REFLECTIONS ON THE RECENT FOODIE MOVIE - THE HUNDRED -FOOT JOURNEY
The Hundred - Foot Journey
Producers: Juliet Blake, Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg
Director: Lasse Hallstrom”
Based on story : Richard Morais
Starring: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon
Music : AR Rahman
Photo : juliet Blake/facebook
Amazing cast and producers of the movie
Photo :Juliet Blake/facebook
Music director AR Rahman and producer Juliet Blake
I was honored to be invited by the Washington Post for the advanced prescreening of the movie - The Hundred - Foot Journey. In my opinion, this is an outstanding movie. Very entertaining, well researched and the food shots make your mouth salvitate. Having personally worked in both French and Indian kitchens, I felt it was a very good representation of both.
With Actor Om Puri at the National Geographic reception and advanced screening.
This movie took me back to my days in New Delhi, as a fresh graduate of Hotel Management I joined the Ashok Hotel as chef trainee; I had an opportunity to work under the Master French Chef Roger Moncourt, who introduced French cuisine to India. In the year 1983, I had the proud privilege of opening a French Restaurant called Burgundy under the tutelage of Chef Moncourt .There are so many scenes in the movie that bring back fond memories; However, I do not want to go on to describe each one of them as many of you have not seen the movie yet.
With my mentor (late) Chef Roger Moncourt at Burgundy Restaurant, New Delhi
One classic test for a new cook in a French kitchen was to see how good of an omelette one could make. In this movie, the omelette looked delectable with the addition of green chilies and cilantro, making it a "masala omelette". I still can remember the emphasis given on making the omelette at the right temperature, right shape (half moon shape etc), how to beat the eggs with a fork in a circular motion and so on and so forth.... I think the movie has depicted these scenes very well. I understand that my friend Chef Floyd Cardoz played a big role ... Kudos to him.
Chef Floyd Cardoz at Indique in Cleveland Park, Washington DC
1985 - Festival of India - Smithsonian Institution - Washington DC
The Indian kitchen in the movie was also well shown with the 'Tandoors', 'Thalis' and display of the old spice boxes passed on from generations. This reminded me of my 7479 mile culinary journey from New Delhi to Washington DC in 1985 along with the 'Tandoors' (drum tandoors) that I brought with me to the Smithsonian Institution to organize the Festival of India.
In the movie actress Helen Mirren plays a fabuluos role as the proprietor of a michelin star french restaurant. One of the scenes that took me back many years was the making of the five basic mother sauces; particulary the making the mayonnaise from scratch. Believe it or not, we used to make it by hand - No kitchen aids or mixers, just bare hands. Yes you read it right - just bare hands. These were made in fairly large quantities, and needless to say - going to the gym was not required, as this was a very vigorous task.
Above: With the former First Lady of France, Madame Pompidou, when she visited India.
Now comparing the two cuisines - The French and Indian - French have their cooking techniques, standardized recipes, subtle sauces etc while Indian cooking is diverse, not standardized, and influenced by other cultures, regions, traditions that have swept across India over the centuries. I feel no clash or competition between these two great culinary traditions! Rather,I feel that knowledge of both cuisines enhances the talent base of the Chef and presents a richer more diverse offering to the foodie.Indeed at Indique we have offered variety of traditional indian dishes that are influenced by French techniques.
Flambéd 'Gulab Jamun' at Indique in Cleveland Park.
I would highly recommend that you see this movie! Bring back your movie stub to Indique and enjoy a Gulab Jamun Flambé on us with your dinner.Try a "Masala Omelette" at recently introduced "Bottomless Sunday Brunch at Indique.
BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH - EVERY SUNDAY - 11 AM TO 3 PM - $ 24.00
Sunday Night Suppers is a $600/- per head dinner organzied by Chef Alice Waters, Chef Jose Andres and cookbook author Joan Nathan to benefit the DC Central Kitchen and Martha's table. The dinners are held in small groups of 20-25 in private homes around Washington DC. Each dinner is hosted by two chefs and about 25-30 dinners are held simultaneously. Chefs are invited from different parts of the country .
This year, I was once again honored to be invited to host one of these dinners along with Chef Daniel Asher from Linger and Root down restaurants, Denver, Colorado. A huge thanks to Maggie and Marcus Farley for opening up their home for us.
I am so glad to hear that this years events raised $500,000/- for the DCCK and Martha's table. Here are some pictures from the events and also the list of Chefs who participated in the event.
Irrespective of the number of times that you have been to the White house it is always a great feeling!
This is first lady Michelle Obama's kitchen garden during the peak of winter and here is a shot below of how it looks during summer!
Inside the White House kitchen Chef Bill Yosses chatting with the chefs.
Chef Bill Yosses came to greet and escort us. It is such a pleasure to know him. It is always very enlightening to spend some time with Bill.He is such a wealth of knowledge ; sometimes I wonder if he is a chef or a historian?
Maryland Rockfish, lobster koftas, coconut - kokum sauce, microgreens- lemon grass vinaigrette.
Chef Daniel Asher finishing the third course - Flight of Pickled and Fermented Edibles with Anchovy pear Kimchi, Calendula flower Sauerkraut, Pickled beets and kale, fax pumpkin seed crisps.
Chef Bala and Daniel plating the 36 hour Braised Aspen Short Rib with Crispy Brussels, Butternut celeriac puree and poached pastured Egg.
With chef Carla Hall at the after party.
Overall it was a great experience interacting with such knowledgeable chefs.It is really wonderful to know that that one of my favorite institutions DC Central Kitchen and Martha's Table will benefit from these charity events.On behalf of all the Chefs, would like to thank each one you who came and supported this great event. My special thanks to Chef Bala and my team at Indique.
Thank you Jose Andres, Joan Nathan and Alice Waters!
Get off the beaten path, explore in depth the rich culinary traditions of south India. Come, Join me as I take you on a culinary journey through South India.You will also have the opportunity to interact with and get culinary demonstrations from leading chefs immersed in the local culinary traditions.
Join Chef Vinod on this 13 day culinary adventure to South India. Guests will enjoy a range of delicious cuisines from Karnataka to Mughlai and Mappilla, with Chef Vinod on hand to divulge the history and secret recipes of the tempting dishes on offer. Visit bustling local markets, enjoy a cooking class and join a local family for a traditional meal to learn more about the food and culture of this incredible region. With plenty of time to explore the World Heritage Site of Mamallapuram, the historic city of Mysore, the beautiful Kerala backwaters and the stunning beaches of Kovalam, this tour is sure to appeal to devoted foodies, culture aficionados and interested travellers of all ages.
• Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mamallapuram and indulge in a delicious South Indian Thali meal • See the sights of beautiful Mysore, including the bustling local market • See a traditional Kathkali dance performance and dine at the famed Malabar Junction restaurant • Experience a hands-on cooking demonstration and lunch at a local house in Cochin • Enjoy a traditional lunch as you cruise along the scenic backwaters of Kerala - See more at:
South India Delights With Chef Vinod 13 Days
16 OCT’2013 ARRIVAL IN CHENNAI & TRANSFER TO COVELONG
On arrival at Chennai airport, your tour escort will meet you outside the customs gate and escort you in air-conditioned Indian made deluxe buses to Covelog (35km/approx 1hr drive). Overnight at Vivanta by Fisherman's Cove TaJ
17 OCT’2013 MAMALLAPURAM EXCURSION
Start your morning with a trip to Mamallapuram - Its enviable position on the Coromandel Coast, facing the Bay of Bengal, guarantees that this is a popular place to stay. Spend time on the white-sand beach shaded by casuarina trees and hire a bike to pedal through the surrounding countryside but make sure you allow time to explore this wonderful open-air museum, much of which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arjuna's Penance -Nothing can prepare you for the wonderful bas-reliefs covering two huge boulders. The exquisite detail, dating from the 7th century, depicts the flow of the Ganges down from the Himalayan mountains as well as scenes from Indian daily life. The Five Rathas You won't believe that these shrines are carved whole from an outcrop of rock. Each of the five temples is dedicated to heroes from the great epic of the Mahabharata. Spend time admiring the detail of the carvings which include gods, humans and elephants and wonder why the temples are incomplete and were never consecrated. Shore Temple Relish the delightful seaside location, overlooking the Bay of Bengal, and landscaped gardens surrounding the Shore Temple, a popular place for the locals to visit. Dedicated to both Vishnu and Shiva, the decorative beauty of the temple, built in Dravidian style, has suffered erosion by its proximity to the sea. Experience South Indian thali meals is served in Banana leaf, it is a well balanced meal with dishes that include rice, dal, vegetables, flat breads, yoghurt, chutney, pickle, papad and a sweet dish. Chef Vinod may insists you try this by eating by your hand!!!! Return to Hotel and relax. Evening Enjoy the fresh catch of the day cooked with Bay Spice - local peppers, coriander and tamarind. You'll relish the French seafood broth with shredded vegetable, diced seafood and a peg of tender coconut water. (B/L/ D)
18 OCT’2013 MAMALLAPURAM – KANCHIPURAM (65 KMS / 1.5 HRS) - KACHIPURAM – CHENNAI – BANGALORE (FLIGHT 9W 2309 1800/1835 HRS) -
Today we depart from Hotel and Drive to the impressive temple town of Kanchipuram covering a distance of 60kms in approx 1.5 hour. Known as the Golden City of a Thousand Temples, it is one of the oldest towns in India. It is famous for both its temples and its hand-woven silks. Most of the temples are well preserved till date, which were built during 7th and 8th century AD. The prominent temples of Kanchipuram are Ekambareshwar Temple, Kamakshi Temple etc. Kanchipuram silk is famous all over the world. Visit the local homes of the weavers and watch them create magic out of silk thread into saris. Return to Chennai to catch a flight to Bangalore. Tonight Chef Vinod welcomes you to the Taj West End hotel to experience a well contemplated Anglo Indian Menu that draws inspiration from the British Raj. The fusion food that emerged during those day’s thus became a staple of the Country’s Anglo- Indian Population. Plunge back into time and indulge in a menu conceptualized with a colonial touch. (B/D)Overnight in Bangalore -
19 OCT’2013 BANGALORE – MYSORE (140 KMS/3.5 HRS)
Begin with a visit to the botanical gardens at Lal Bagh conceived and laid out by Sultan Hyder Ali in 1760. His son, Tipu, expanded the gardens further planting exotic plants from Persia, Kabul, Turkey, and Mauritius (tropical and subtropical species) over 96 hectares (240 acres). Highlights include the Lawn Clock and the British-built glasshouse, structurally based on London's Crystal Palace and then drive to Mysore - You will be charmed by the faded grandeur of Mysore, the former capital of the much loved Wodeyars dynasty who reigned from the 16th century. A city rich in heritage, make sure you discover its royal palaces, sacred temples and majestic buildings but leave time to stroll through some of its many parks and gardens or along a wide leafy boulevard. Evening enjoy an exclusively designed menu by Chef Vinod that features traditional Karnataka cuisine, dinner will be a love of labor, full of nostalgic memories-a very special treat indeed! Overnight in Mysore (B/D)
Morning we visit Devaraj Market - Most colourful local market, Mysore Palace -You can't fail to be impressed by this vast palace, with its turrets, domes and arches and an opulent interior with intricately carved doors and ceilings. Wander through the luxuriously furnished rooms, once home to the royal family, and admire this treasure trove of works of art from all over the world. If you are in Mysore on a Sunday or national holiday don't miss the spectacle of the palace illuminated by thousands of light bulbs. Jaganmohan Palace -Spend time perusing the collection of 19th century paintings in this former palace. The skill of the Indian artists, using natural vegetable and mineral dyes, is extraordinary. Enjoy the traditional Mysore 'gold leaf' paintings which are on display here. Evening Head up Chamundi Hill for panoramic views of the city spread out below before exploring the exquisite hilltop temple dedicated to the goddess, Chamundi and dominated by a 40m-high gopuram (tower). Make a short stop at the huge statue dedicated to Nandi, the bull of Lord Shiva, on the way down. This evening enjoy Mughlai food at Olive garden (windflower). Mughlai food is known for its richness. It is famous for the exotic use of spices, dried fruit and nuts. The Mughals did everything in style and splendor and Chef Vinod will explain the layering of the spices that gives each preparation an exotic taste and flavor. Taste Saffron, almonds, raisins, apricots and pistachios in the dishes prepared specially for you tonight. Overnight In Mysore (B/D)
21 OCT’2013 MYSORE – CALICUT (210 KMS/5 HRS)
Drive to Calicut and visit Beypore, a prominent port and fishing harbour of ancient Kerala. Visit the fish markets with Chef Vinod who will point out the many varieties of seafood caught fresh daily off these shores and the special ways the locals prepare it for their families. Later venture into town and visit the Sweet Meat Street with many colourful shops. Visit the Boat yards in Beypore, which have been building vessels since early centuries for legendary seamen. The astounding feature is the way in which the boats are built wherein the skilled craftsmen build boats based on just experience-without any drawings or charts. You can also visit a century old tile factory founded by the Germans and later acquired by the British. The century old machinery and systems that are still in use to produce tiles and bricks make for a very interesting visit. Check in to you resort. Tonight enjoy a special dinner featuring Moppilla Cuisine -The cuisine of Kerala Muslims, well known for its delicate blend of spiciness and subtle mix of ingredients that add a touch of the exotic! The Mappilas of Malabar love eating and cooking has developed into an art-form that is perfected by every girl by the time she gets married. Ask any Mappila man, and he will swear by his mom's 'Thalassery biriyani'. Mappila cuisine is one of the most exotic, and yet, one of the least known, of India's major cuisines.Like any regional cuisines, Mappilas have also developed a cuisine that makes the best use of locally available ingredients. As such, most dishes are made from various forms and combinations of rice, banana, coconut and egg, besides of course, meat. In addition, the Muslim tradition of using lots of dry fruits can be seen even here. Over night in Calicut (B/D)
22 OCT’2013 CALICUT- COCHIN (220 KMS/5 HRS)
Today we drive to Cochin with its wealth of historical associations and its beautiful setting on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas; the fascinating city of Cochin perfectly reflects the eclecticism of Kerala. Cochin now renamed Kochi, boasts one of the finest natural harbors on the Arabian Sea coast and has been a port of call for foreign traders from very early times. Its cosmopolitan character is reflected in the many buildings and structures, which bear testimony to the different influences that the city has acquired from the world over. Cochin is a fascinating synthesis of old and new. This evening watch a performance of the Kathakali dance. The epic Ramayana comes to life at a Kathakali performance, the traditional Keralan dance, where characters use larger than life gestures, wear outrageous costumes and dramatic make up. Afterwards enjoy dinner at the Malabar Junction, a superb, open-sided restaurant in a garden. It is known throughout India for its exceptional food, probably the best pasta in India!. Overnight in Cochin
23 OCT’2013 COCHIN
This morning take a Cooking Class at house of Nimmi Paul. Nimmy and Paul have been involved in 'At Home' hospitality for more than twelve years. Nimmy, a professional cookery instructor for more than twenty years offers food and hospitality to foreign guests. Nimmy conducts cookery classes. She teaches guests the nuances of traditional Kerala recipes. She is also a food consultant to writers, chefs and magazines. We will also arrange for Market trip –like visit vegetable market and spice market.Guests are also provided the opportunity to enjoy a meal with an Indian family whereby they can enjoy delicious food in homely ambience, interact with members of the host family and experience the nuances of a joint family system. The unique experience brings you in close touch with the traditions; values and cultural ethos of this enchanting land. Afternoon visit the Jewish Synagogue built in 1568. Scrolls of the Old Testament and a number of copper plates inscribed in Hebrew script are preserved here. Continue on to visit St. Francis Church, the oldest church constructed by the Europeans in India. Built by the Portuguese in 1510; it housed the remains of Vasco da Gama for 14 years before it was transferred to Lisbon. His tombstone can be seen inside the church. Also visit the Mattancherry Palace, built by the Portuguese in 1555. The Palace was presented to the Raja of Cochin as a gesture of goodwill. This was also known as the Dutch Palace, resulting from substantial renovation by the Dutch after 1663. The central hall was the Coronation Hall of the Rajas. Their dresses, turbans and palanquins and murals from Hindu mythology are all beautiful and worth seeing. Culminate the tour at Fort Kochi, which is said to be the oldest European settlement in India. This evening is free to explore a local restaurant in town or visit the famous beach with the Chinese fishing nets Overnight in Cochin (B/L)
24 OCT’2013 COCHIN – ALLEPPEY - KUMARAKOM (85 KMS/2 HRS) -
This Morning we drive to Alleppey - Board a boat for a lazy few hours drifting along shimmering waterways passing coconut groves, a green patchwork of rice paddies and isolated villages where daily life is dominated by the rhythm of the waters. Pass boats laden down with cargo and fishermen throwing their nets from small rowing boats and watch small ferry boats busily crisscrossing the rivers Enjoy your Traditional Lunch served on Boat. Evening Disembark from House boat and further drive to Kumarakom - the enchanting backwater destination slumbers on the bank of the famous Vembanad Lake, which is a part of Kuttanad ('granary' of Kerala). The Vembanad Lake with its majestic canals, streams and distributaries along its banks weave an intricate and enchantingly beautiful web. Kumarakom is an unbelievable beautiful paradise!!The blue backwaters and the surface of Vembanad Lake reflect the azure sky. The amazing shades of green of the vegetation that include mangroves, coconut palms, and paddy fields cover the verdant countryside. The gorgeous green of the fringed palms ripple in the blue waters and blend into wavelets. Arrive in Kumarakom and check in to hotel where rooms will be pre-booked. Evening meal will be an informal feast with dishes chosen by Chef Vinod and specially prepared by the hotel chefs, perhaps Chef Vinod will prepare for you while you watch one of his signature dishes! (Payment for this dinner will taken by clients at their own) Overnight in Kumarakom (B/L)
25 OCT’2013 KUMARAKOM
Yoga enthusiasts will want to rise early for a morning session with a Yoga master in a serene setting at the hotel. Rest of the day will be at leisure for spa/ayurveda and independent activities. Overnight in Kumarakom (B)
26 OCT ’2013 KUMARAKOM – KOVALAM (195 KMS/6 HRS)
Drive to Kovalam beach covering a distance of 195 kms in approx 6 hours. Kovalam is a renowned beach destination. With three adjacent crescent beaches, it has been a favorite of tourists, especially Europeans, since the 1930s. A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for sea bathing. The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse. Sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, special cultural programmes and catamaran cruising are some of them. Life on the beach begins late in the day and carries on well into the night. The beach complex includes a string of budget cottages, Ayurvedic health resorts, and convention facilities, shopping zones, swimming pools, Yoga and Ayurvedic massage centre. Overnight in Kovalam (B)
27 OCT’2013 KOVALAM
Day will be at leisure. Relax on the warm palm-fringed sands, rejuvenate your senses with some ayurvedic treatments, or wander along the headland. Standing at the old lighthouse you can watch the sky and waters burn as the sun sets over the Arabian Sea. Evening enjoy a sumptuous fare well dinner at residing hotel. Overnight in Kovalam (B/D) PLAN YOUR DAY AND CHOOSE FROM BELOW SUGGESTED OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:1. ORIENTATION CITY TOUR OF TRIVANDRUM. ALSO EXPERIENCE A RIDE ON LOCAL BUSES!Visit Napier Museum & Art Gallery (Closed on Monday & National holidays). Built in the 19th century, this Indo - Saracenic structure boasts a natural air conditioning system and houses a rare collection of archaeological and historic artefacts, bronze idols, ancient ornaments, a temple chariot and ivory carvings. Next visit Sree Chithra Art Gallery (Closed on Monday & Wednesday forenoons) - located near the Napier Museum, this art gallery displays select paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Svetlova and Nicholas Roerich and exquisite works from the Rajput, Mughal and Tanjore schools of art in India. Further visit the Kanakakunnu Palace - the palace and its sprawling grounds are today the venue for many cultural meets and programmes and the University Observatory - located at the highest point in the city, near the Museum complex 60 meters above sea level, one can have a bird's eye view of the city from here. In order to give the guests a more authentic experience, we will arrange a short ride using local buses. An amazing sight to watch! These colorful buses are part of everyday life!
2. A SHORT MOVIE EXPERIENCE AT A LOCAL THEATREEnjoy the experience of an electrifying local Malayalam movie flick at a local theatre. Experience and watch the local people enjoying the dance, emotions of their favorite actress.
28 OCT’2013 DEPART FROM TRIVANDRUM
After breakfast, our representative will escort you to Trivandrum International airport (30 min approx) for your flight to onward destination.
Chinese fishing nets in Kochi (Cochin), Kerala
Houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala
Aleppey fish curry cooked in an earthern ware pot with coconut milk & "Kodam puli" & curry leaves
Kerala back waters
Mysore Palace, Mysore (Karnataka)
Shallots galore! on the way to Calicut from Mysore
On the way to the Synagogue in Kochi ( Cochin), Kerala
At Kanchi Kailasanathar temple in Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu - The oldest temple of Kanchipura
At the Lalit Mahal Palace hotel, where we will be staying.
With tea plantation workers on the way to Calicut from Mysore
Devaraja Market in Mysore
At a small scale cashew processing plant in Kerala.
spiced infused water at Taj West End - Banglaore - Fennugreek and "Ajwain"
Masala Omelette at Taj West End, Bangalore, India
TOUR DEPARTS OCTOBER 16, 2013 - BOOK EARLY AND AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT.
FOR MORE INFO ON THE TOUR, TYPE OF HOTELS, PICTURE OF THE HOTEL , TO DOWNLOAD THE TOUR ITINERARY ETC VISIT -INDUS.TRAVELS
INDUS TRAVELS IS THE WINNER OF THE BEST TOUR OPERATOR TO INDIA FROM THE AMERICAS FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS.
CLEVELAND PARK, WASHINGTON DC AWAITS YOU MR. PRESIDENT
Heartiest Congratulations Mr. President on your re-election! Thank you for your invitation to the Presidential Inauguration.
Above : with Mrs. Nisha Vinod at the Inaugural Ball.
I had the privelege and honor to visit the White House during your first term. It was Easter day and I missed you Mr. President. I look forward to meeting you and serving you some delicious Indian food during your second term.
Above : With Celebrated Chefs Sanjeev Kapoor and Bill Yosses at the White House.
The dining landscape in Washington DC has changed tremendously in the last few years! You think of any cuisine of the world and we have them in Washington DC. By now you must have already received various recommendations for your dining in the second term. My humble suggestion is for you to start with the Cleveland Park neightborhood of Washington DC
The historic Cleveland Park in North West Washington DC awaits your arrival Mr. President. Just to familiarize you with this Washington neighborhood, - Cleveland Park, named after the former President Grover Cleveland, is a historic neighborhood with an old theater – UPTOWN, and in my opinion has some of the best restaurants in town.
'President Cleveland and Mrs. Cleveland' at the Cleveland Park day in front of Indique. (The President of the Cleveland Park Association dressed as President Cleveland)
When the economy was going south a few years back, this thriving neighborhood took a severe beating; the whole area began to deteriorate. A 100 year old grocery store – Magruders and smal businesses/restaurants like Yenching Palace and Yannis shut their doors; there were ‘To rent signs ‘ all over the place and businesses began to notice a large drop in their sales.Corporate entertaining was reduced, office/holiday parties disappeared or were downsized and clearly the recession had set in.To confirm that further the ‘groupons’ and ‘living socials had come in a big way and everybody was looking for deals, deals and only deals.
Now hopefully with the worst behind us,and with the economy slowly improving, the empty stores are filling up and some new and exciting changes have come up. Palena restaurant, run by a former White House chef Frank Ruta, has taken over the Magruders, a new steak place - Medium Rare,has opened up. Veteran restaurateur Ashok Bajaj combined his two restaurants( Ardeo + Bardeo) making it larger. In anticipation of uptick in business, Restaurants like Dino and indique added a lot of new dishes to their menus.
Cleveland Park today offers almost every cuisine that you can think of Italian, Indian,Thai, Vietnamese, Modern American, Asian, Tapas, Steaks, French, Pizzas, you name it.
In my opinion, Palena, run by a former White House Chef Frank Ruta is one of the best restaurants in the area. It serves modern American. Palena has both a fine dining restaurant and a café. Here you can try Frank’s amazing three or four course menu or a burger next door.
If you are in a mood for Indian – then there is no doubt that you have to try Indique, Mr. President.
(Full disclosure – Indique is co-owned by my business partner Surfy Rahman and me)
I am not recommending Indique, just because I co-own it Mr. President. I am recommending this because I feel it is one of the most beautiful restaurants in Cleveland Park in terms of its ambiance, quality and variety of food it has to offer.Indique showcases modern Indian cuisine.The name Indique is derived from India and Unique.
Below : The main dining hall located in the second level has two sections with beautiful marble railings from India.
Your family can explore modern Indian Cuisine. We offer small plates;It will be a chance for Sasha and Malia to be exposed to a variety of foods. First lady Michelle Obama would probably appreciate – simple, nutritious options as well as some healthy desserts.
Your choice of Indique has already been endorsed by your cabinet. Ms. Hillary Clinton, Ms. Janet Napolitano, Mr. Lawrence Summers, Mr. David Plouffe, and other dignitaries like the former President of India, the Ambassador of India have all eaten here.
Let us take a few examples of the dishes mentioned. Our Salmon Slider is a very popular. It is both tasty and healthy. The salmon cake is sandwiched between "oothapam" - a savory lentil and rice pancake,"yogurt tartare" and grilled onions.
Above : Salmon slider
Above : Crab Papad Cones
CRAB PAPAD CONES - are served in a cone made of baked lentils. Mr. President, you get the crunch from the papad, the heat from the spices, and little sweetness from the coconut.
Last but not the least we also have a healthy dessert Mr. President - Shreekandh brûlée
You find Creme brûlée at every other restaurant. Here is our version with yogurt..
Mr. Presdient again I invite you and your family to visit Cleveland Park and try unique Indian cuisine at Indique. Given your very busy schedule, I will be happy to bring the cuisine of Indique to you.
It was an honor to join hands with the some of the top chefs in the country at Saveur Magazine's third annual global bbq event at the boat basin in New York. We would like to thank Mrs. Sujata Thakur, regional director, department of tourism, government of India for inviting us to represent - "Incredible India"
We served Masala Lamb chops on a bed of chickpea pancakes-"khandvi" along with spiced mango salsa and mint chutney.
Here are some pictures from the event:
Above: R to L : Surfy Rahman and K.N.Vinod
Our team : R to L : S.Balamurugan, Abraham Varghese, Surfy Rahman and K.N.Vinod
Above:In conversation with Mr.James Oseland, editor-in-chief of Saveur Magazine.
L to R : Mr. Surfy Rahman, Chef/owner Susan Feniger and K.N.Vinod
Chef/owner Aaron Sanchez of Centrico and Tacombi in NY
Getting the plates ready, while the lamb chops are being grilled.
With my teammates, Executive Chefs- S.Balamurugan and Abraham Varghese.
Our Chefs getting the crab papad cones ready.
L to R: Chef Vikas Khanna, Padma lakshmi, Chef Sanjeev Kapoor and Varli Singh. Hmm..Not sure what the joke was, Vikas is laughing away.
The Varli Food Festival, an Indian culinary and chef showcase, concluded about three weeks ago on April 5th, 2012 in New York City. I must say that the Varli Festival was very well organized and flawlessly executed. Padma Lakshmi, host of the show Top Chef, and Sanjeev Kapoor, celebrated chef from India, were joined by several other celebrity chefs from around the world.
It was such a delight to see so many Indian restaurateurs and chefs come under one roof to showcase the cuisine of India. There was wide media coverage for the event from various television channels and newspapers such as The New York Times.
Our crab papad rolls from Indique/Indique Heights turned out to be such a big hit that they were featured in The New York Times, in "Outlook India" and above all Padma loved it... Padma Lakshmi loved it...
The photo below was featured in The New York Times - Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi enjoying the crab papad roll from Indique.
See what "Outlook India" magazine had to say about Indique's crab papad roll at the Varli Food Festival.
"CRAB APPLES - Not that it requries any great skills to catch crab in Manhattan, but curing the meat is a lesson best learned from experience. Masters in the art descended on NYC from the US northeastern seaboard to showcase their skills at the Varli Food Festival. Of those partaking, Padma Laksmi played the bait." - Outlook India
Welcoming Padma Lakshmi
Surfy Rahman greeting Padma Lakshmi
In conversation with Padma Lakshmi
Being introduced to Executive Chef S.Balamurugan
Being introduced to Executive Chef Abraham Varghese
Padma Lakshmi enjoying her crab papad roll
She goes in for seconds!
At Junoon restaurant - Surfy Rahman, K.N.Vinod, Walter Rozario, Prasad Chirnomula, & Rajesh Bhardwaj
With Chef /Restaurateur Vikram Vij of Vij's in Vancouver, Canada
Ready to get in to the Limousine - for the ride with fellow chefs
Restaurateur Surfy Rahman at the Red Carpet walk
L to R : Chef K.N.Vinod, Chef S.Balaurugan,Chef Vikas Khanna, and Chef Abraham Varghese
L to R: Restaurateur Rajesh Bhardwaj, Chef Hemant Mathur, Chef K.N.Vinod, and Restaurateur Surfy Rahman
With Chef Floyd Cardoz and Surfy Rahman
With Chef Walter d" Rozario
With Chef Aliya Leekong
With Sant Chatwal at the Varli festival.
L to R: Chefs K.N.Vinod, Ajay Chopra, Kunal Kapoor, Vicky Ratnani, Shipra Khanna, Varli Singh, Peter Beck, Prasad Chirnomula, Saransh Goila,Romy Hardeep Gill,and Harpal singh Sokhi.
Restaurateur Surfy Rahman and Chef Vicky Ratnani at the Varli festival.
L to R : Chefs Vikram Vij, Vicky Ratnani, Kunal Kapoor, Ajay Chopra, and Hari Nayak
Some of the photographs - courtesy - Varli food festival
The event was a grand success and here are some pictures from the event :
top row : L to R : Mixologist Gina Chersevani, Chef Scott Drewino of Source,Chef Dean Gold of Dino, Middle row: Lto R : Chef Adam Sobel of Bourbon Steak, Chef Marc Vidal of Bouqeria,Chef Nick Steffanelli Bottom row : Chef S.Balamurugan/Indique group, Chef Haider Karoum/Proof & Estadio, Chef Jeffrey Tunks/ Passion Hospitality.
Washington’s Top Chefs Unite to end Childhood Hunger -
Come join us at the National Building Museum as we join other Chefs to help raise the crucial funds necessary to ensure no kid goes hungry in America.
Monday, April 2, 2012
VIP: $150 | 6:00 - 10:00 pm
General Admission: $95 | 7:00 - 10:00 pm
Business Casual Attire
Indique /Indique Heights is proud to be participating at the Varli Food festival in NY. Varli food festival brings together Indian Chefs/Restaurateurs under one roof to promote Indian cuisine. This year's event is hosted by Emmy nominee/top chef host Padma Lakshmi and one of the most celebrated chefs, Sanjeev Kapoor.
What : Varli Food Festival
When : April 5, 2012
Time : 5 PM to 10 PM
Where : Metropolitan Museum ,
125 West 18th Street
(between 6th and 7th Avenue)
New York, NY 10011
Hosted by : Padma Lakshmi and Chef Sanjeev Kapoor
Participating : Over 6o restaurants/ Celebrity Chefs and Restaurateurs