State of the Art in Kashmir

The story of art in Kashmir is bound inextricably with that of craft. While crafts – and by extension, craftsmen – are thick on the ground, art in the Valley is confined to a tiny school in capital Srinagar, which operates out of a rented building in a housing colony. While craftsmen have, by and…

Chef Angela Hartnett

I’ve noticed that lady chefs always bring another dimension to their food than their male counterparts. Perhaps it has been entirely incidental, but when you hear Chef Angela Hartnett talking about shopping for food, you could forget that she has won two Michelin stars at The Connaught in London, where she manages a restaurant for…

Stephen Twining on Twinings Tea

Everybody who has ever received a Diwali/Christmas/New Year hamper would have received a carton of Twining’s teabags in it. It is something of a silent revolution, and not unlike carrying coals to Newcastle, but that’s a fact that both Stephen Twining and Georgina Durnford would stoutly deny! You see, much of the tea that is…

Calligraphy

The recently concluded Islamic calligraphy exhibition held in New Delhi’s Iran Culture House was not the first of its kind – such exhibitions are held periodically. It’s another matter that calligraphers routinely outnumber audience. Nevertheless, the perseverance of the Culture House and the steadfastness of the calligraphers themselves are probably why the art itself has…

What Makes a Landmark Restaurants

What is common to Koshy’s Bangalore, United Coffee House Delhi, Mocambo Kolkata and Gaylord Mumbai? They’re all landmark restaurants. None of them are particularly old-fashioned, and certainly none are down at heel; rather, they wear the patina of timelessness. Is the cuisine excellent? In patches, yes, but it is not excellence all the way. Most…

Chef Julia Carmen deSa

Take the names of any three women chefs in Delhi, and Julia deSa will be among them. The wonder of it all is that she has just started living in Delhi for the last dozen years, but such has been the force of her personality and her cooking skills that she has the who’s who…

Priti Goenka

Go Goenka When you come from a Kolkata-based family that is famous for cooking, and the gastronomically inclined in-laws hail from Kolkata via Churu, cooking professionally as a passion is a natural corollary. That is what Priti Goenka has been doing, ever since shifting to Delhi. Her forte? Marwari food that has the flavours of…

Home Cooking with the Qureshi Chefs

I have been after Chef Irshad Qureshi’s life to offer an occasional menu that offers the home food of his clan. Chef Qureshi hails from Lucknow’s famous cooking clan that started out life as butchers. In the Muslim style of Lucknow’s cuisine, butchery is no less important than spicing. It is entirely possible that there…

Kashmiri Food in Xinjiang?

I thought I was going for a Chinese food festival. Instead, what I got was Kashmiri food. It was all rather disorienting till I made the Silk Route connection. Chef Li Peng, the hugely talented Chinese chef of Vasant Continental in New Delhi had put together a food festival of the Xinjiang region of China.…