Table Service

Shilarna Vaze, Gaia, Mumbai, A former restaurateur and caterer, 30-year-old Shilarna Vaze runs a gourmet catering service called Gaia with her Swiss-French husband Christophe Perrin. Vaze trained at Paris’ Le Cordon Bleu, while Perrin acquired his culinary chops from his father, a retired chef in the alpine village of Leysin in Switzerland. As Vaze’s longstanding…

Bohra Food Festival

It was an Upper Crust initiative from the start. When young Chef Murtaza Saifee joined The Park, New Delhi as an Executive Sous Chef, Upper Crust got after his case to hold a food festival showcasing the food of his community. You see, Saifee is from the Bohra community, virtually unknown in Delhi. It was…

Explosion of Kashmiri Restaurants

“But where’s the dal?” wail a distressingly high proportion of customers to Tarami in Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village. Tarami is one of the many new Kashmiri restaurants that have cropped up in the capital in the last six months. And though there are a modest number of takers for Kashmiri cuisine, first-timers expect it to…

Haakh or Collard Greens

No two more dissimilar cuisines could be found than Portuguese and Kashmiri, yet they have a common link: haakh. Known as collard greens, this member of the vast brassica family has a distinct personality and an even more pronounced taste, with its trademark crinkly blue-green leaves along a central stem. Collard greens, along with its close…

The Ghosts who Walk Kashmir

If there are any ghosts wandering around Srinagar City, they’re probably discomfited by how much the city has changed since they passed on. They probably cannot recognize it as the place in which they lived half a century ago. Not because of the pace of life, to be sure, but because of the skewed ratio…

Ahhh Praaague

When my son (now in his 20s) was tiny, he had gone to see a film with his best friend’s family. I never did get to learn the name of the movie, but it had a scene in it, which, described by a 4 year old, consisted of a cupboard with a door. You walked…

The world of vegetarianism

The whole jigsaw puzzle about vegetarians and vegetarian food goes awry in India, more or less. You see, it’s like this: in every other part of the world, vegetarians are a tiny minority, and because of that, they are perceived as exotic birds who subsist on impossibly rare ingredients. Truth be told, they are privately…

Gujarat on a Plate

One can almost picture the Almighty plotting the geography of the state of Gujarat with a twinkle in His eye. “We have to balance the ingenuity of the people of the state with the topography of the land, so because We have endowed them with a fertile imagination, in compensation We can fob them off…