Chocolate Jewelery Anyone?

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My kind of Jewellery

I confess I’m not a jewellery fan! I feel like a Christmas tree when I wear it, but give me Taru Suri’s exquisite chocolate jewellery (made of the finest Belgian chocolate) anyday. Taru the brilliant IT professional makes time for her passion and makes chocolate watches, cigars, photo frames etc.I discovered her (thanks to Bela Dalal) while researching  the Times food guide 2017 (on it’s way to press now) : TG’s kitchen 08879629529. Email: info@tgskitchen.com

Review: TAG Gourmart Kitchen by Ranveer Brar

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TV chef Author, Filmmaker, Ranveer Brar’s brand new, all-vegetarian TAG has an inspired, exhilarating cooking of a caliber we couldn’t have imagined.

Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/tag-gourmart-kitchen-r-9615

Home Talent

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Its been my passion! Past three decades I’ve been collecting deliciously useful and usable information which you can’t get for love or for money.In Chennai and in Mumbai. I’ve compiled many a Times Food Guide of these home caterers and bakers. From ordering cakes from chefs who work out of home, health tiffin dabbas fabulous seafood to more.

HOW I GOT TO THIS PRICELESS INFO

I did this through word of mouth, through readers calling and writing to me, through my Foodline, and the latest through email and twitter too. Now I know what Columbus must’ve felt like. Except that he, the compulsive explorer, did not have the benefit of twitter… like I do! Here’s how I went on my voyage of discovery: I tweet requested for recommendations of favourite caterers, dessert makers, tiffin dabbawallahs and shops.

HERE’S HOW I DID IT…WHATS HOT TASTING SESSIONS

Anyone who bakes or caters professionally out of home can take part. For the past 3 decades, I have been regularly conducting these sessions (in Mumbai and Chennai) in order to discover and encourage home talent. I get flooded with instagrams, tweets and mail requests. We hold “tasting sessions” where we invite all those who had gotten in touch with us. They brought along their goodies and we try, taste and test each one.

HERE’S HOW YOU DO IT…

Should you want to be be part of this “whats hot tasting session” please email your details (background, specialities, pricing, home delivery, contact details) torashmiudaysingh2016@gmail.com or instagram or twitter @rashmiudaysingh email anjalisharma966@gmail.com Call 9884065010.

It was in my latest “Whats hot Tasting session: that  I got a taste of Chennai’s amazing home bakers and caterers.

AUMLY

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AUMLY’S DIPIKA AGARWAL WITH RICHA GOENKA AND EXECUTIVE CHEF DHARMEN MAKWANA ; AUMLY S KOZAMBHU PAROTA SANDWICH AND STRING SPAGHETTI WITH JHAAL MUDI.

Fabulous fusions. All home made. Creative, innovative and yum. Be it one where Italy tangoes with Kolkatta street food or whisky infused icecream. We loved the Innovative string spaghetti sparkled with spice and with Kolkatta’s popular street food, jhal moodi. As also the unique and tasty North India meets South India Kozambu parota sandwich. The Black label infused icecream was deliciously heady. Helping me with the tasting was Leela Palace’s  brilliant executive chef  Dharmen Makwana. We sampled it all Badam halwa cup to Rice kesari moghlai malai kofta and it was a delight to meet her fashion desinger daughter Richa Goenka too.

It’s not just all this that the creative Dipika Agarwal conjures up but also many a healthy and organic option. organic rice flour for Rs 63/- a kilo, homemade and preservative free chocolate and hazelnut spread at Rs 210/- a jar, coconut macaroons made from organic coconuts from her farm and baked in a wood fired oven for Rs 84/- for a pack of 6, multi-grain pao buns which go well with vada and bhaji for Rs 15.75/- a piece.

Order by Wednesday to pick up by Friday.

Ph. 89 39 77 43 19. Address: 12-Z, Rutland Gate, 4th St, Aroshree Kailash, Ground Floor. 48 hours notice required.

OH MYY

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OH MYY’S APARNA PHILLIP AND HER HOME MADE SAUCES.

Looking for delicious salted caramel sauce? extra fudgy hot fudge sauce ? and that too home made and preservative free? The dedicated and talented Aparna Philip from “Oh Myy” has  them all for you. These are great any which way you like them, lick them, slather them on bread, on a biscuit or top up your sundae.  She also makes a rich, lemony and tangy lemon curd which goes well with a hot buttered toast or  as a filling for tarts, crepes, cakes or meringues. Check out Oh Myy’s honey roasted peanut butter  which can also be give a savoury twist by adding some spices to make an exotic satay sauce.

Contact Aparna from Oh Myy!  @ 98410-29931.

India Shining Globally

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GLOBAL POWER COUPLE. Mukesh and Vandana Luthra at COYA

The world is distilling itself on my plate. I write from Dubai, where Im dining at brand new Caribbean, Peruvian, Modern Indian and more. But it’s the India-shining factor which is dazzling me here.I dine (again)  at the finest Peruvian restaurant  in London and Dubai, Coya. Vibrant authentic Peruvian cuisine seduces. Here are the surprises,  not only is it owned by the Indian brothers Gulu and Arjun Waney, even  their executive  chef is Sanjay Dwivedi. Creating international waves too are my charming dining companions.  Global power couple, Mukesh and Vandana Luthra, pioneers of the wellness and beauty  industry. The globetrotting gourmets jetset between South Asia, Middle East, Africa, India and  Uk tending to their everexpanding company. No wonder Padmashree Vandana Luthra has been on the Forbes and Fortune list of the 50 most powerful women in business. Powering this global business, the dynamic Chairman Mukesh  shared the most amazing insights about global food too.

From ceviches sparkled with Peruvian chillies to raw fish hamachi with Kolkatta’s jhalmudi and that at the brand new, stunningly beautiful Jaan. Perched in the penthouse of a swish downtown hotel,  maestro Farokh Khambatta’s Jaan, is Dubai’s hottest opening. It dazzles with it’s tantalising  repertoire of progressive Indian creations. Yet another Indian is making global waves. Jai hind!

Review: All Stir Fry

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At the heart of All Stir fry is the “eat as much as you like”,  wok which is cooked up in front of you.

Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/mumbai

Brand New Foodie Stores

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Mumbai’s brand new foodie stores.

Hot. Hotter. Hottest.   Mumbai’s foodscape is rocking. Ive been tracking it past three decades and it’s never served up so much of choice, innovation and fun. And now that your very own Times Food Guides 2017 are going to press, I ate my way through a quick round up… Cookies baked on site, candies made on site, treasure trove of a Deli and an everchanging concept. Here’s the best part, (Im all admiration for  the foodpreneurs) who are getting younger and younger (Sanjana Sanghi of Popuphut is 23 years old). A quick round up of the brand new…

OH DOUGH…Kala Ghoda

Go. You must. It’s a charming cookie, icecream, coffee  heaven. It’s small (two marble topped tables and 8 bentwood chairs) but it’s powered by huge passion, dedication and a brother sister team ( Cordon Bleu trained Ritika and Lausanne Hotel school graduate Pawan Chawla). The cookies are freshly baked (on site) through the day. Everything  is home made from marshmallows to icecreams.

Go savor those saucer-shaped, perfect textured cookies, be it the regular chocolate ones or the unusual (I love tang of the cranberry balsamic, the orchestra of flavors of S’mores and  Chipzel). I love the smoked French vanilla icecream,  the dark Chocolate and even the oozing umami Pistachio Black Truffle is rcommended. Ooh la la vegan dark chocolate icecream, eggless cookies,    Superb  Ohffogato (Smoked Vanilla icecream & shot of espresso) too.

Hind Rajasthan Chambers, 6 Allana Marg, Kala Ghoda, 22631313

11.30am to 11.30pm; Monday, closed.

POPUP HUT…Kemps corner

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Pizza in a cone, gourmet kulfis, tea tasting…everchanging excitement here. Walk through a narrow alleyway to get to this seriously small space. The brain child of 23 year old Boston and London educated Sanjana Sanghi , this curated marketplace promotes and provides a retail platform for budding chefs, food entrepreneurs and culinary experts. And happily offers newness to us customers too.  Till the 20th of December you can look forward to Chado tea (sip-sit-shop of a 100 loose leaf teas), In January it will be the unusual “Coney island” pizza in a cone, by 26 year old Bharat Advani. Since they opened, they’ve had home made organic icecrams, Thai street desserts, Natural-Homegrown and Artisanal products by Anirban Poddar’s Shophop (Id popped in here and bought some too)gourmet kulfi’s by Pistascia and more.

Kwality House, next to Crossword, below Kemps Corner Flyover. 9819334698

Open 12 noon to 11pm

A SALUTI …Bandra

Khuljasimsim.A gourmets  treasure trove. It  specialises in obscure International Ingredients like guanciale,Truffle salami, to Wakame to Porcini to free range eggs and elderflower syrup.
You’ll find it all…selection of cheese – cow, sheep, goat & vegetarian,  cold cuts – turkey, chicken, pork, duck, seafood. All meticuloursly sourced by Sapna Lawyer who honed her skills in India’s finest Fortune Gourmet Specialities pvt ltd and worked in Spain and Dubai too. Lagos born Milanda, patisseur extraordinaire (Bollywood superstar clientele too)bakes all the desserts (cupcakes, Brownies, Apple & Cinnamon Streusel loaf cake to Eclairs) here. Also pestos, stocks, dips, salad dressings and more. And conducts Gourmet Cooking Classes too.

Shop No. 1, Shahina Apts, Pali Mala Road, Pali market

PAPABUBBLE…Lower Parel

Go to this colorful candy production “theatre” where handmade candy (from Spain)  is not only made  but you can also get it customized. Choose your color and flavor  and get your name written inside (yes your read that right) each candy or on the lollipops too (only remember to give them enough advance notice).  Great for kids and adults.

Once again it’s two young owners Samir Gadhok  and  Avani Raheja  whove brought in this variety of colors and over 40  flavours (watermelon to  strawberry,   Paan Masala and Kala Khatta too). There is rock candy, marshmallows…but I loved the lollipops and with every lick, I regressed to my happy childhood.

Level 3, Palladium, 462 Senapati Bapat Marg. +91 22-40235077

Hours: 11am to 9pm

Home Talent Unlimited

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I’m rejoicing! It’s a joy to discover Chennai’s amazing home-bakers and catering talent. To fly down from Mumbai for our”Whats hot Tasting session” and to get a taste of the delicious and  healthy variety too that is cooked up at home. Today,  I feature two of the talented participants. More follow in the fortnights to come.

Warm brown Baking Studio

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WARM BROWN‘s SURESH AND VYANJANA NAMBIAR with CHEF DHARMEN MAKWANA AND SHVETHA JAISHANKER

Please take a look at the accompanying photograph. I shot it in the midst of our “whats hot tasting session”. You can see the array of home made goodies which   Suresh and Vyanjana Nambiar  from Warm Brown Baking Studio  bake up. Not only are some of these healthy and tasty but have many a nutrient benefit too. They use flaxseed, millets, amaranth and more.  Some are low calorie and others gluten free too. They are gifted home bakers who  take orders  for  organic and regular cookies, brownies, cakes, breads and also pesto, hummus, pickles  etc. Their USP is no margarine or preservatives in both the organic and non-organic products . Vegan, organic, glutenfree can all be sourced from them.

Before I tell you more about their creations, let me introduce my official tasters. Shvetha Jaishanker, former Miss India International not only painstakingly tasted through each and every item of each and every home baker (as did Chef Makwana) but also shared her opinion. Not only is she a discerning foodie but her book Eat well, look great will be a treasure trove of foodie-secrets to looking as fabulous as her. And ofcourse, the official taster-in-chief, was the brilliant and creative executive chef Dharmen Makwana. He  heads up the stunningly beautiful Leela Palace by the sea. Having honed his skills  nationally and internationally, Chef Makwana  now masterminds the  Leela Palace’s  authentic Chinese and Indian restaurants and a versatile all day dining restaurant too. So together we tasted our way though  “Warm Brown’s” organic 100% Whole wheat bread, gluten free Millet cookies, Vegan cookies, Organic, gluten free cakes and muffins, Organic savouries, Organic breakfast cereals, amaranth Ladoos, Millet Ladoos, Flaxseed sesame dates Ladoos, Fruit and nut energy bars.

We all loved the texture and flavor of the amaranth cookies the most. Delicious flaxseed onion crackers,   Millet ladoos, and flaxseed sesame date ladoos too. We all  agreed that those looking for Gluten free items have found their mecca here. As though all this wasn’t enough they also make the most delightful Hummus and Pesto to add zing to your snacks and meals and home made drinks like Jaljeera  and Ginger Nectar. Cheers to that.

Warm Brown Baking Studio, 30/18, 2nd Main Road, CIT Colony, Mylapore.  Ph. Tel 98840-60652

Milagro

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SRIHARI SHETYE of MILAGRO’S HERBS

If you are looking for Italian herbs to spike your dishes with zing, but are particular about them being organic and grown with utmost care, then look no further. Sreehari Shete & Ishwarya Thirumalai  from Milagro grown these herbs in their farm in Ooty. They do so  with utmost care. They do not use any chemical pesticides or fertilizers and ensure that their herbs are completely organic. These herbs are then airdried.  Ask for their Oregano, Rosemary & Thyme  herbs. Here’s the best part, you can get them Bottled, Fresh and also Potted. Rosemary Crackers, Rosemary Scrub, Herb Regalo, a festive offering too.

Visit them on  www.themilagro.org or facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/themilagro/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf or pick up the herbs from them at  J block, No. 47, 7th street, Annanagar East.

YOU ARE INVITED

Discovering. Tasting. Writing. Especially about home bakers and caterers has been my passion for the past two decades. I ve done this in Pune and Delhi and continue to do it in Mumbai and Chennai. This column was a result of one such #whatshottastingsession.  Are you a home baker? Provide foodie services out of home?  want to be part of our next #whatshottastingsession? And be featured here? The please mail  mail rashmiudaysingh2017@gmail.com,Anjalisharma966@gmail.com, instagram, tweet @rashmiudaysingh. Call 9884065010 Watingly yours.

Dazzled in Dusseldorf

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DUSSELDORF DELIGHTS: GERD , GIULIA, SUSHI AND SARA IN THE STEIGENBERGER PARK.

Paris. Milan. Dusseldorf. Three fashion capitals of Europe. So what is a foodie like me doing in Dusseldorf? Getting a taste of this charming 800 year old city ‘s history, in the Old town, Altstadt (freshly brewed local Altbeer feasting on Himmel und Ad, Sauerbraten) et al. But in this truly international city, I have many a superb Japanese, Korean, Italian meal too. At the top of Koenigsalle, (the world famous glittering fashion boulevard)   at the  finest, most luxurious,  over a century year old Steignerberger Park hotel’s “Artiste”  I have a world class meal. And do so with   equally  cosmopolitan and brilliant  Dusseldorf residents:  Gerd Hess (German)  Giulia Kim (Korean), Sushil Bilaney(Indian) Sara (British) … a true taste of cosmopolitan Dusseldorf.

Review: Ministry Of Salads

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You’ll agree with me that taste in food is very subjective. What is my nectar maybe  yucky to you. And yet as restaurant critics we strive to give objective and accurate critiques with relevant guidelines for the majority of readers. So, what do I do when an all-vegetarian salad restaurant opens in swish SOBO Breach candy? Land up  unannounced for two meals.

Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/ministry-of-salads-r-9545