecta Infamouz and bands such as Geetanjali and Strange Brew.

The event will be from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at ICC. Entry fee is $5. It is free for children 5 years of age and younger. Proceeds will benefit various organizations and charities that help support global education and prevent world hunger in Asia and throughout the world.

For information or to sign up for the competition, call Ram Jakhotia at (813) 863-3048, Dr. Sadhana Ramcharran at (727) 798-4258, 1-855-LUV-CURI or visit www.tbicf.com

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Tampa Ekal Vidyalaya volunteers with
singer Sanjeevani Bhelande

annual Health Fair at ORLANDO Temple on MAY 5

By Shobana Daniell

The Hindu Society of Central Florida (HSCF) temple in Casselberry/Orlando area will hold its annual Health Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 5. The free event is organized as a volunteer effort by the members of CAPI (Central Florida Association of Doctors from India) who will offer free health services, consultations and seminars. This year marks the 10th anniversary of cooperation between HSCF and CAPI to help the local community.

Hundreds of people have attended prior fairs to obtain latest information on medical techniques, get results of blood work done in the previous weeks, listen to talks by experts, and talk with doctors about health concerns. CAPI holds two health fairs: in the spring at HSCF and in the fall, usually at the Swaminarayan mandir in Orlando.

People who want to take advantage of the complete services offered at the HSCF Health Fair can do their blood work on April 21 or April 28. The results can be picked up on May 5 and followed up with consultations. There will be medical information booths and seminars on various topics ranging from heart health to good nutrition.

For detailed information on blood/lab work, visit www.hindutempleorlando.org or Hindu Society of Central Florida on Facebook. HSCF is at 1994 Lake Drive, Casselberry. Or call (407) 699-5277.


Tampa Ekal Vidyalaya volunteers with
singer Sanjeevani Bhelande

The Tampa Bay chapter of the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA raised about $220,000 on March 2, enough to fund 600 one-teacher schools for needy village populations in rural India. Performers Sanjeevani Bhelande and Chirag Panchal drew an audience of 650 to the India Cultural Center in Tampa. The singers performed in Ocala, raising $19,000; followed by Tallahassee raising $9,000; followed by Jacksonville raising $ 47,000, Orlando raising $74,000 and finally Lakeland with $37,000.

Pallavi and Kiran Patel pledged to continue their support for five years and raised it to 50 schools. Bela and Yogesh Patel matched the pledge of 50 schools which was the biggest single matched donation of the night. “It is up to us to take the lead …,” said Bela Patel, a Tampa attorney, who praised Ekal for the service to those in need.

“We are humbled by the support of the community. Your support inspires us to keep working hard,” said Umesh Choudhry, president of the Tampa Bay Chapter.

The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to educating children in functional literacy throughout tribal and rural India through the use of one-teacher schools, each serving 30 to 40 children. Each school teaches reading, writing, and arithmetic, and costs $365 to run for a year — a dollar a day.

The Tampa fundraiser, which was co-sponsored by the trustees of India Cultural Center and Physicians of Tampa Bay, was part of a national fundraising effort by Ekal Vidyalaya. Bhelande and Panchal are visiting 48 cities over the course of three months to raise funds and awareness for the Ekal cause. This was the fifth program in Florida for the pair. The singers chose both current popular songs as well as nostalgic classics for their three-hour repertoire. Dinner preceded the music program. “So far we have raised funds for 1,100 schools from Florida alone,” said Jawaharlal Taunk, president of Ekal’s Florida fundraising efforts.

The organizers of the event were the dedicated core of the Tampa Bay chapter, including office bearers Umesh Choudhry, Vice President Malti Pandya, Secretary Sanjiv Jain, Treasurer Chirag Shah, Florida President Jawahar Taunk, Florida Vice President Vijay Patel, Florida Secretary Kaushal Chari, and former National President of Ekal USA, Chandresh Saraiya.

Shivkumar Sharma


Tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain and santoor legend Shivkumar Sharma will present Maestros in Concert in April all over Florida. Here’s the schedule for the revered musicians:

CUTLER BAY/MIAMI - APRIL 4: South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (Mainstage), 10950 SW 211 St., Cutler Bay; 8 p.m.; tickets start at $10; for information, call (786) 573-5300, e-mail [email protected] or visit http://www.smdcac.org/

TAMPA – APRIL 5: Straz Center for the Performing Arts (Ferguson Hall), 1010 N Macinnes Place, Tampa; 7:30 p.m.; tickets start at $20; for information, call the center at (813) 229-7827 or visit www.strazcenter.org

LAKE WORTH/PALM BEACH – APRIL 6: Duncan Theatre, Palm Beach State College, 4200 Congress Ave., Lake Worth; 8 p.m.; tickets start at $29; for information, call the theatre at (561) 868-3309 or visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/theatre/

TALLAHASSEE – APRIL 10: Ruby Diamond Concert Hall at Florida State University, Westcott Building, 502 S. Copeland St., Tallahassee; 7:30 p.m.; for ticket information, call (850) 644-6500 or visit www.sevendaysfestival.org

JACKSONVILLE – APRIL 11: Church of the Good Shepherd, 1100 Stockton St., Jacksonville; 7:30 p.m.; $25; for information, call (904) 389-6222 or visit www.riversidefinearts.org 

Program dates/venues subject to change. Please check with local organizers.

CALL 813-758-1786.
or write to

[email protected]
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