A food wonderland
Imagine feasting on a dastarkhwan of niharis and kebabs or savouring Kolkata chaat while surrounded by Nickelodeon characters and race horses. Doesn’t it sound surreal and mad, like the tea party straight out of Alice In Wonderland?
But you can do just that at This Crazy Food Festival, which will make its debut this weekend at the Indian 1000 Guineas Race. Conceptualized by Rekha Pamani-Gulati and Nisha Sareen of the à la carte company for whom “food is the hero”, the festival promises a two-day fiesta of food, drink, gigs and entertainment, with over 50 brands taking part. Established names like Smoke House Deli, The Fatty Bao and Salt Water Cafe will be cheek by jowl with home chefs from food start-ups Authenticook and Finding Momos.
“The idea is to create an annual hallmark event in Mumbai,” says Pamani-Gulati. “It’s like how you wait for Christmas.”
The next step was to curate a list of vendors, brands and partners that could coexist. “If I want to have sushi and my son wants to have a vada pao, both must be available,” says Pamani-Gulati.
So, while making sure that the consumer has enough choice, the duo is careful not to repeat items across brands. “We have taken a maximum of two brands per category, like two burger stands or two milkshake stands, and they are different in terms of taste,” says Sareen.
Authenticook will host a Parsi bhonu meal and a Purani Dilli ka dastarkhwan by two home chefs. “The items that we are doing for the Parsi meal are salli margi with pao (chicken curry with potato sticks called sali). We have veg dhansak, mutton cutlets, laganu custard and raspberry soda,” says Ameya Deshpande, co-founder of Authenticook. Dilli ka dastarkhwan will offer three types of kebabs apart from nihari with taftan, a kind of bread.
Another Parsi food stall, Parsi da Dhaba, will serve chicken dhansak and keema ghotala, a mixture of scrambled eggs and minced meat. Via Calcutta, an authentic Kolkata chaat counter, will dish out puchka, jhalmuri and ghugni, while The Fatty Bao will serve house favourites like keema bao and broiled oysters with chorizo.
The food truck Purple Monster will offer stuffed garlic breads in vegetarian and non vegetarian options and panna cotta desserts, while another truck, Saga Station, is sticking to the basics, with rajma chawal and dosas. Fromagerie will serve gourmet sandwiches. Haleem by cricketer Zaheer Khan’s Dine Fine restaurant will also be on the menu.
The festival has tied up with Nickelodeon to feature characters like Dora and Sponge Bob. There will also be live music by the likes of Manasi Scott and Ukrainian saxophonist Tanique Fossa.
The Crazy Food Festival will be held from 9-10 December, 1-11pm, at Mahalaxmi Race Course, Dr E Moses Marg, Royal Western India Turf Club, Mahalaxmi. Entry pass, Rs300 plus taxes.
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