Friday, June 23, 2017

Chaine des Rotisseurs' ‘Concours de I’Inde des Jeunes Chefs Rotisseurs (JCR) 2017'- The Lalit Ashok, Bengaluru

The third edition Chaine des Rotisseurs’ ‘Concours de I’Inde des Jeunes Chefs Rotisseurs (JCR) 2017’, which literally translates, an interesting competition for professional young chefs (Young Chefs competition) happened at The Lalit Ashok, Bangalore recently. The purpose of this competition is to encourage and promote the culinary expertise of young chefs in the tradition of the Chaine des Rotisseurs by creating a competitive environment with their peers. This competition offers the opportunity for the Jeunes Chefs worldwide to showcase their talents and creativity in an international platform.
PC: Chetan Kamani
La Chaine is the world’s oldest gastronomic society which is unique in many ways and its first Bailliage in India was started in Bangalore many years ago.

A little bit history about ‘Chaine des Rotisseurs’

The origins of the Chaine des Rotisseurs stem back to the ‘Middle Ages’ when the first Guilds were formed in Europe. It was these Guilds which were largely responsible for the birth and the flourishing of arts and included music, literature, architecture, painting, sculpture and theatre. The culinary arts featured prominently among them and which was promoted by the Guild of Spit- Roasters – ‘Les Ayeurs’. This Guild was constituted in 1248 by St.Louis, King of France. Even the logo is interesting with two crossed turning spits and four larding needles, surrounded by the flames of the hearth, on a shield encircled by a Fleur-de-lis and chain. The chain represents the mechanism used to turn the spit. The outer chain along with the membership consisted of Apprentices, Companions and Masters who received their titles after presenting their masterpiece to the Elders. The Guild of “Les Ayeurs” was given the special privilege of roasting geese which were a particularly appreciated meat at that time. The Guild continued to develop until 1789 but together with all the Guilds, it was dissolved during the French Revolution.

In 1950 three gastronomes – Cumonsky, Prince-elect of Gastronomes – Dr Auguste Becart and Jean Valby teamed with two professional Chefs, Louis Giraudin and Marcek Darin and founded “Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs” which is now established over 80 countries with 25K + members. A little bit of history I got to know from a dear friend of mine and food connoisseur, Chetan Kamani. He actively participates in ‘Chaine des Rotisseurs’ events.

This competition is for young Chefs up to 27 years of age with less than 5 years of professional experience. I visited each stall to witness the amazing dishes all the 15 participants prepared. Each contestant had to prepare a fabulous 3-course meal in less than 3.5 hours.

This year’s judging panel had renowned Chefs from Bangalore’s culinary scene - Chef Manu Chandra, Chef Nimish Bhatia, Chef Goutham Balasubramanian and Chef Jean Micheal Jasserand. The Judge of honour for the competition, was Prasobsook  ‘Joe’ Thawilvejjakul - Member des Conseils Magistral & Bailli Délégué Honoraire, Bailliage National de Thailand who came for the Grand Chapitre weekend.

Ruma Singh - Vice Chargée de Presse

Aslam Gafoor - Vice Chargé de Missions

Along with the judging panel, the people behind the scenes; who actually executed this event well were - Aslam Gafoor - Vice Chargé de Missions, Rishad R Minocher -Bailli Délégué, Vikram Udayagiri - Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, Bailliage de l'Inde, Bhaskaran Menon – GM, The Lalit Ashok, Sandhya Nair from The Lalit Ashok and the lovely lady Ruma Singh - Vice Chargée de Presse.

The winners from the India finals held at The Lalit Ashok, Bangalore–
PC: Sunil Mark

PC: Sunil Mark

1st Prize (Gold Medal) – Chef Soni Kumari Rana from ITC Windsor
(Mentor Chef – Chef Uchit Vohra)
2nd Prize (Silver Medal) – Chef Vetri Palani from The Leela Palace
(Mentor Chef – Chef Mir Zafar Ali)
3rd Prize (Bronze Medal) – Chef Vipin Dev from The Leela Palace
(Mentor Chef – Chef Mir Zafar Ali)

The winner, Chef Soni Kumari Rana will be representing India in the international finals to be held in Frankfurt, Germany on 8th September 2017 where country winners from 25 Chaine member countries will compete for top honours.

As a food blogger, it was an honour to be a part of this event. The Lalit Ashok team hosted the event brilliantly and which is a better venue than The Lalit Ashok Hotel’s lush green lawn by enjoying some lip-smacking food and beverages from the Lalit Food truck. It was truly a perfect place to spend a summer day.

First Agro Team

There was also a grand spread of food by The Lalit Ashok along with wines from Four Season. The official partners and sponsors of this event were – The Lalit Ashok (Event and Hospitality partner), Paul John Single Malt Whisky (Prime Award partner), Four Seasons (Pouring partner), Le Cordon Bleu (Award Partner), Lausanne Hospitality Consulting (Award Partner), First Agro (Ingredient Partner), Big Basket (Ingredient Partner), Aquamarine Speciality Seafood (Ingredient Sponsor), Jivabhumi (Ingredient Sponsor), and 18 Herbs (Ingredient Sponsor). It was pleasure meeting some of the known faces from Bangalore - Bhaskaran Menon, Chef Nimish Bhatia, Chef Anupam Banerjee, Chef Mir Zafar Ali, Chef Naren Thimmaiah, Aslam Gafoor, Soham Shoney, Misha Dave, Sunil Mark, and Swamyboo Nameet :)

Thanks to dear Ruma Singh and Sandhya Nair for inviting me to JCR 2017 <3
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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Grow Fit introduces Ramzan special healthy menu!

PC:Grow Fit

It’s Ramzan (Ramadan) time, the sacred month of fasting. So much respect to those who keep fasting. Ramzan for me is all about the amazing array of food. I always enjoyed the healthy and unhealthy version of food available at Mosque Road stalls. Now that half of the food stalls have gone Ramzan time is not as exciting as previous years. Now no need of missing the Mosque road food, as Grow Fit introduces Ramzan special healthy food, delivered at your door-step. Recently I missed an Iftar party invite by Grow Fit and when I came to know about this brand, thought of giving it a try.

PC:Grow Fit

PC: Grow Fit

Grow Fit introduced a special Ramzan-themed menu this month. The Lean Machine Low-Carb Programme for the month of Ramzan consists of dishes you love from Mosque Road, made with a healthy twist delivered all over Bangalore. These are designed specifically keeping in mind the needs of those who are fasting – the meals keep you fuller for longer, less thirsty and include dishes frequently consumed during the month of Ramzan.

Their menu seems to be really interesting and recently I ordered Ramzan special dinner Chicken Kheema with Ultra Low Carb Roti, Cauli Dahi Vada and Sweet Soy Milk with Basil (sabja) seeds from Tuesday’s menu. The food was delivered on time. The Cauli Dahi Vada was made of creamy yogurt and base was different from the regular dahi vada. I liked the Cauliflower twist on it. The winner was obviously the Chicken Kheema with ULC roti. The quantity and calorie details were provided on the package. The nutrition packed food was so tasty and filling. So I had a guilt-free indulgence along with the Sweet Soy milk drink with Basil seeds. They also provided a bowl full of refreshing veggie salad. The food was surely impressive and these food options make you realize that healthy food can be tasty too.

PC: Grow Fit
Few other interesting dishes from their menu include a healthy Haleem, Kokum drink, Chocolate Coconut Pudding, and much more, which I couldn’t try this time. Their ‘Dinner of the day’ consists of a snack, main course, and a drink. Grow fit also provides its customers 7-day subscription option with a daily changing menu. The menu is priced as follows: Dinner of the day  -₹330 (Veg) and ₹ 400 (Non-veg)
7-day subscription - ₹2310 (Veg) and ₹ 2800 (Non-veg)

About Grow Fit

Grow Fit, a Bangalore based startup backed by Growth Story, the venture builder platorm founded by K.Ganesh and Meena Ganesh. Grow Fit's Founder & CEO, Ms. Jyotsna Pattabiraman, is a Stanford MBA alumna and Melton Fellow. She has previously held executive leadership positions at PayPal, eBay, Yahoo!, Oracle, OnMobile, and Knowlarity in the US and in India. To achieve peak wellness, Grow Fit the mobile health companion uses artificial intelligence to help over 300 million Indians, who are living with or are at the risk of lifestyle diseases. Its easy-to-use 1:1 chat-based coaching program which connects users all over India to experts in mental and physical health and covers sleep, skin and hair, nutrition and exercise.  In addition to the nutrition advice and customized diet plans, Grow Fit also offers fresh and packaged foods that help users improve their health, with dramatic measurable results. Through data-driven strategies, always-on coaching and food technology, Grow Fit achieves results that are 10 times better than industry standards. Grow Fit app is available on iOS and Android stores and already crossed 300,000+ downloads.
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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Love Beer? Head to Big Pitcher for a nice craft beer and some grub!

Bengaluru, the pub capital of India often surprises me with its new watering holes. Every month there will be a new restaurant or pub opening its doors for the tipplers. But there are places which don't lose its charm even after many years of existence. Big Pitcher in Old Airport is one such party place as well as a favorite beer joint. Whether it’s for attending stand-up comedies, parties or just for a mug for beer, this place is always on my list.

I have been to this pub a couple of times and this time's visit was in the peak summer season. Spread across six floors, The Big Pitcher has five different pubtainment options – Club Kahuna, Sizzling Street, Studio 4121, Splitwood and Star Lounge. The rooftop area, ‘Star Lounge’ is the perfect place to click your dp. On a hot summer afternoon, a couple of us decided to have lunch at Splitwood. The lunch was organized by a dear friend of mine – Deepa Shri Rajan <3


The Big Pitcher offers craft beers and always stocks 5 different beers and 1 seasonal special. I prefer Kingslayer (a medium to full body dark wheat ale with interesting flavors of coffee, vanilla, and fruits like plum, prunes, and grapes) or sometimes the light beer from the menu- Sarava. This time I couldn’t try the seasonal special beer. The alcohol content in Kingslayer is 6.8 % and the lightest beer, Sarava has 4.7 %. If you are not sure about the flavors, they will help you with beer samples and details of each beer they serve.

We went by Manager’s suggestion and ordered few cocktails as well; out of which my favorite was ‘Kiss on the lips’; a refreshing Vodka based cocktail made of Baileys, Kahlua, Hazelnut and topped with Kitkat.

What we had -


Summer and no salads? No way! Our lunch started with a tasty Kachumber salad. The fresh juliennes of apple, cucumber, tomato and other veggies surely made it a cooling salad.


Tikkas, Seekh Kebabs, Fries, Roast Chicken and other Indian and oriental dishes they have added in their menu to go with drinks. I was blown away with the appetizer options. Dorei Wali Gosht Seekh, Murgh Dum Tikka Splitwood, Vegetable drumsticks, and Veg Seekh surely impressed my palate. My friends also had the same opinion.

Main Course

I am very picky about the main course in a Pub/Brewery and a flavorful Dum Biryani would be the last thing I expect in a Brewery. The Chef surely needs a pat on his shoulder. The Chicken Dum Ki Biryani and Zaffrani Tarkari Biryani made it a lovely hearty meal.


Die-hard drinkers say never take sweets or desserts after drinking alcohol. This may make you feel high AF. But who cares when sugar cravings overpower the body? A ‘walnut praline mousse with honey drizzle’ and ‘Badam aur khubani ka halwa’ came to the rescue. The desserts were just okay and the latter one was rich in flavors.

Overall I loved my experience at the Big Pitcher and would love to visit again if not for trying out more options, just to chillax with a mug of beer and some grub. They also have an offer going– ‘Get a free glass of beer and free Wi-fi’ and I’m sure with this kind of deal, it’s an ideal place to spend a quality time. A meal for two would be ₹2000/- (approximately). The restaurant has valet parking.

Big Pitcher
#4121, LR Arcade
HAL 2nd Stage, Old Airport Road
Bengaluru - 560008
For reservations, contact - 080 45530000

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