Another Michelin Encounter + Times Food Guide 2013

The first month of the year sure has gone by
in a trice, hasn’t it? January was packed with events, contests, potlucks, foodie meetings… and it ended on a high note. After my first ‘Michelin
encounter’ last year, with the French Chef Baptiste Fournier, this year has
already brought another one my way!

Image courtesy

This week I was invited by Godrej Nature’s Basket, India’s premier world food store, to the launch of
their newest store in Bandra, Mumbai. The highlight of the event was the
opportunity to meet Vikas Khanna – the Michelin starred chef of the Indian
restaurant Junoon in New York. He is also one of the hosts of the TV Show
MasterChef India. In 2011, he was named in the list of “Sexiest Man Alive” by
People magazine! So naturally, I was excited to meet him.

Image courtesy Nature’s Basket

The event was organised for the launch of his
latest book “My Great Indian Cookbook”. It began with a demo of couple of
recipes from the book – healthful ones, in keeping with the ‘Healthy
Alternatives’ theme of Nature’s Basket. He made Amla (Indian Gooseberry) Soup – a tart, thin soup like the South Indian rasam and Menaskai – a thick, tangy pineapple curry, served with rice.

Image courtesy Nature’s Basket
Image courtesy Nature’s Basket

While cooking, Khanna talked about his love
for cooking, the influence his mother has had on him and his veritable
obsession (or junoon, in Hindi) for Indian food. At the end of the demonstration, there was a brief
interaction,  a book signing and he then happily posed for pictures with all the people
clamouring for his attention.

Image courtesy Nature’s Basket


What impressed me most (apart from his good
looks) was the fact that he seemed so grounded. No starry airs; he wears his
fame lightly and it’s quite obvious that he doesn’t take it (and himself) too
seriously. And therein lies his charm…
The TV Channel Food Food was covering
the event and one of the youngest TV chefs Saransh Goila did a little
on-the-spot interview with Khanna. Then, in a twist of fate, I was asked
to give a ‘byte’ for the camera – so I talked about Deliciously Directionless,
about food blogging and its growing influence; it was a surreal moment, to say
the least!


And talking about food blogging, I just picked
up this year’s Times Food Guide – an annual bible of restaurant reviews
compiled by the prominent food writer Rashmi Uday Singh. 2013’s Food Guide has
an all-new section called Blogger’s Foodie Finds and guess who is in it?!

pick up a copy and bon appetit!

Disclosure: I was invited by Godrej Nature’s Basket for this event.


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