Chef Suman Kaul

Trust ITC Hotels to be on top of the game. This hotel chain has always been at the forefront of hiring chefs, researchers and caterers that few others in the hotel industry would have considered, but who have gone on to become pillars in the group’s quest for excellence in Food and Beverage. One example…

Memories of Restaurants

It was our final evening in Tunisia. All twelve of us had met for the third time; we were fated to meet a few times more – food writers from all over the world, who would collect in a different country once a year at olive harvest time. All of us – from the US,…

Leela’s Latin Fiesta

When the organizers of India Fiesta Latina got in touch with Leela Ambience Gurgaon for a venue for their salsa performances and workshops, Chef Ramon Alvarez of the hotel pricked up his ears. Alvarez is from Spain (Barcelona, in fact, and he’s done a stint at El Bulli but that’s another story) and his wife…

Coffee: Ways to Brew It

Unless you live in south India, where coffee is grown, it’s a nightmare getting a decent cup. It shouldn’t be, because India grows plenty of coffee, of which, three are specialty coffees: Monsoon Malabar, Mysore Nugget Extra Bold (MNEB) and Robusta Kapi Royal. OK, so you’ve heard the age old argument that arabicas are inherently…

Pakistani Passion

Every hotel vies with its competitors to host the most innovative food festival. There are a couple of variables. Though the cuisine has to be bold and novel – and of course memorable – it also has to appeal to the taste-buds of the public and be as popular as possible. There are a few…

Galauti versus Kakori

Most red meat eaters thrive on the texture of the stuff. So it is inexplicable that Lucknow’s gourmets have invented kebabs so soft that they could give a vegetable a complex. The galauti and the kakori have both originated in Lucknow. In my ignorance, I thought that they were both largely the same, until a…

Red Blooded Royal

“Cumin and asafoetida is an appropriate combination, as is onion with garlic. Just don’t go mixing up the two combinations.” I was learning how to make the Rajasthani signature Lal Maas (which translates less than felicitously as red meat) from Arvind Singh of Mewar, Maharana of Udaipur. Shreeji as he is called affectionately, reportedly keeps…

Souring agents

My friend Karan has a strong opinion on almost everything. So, it didn’t surprise me at all when he trashed my plans to try out a new Malaysian place in town. His objection? The cuisine of Malaysia does not use enough souring agents according to my very opinionated friend, who had much to say on…

A Meal in Kattumaran

One of the few places where I’ve ever eaten seafood idlis – or even heard of them for that matter – is in Kattumaram, a tiny seafood restaurant just outside the gate of Chennai’s Park Sheraton.  The chef, a TV food show host, has travelled down the length of the Tamil Nadu coast to research…

The Four Southern States

For most of us in the North, South Indian food is a largely homogenous entity, comprising idlis, dosas and not very much else. So I was in for a surprise last week when Trident Gurgaon invited me for a festival that was no short of brilliant. Not only did the variations in the food of…