Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sporadically Spontaneous

      The most unexpected and unplanned moments largely determine a majority of your life and no matter how hard at times I might blatantly deny it, it is in fact reality. Yesterday like many other days was a lull rising reluctantly out of bed and making my way through daily tasks not knowing the opportunity of a lifetime was just 6 degrees away. The MFB were having a Masterclass with Chef Sanjeev Kapoor something that i though would not be possible in any other predicament somehow lent itself to me. "Someones backed out and we have a seat to fill would you be able to make it" asked the organizer Mrs Rushina Munshaw in a composed tone.

 That's all it took to kick start the engine I never could make it for one of these meetings and to pass on such a profound opportunity would catapult me to a whole new realm of stupid. I chose to scurry through the blur in my head and blurted out " ill be there in an hour" . Fast forward an hour later and my hand is waving frantically at a familiar face from the telly who I greet with a namashkar as an Indian chef should be greeted. I could see that he noticed something was off when he saw me already peering around his space but it felt good, relaxed and at home in the kitchen of  Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. Although I'm not really a die hard fan of the man but his contribution in terms of the volumes of literature he turns out on Indian food and continental for that matter is monumental. He's marked by a crisp white Chef coat, sleek pair of leather shoes and a humble aura that he so candidly emits. As I hustle on and scan through the ingredients it becomes very obvious that someones laid out a blueprint for a Galouti Kebab. Now I'm no expert on Indian cooking but judging from my lucky streak earlier that morning i decided to wing it. Artisan Galouti with basil mint smear with a side of lacchha. The task was simple and gave me enough time to listen in on Chef's stories. The motion was passed and the verdict, clean plates.
Chef Kapoor put his own twist on things with a wild mushroom riso stuffed guppa and a tomato basil shot. The session continued on and a same format was used as a template to recycle leftover Mothichoor ladoos with chaser of Kahlua coffee shots.

Snaps were taken footage recorded but it never actually does justice to the man, his humility is by and large his most appealing factor coupled by his experience and keen understanding of food gives you quotient for honesty no celebrity chef could replicate. And that's the crux of Sanjeev Kapoors talk with the blogger dont be a mindless drone or a recipe Nazi measuring out everything challenge yourself to understand the workings of the recipe to make it your own. Its on the same lines as your favorite song, you sing it much better than anybody else because you understand it and it means more to you, you connect to it but more importantly you make it your own.

        The same holds true for cooking there are no rules to making something delicious if you understand your ingredients. He spoke of a cook whose speciality lay in making tandoori rotis which fluffed up and were soft, he showed merit but no interest to work cause he knew the organization would compromise when it came to getting things done his way. That's most important not to compromise. 

As the afternoon wrapped up I snuck in and let our host in on a little secret, I had cooked for him a few years ago and seeing him was just like a big flash back. I needed to know how he perceived our market as receptive or close minded, not willing to accept and try new things. He was right despite our society being largely rural and agricultural we do not click with the organic idea so something like molecular gastronomy seems largely far fetched. 

After the session Chef Kapoor and his team put up a scrumptious lunch for the bloggers coupled with a parting memento. 

They truly outdid themselves. I must admit to the fact that the team seems very well organized and focused on its PR and herein lies their strength. The staff were bright and courteous and very proactive functioning like a strong knit unit giving us a truly sensational afternoon. I thought the madness ended with that but to my surprise the PR had made it to the net before i did and all our pics were well tagged and already up for viewing. So i was mobbed by family and my neighbors as I showed off the gear we moved into party mode and something random and sporadic now took on a whole new sense of communal festivity.


  1. It was lovely interacting with u and all the other food bloggers, u have a lovely blog here, worth a second visit :))

    1. Thank you so much Pushpa, really liked your blog when it came to the fluid flow of thoughts.