Friday, 11 April 2014

The LiI Flea Market

The idea of bringing Goa’s flea market feel in Mumbai was a good try, but in summer?  Very wrong timing.  In this scorching heat of summer organizing a flea market was not a happening idea.  More-over no provision of drinking water dispenser at all. There was only one stall which was selling Bisleri and that too went out of stock due to heavy demand. When there is an enter fee, can’t you arrange for a basic thing like WATER? This is indeed a height of disorganization. And ya… this was not just my opinion but also got such negative feedback from few more visitors on my way back home.

The market was divided into two sections by an open air performance space for artists. One side was for the exhibition and pop-up stalls and the other for eatery and café. 

There were even some workshop organized like salad making, desserts, handicrafts, warli paintings and image consulting. I couldn’t attend the other workshops but was interested in image consulting workshop by Personage, but unfortunately it got cancelled due to time constrain. On my request I was given an extremely short overview on accessorizing. However she promised me that whenever they conduct a workshop on make-over and accessories they will inform me and I can then have proper demo. Even plant nursery had showed up at the event.

Plant Nursery
The pop-up stalls that participated were Madpoi, Food-E, Icing On-Top, Amyrah, Light of Life Trust, Peta, Canvas Tiny, Sinful Surprises etc… Cremica, they had live demo for salad using various dips/ sauces. Sky Goodies had a unique cut-n-fold craft materials for kids. GoldLeaf had very interesting bottle LED lights and Advance Art had beautiful paintings on display.

Advance Art

Light of Life Trust

Sky Goodies

Sky Goodies
The café area was well shaded and beautifully illuminated with handmade basket lantern. 

I took small round to check out on stuff, eatery like Maroosh had chicken rotisserie roasting the layers of chicken. Cake me out, Small Wonders, Honkey Pokey, Bean Therapy, Gola, Good Juicery, Yellow Box etc… had their stalls set at the café. Just Unjunk as the name suggest wanted us to go healthy yet tasty food at his stall.

Chicken Rotisserie
Just Unjunk
Ice Gola
I finally decided to try stuffs from Yellow Box. All the products displayed looked fresh and inviting. The menu had quick filling interesting items and I went for Smoked Chicken Slice Croissant and Chicken Potato Chop. The Croissant was soft and fresh, the stuffing was nice and succulent. It has good amount of smoked chicken pieces. I then went for the Chicken Potato Chop. At first I thought that it would be like a normal chop but I was surprised to see the chicken filling inside. It was very soft and crisp from outside and perfectly spiced moist chicken mince inside. This was actually very yummy.

Yellow Box
Smoked Chicken Sliced Croissant

Chicken Potato Chop

Chicken Potato Chop
I crossed the Good Juicery stall, they had 3 type of sparkling juices Pink Guava, Apple and Passion Fruit. They were giving samples for tasting; I liked Pink Guava and Passion Fruit. As I have sour tooth I went for Passion Fruit.  As the name suggest it had slight sparkling effect to the juice and extremely refreshing. This was exactly what I needed in this hot summer afternoon. It not only quenched my thirst but also gave instant energy.

Good Juicery

The interesting stall was Bean Therapy. They had different types of exotic flavored Belgium Dark Chocolates. There were Chocolate with Black pepper and Mango, the peppery taste actually hits the back of your throat.  Elalchi Sauf had an enlightening mouth-freshener taste. Guntur Chilly indeed gave a hint of chilli at the end.  They also had Toasted sesame and Goji, Organic Bergamot and Hemp flavoured Chocolates. Lemon rind was something very unusual with tiny pieces of lemon rinds, my favorites among all.  The best part was that Chef Sanjoy got a cooler especially for the chocolates, so that they don’t melt.  This was the only stall with cool breeze and the privileged ones were the Chocolates J .  It was like taking care of his babies, how sweet J.

Monday, 7 April 2014

GoodFood Magazine Event

First time in India someone thought of an event mainly for Vegetarian Food Lovers and the initial step was taken by GoodFood magazine. This was a 2 days weekend event i.e. 29th and 30th March 2014 at Nehru Center, Worli. There were exhibition stalls on some floors and restaurants, pastry and other eatery stalls on the other. In addition to this, there were cooking workshops by renowned celebrity chefs on both the days. There were back-to back 8 workshops on first day and 9 on the second. This was like a paradise for all the Foodies.

Tat-O Multigrain Crispetts, Fresh Potatoes Snacks, India Gate Brown Rice, Nutrela, Gits, Bachelors, RRO, Tea Truck, Radika, Missisippy, American Garden, Raw Juices, Paper Boat, Good Juicery, Fantasie Chocolate etc… showcased their products at the exhibition. Some of the exhibitors were showing demos at their stalls, while others were giving samples to try.  I had to rush through all the stalls as the master classes were on my priority list.

Some artists got a platform to showcase their talents at this event. There were live performances going on the terrace where restaurants and other eatery stalls were set up. This was very entertaining and a treat to watch them perform.

The weekend was like a bouquet of masterclass, where different cuisines were presented. Every chef showcased their expertise and we relish their final output.

Chef Vikas Seth from Sancho’s shared different types of Mexican Dips and Mexican Food

Chef Himanshu Saini, Masala Library shared traditional Rajasthani and Kashmiri curries with a twist.

Chef Pooja Dhingra, Le 15 Patisserie taught Chocolate Chapter from her cookbook ‘The Big Book Of Treats.

Chef Manu Chandra, Monkey Bar Gastro Pub soaked us with Steam Bao Burger and Piadina which he terms as Dirty Food J

Chef Gresham Fernandes, Salt Water Café went Veggies Go Glam
Chef Alex Gares, Four Seasons Koh Samui took us on a tour to Spain
Celebrity Chef Saransh Goila, Chef Kunal Kapur and Chef Ajay Chopra wanted us to go healthy with soya and shared some of the Nutrela based recipes.

Chef Manish Mehrotra, Indian Accent turn a simple day-to day dish into glamorous one. He made karela taste heavenly. Its the first time I ever liked karela so much.
Chef Sanah Ahuja, had a No-Bake Cheese cake to share
Chef Kelvin Cheung, Ellipsis took us on a brunch ride.

Chef Abhijit Saha, Caperberry had Spanish dishes apt for the summer season
Chef Sanjan Patel, La Folie with her pastries, éclair stole the show.

Chef Gautam Mehrishi, Sun-N-Sand Hotel had Treats for Kids

Over all, the 2 days were full of workshops, exhibitions and food stalls right from morning to night. What a long day of learning.

It was well organized but had few hiccups. May be going forward they would consider the below points while organizing.

Firstly I felt it was too crimpy. Since the workshops were back-to-back without any gap one had to either do justice to the masterclasses or exhibition and other stalls. I missed one workshop and actually had a running look at the exhibition and food stalls, since I had to attend the workshop. There was no breathing space between two workshops. The only time was between winding-up and setting-up. Going forward I would suggests them to either have lesser workshops or extend the event for 3 days. So that we could have some breathing space and also do complete justice to both i.e. master class and stalls.

Secondly the seating arrangement was limited so many people were standing inspite of purchasing the tickets.  Next time they need to ensure that they organize a larger seating space and more chairs.

Lastly and the most importantly the tasting portion not served except for couple of workshops. Samples kept for tasting were the ones chefs had prepared on the spot. So people had to literately run to get their share and many people didn’t even get to taste it, as the cooked dish was just a small portion. When people pay and come to attend the workshop they atleast expect a single portion. This needs to be taken care big time going forward.

Since this was the first time I guess there were some hiccups. Having said that one learns from their mistakes & I am sure that there is always a room for learning and one becomes expert only after experience.

Over all it was indeed a fun filled and very gainful day in terms of culinary skills and knowledge. Enjoyed it thoroughly and looking forward for it with the consideration on the above mentioned feedback.