Thursday, March 27, 2014


Industry Equivalent to the Fashion week where Companies both large and small showcased their products in three huge halls at McCormick Place in Chicago, was absolutely stunning and I felt like a kid in a candy store with no cash…
The trade show was filled with colour and so many gorgeous new products that made me want to experiment more in the kitchen. Sample this, the Aero Garden available in multiple sizes lets you start and grow your own herbs and spices right inside your home, no matter what the weather is outside. The Sous Vide (pronounced ‘suu-veed’) technique involves cooking food in vacuum-sealed pouches submerged in a water bath held at a precisely-controlled temperature. This fool proof method eliminates guesswork and lets anyone cook foods with incomparable taste and texture. I was equally mesmerised by the popcorn and Hot Dog machines for home use.

The star of the show for me was the KitchenAid booth. Since the introduction of its legendary stand mixer in 1919 and first dishwasher in 1949, KitchenAid has built on the legacy of these icons to create a complete line of products designed for cooks. Today, the KitchenAid brand offers virtually every essential for the well-equipped kitchen with a collection that includes everything from countertop appliances to cookware, ranges to refrigerators, and whisks to wine cellars. To mark its 95-year legacy of making high performance kitchen essentials beloved by both home and professional cooks, the iconic brand’s debut was an interactive digital culinary timeline at the show. It was a first for me to experience the timeline on a 55-inch LED commercial touch screen.

I also happened to bump into Dave Elliott, General Manger KitchenAid Appliances at Whirlpool Corporation who took me through the various colours of the stand mixer. And I finally convinced myself I must save up my money for my dream kitchen accessory – a KitchenAid stand mixer. I always thought it was a lazy person’s tool, but now I’m obsessed with them. I keep on checking online for vintage ones, while the new Bordeaux, Sea Glass and Ice colours keep trying to reign me in. ‘As kitchen designs are evolving, so are the colour options for accompanying countertop appliances,’ says Beth Robinson, senior manager of brand experience for KitchenAid. ‘Appliances can help enrich a kitchen space by adding a pop of contrasting colour or enhancing an existing colour palette.’ she further added.

The International Home + Housewares Show offers you the opportunity to see first-hand consumer lifestyle and product trends for all areas of the home, both inside and out, under one roof every year in March.

Published in Statesman

Friday, March 21, 2014


The true spectrum of south Indian cuisine and the neighbouring coast at Zambar goes far wider than the generic Idly, Dosa and Uppittu one runs into in everyday life

No other restaurant in the capital can be credited with creating mass appeal for South Indian Coastal fare as Zambar has which seems to hold true for their brand new outlet at the hot and happening Cyber hub. The interiors influenced from the Chettiyar houses in Tamil Nadu are carefully unbiased, attempting to convey the essence of the traditional South yet with modern essentials without getting too hung up on specific cultures. Simple, ornate and colourful with movie posters and lamps, this Cyber hub outlet is sensibly comfortable without being superbly posh or unnervingly opulent. 
The food, in keeping with the décor, is delicious and thankfully they are being quite obsessive about ingredients, every dish has a distinctive flavour, which is quite a treat in these days of ‘one spice fits all.’ Although they serve intimidatingly large thalis too, I would recommend the variety to be sampled slowly and go the a la carte route and would suggest approaching the food like a tourist, slow and steady through all the four states since every cuisine is so defiantly individual. The highlights are the Kerela tenderloin fry, teamed with appam or even steamed rice is decadent to the core. Also the spicy stuffed Coastal Andhra Mirchi Salan redolent with peanuts, cumin and sesame flavours. Then there is the Konkan fish curry, designed to go beautifully with steaming rice. There is also a Kerela chai kada (tea shop) chilli chicken, though with all the spice and frying it is overly satiating given the fact that it is rather heavy to begin with. If you are feeling more indulgent try the scalding chettinad chicken that teams superbly well with their signature Malabar Parottas, which are simultaneous crisp, flaky and fluffy. To end on a sweet note I would suggest their gorgeous Malabar pancakes laced with cardamom, with fudgy, flamboyant flavours. And yes the Coconut jaggery pudding which is soufflé inspired is out of this world. All in the restaurant is a celebration of South India’s varied cuisine with some dishes like the Goan Cafreal, Parsi Mutton with Mumbai bread and Bengali Kosha Mangsho from the neighboring coast. The service is friendly and quick. 
Chef Arun Kumar
Chef Arun Kumar’s master stroke is his ability to take well-loved traditions and recipes from the coast, and present them with flair. For epicureans this is a restaurant not to be missed and for those new to this cuisine, there is no better introduction with a nice ambience to match.

Zambar, Ground Floor, DLF Cyber city, CyberHub Gurgaon
Average cost for a meal for two: Rs. 1000/-
Timings: 12:00pm (noon) to 11:30pm
Credit Cards accepted: Mastercard, Visa, and Amex
Liquor License: Applied for

Take away / Home delivery: Yes

published in Statesman

Monday, March 3, 2014


'A traditional rich Goan dessert, Bebinca is a must have at any celebration . Making Bebinca requires tons of patience - a layer can only be added when the one below it is cooked - but it is so much easier if you have a KitchenAid stand mixer to work with for all the pre-prep' says Chef Samantha Nunes as she makes this delightful and yummy Goan Delight.

Water: 250 ML; Sugar: 500 Gms; Egg Yolks: 10 nos; Refined flour: 150 Gms;  Nutmeg Powder: 2 Gms; Coconut milk: 500 Ml; Pure Ghee: as desired.
In the KitchenAid stand mixer bowl pour coconut milk
Adjust the whisk
Add the Egg yolks

Add the Sugar syrup
Turn it on the KitchenAid Stand mixer to whisk
Add the flour ( nutmeg powder is added to the flour)

remove bowl from stand and strain for any lumps

In a pan over heat pour ghee

when the ghee melts pour a cup of the batter and spread evenly

when it looks like this take it under the grill or salamander

Under the grill
 Bake till golden brown, spread another spoonful of ghee and pour another cup of batter and spread evenly

keep baking and layering for lots of layers
This is what your bebinca will come out as
Bebinca by the beautiful backdrop of the Goa Marriott & Spa Hotel
Chef Samantha Nunes stands proudly with the Bebinca....with the stunning Goa Marriott Resort & Spa in the Background
And I dine proudly with my childhood hero and star of India...Goan Rock star Remo Fernandes at the Goa Marriott Resort & Spa

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Panning across two levels of the hotel, this signature restaurant specializes in Japanese cuisine with Korean essence and Stands out in its effort to merge visual arts with gourmet art …

This is an impressive establishment for entertaining. With chic design blended with an eight-metre tall sake wall which houses some of the finest sakes and wines in the sub-continent, the ambience is simply stunning. Akira Back imbues flavours from the ancient back alleys of Tokyo and metamorphoses them into a contemporary gastronomic experience. Replete with a robatayaki grill which originates from a centuries-old country style of cooking by Japanese fishermen, the restaurant distinguishes itself. One can also enjoy an evening of flavour and flair at the restaurant’s al fresco dining in the inner courtyard. For those who do not know, Chef Akira Back is a Korea native and former professional snowboarder who was raised in Aspen, Colorado, and brings his sense of adventure and boundless creativity at his namesake restaurant Akira Back, an innovative Japanese restaurant with Korean essence.

Specially designed for the restaurants, diners also get to watch chefs in action while they dip their meat in sauce. The cooking methods are true to thousands of years of oriental tradition, yet the flavours are quintessentially twenty first century – modern, subtle and thrilling.
Chef back has tailored traditional, regional spirit to the modern gourmet with the accomplishment of an enthusiastic chef in search of new experiences and has created dishes like Tuna Pizza, seared Foie gras, wasabi pepper tenderloin to name a few. Sashimi is the restaurant’s forte clearly; obviously not only the freshest sea-food will do, but also the best quality, served beautifully. The tasty morsels of ‘maguro’ (tuna) are delicately smooth and ‘shake’ (salmon) is divinely creamy in texture and taste. If you are a soup lover go for the Miso soup, it’s truly decadent. A speciality here is also the Sake steamed flounder; the soft flesh of the fish is steamed with a black bean yuzu soy sauce and is most tender. I was mesmerised by the style and plating of the dishes, influenced by the origin of the dish, each offering is carefully arranged on beautifully handcrafted dinner ware. For dessert try the yuzu tart its superlative. All in all, for top-notch food, service, view and ambience, Akira back is a restaurant to patronise.

Akira Back is at JW Marriott, Asset Area 4 - Hospitality District, Delhi Aerocity,
New Delhi - 110 037 
For Reservations: +91 (0)11 45212121
Meal for two: INR 4,000 without alcohol.
Timings: Lunch: 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. & Dinner: 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Chef Back’s love of travel and culinary exploration took him to Japan and throughout Europe where he worked under world leading celebrity chefs. When he returned to the US, then he was named the first Korean to be the Executive chef of Nobu Matsuhisa in Aspen. Following the famed Yellowtail by Akira Back at the Bellagio, Chef Akira is spreading his culinary wings with 3 new restaurants. Kumi by Akira Back at Mandalay Bay, Akira Back New Delhi JW Marriott Aerocity, and on early this year Akira Back Jakarta will be the new outpost for his culinary journey.

 published in tlf