Smitten Bakery and Patisserie

Mandakini Gupta gave up a career in television journalism to stay at home and bake cakes, breads, tarts and cookies to her heart’s content. As well known for her bran bread as for her chocolate zucchini cake, the cognoscenti of the city beat a retreat to her door come evening. That is when the day’s…

All Things

Have you ever gnashed your teeth, wondering why we in India cannot get great chocolate? Luscious, dark chocolate, made of real couverture with no compound (vegetable oil), wrapped beautifully. For years, it has been but a dream. Until a couple of bars landed up at my door last Christmas. At first, I assumed it to…

Top of the Pops

Dean Nelson, South Asia Editor of The Telegraph, has been given the boot. “He was no good,” chortled his wife, Pamela Timms. “He just couldn’t concentrate, so we had to sack him.” On the other hand, Timms had nothing but praise for the Deputy Ambassador of Netherlands, Jeroen Roodenburg. “He could make the perfect cup…

Indians – good, bad and ugly

On the whole, we’re a warm and hospitable bunch of people. Whether it’s a Sardar taxi driver in New York or a village woman living in a mud hut in Kutch, no stranger need fear that he’ll be dealing with an inscrutable oriental. There is, however, the flip side of the coin. We are loud…

Muzaffar and Meera Ali

In the heyday of Lucknow, say a hundred and fifty years ago, nobles delighted in presenting their guests culinary quizzes. There would be a table-spread of dishes that appeared to resemble lamb qorma and biryani but would in actual fact turn out to be made of spun sugar. In days of yore, says Muzaffar Ali,…

A Tale Of Two Cups

In which we juggle multiple cups of tea and coffee, just in time for the monsoon showers! Tea and coffee bars are a dime a dozen in this city of ours and most of us visit them because we want to set down our shopping bags or to cool off in the frosty air-conditioning. In…

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…

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…