Invasion of the Food Brigade

It’s reasonable to expect that expat chefs are essential if the quality of five-star cuisine is to remain international When chef Gabriele Montevechhio of Hyatt Regency’s La Piazza is called out of the kitchen by guests, he generally knows what is ,in store for him. “I get so many puzzled enquiries from guests wanting to…

The K – N ready reckoner

Your complete guide to the unexplored treasures of the breathtaking Kumaon hills in Uttarakhand A is for apple, which together with apricots, peaches and plums constitutes Kumaon’s fruit crop. Centred around Ramgarh, country houses belonging to the Scindias, Birlas and Dalmias dot the hillside, surrounded by orchards bursting with blossom. B is for bungalow. There…

Looking for Quality

Genuine marble inlay can be expensive; but make sure you’re not getting dyed mother of pearl in the name of the original. When Shah Jehan commissioned the Taj Mahal for his beloved empress, marble inlay was to form the single most important decorative element in the complex. Records inform us that semi-precious stones were brought…

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…

Candid Camera on the Taj

How you can take photographs of the Taj Mahal for best results. As the most photographed edifice in the country, images of the Taj Mahal have appeared in books, magazine articles, calendars, postcards, even on t-shirts and as advertisements for tea and Scotch whisky! You’ll find it at once marvellously easy to photograph, as well…

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…

My Journey In Kutch

My journey in Kutch began at the bus station in Bhuj. It is in a sense a microcosm of the whole of Kutch. The barren land is echoed in the drab bus depot, and in contrast to the plain settings are the people who dazzle the beholder with their brilliance. After the first few moments,…

Fairytale getaway

Srinagar’s heritage hideaway, Lalit The Grand Palace, has been made over by Bharat Hotels Once upon a time there was a king who lived in a palace. Not any old ordinary palace, mind you. It had a fairytale location, backed as it was by well wooded hills, with the finest location in the city, far…

Srinagar, An Insider’s Guide

Exploring Srinagar is largely a matter of personal choice: the delight of a shikara is its stately, unhurried pace; a cycle ride around is the perfect answer for seeing what you want. Stop every ten feet to take the perfect shot without disturbing anybody, travel by yourself if you are a loner, or with a…

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,…