Monday, December 6, 2010

….and the award goes to….NDTV Good Times Food Awards

Just a small perk of being a wife to the guy working in the food industry. Husband’s company was part sponsors to the event, and moi tagged along happily. Now we all know of NDTV Good Times channel and the many number of food shows that they air, and just as an aside i watch them most. Just watching them whets my appetite and raises my cravings. That’s the foodie in me digressing from the main topic. But hey, the main topic is still food and yet more food. Now it seemed like an organic step forward for NDTV to start the Food Awards and that they did, this year 2010.
Though the invitation card in itself was pretty plain, the event was anything but that. Westin Gurgaon was the venue.  It was a very chilly evening but the news that Rocky and Mayur of tRocky and Mayurhe Highway on My Plate were hosting the show, was enough to warm me up. I find the duo very cute and love their sense of humor.
Almost all the food luminaries from India were present. Right from Ramola Bachchan of Manre, AD Singh of Olive, Prahalad Kakkar, Rashmi Uday Singh, Priya Paul, Vir Sanghvi, Zeba Kohli, Sanjeev Kapoor, Suhel Seth, Chetan Seth …phew.
The jury comprised of Aditya Bal, Marut Sikka, Vicky Ratnani, Ritu Dalmia, Rocky, Mayur and Vinod Dua. The show started bang on with a couple of witty remarks by the duo (Rocky and Mayur) and the announcements of, yes, the awards. We had settled on our round table laden with goodies including Cadbury’s Bournville, hummus and pita. sushi rolls and guess what khandavi and dhokla (*wink*). Reds and whites in place all from the Delmonte table were feeling sufficiently happy but not before checking the logo placements on the standees.
Soon the husband was called on stage with Prahalad Kakkar to give away the prize for the Sensational Debut. Secretly he wished it was a Sensational Debut Starlet but well this is foods awards night and the award husband and Prahalad Kakkarwas for a Restaurant. The award went to Indigo, Mumbai. Team Delmonte cheered the maximum, no not for the winner but for their man giving away the award. 2 glasses of red in and GP the young little girl was nudging her boss “sir, why did you not talk more with Prahala Kakkar” In answer the boss (husband in my case…which means i am his boss) got her yet another red. Oh well….the wine truly speaks. Some P3Ps looked regular and familiar but their names didn’t come to mind. Well for that DG was all help….he even told husband before entering about a lady who they have worked with earlier and who was nominated this night. Warning so that the husband doesn’t say well she looks familiar. Are we ageing? Nah we just multitask so much we forget (*wink).
After the awards were given and some friendly banter by the  hosts, the jury were invited up on the stage whjury ere they released a book done by Rocky and Mayur, who very nicely told the audience that though the food tonight is free the book isn’t. so go buy!

Then came the music performance by Shafqat Amanat Ali. My favorite song of his is but obviously “Tere Naina” form My Name Is Khan. Shafqat Amanat Ali He sang beautifully and soulfully. However he was also very particular no body gets up to leave to go out, no one talks and blah blah…he was in short quite fussy. But his music and renditions were awesome, with many in the audience going “encore” for a performance.
We left for food soon after and what a spread it was. The entire decor was around the Highway on My Plate theme and so was the cuisine. There were Maharashtra,Punjab, rajasthan, Lucknow, Bengal milestones serving up exquisitely popular dishes from these regions. Special mention goes to boti kebabs, prawns, chicken chettinad, and deliciously sinful paan flavored kulfi.
Time to go home, the return gift was a lovely scarf for the ladies and a tie for the men from none other than Satya Paul. Well put together show, it was a lovely evening out.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Of wineries, villages and us

Have you ever been to a winery? for those who haven’t let me tell you it is an amazing experience of the sensory kind. Scintillating aromas, grape vines, huge barrels, people passionate about wines, some sommeliers and others wishing to be them….it is an extraordinary world.
However wine tasting involves not getting drunk but allowing the taste to win you over, swirling wine in the right kind of glasses, smelling the divine and finally rolling it across your taste buds and then…………spitting it. Palette cleared, another sip and flavor and experience taken in and the wine spat out. They have large spittoons for the purpose. Though sometimes i wonder what they do with that much wine in the spittoon, but well that’s another flight of imagination, another story, fit for another time.
On the other hand, let us picture this, an old village in sadda own India..Paheli (i am besotted by SRK) movie like setting. A commanding patriarch with perfectly oiled and twirled mooch and a mile long turban, chewing tobacco reclining on the couch with a battery of servants around him pampering him and chatting the maibaap up, and one dutiful servant holding a spittoon. Yes, a spittoon for the bade sarkar to spit out the red liquid that fills up the mouth after chewing that perfect paan.
Yet another place, another scenario, picture this. A sleek world class city of high rise buildings, meteorically rising property prices,hi-tech gizmo toting public, the bling of solitaires, the swoosh of designer pallus, the metrosexual man with gelled hair, original Armani jeans from last phoren vacation zipping past in the swank car and then wait---here comes the red light. And on that red light the car screeched stopped, you are admiring its bumpers and the air is filled with blaring music and then the door opens. Just when you are starting to fantasize about the prince charming’s P3P like life, ptchak squirts the red liquid straight on the road. That is one thing that cuts across the barrier of caste, religion, age, and profession though not that much of the sex (thankfully not many women do it). Look around you, observe the peopl;e on bicycles, on scooters, people with designer glares and people glaring at you, all have this one thing in common and the world is their spittoon--sure they don’t do it in the Fine city of Singapore for the fear of caning ;)—thay claim their right on it. Majority of them are spitting old or young, boys or men, educated or no.Next time when you “Relax” on the red light just observe this phenomenon.
Come on guys, red light is to manage the traffic flow not a pit stop for spitting, please take a cue from the ultra-chic wineries or your native village, use the spittoon. Think about all those Civic lessons.