Militancy’s Child

Fear and other emotions are alien to a generation of Kashmiri youth who grew up under the shadow of militancy..   In 1991, when militancy was at its peak, Omar Jan was three years old. It was the year I got married and travelled to Kashmir as a bride. Before that, my visits to Kashmir had…

Witches’ Brew

Jancis Robinson, the well-known wine writer, and Silverio Cineri, master chef from Italy, occupy two ends of the spectrum of food and beverage. But last week, both found themselves in New Delhi. While Robinson, on a private visit to the Capital, was co-opted by The Oberoi to hold a wine workshop for the staff, Cineri…

Family Feasting and Fasting

DELHI’S FIRST FAMILY OF MUGHLAI CUISINE, THE OWNERS OF KARIM’S, HAVE TRADITIONAL TASTES AT HOME AND AT WORK The building in a narrow, sunless alley just off he imposing bulk of the Jama Masjid is just like any other in the neighbourhood. There’s nothing — absolutely nothing — to mark it as one of the…

The Family Pot

Lucknow’s Qureshi family were butchers who have evolved into the country’s finest chefs The rise of north India’s first family of food can be traced to one man alone: master chef Imtiaz Qureshi of Dum Pukht, the signature restaurant at Maurya Sheraton Hotel and Towers in New Delhi. Chef Imtiaz started his career in the…

An Expat Chef at Hand

If it isn’t quite what the guest ordered, so what’s the value addition? What started as an exception 10 years ago is now the norm. Almost every large hotel in the metros and in popular holiday destinations today has at least one expatriate chef in the kitchen. Some exist in executive capacities: they do minimal…

The Ethnic And The Rustic

Vishalla, evolved out of a passionate desire to live away from urban centres, is a little haven outside Ahmedabad. The rustic surroundings of this complex house an ethnic restaurant, a utensils museum and a few handicrafts shops. An evening here is a memorable experience. The ethnic boom of the 1980s spawned a crop of furniture,…

Ranveer Brar

For the sixteen or so years that I have known Chef Ranveer Brar, I have always exhorted him to go in for plastic surgery. As soon as his contours are re-moulded to incorporate a pot-belly and his eyes have acquired bags underneath them, he will be taken seriously as a chef. Until then, he will…

The Sim-ple Things in Life

I’ve always wondered exactly what an expatriate chef de cuisine does in his kitchen. Does he himself cook? Really? Every order? And here we are talking about 200 orders per day, so is it humanly possible? Or does he stand languidly by, rapping the occasional knuckle, while his beleagured team sweats it out at the…