Thank God for Gourmet Weekends!

The cool weather brings a rush of cool events to gladden every gourmand’s heart!

CatFch rench Corporate Chef for Dabon International, Chef Thomas Lionel Blanchard at The Gourmet High Street

Catch French Corporate Chef for Dabon International, Chef Thomas Lionel Blanchard at The Gourmet High Street.

Usually, December is the month when everybody looks forward to the Christmas Markets. Except this year there’s also a host of gourmet events taking place. Last weekend at Nehru Park, New Delhi, the first edition of Palate Fest was held. This weekend there’s The Gourmet High Street  and the The Gourmet Farmer’s Market in Gurgaon. Finally, the Farmers’ Market by Karen Anand is taking place next week in Goa, and the week after in Gurgaon.

As far as my memory goes, such fine food festivals were kick-started by Taste of Mumbai, which was held on 22-24 March, 2013, and was brought to India by ASK for Food, a venture by Chef Karen Anand – who is well known as an author and anchor – and her partners Rachna Sharma and Babso Kanwar. The glamorous event featured Masterclasses by Jehangir Mehta from New York, Chef Vivek Singh from London, South Africa’s Chris Erasmus and Ivan Musconi from Abu Dhabi, along with India’s top chefs such as Ritu Dalmia and Ajay Chopra. Festival goers also enjoyed delicacies from India’s finest restaurants such as Arola, Aurus, Caperberry, China House, Fire, Impresario Handmade Restaurants, Olive Bar & Kitchen and Prego, The Westin. All in all, it was a dream festival for food lovers, as are all Taste Festivals globally.

Farmers’ Market by Karen Anand

Another project of Chef Karen Anand is her charming Farmers’ Market. Its first edition was in December, 2012, which she and her team put up at The Westin, Pune. Ever since the Market has travelled to Delhi (Gurgaon), Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and now after 17 Farmers’ Markets, their caravan of gourmet and organic foods is reaching Goa on 14th December at The Grand Hyatt Goa, Bambolim. Farmers’ Markets by Karen Anand features local restaurants, passionate home bakers, farm produce, gourmet goodies, organic lifestyle products, wineries and then some more! Some of her Markets have also given people the chance to witness cook-offs between well known chefs.

The next Farmers' Market by Karen Anand is in Goa on 14th December.

The next Farmers’ Market by Karen Anand is in Goa on 14th December.

Talking to LifeSpice about her upcoming Market in Goa, Chef Karen Anand said, “It’s not just the sheer quality of the food on offer that makes our Farmers’ Markets special – it is also about the people and the place. We looked high and low to find a partner in Goa who lends itself to our concept…and we found it at The Grand Hyatt Goa with its stunning property and verdant lawns overlooking the water. Clearly, the perfect venue. We hope to create a Market which becomes a repository of culinary knowledge and understanding. It’s a place to explore, to ask questions, to discover new flavours, to savour a unique atmosphere and to have fun!”

New Delhi Palate Fest Food Festival

Last weekend the capital witnessed another gourmet affair, the Palate Fest Food Festival. Held at the beautiful Nehru Park in New Delhi, it showcased India’s best chefs, produce growers, entertainers and musicians. Participating restaurants included Delhi’s old favourites like Khan Chacha, Giani, Punjabi by Nature as well as the hot new eateries such as Farzi Café, SodaBottleOpenerWala and Guppy by Ai. Celebrated chefs such as Chef Saby, Chef Kunal Kapur and acclaimed chocolatier Christian Vautier shared recipes while bands like Menwhopause and Bandish Band entertained the crowds. This party in the park turned out to be quite a lot of fun for everyone.

Gourmet High Street

The Gourmet High Street is on this weekend (5th-7th December) at Epicentre, Gurgaon. An event by Culinary Communications, its aim is to celebrate food, and is also set to be one rocking party for epicureans. The event consists of three broad sections – Culinary Grind, The Sipping Turf and Shopping. Culinary Grind is where the public can view top chefs cook right in front of them. The line-up includes Chef Vikas Khanna (who also released his latest book ‘World Feast’ at the event today), Chef Manish Mehrotra, Chef Kunal Kapur, Sarah Todd and Anahita Dhondy.

The Sipping Turf at The Gourmet High Street

The Sipping Turf at The Gourmet High Street

The Sipping Turf at the Gourmet High Street is an opportunity for people to get introduced to different liqueurs, wines and other spirits. This arena is especially important for all the folks who cannot think beyond their beer and whiskey with soda and ice!

“It is a rare chance for the Indian consumer to sample so many products and meet the finest line-up of celebrity chefs,” said Kavneet Sahni, Founder and Director, Culinary Communication.

The Gourmet High Street is a paid event. You can purchase your pass from here.

Gourmet Farmer’s Market

In the same neighbourhood as the Gourmet High Street is the Gourmet Farmer’s Market on 7th December. It’s bringing together “an array of organic food producers and bespoke gourmet brands, which offer a range of whole foods, fresh flavours from the farm and other ecological products to the community members and residents.” It seems a much smaller do than the ones above, but if you’re in the vicinity you might as well check this one out too. It’s taking place at The Magnolias Club, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon.

Lest you forget, here’s a quick round-up of all the events:

Gourmet High Street: 5th-7th December at Epicentre, Gurgaon.

Gourmet Farmer’s Market: 7th December at The Magnolias Club, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon.

Farmers’ Market by Karen Anand (There are quite a few lined-up):

– 14th December at The Grand Hyatt Goa, Bambolim, Goa.

– 21st December at The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi.

– 11th January at The Westin Mumbai Garden City, Goregaon, Mumbai.

– 18th January at The Royal Orchid, Airport Road, Bangalore.