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VOL II ISSUE 3 u APRIL 2013

Hospitality

Putting the zing back to exploring the world

PLUS ď ą NRAI’s Food Report looks at food sector

SPOILT FOR CHOICE

Buffets are getting bigger by the day but there is no denying the fact that subtle changes are taking place to make them all-appealing

Lufthansa selects a star chef ARYAA produces brands not wines


editor’s

editor’s note W

hile the whole world – well, almost the whole world – was going through the throes of an economic meltdown, a lot has been happening on the hospitality front: hotels are being opened, our brothers and sisters vacationed abroad in large numbers, new concepts unwound at eateries and much more. These moves come at a crucial juncture. We are on the cusp of exciting times in the hospitality industry. No longer can hoteliers and restaurateurs be complacent and say: ‘We have seen it all … we have done it all…’ The time has come to think and do things ‘out of the box’ and we took a close look at the food served in star and stand-alone eateries. This edition takes a look at the new trends in buffets. Today, ‘classical buffets’, is one may be permitted to use the term, are frankly too varied to be enjoyably consumed. But lo and behold, the contemporary avatar of the buffet is undergoing a B-I-G change. The number of plates are indeed multiplying -- 290 dishes, 30 live counters and 7 different cuisines -- but that is not the end of the story. One would have thought that such a stupendous display of food would not be popular. Far from it. The buffet served in one of the Mumbai hotels became a rage. That is simply because buffets are excellent vehicles to learn about different varieties of cuisine. Where do all the platterfuls of food take a hotel – or for that matter a restaurant – to attract consumers? Creating bespoke meals is one thing and serving buffets is another. Where do the two meet? Surely there has to be a meeting point. And, we did find that. The contemporary buffet spread is scripted keeping two things in mind: the consumer and the taste in fashion. Add to that colours, season, envi-

ronment and the cuisine style. Buffets apart, the issue records the interest in Indian cuisine by aviation majors: incidentally, once again to attract the Indian flyer. Lufthansa, for example, held a major contest to select ten home cooks who could dish out the tastiest Indian fare. That brings me to another important topic. All the buffets and the food fests drawn up hotels would be useless unless they are given due publicity. Our hotels — I daresay — do not do their bit to highlight their food and the creations of their chefs. Today, one doesn’t need to spend copious amounts of moolah for publicity. All you need is a camera and an U-Tube account that incidentally is the second most sought-after search engine after Google. Hoteliers could do their bit by getting an account and start populating it with videos of their chefs creating delicacies. These videos could easily be a part of your website and put your establishment firmly in the minds of your visitors. In the game of attracting eyeballs, it is well worth a try. What do you think? On our part we will bring you a total lowdown of the hotel experience. Most of the stuff that you will find in future issues of the magazine will be ‘experiential’ or simply put, our colleagues would have experienced before putting pen to paper for you. Happy reading! And keep in touch

Hospitality Volume II

No 3

Editor-in-Chief

K SRINIVASAN Managing Editor

TIRTHANKAR GHOSH Sub-Editor-cum-Reporter

PUNIT MISHRA

Editorial Coordination

ANJANA TANWAR, RIJUL S UPPAL Design

NAGENDER DUBEY, MOHIT KANSAL CHANDRAJEET

Picture Editor

PRADEEP CHANDRA

Photo Editor

HC TIWARI

Staff Photographer

HEMANT RAWAT

—————————— Director (Admin & Corporate Affairs)

RAJIV SINGH

Director (Marketing)

RAKESH GERA

Sr. Executive (Subscription)

ALKA GOSWAMI (Mob. 9650433066) Executive Director

RENU MITTAL

For advertising and sales enquiries, please contact: +91-9810030533, 9650433088 Editorial & Marketing office: Newsline Publications Pvt. Ltd., D-11 Basement, Nizamuddin (East), New Delhi -110 013, Tel: +91-11-41033381-82 tghosh@newsline.in

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CO NTEN TS 32

MIX AND MATCH

Temperance An altogether cultural hub

34

WINES LOVER

ARYAA Wines Mercury Winery produces more than a wine or brand Tx HOSPITALITY

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AIRLINE FOOD

Lufthansa Star Chef Contest Pampering Indian travellers with distinct flavours in Indian Cuisines

09

BEAT THAT

European-themed menu launch Enjoy exclusive European cuisines with Dragonair

11

NEWS & MORE

Hotel tales Experience true hospitality


COVER STORY

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26

DINE- OUT

India Food Services Report 2013 NRAI showcasing major roles of Indian Food industry

ULTIMATE CULINARY IDEA Meet Buffet experts to dive deep into history

36

ADDING LUXURY

Kempinski Ambience Hotel Europe’s another ideal residence opens

VOL II ISSUE 3 u APRIL 2013

Hospitality

Putting the zing back to exploring the world

PLUS  NRAI’s Food Report looks at food sector

SPOILT FOR CHOICE

Buffets are getting bigger by the day but there is no denying the fact that subtle changes are taking place to make them all-appealing

38

ARYAA produces brands not wines

COVER DESIGN: Nagender Dubey

ART EXHIBIT

“Sacred is the passion of sacred integrity” Legendary Contemporary Artist promoting Calligraphy Art at Met Tx HOSPITALITY

Lufthansa selects a star chef

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COVER PHOTO: zastavki.com

APRIL 2013

HOTEL REVIEW


AIRLINE FOOD

STAR FOOD

IN THE AIR

As the definition of travel changes, airlines are making an extra effort to ensure passengers satisfaction with the on-board food served to them. With this in mind, Lufthansa’s star chef contest is held to make the consumer feel more at home while travelling.

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ufthansa recently concluded the latest edition of its ‘Star Chef’ (India) contest. The airline started its ‘Star Chef’ programme a decade ago with top international chefs designing Business and First Class in-flight menus. More than 60 celebrity chefs have so far pampered passengers. Different chefs are appointed to different routes and for varying periods to ensure that frequent flyers are constantly offered exciting new dishes. Since 2005, celebrity chefs with a specific connection to a flight destination have created localised menus on long-haul routes. To pamper their Indian pasTx HOSPITALITY

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sengers, Lufthansa got onboard celebrity chef Kunal Kapur to join the Lufthansa Star Chef panel. Kunal Kapur teamed up with Star Chef Surender Mohan, adding his distinct flavours to create outstanding Indian cuisine on board Lufthansa flights to and from India. So what is the big fuss with airline food? Isn’t it just regular food that’s served to you at 35,000 feet? The answer to that is a big NO! What many of us don’t realise is that food changes at that height and our taste buds go numb, thus we inadvertently blame the airline for not satisfying our taste buds. Airline executives, suppliers and

APRIL 2013


AIRLINE FOOD caterers are slowly getting around to the fact that food changes at 35,000 feet, even when prepared under exact specifications of some of the best chefs in the world. As Jad Mouawad of the NY Times put it, “Even before a plane takes off, the atmosphere inside the cabin dries up the nose. As the plane ascends, the change in air pressure numbs about a third of the taste buds. And as the plane reaches a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, cabin humidity levels are kept low by design, to reduce the risk of fuselage corrosion. Soon the nose no longer knows. Cotton mouth sets in.” Even if you were to overlook the physiological and psychological role played during the in-flight dining experience, it’s difficult to imagine much creativity coming from the small onboard pantries unless airlines have chosen to invest greatly in creating larger spaces for chefs and flight attendants to prepare fabulous meals. The sector is rapidly changing and as airlines compete for your continued business and loyalty, they’re trying to go one-up on each other. Today, the extent some airlines are going to is no less than running a full-fledged ritzy restaurant. Airlines are making sizeable investment to bring in not only world class chefs to build adventurous and delicious dishes but also top sommeliers to pair these menus. But why are airlines going to such great lengths? The answer to that is simple. The in-flight meal plays a major role on the passenger’s overall flight experience. Once airborne, apart from the comfort of the seat, it is the meal that contributes a lot towards the flying experience. Virgin Airlines, for example, had last year, introduced a innovative new Economy meal experience that began with a welcome cocktail served in a purple glass. Cathay Pacific also announced the new “Cathay Pacific Signature Chinese Dishes” on its in-flight menus. Singapore Airlines has the International Culinary panel, comprising awardwinning chefs from the culinary capitals of the world. This panel works closely with the airline’s own chefs to create a unique selection to be served on-board. For Indian, palates, Singapore Airlines serves the Shahi Thali (both veg and nonveg) specially designed by Sanjeev Kapoor. Indian dishes are gaining popularity amongst international travellers also. India is the second largest market for Lufthansa. While the carrier serves Indian meals in the Economy class and teamed up with The Leela to serve Indian dishes in the premium cabins, the carrier also offers all passengers a choice of chai, and the opportunity to pre-book an Asian vegetarian or a Hindu meal. The carrier also takes note of little things such as whiskey always being served with water, while tea/coffee are to be served extra hot. On Lufthansa, the list of award-winning chefs bought onboard to create menus for First Class and Business Class long-haul flights is long and includes Armin Leitgib, Nils Henkel, Stefan Stiller, Wahabi


AIRLINE FOOD

Lufthansa Star Chef Contest winner Vandana Sethi was crowned ‘Queen of Spices’ and shall now travel to Frankfurt to the LSG Sky Chefs Kitchen and receive a internship at The Leela Hotel

Nouri, David Burke, Holger Stromberg, Marc Fosh Lea Linster, Roland Schmid, Anna Matscher, Douce Steiner and Patrick Kimpel. India is a big market for airlines and thus they go all out to pamper the Indian traveller. Though Lufthansa could have found its way to big culinary names, it chose to go to the people through the ‘Star Chef Contest’. The contest was aimed at getting the general public to cook what could be served to you on your next flight. The idea behind that could be to ensure that the Indian passenger feels at home while enjoying the onboard meal. In the recent contest, Vandana Sethi was declared the Grand Prize winner in a zesty Grand Finale at The Leela, Mumbai where 11 aspiring chefs, selected from thousands of contestants across India, vied for top honours in a live cook-out. Vandana won the battle of tastes with her recipe for Khoye ki Subzi, which will feature in the celebrated Star Chef Menu onboard Lufthansa flights from India and at select restaurants at The Leela. The contest began as a unique talent hunt on Lufthansa India Facebook page to find the best original Indian recipe. The finalists emerged through a Facebook poll of the best recipes selected by the celebrated Star Chef jury comprising Master Chefs Kunal Kapur, Surender Mohan, and Thomas Brockenauer, all known for their culinary excellence and innovation. “Each recipe was creative, original and delicious. Vandana’s innovative entrée was a clear winner as she stayed true to India’s culinary traditions,” commented Master Chef Kunal Kapur. Text: Rijul Singh Uppal Tx HOSPITALITY

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BEAT THAT

EUROPE ON

DRAGONAIR

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ragonair has come up with the new European-themed menu launch for its First Class and Business Class passengers that features authentic dishes inspired by the cuisines of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. On selective flights of Dragonair from Hong Kong to Beijing and Shanghai, passengers can enjoy the new menu through mid-October. The newly-launched menu features 40 classic dishes drawn from five selected European countries with taste highlights including cheese and creamy sauces from Switzerland, Italian pastas and vegetables, French wine and herbs, German

sausages and sauerkraut as well as chorizo and tomatoes from Spain. “Dragonair is committed to provide the best in-flight services and products and our Chinese and Asian menus have long been recognised as one of the best dining offerings in the air. Now, we are taking the in-flight dining experience beyond Asia with our new European menu, which will bring new surprises for valued customers on our busiest routes to Mainland China. Hong Kong has one of the world’s most eclectic dining scenes and our catering provider has been able to utilise tasty ingredients from both local and imported sources to produce a wide range of

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BEAT THAT FIRST CLASS FRANCE

Herb Cheese Chicken Breast with Chicken Jus, Vine Ripe Tomato, Pumpkin and Gratin Potato Pan-fried Lamb Chop with Lamb Jus, Grilled Zucchini, Pumpkin and Gratin Potato Roasted Duck Breast with Demi-glace, Cherry Tomato Ragout, Kenya Bean and Gratin Potato Duck Confit with Balsamic Reduction, Mini Ratatouille, Asparagus and Lemon Garlic Potato

ITALY

Lamb Shank Brasato, Grilled Zucchini, Asparagus and Orechiette Pasta Cod Gremolata with Lemon Caper Salsa and Pappardelle Pasta Deep-fried Breaded Chicken Breast with Chicken Jus, Mediterranean Vegetables and Sautéed Potatoes Pan-seared Scallop with Pesto Sauce and Saffron Risotto Chicken Scaloppini with Marsala Wine Sauce, Grilled Vegetables, Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto Pan-fried Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce and Mozzarella, Truffled Polenta and Italian Tasco Vegetables

Business Class FRANCE

Herb Cheese Chicken Breast with Chicken Jus, Vine Ripe Tomato, Pumpkin and Gratin Potato Pan-fried Lamb Chop with Lamb Jus, Grilled Zucchini, Pumpkin and Gratin Potato Roasted Duck Breast with Demi-glace, Cherry Tomato Ragout, Kenya Bean and Gratin Potato Duck Confit with Balsamic Reduction, Mini Ratatouille, Asparagus and Lemon Garlic Potato

SWITZERLAND

Poached Salmon with Herbs White Wine Cream Sauce, Sautéed Spinach, Baby Carrot and Potatoes Baked Chicken with Gruyere and Sage in Mushroom Sauce, Grilled Yellow Squash, Pumpkin and Casarecia Pasta Pan-fried Beef Tenderloin with Demi-glace, Vine Ripe Tomato and Spaetzles

ITALY

Lamb Shank Brasato, Grilled Zucchini, Asparagus and Orechiette Pasta Cod Gremolata with Lemon Caper Salsa and Pappardelle Pasta Deep-fried Breaded Chicken Breast with Chicken Jus, Mediterranean Vegetables and Sautéed Potatoes Pan-seared Scallop with Pesto Sauce and Saffron Risotto Chicken Scaloppini with Marsala Wine Sauce, Grilled Vegetables, Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto Pan-fried Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce and Mozzarella, Truffled Polenta and Italian Tasco Vegetables

SWITZERLAND

Poached Salmon with Herbs White Wine Cream Sauce, Sautéed Spinach, Baby Carrot and Potatoes Baked Chicken with Gruyere and Sage in Mushroom Sauce, Grilled Yellow Squash, Pumpkin and Casarecia Pasta Pan-fried Beef Tenderloin with Demi-glace, Vine Ripe Tomato and Spaetzles

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European delicacies for our passengers, especially international travellers, to enjoy,” said Dragonair General Manger In-flight Services, Andy Wong. The new menu includes, “Pork Cordon Bleu with Demi-glace, Kenya Beans, Cherry Tomato Ragout and Potato”, and “Pan-fried Cod Fish with Capsicum Tomato Chorizo Sauce, Pumpkin, Zucchini and Mashed Sweet Potato”. The former dish is a breaded cutlet dish of meat pounded thin and wrapped around a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss Gruyere cheese, which is breaded and then pan-fried. Chorizo is made from coarse pork seasoned with paprika and salt and is commonly used in appetizers or as a filling in ‘Bacadillo’ which is a Spanish word for a sandwich made with French bread. For the pan-fried cod dish, chorizo is a key ingredient that helps to give a kick to the capsicum sauce and provides the perfect accompaniment to the subtle flavours of the fish. Dishes in the new menu will be offered in-flight on a rotational basis. APRIL 2013


HOTEL NEWS EXPANSION

LEBUA TO ADD 1,660 HOTEL ROOMS IN INDIA

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ebua Hotels and Resorts has announced that it is planning to add 1,660 rooms in up to seven properties across India in five years as part of its expansion plans. The company will also be hiring around 3,320 people to meet its growth plans in the country. Lebua Hotels and Resorts Chief Executive Officer, Deepak Ohri said that the company will be hiring 200 people for its Rajasthan and Goa properties in immediate future. Currently, the chain

has three properties in Rajasthan with a total of 140 rooms. Now, for the new properties, Lebua is eyeing destinations like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa and Rishikesh. When asked about investments for the expansion, he did not share a number but said: "We are an asset light company. We will follow the management contract model and our investments will be in manpower, in offices and in establishing procedures."

RECOGNITION

ASCOTT SHINES AT MOB-EX AWARDS

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scott Limited, world's largest international serviced residence owner-operator, received the Gold and Bronze awards for Best Mobile Site and Best User Experience respectively at the inaugural Mob-Ex Awards 2013 in Singapore. Singapore-based Ascott, last year launched its mobile-friendly brand websites and online chat facility to enable online bookings on the go and real-time response to costumers questions. "Ascott is proud to be recognised at the premier Mob-Ex Awards that celebrates mobile excellence. The tech-savvy customers of today want fast and convenient access to information while on the go. The launch of our mobile-friendly websites and online chat facility enables us to better reach out to our guests wherever they are, whenever they choose and whatever platform they prefer to use," said Tony Soh, Ascott's Chief Corporate Officer.

CELEBRATION

DOUBLE TREE GURGAON CELEBRATES DIMSUM FESTIVAL

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opular in Hong Kong and gaining a worldwide fan base, Dim Sum literally means 'to touch the heart'. So when Double Tree by Hilton played the perfect host to give India a taste of Hong Kong, it was definitely worth praising. The hotel celebrated culinary finesse with an array of the finest dumplings in the Dim Sum festival from 22nd March to 7th April 2013. The skilled chefs prepared the South East Asian specialties in the interactive open show kitchens and counters that run the entire length of the restaurant. The Dumpling menu boasted varieties like Chicken and water chestnut dumpling, banh bao (Steamed buns

with shitake, Prawn crystal Carrot, green bean and broccoli crystal, Banh Cuon teamed rice paper wraps with silken tofu and bean sprouts Shitake and Black fungus bao Steamed buns, shitake mushroom, black fungus Broccoli and tofu crystal Steamed crystal dumpling, broccoli, tofu and a lot more other varieties that gave a memorable evening to the diners at the Double Tree by Hilton. Tx HOSPITALITY

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APRIL 2013


HOTEL NEWS

THE SERAI OFFERS LIFETIME

NEW PLANS

EXPERIENCE

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n a bid to woo the clientele Delhi has to offer — keeping in mind that Delhi is India s tourism hub The Serai has launched a package called the Pure Serai Extravaganza for its Delhi market. The Serai is a group of luxury leisure resorts in the Indian state of Karnataka, operated by Coffee Day Hotels and Resorts (CDHR), a subsidiary of Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company Ltd. (ABC). In Karnataka, The Serai has three resorts in Chikmagalur, Kabini and Bandipur. The Serai offers travellers an experience worth cherishing for a lifetime. To provide a view of Nature's offerings, the resort at Bandipur is built seamlessly into the forests of the Bandipur National Park and with accommodation designed to take you away from all qualms of modern day life, it surely enhances the tranquilising stay of the traveller. The Serai Kabini is yet another peaceful accommoda-

tion by CDHR, with the River Kabini mesmerising each moment of your stay. Chikmagalur, the coffee country, provides you with an experience that can't be forgotten. With the Serai offering you a tour of the coffee plantation, to letting you forget your earthly worries behind by getting to pick your own coffee buds, experience the entire process of coffee making and later sipping a cuppa that you are by now familiar with as your own. Director CDHR, Mr. Venkatesh says, "With a small inventory and focus very clearly on the experience delivery model, we are very clear that we need to speak to that discerning traveller and we honestly believe that he/she is right here in Delhi. We as a company very strongly believe that we are here to create memories, we are 'Memory Creators' rather than holiday makers. CDHR is also planning a national expansion by setting up 10 more properties in the coming fiscal years. Tx HOSPITALITY

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APRIL 2013


HOTEL NEWS AWARDS

THE LEELA TRAVEL TRADE AWARDS 2013

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he Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts hosted the first edition of “The Leela Travel Trade Awards 2013” to recognise the invaluable contributions and support of its travel and trade partners. The award ceremony held at The Leela Kempinski Gurgaon, began with the unveiling of ‘Raga’, a rare music composition conceptualised and created by Samyukta Nair and written and composed by Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan. The unveiling was followed by a live rendition by Ayaan Ali Khan. The awards in five different categories were presented by the top management of The Leela group, including, Vivek Nair, Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv Kaul, President; Rajesh Jhingon, Execu-

NEW OFFER

TAJ PAMPERS ITS GUESTS

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aj Safaris — Taj Hotels and Resorts, brings a thrilling holiday experience in the jungles of India. At the four exquisite lodges in the national parks of Madhya Pradesh — Pashan Garh, Mahua Kothi, Baghvan and Banjaar Tola; guests can enjoy exceptional luxury, unusual 'jungle' cuisine and service excellence that will delight traveller experience. Taj Safari is offering its visitants a surprise this holiday season as the guests can now extend their trip of two days as Taj Safaris gives you the 'third day stay complementary'. Tucked away in the outskirts of the national parks of Madhya Pradesh, Taj Safari lodges are sensitively plugged-in to their surroundings, making use of locally available sustainable resources. Each lodge has its own unique set of characteristics which defines it.

tive Vice President Operations and Deepak Khullar, Vice President Sales and Marketing, in the presence of Padma Bhushan Captain C P Krishnan Nair, Chairman Emeritus and Founder, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts. Rajiv Kaul, President, The Leela Palaces, Resorts and Hotels said, “The Awards have been initiated to express our grateful appreciation for the unwavering support and enduring commitment of our Travel Trade partners, who have helped making The Leela a preferred C. P. Krishnan Nair, Chairman Emeritus & Founder Indian luxury hospitality brand today, in national and international Chairman, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts welcoming Ayaan Ali Khan markets.”

LAUNCH

HILTON WORLDWIDE LAUNCHES IN PUNE — CHINCHWAD

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ilton Worldwide has signed a franchise agreement with Panchshil Hotels Pvt. Ltd for an upscale, full service DoubleTree launch in Pune. The opening of DoubleTree by Hilton in Pune is scheduled in June 2013 and will mark the first hotel of the rapidly growing hospitality company in the second largest urban centre in the state of Maharashtra and the eighth largest in India. Speaking on the occasion, Martin Rinck, President, Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide, said, "The launch of DoubleTree by Hilton Pune-Chinchwad will be another significant step in our growth strategy in India as it will represent our entry into Pune. Following on from two great years of growth, when we grew our portfolio to 12 hotels and resorts, we are expanding rapidly in the country and anticipate increasing our presence to 17 hotels by the end of this year.” DoubleTree by Hilton PuneChinchwad will offer 115 spacious guestrooms that feature all modern conveniences including internet access, LCD televisions, electronic safes, refrigerated private bars and tea and coffee making facilities. Other facilities at the hotel include three dining outlets, an Executive Lounge, 24-hour business and fitness centres, outdoor rooftop pool and 2, 00 sq. ft. of meetings and events space. Tx HOSPITALITY

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HOTEL NEWS AWARDS

NEW PLANS

HYATT HONOURS EXCELLENCE WITH 2013 AWARDS LORDS INN HOTELS

EYES 35 PROPERTIES

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yatt Hotels Corporation honoured top owners and developers of its hotels at its global owners' conference. Hyatt's Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors Tom Pritzker and President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Hoplamazian presented awards to 10 companies. "We are privileged to have a strong network of owner relationships around the world," said Hoplamazian. "All of the companies recognized this year have proven to be valued collaborators with a strong history of quality projects. We thank them for their contribution to our company and for their support for our brands, and look forward to continuing to grow together with them in ways that create mutual value." Three companies received the 2013 Strategic Partner Award that are Hersha Hospitality Trust, Saraf Holdings Private Limited and Mori Build-

I (L-R) Hyatt Hotels Corporation President and CEO Mark Hoplamazian, Hersha Hospitality Trust President and COO Neil Shah, Hyatt Hotels Corporation Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors Tom Pritzker, and Executive Vice President, Group President - Americas Rakesh Sarna

ing Company, While the Developer of the year' was presented to Concord Hospitality and Extell Development. The 'Best Project' award was given to Hyatt Place Los Angeles/LAX/El Segundo, Hyatt Place San Jose/Pinares and Hyatt Regency New Orleans.

ndian subsidiary of the US-based Lords Inn Hotels and Developers, is eyeing up to 35 properties across the country by 2015. The company is looking at 25 operational properties and another 10 signed deals by 2015. They already have a strong presence in Gujarat and are targeting one hotel in all cities of the state besides towns in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh among others. The company, which falls mainly in the 2-4 star segment, is planning to cater to the growing tier II, III and IV cities. At present, the company is operating 16 properties with 970 rooms. Another five properties with 350 rooms are under various stages of development, of which two with 0 rooms will be operational in two months, he said.

APPOINTMENTS GOA MARRIOTT APPOINTS GM

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anju Alex has taken over as the General Manager of Goa Marriott Resort & Spa. She carries two decades of experience in hotel management and Ranju Alex operations. Ranju has served as the General Manager of Oberoi Grand Hotel, Kolkatta and more recently, at Courtyard by Marriott, Pune. She joined Marriott International in 2010. She moves to Goa after completing a successful tenure with the first Marriott property in Pune as the GM of Courtyard by Marriott, Pune Hinjewadi. In her current role, Ranju is responsible for overseeing all aspects of operational and strategic management of the Goa Marriott Resort and Spa.

ATOAI ELECTS NEW PRESIDENT

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he Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) recently elected the officebearers and Executive Committee for the financial years 2013-14 and 2014Akshay Kumar 15. Akshay Kumar was elected unopposed as the President of the Association during the Annual General Body meeting at the Metropolitan Hotel, New Delhi. He takes over from Tejbir Singh Anand, who headed ATOAI for four years. In his inaugural address, Akshay Kumar said, "The new team has identified some key result areas to immediately start working on. As a top priority, the team has pledged to add value for the membership and ensure powerful and resourceful networking opportunities to the membership." Tx HOSPITALITY

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APRIL 2013

THE TAJ MAHAL HOTEL APPOINTS GM

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he Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi recently appointed Satyajeet Krishnan as the new General Manager. Prior to the Taj group, he worked with Satyajeet Krishnan Rambagh Palace, Jodhpur for four years. During his tenure, the Rambagh Palace won prestigious awards from the Conde Nast Traveller voting it the Best Hotel in the World and TripAdvisor's Best Luxury Hotel. He began his career at the iconic Hotel 19 years ago where he spent his formative years in hoteliering at the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi and subsequently worked across various Taj Hotels in Delhi, Goa and Bengaluru.


HOTEL NEWS NEW PLANS

OPENING

SAROVAR OPENS RESIDENCY SAROVAR PORTICO

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arover Hotels announced the opening of a 71-room serviced apartment style hotel, Residency Sarover Portico in Mumbai. It’s going to be the fifth hotel in Mumbai after Hotel Marine Plaza, Grand Sarover Premier, Grand Hometel and Majestic Court Sarover Portico. All of the 71 well-designed guest rooms and suites at the hotel are modern in appeal and offer contemporary amenities such as LCD Television with satellite channels, tea / coffee maker, mini bar and Wi-Fi. The hotel provides meeting and banquet facilities for up to 250 guests and a Tea Lounge which exclusively caters to in-house guests and offers Indian and Continental cuisines. Commenting on the opening Anil Madhok, Managing Director, Sarovar Hotels Pvt. Ltd. said, “Residency Sarovar Portico is a serviced apartment style hotel and will cater to both leisure and business travellers, especially those visiting North Mumbai for business. This is our fifth hotel in Mumbai offering quality accommodation at attractive price points. With this hotel we now have over 60 hotels operational and aim to open a total of 100 hotels by 2020 across the globe.”

BERGGRUEN APPOINTS COO

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erggruen Hotels, parent company of Keys Hotels has appointed Vijay Sethi as new Chief Operating Officer of the company. Sethi will bring on Vijay Sethi board rich experience across 28 years and four verticals of hospitality — hotels, airlines, travel and tourism and healthcare. Vijay Sethi was associated with Thomas Cook India Ltd. as SVP and Head, Tour Management and Customer Service, before joining Berggruen Hotels in April 2013. During his close to three decades long career, he has also been associated with The Intercontinental Hotel, The Leela Kempinski Hotel, Jet Airways and Asian Heart Institute on varied leadership designations.

LEELA APPOINTS EXECUTIVE CHEF

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he Leela Palace, New Delhi has appointed Christophe Gillino as the Executive Chef. The new role of Chef Christophe will include oversee and drive the kitchen operations Christophe Gillino and initiatives. Gillino has a global outlook and exposure, possessing abilities in a wide variety of styles. He firmly believes in two-way learning and constantly focuses on nurturing his Kitchen talent. He has mastered the fine-dining techniques working with many renowned chefs such as Alain Ducasse, Paul-Louis Meissonnier, Manuel Martinez Alain Senderens and Christian Willer. Tamir Kobrin, General Manager, The Leela Palace New Delhi, said, "Chef Gillino is veteran in the world of international cuisine and we are delighted to welcome him on board." Tx HOSPITALITY

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APRIL 2013

HILTON WORLDWIDE HITS 100TH OPENING

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ilton Worldwide marked a key milestone with the opening of DoubleTree by Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok. It is planning to open more than 170 hotels with more than 50,000 rooms and expecting to triple its current portfolio in the next five years. In 2012, Hilton Worldwide signed a total of 55 new properties in key Asia Pacific markets including India, Greater China, Australia, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. With these new signings, over 14,600 rooms will be included into the company’s portfolio across six brands Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton.

HYATT AMRITSAR APPOINTS GM

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yatt Amritsar has appointed Bhagwan Balani as its General Manager. Balani is a graduate and double diploma holder in Hotel Management and Marketing ManBhagwan Balani agement. He began his career in the Food and Beverage department of the Leela Kempinski Mumbai in 1995. In July 1999, he joined the Sales and Marketing team of the Leela Kempinski as a sales executive and later got promoted to Assistant Manager of Sales. In December 2002 he joined the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa as Sales Manager, later got promoted as Associate Director of Sales, and then as Director of Sales. Balani subsequently got promoted to Director of Sales & Marketing in April 2008 at the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa.


FOOD& DRINK FESTIVAL

PROMOTION

‘ABSOLUT EXPOSURE’ LAUNCHED AT DELHI DUTY FREE

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he premier Vodka brand, ABSOLUT is ready to attract their travellers with their new story telling bottle- 'ABSOLUTE Exposure'. This will be the first vodka brand to use photographs on the exteriors of the bottle. Their new effort will set the standards for the competi-

tion to emulate and generate excitement for the customer. In addition, Delhi duty Free will be the first duty free in the country to sell the limited edition ABSOLUT Exposure to international travellers. ABSOLUT Exposure continues the brand’s creative legacy and will have the works of Johan Renck — a globally renowned photographer and director, on its exterior. Arun Barathi, COO, Delhi Duty Free Services said, “Though today’s traveller has a choice of duty frees around the world to shop from; it’s thrilling to note that for many Delhi Duty Free is the first choice. The India ‘first launch’ of Absolut Exposure limited edition is yet another effort to continually add value to all our esteemed customers. Delhi Duty Free, India's largest duty free retail space at T3, IGI Airport, New Delhi will be the first duty free in the country to sell the limited edition. ABSOLUT Exposure to the international traveller.

ONLINE

Foodpanda.in WITH PIZZA HUT

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ww.foodpanda.in has confirmed a partnership with Pizza Hut s franchise in India Devyani International Limited". This liaison will help the leading online food ordering platform to take orders online for Pizza Hut delivery stores managed by Devyani. Customers can now choose from Foodpanda‘s greatest variety of cuisines, including Pizza Hut’s meals easily via its online platform. Foodpanda is the largest online food ordering platform in India with the widest gastronomic range to choose from. The association starts in Delhi and neighbouring areas with Bengaluru set to follow soon.

Amit Kohli, Managing Director, Foodpanda India commented, "We are quite excited to announce Pizza Hut as Foodpanda's newest partner. Both sides are looking forward to a long-lasting and growth centric relationship. For our customers, this means that they have even more variety to choose from. The co-operation with Pizza Hut shows that our hard work has paid off. We are soon to add several other favourite restaurants preferred by our customers and expand to more parts in India. This will bring us one step closer to becoming India’s number one food delivery service." Tx HOSPITALITY

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MAHARASHTRA IN BENGALURU

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aharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) in association with St. Mark’s Hotel celebrated Maharashtrian cuisine and culture at St. Mark’s Hotel in Bengaluru from May 1, 2013 to May 5, 2013. The Maharashtrian food festival did not only tickle the taste buds of local Bengalurians but also gave them an opportunity to witness the colourful dance form of the state. Speaking at the food festival, Managing Director of MTDC, Jagdish Patil said, "We are happy with the warm reception we have received in this festival second year in row. This festival will give an opportunity to present the sumptuous delicacies of Maharashtrian cuisine in a thematic festive environment. We acknowledge the association of St. Mark’s Hotel and I would like to appreciate their efforts in setting up this brilliant concept." The festival received a good response for the second year in succession. During this year's festival, the festival showcased Maharashtra as a premier tourist destination. A team of special chefs flew in from Mumbai who specialised in dishing out authentic Maharashtrian cuisine.


FOOD& DRINK CHILL OUT

RE-ENERGISE YOUR SENSES AT CAFÉ MORRISON

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elcome summer with new refreshing Mangolicious chillers at Café Morrison. As the sweet smell of mangoes fill the air and fanatics savour their taste buds with mangoes reigning over their dessert platters with flair, Caf Morrison takes you through a voyage by unleashing mango flavoured desserts and energising chillers to tantalise your senses. Apart from mangoes, enjoy the mix of great Indian and international flavours infused with the goodness of fresh fruits and juices, an instant ‘pick-me-up’ on a blazing hot day. Choose from a list

of mocktails that feature fascinating drinks like Morrison Punch, Virgin Mojito, Red Sun, the All Shook Up, Café Astoria, Blue Haw All. Treat yourself and head to the Delhi’s Mecca of Rock music, bang your heads to songs of your favourite rockers and soothe your throat this summer with energizing Coolers only at Café Morrison!

CHILL OUT

CATHAY PACIFIC FEATURES SIX WORLD-CLASS WINES

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athay Pacific Airways has introduced six world-class wines from Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France to the First Class wine list to enhance its award-winning inflight wine selection. The airline has continued its search for premium Bordeaux wines to delight the discerning palates of its premium passengers. First Class Passengers now have the chance to appreciate half-a-dozen top-quality wines from Saint-Émilion in addition to the regular First Class wine selection. The latest round of wine selection features six premium wines from Saint-Émilion, each being selected to show a different aspect of the important terroir of the area. Château Figeac, Saint-Émilion Premier Grand Cru Classé 2007 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2007 Ch teau Dassault, Saint- milion Grand Cru Cathay Pacific General Manager Inflight Services James Ginns promotes the latest Classé 2004 Château Fonplégade, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru promotion to enhance the airline’s award-winning inflight wine selection Class 200 Château La Couspaude, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2009 Château Haut Brisson La Réserve, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2009 Currently, Cathay Pacific carries around 100 different wines to go with its wide variety of in-flight cuisine and suit the differing tastes of passengers from around the world. Tx HOSPITALITY

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DESTINATION NEWS ENCOURAGEMENT

GEOSPA ASIASPA SHOWCASES TALENTS IN WELLNESS INDUSTRY

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litz and glamour at the recently held 6th GeoSpa asiaSpa India Awards ceremony at The Kingdom of Dreams, Gurgaon made the award night a memorable event. These awards are held every year to encourage the rapidly growing spa and wellness industry in the country. The esteemed signature event showcased various categories in the Best Spas and Spa products across the country. The event kicked off with spectacular Bollywood dance numbers with an added fun element by stand up comedians, Saurabh Pant and Kunal who tickled the funny bones of guests present at the occasion. Bollywood celebrities were honoured for being the fitness icons in the industry. The ever enchanting Dia Mirza was honoured ‘Eco Crusader of the year’ award Timeless Diva Hema Malini received the ‘Evergreen Wellness Diva’ Award. Shamana Spa , Grand Hyatt Goa and Vivanta by Taj, Bekal was the winner for the best new Spa resort, Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort, Noida, won the award for most luxurious spa resort. Partners to the 6th GeoSpa asiaSpa India Awards were Lufthansa ,Austrian Airlines ,Grant Thornton, Kingdom of Dreams , NDTV GoodTimes, Episode and Audi.

Top (L-R) Malaika Arora Khan receiving Spalicious Mom Award from Action Axil Hilgers, Director South Asia Lufthansa German Airlines and GM Austrian Airlines, Hema Malini receiving the Epitome of wellness award from Niqi Kundhi, Director, GeoSpa, Arjun Kapoor receiving Wellness Icon Award from Parineeta Sethi Editor in chief Asiaspa Magazine and Diya Mirza receiving the Eco Crusader Award from Micheal Perschke MD Audi India

LIFESTYLE

INDIAN TRAVEL AGENT FAMILIARISATION TO JORDAN

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ordan Tourism Board India organised a Travel Agent familiarisation trip to Jordan from India. The group visited known places of Jordan including Dead Sea, Patra, Amman and Aqaba. The trip was filled with special experiences such as sightseeing in Amman where the group stayed at Le Meridian Amman Hotel, and also visits to Jerash, Ajloun and Mount Nebo. Later, the group proceeded to the ultimate historical and archaeological marvel Petra and spent the night there to enjoy the beauty of Petra in the evening. Next stop was Wadi Rum where everyone drove into the desert in a 4x4

Indian Travel Agents on trip to Jordan

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drive. Then the group moved to Aqaba where they enjoyed snorkelling and then drove to the Dead Sea where they stayed at the Kempinski Ishtar Dead Sea Hotel. This also included a visit to the Dead Sea Convention Centre after which they also enjoyed Spa Treatments. The group left after attending a workshop organised at Le Royal Hotel. The session was organised to educate the Indian agents on the pricing/ costing of packages to Jordan and to develop business ties with their local counterparts.


DESTINATION NEWS LIFESTYLE

SOUTH AFRICA BOOKS INTERNATIONAL LIFESTYLE DESTINATION AWARD

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t recently held Jaypee Greens NDTV Good Times Lifestyle Awards 2013, South Africa won the prestigious International Lifestyle Destination of the Year Award. The event was headed by distinguished guests such as Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Jacqueline Fernandes, Maria Gorretti, Milind Soman, Suhel Seth and Vir Sanghvi who made the event more interesting with their presence. At the star-studded gala award ceremony in Delhi, Hennali Slabber, Country Manager of South African Tourism India received the award from Shilpa Shetty Kundra. The nominations were adjudged by a panel of jury comprising some renowned names in the travel tourism and lifestyle industry. South African Tourism has added another feather to their hat by winning this award. South Africa had received Lonely Planet's award, last year, for Best International Wildlife Destination and Today's Traveller's Best Publicity and Promotional Award. According to latest arrival figures of October 2012, South Africa received 87,906 Indians visitors between January to October 2012. Hennali Slabber said, "We are extremely pleased and excited to have received this award and we would like to thank NDTV for this recognition. Having received this award from Shilpa Shetty Kundra makes it even more special since she has always voiced her love for the Rainbow Nation be it during the IPL or otherwise".

Hennali Slabber, Country Manager of South African Tourism India received award from Shilpa Shetty Kundra at the NDTV Good Times Lifestyle Awards at 2013

SLOVENIA

SLOVENIA WOOS INDIAN TOURISTS

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lovenia, situated in Central Europe with Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia as neighbouring countries, is at the crossroads of European cultural and trade routes and is a diverse country relative to its geography, history, economy, culture and language. The country provides beaches, lakes, mountains and is slowly gaining as a health destination. Being on the sunny side of the Alps seems to be the USP of Slovenia as a destination. India and Slovenia have traditionally had excellent bilateral relations. The future of cooperation between Slovenia and India lies in deepening cooperation in all areas of mutual interest. In particular, there is great potential for cooperation in the service and hospitality field. In order to boost tourism, Slovenia's Adria Airways ventured into the Indian market, appointing Dex Aviation Pvt. Ltd as its General Sales Agent. Around 1.6 crore Indians travel abroad every year, out of which 28 per cent visit Europe. Of these, 10000 Indian tourists are estimated to be visiting Slovenia currently, and the nation hopes to increase this number soon. Slovenia will now also be conducting regular tourist workshops in Delhi and Mumbai. October through June might well be the best time to visit Slovenia as it is its theatrical season, with Opera's and concerts all Tx HOSPITALITY

around. This is not to say that a tourist cannot enjoy during the rest of the year as well, with street concerts and plays held around Slovenia over the year. Other attractions to Slovenia include Lake Bled and Postojna Cave.

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COVER STORY

SO MUCH IS NOT

TOO MUCH

290 dishes, 30 live counters and 7 different cuisines, think buffet and this is what one hears today. And while there is no denying that buffets — over a period of time — have gone bigger and ostentatious, there have been changes that make it all-appealing with a hint of customisation like the personalised portion sizes

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COVER STORY

Vik San

Sumeet Suri, F B Head, ITC Maratha

“DISHES ARE BEST SUITED TO THE SERVING CONDITION ARE SELECTED. SO INSTEAD OF GOING OVERBOARD WITH KEBABS AND GRAVIES, BUFFETS NOW OFTEN CHOOSE INGREDIENTS THAT CAN RETAIN THEIR FLAVOUR, FRESHNESS AND COLOUR FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME.”

On the surface, buffet seem to be the ultimate culinary idea. Everyone gets exactly what they want to eat, the portion size they want and at a price that doesn’t punch a hole in the pocket. The brilliance of the concept is such that today, buffets (brunches too) are a preferred mode of eating out— and not only by the price conscious. So what makes buffet such an attraction? Apart from the number of choices, buffets are an excellent place to learn about cuisine. The result is that more and more hotels market their buffets on the variety they have, instead of anything else. And the guests have lapped the offer up. This perhaps could be the reason why when Sofitel one of the finest French hotel of Mumbai — introduced a Sunday brunch of no less than 250 dishes, no one blinked an eye. Today — a little over a year later — it’s one of the happening brunches in town. Likewise for Le Meridian’s Signature Breakfast. Designed by award winning chefs, the breakfast was a far cry from the conventional and received less flattering reviews. But for those who like new food, it is a must-try in Pune and Delhi. This brings us to the question, what makes Buffet such a rage? The reason for this, says Paul Kinny, Executive Chef, Intercontinental, Marine Drive, Mumbai, “Is also the thought process associated with the term buffet, which in the Indian context has always been a Feast Tx HOSPITALITY

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laden with an unbelievable variety of food.” Agrees Chef Sahil Sabhlok, Executive Sous Chef, Taj Lands End, Mumbai. “Buffet is a 16thcentury French term, which was used both for food and the furniture it was used to serve on. In fact, early, there was no concept of a buffet table but an elaborately carved cupboard surmounted by tiers of shelves on which the food was kept. In England such a buffet was called a court cupboard. The term buffet originally referred to the French sideboard where the food was served, but eventually was applied to the spread that we know today.” Talking more about the emergence of buffet Chef Sabhlok adds, “The earlier forms of buffet began with cold fish appetiser and worked its way through sandwiches, meat dishes and finally a dessert. The Smorgasbord table was a meal where guests gathered before dinner for a pre-dinner drink, and was not a part of the formal dinner, and was held in separate room for men and women before the dinner was served.” The current form, says Hemant Tenneti, Director Food and Beverage, Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel, “Came into existence much later with the royalty and the armed forces, who used the format of a buffet to entertain large number of guests as they realised the economics of cooking for large number of people.” Hotel Chef turned restaurateur, Milind

APRIL 2012


COVER STORY Sovani who back in the 1970s became one of the first few chefs to introduce the Kokani buffet in the hotel begs to differ. “I think buffets were a part and parcel of every Indian household, where food is made for a large number of people and served likewise. However, the introduction of buffet system in hotel can be dated back to pre-independence India, albeit till then it was still considered a good format to entertain a large number of guests. The emergence of buffet, as we know them today, happened somewhere in the late 80s and early 90s, and it really caught up in the last five years, thanks to the increase in frequency of eating out and experimenting with cuisine.” As the Director Hospitality Innovations Singapore, Chef Milind in fact today runs a working lunch on weekdays and weekend brunch at his Pune-based restaurant, April Rain purely because of the huge popularity of the concept. A buffet, says Sabysachi Gorai, President award winner and Head Chef Olive Bar and Kitchen, today has more takers purely simply because of the choices and is the favourite options for breakfast and lunch. Aside from being commercially viable, it also is one service that can be undertaken with minimum staff presence..”

THE MAKING OF A BUFFET Vikas Seth, Head Chef Sanchos and Singkong

Whilst there is no denying the brilliance and a charm of the all-you-can-eat buffet, over a period of time the whole concept of conventional buffet has undergone an interesting overhaul. Gone are the days when buffet would be a banquet excess, today it’s a spread designed keeping the audience and their evolving taste in mind. Says Oberoi’s Executive Chef Joy Bhattacharya, “A lot many factors go into the making of a seemingly easy to assemble buffet today. Like what’s in season, the colour co-ordination, the balance of flavours, the environment that will be served in, the popular cooking style and more. However, the two important factors that determines the length and breadth (read variety and layout) of a buffet, and its success, are your guests – the nature and number you cater to.” Adds Chef Sahil, “a good buffet today is the one where the F B team has efficiently and effectively created the balance between nutrition, non-repetition of ingredients, balance of flavour and colour, value for money, local preferences, variety of cuisine choices and presentation.” This, says Joyjit Chakravorty, Director of Food and Beverage, Sheraton Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway, “Is why bigger is always seen as better, as a bigger buffet provides more options and minimizes the risk of disappointment. Like we do at Feast, the all-day dining restaurant at the hotel. A usual brunch here has a mix of local cuisine, Thai, Chinese, and Malay plus international/western favourites as pasta, roasts, and grills. There is also the option of going a la carte if needed.” Tx HOSPITALITY

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““BUFFET IS A 16TH-CENTURY FRENCH TERM, WHICH WAS USED BOTH FOR FOOD AND THE FURNITURE IT WAS USED TO SERVE ON. IN FACT, EARLY, THERE WAS NO CONCEPT OF A BUFFET TABLE BUT A ELABORATELY CARVED CUPBOARD SURMOUNTED BY TIERS OF SHELVES ON WHICH THE FOOD WAS KEPT..”


COVER STORY

Milind sovani, Hotel Chef turned Restaurateur

Joy Bhattacharya, the executive chef of Oberoi and Trident

THE RISE OF BUFFET

Ever wondered where and how did the name buffet come from? Here is a bit of trivia The buffet table originates from the Brännvinsbord—Swedish schnapps, a sort of alcoholic beverage table from the middle of 16th century, and had its prime during the early 18th century. It developed into the buffet that we know today in the beginning of 19th century. The Smorgasbord buffet did not increase in popularity until the expansion of the railroads throughout Europe. The Smorgasbord table was a meal where guests gathered before dinner for a pre-dinner drink, and was not part of the formal dinner to be followed. The smorgasbord buffet was often held in separate room for men and women before the dinner was served. Smorgasbord became internationally known as Smorgasbord at the 1939 New York World’s exhibition as the Swedes had to invent a new way of showcasing the best of Swedish food. The term buffet originally referred to the French sideboard where the food was served, but eventually became applied to the form. The buffet became popular in the English-speaking world in the second half of the 20th century after the Swedes had used the Smorgasbord in New York. The word is still borrowed into the English language. The earlier form of a buffet was more like a sit down dinner, where guests could go around, take their pick, order it to an orderly walking alongside and would be served very much the way a la carte menu is served today. It was the military that introduced the first format of buffet as we know today, even the live counters concept. (Manoj Rai, Head Chef, Pind Baluchi and other archives)

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Sumeet Suri, F B Manager, ITC Maratha, however doesn’t agree to the idea of big buffets. “Buffets need to be neither big nor small, as the idea of a buffet is to give the guest a wider selection without overwhelming him/her with the sheer enormity.” A proof of this is their breakfast buffet. “We have a special tent card on every table during breakfast, which talks about certain dishes which are personally made by the chef and sent to the table, like the caviar omelettes, eggs Benedict, waffles, pan cakes and such. This gives them the liberty to think, decide and get the food hot on the table.” In addition to this, says Summet, “our juice counter is live so you can get your juice the way you want it. This element of interaction actually helps in a better rotation of new items in the buffet.” Agrees Chef Joy, who feels “interaction is an important part of the success of any buffet as it helps the staff interact directly with the guest and have feedback to improve the buffet.” When it comes to the selection of food on the table, says Head Chef Sanchos and Singkong Vikas Seth, “dishes are best suited to the serving condition are selected. So instead of going overboard with kebabs and gravies, buffets now often choose ingredients that can retain their flavour, freshness and colour for a long period of time.” In addition to all the above, adds Chef Sabysachi, “a good buffet today is one that gets the economics right — product usage, functionality, variety and cut down on wastage. So mostly it is preferred to have seasonal and easily preserved food than something exotic”. That perhaps explains the presence of common dishes like pastas, pizzas, cold cuts and similar named salads in most buffets these days. They, says Chef Paul, “are called the buffet stars APRIL 2013


COVER STORY that are high on popularity and can be experimented with too.”

NEW TRENDS AND STYLES

It’s true that buffets everywhere look the same with salad counters, bread counters, meat segments and dessert corners being the prominent fragments, however, in spite of that, buffets, across hotels in India, are undergoing subtle changes that have not only benefited the guests but the hotels too. The first of this, recalls Chef Milind, was the introduction of Live Counters. “Today every hotel boasting of a good buffet has as many as four live counters, this excluding the breads corner. The good thing about these counters is not only it enables the hotel to serve fresh food but also ensures there is no shortage of food at any point of time.” The second big change that has come, says Chef Joy, “is the creation of individual portion in salads and desserts specially. This while on one hand makes the presentation beautiful even for the guests walking in at the last moment, it also minimises wastages.” Notes Chef Vikas, “Smaller servings and regular replenishment is yet another innovation most hotels and restaurants have done in their buffet spread. The idea behind this is not only to make dishes more pleasing on the eye, but keep it warm and fresh — an important factor to ensure regular footfalls.” Food Festivals and theme brunches like wine and champagne brunches, says Chef Sabysachi, are another addition to the buffet. “Food festivals especially work as a reinvention phase for most hotels that can re-study on their buffets and change according to the feedback. It also helps spice up the monotony that most buffets – no matter how elaborate – can suffer from.” This aside, says Chef Manoj Rai of Pind Baluchi, “The concept of community tables much like those which we saw in college hostels and army messes are making a comeback. This has allowed guest to experience a larger variety of food from the buffet, with specials thrown in by the chefs.” ITC Maratha and Zuri have similar concept running round the year, and so has Westin that does a similar table for its Sunday brunches. A new trend is also colour coding the food. Like, says Joyjit, at Sheraton we have incorporated a signature brand concept of Sheraton’s Colour Your Plate. The Colour Your Plate initiative incorporates Core Performance’s ‘Nutrition Colour Code’ to educate Sheraton guests about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle through having colour coded food. Like yellow food helps in optimizing the functioning of brain, while white food (read dairy) helps boost the immunity.” The other thing that buffets have managed to do is bring in the concept of gourmet cuisine.

Paul Kinny, Executive Chef, Inter Continental

Says Chef Sahil, “Exquisite meat cuts, meals for special needs like those designed for gluten and lactose intolerant guests and vegan food followers, and the platters, which makes sure you have tried everything in a particular category in a plate. Like the mezze.”

THE ‘LIVE’ FUTURE

While ‘the bigger the better’ will still be the hallmark of successful buffets across the board, chefs and F B manager believe that the future of buffets will be more of seasonal live cooking on site. By this, says Chef Sabysachi, “I mean where a chef would actually walk up to your table and prepare the dish right in front of you. We already do it in Ai, the love hotel of Olive.” Agrees Chef Vikas, who feels that grilling will be the future of buffet with the winds veering towards healthier cooking and seasonal food, even in ‘oriental cuisine.’ What would stay however, says Chef Milind, “is the inclusion of international cuisine in buffets. The change will be in the selection. Instead of the usual favourites Chinese, lesser known cuisine will take precedence like that from Ecuador or South Africa.” Agree Chef Joy and Hemant, who believe that the future will be more of a mixed bag of the new, traditional and the comfort foods. After all, the idea, says Chef Joy, “of a buffet is getting what you want to eat and how much you want to eat!” Text: Madhulika Dash

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“THE CONCEPT OF COMMUNITY TABLES MUCH LIKE THOSE WHICH WE SAW IN COLLEGE HOSTELS AND ARMY MESSES ARE MAKING A COMEBACK. THIS HAS ALLOWED GUEST TO EXPERIENCE A LARGER VARIETY OF FOOD FROM THE BUFFET, WITH SPECIALS THROWN IN BY THE CHEFS.”


INDIAN FOOD AND

SERVICES

India is among the largest producer as well as consumer of food. The presence of 1.2 billion people with changing consumption patterns ensures constant growth for the Indian food services market and thus also drives the growth of India’s economy as a whole. Tx HOSPITALITY

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DINE OUT

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he National Restaurant Association South Indian- 9% North Indian- 31% of India (NRAI) has come up with a comprehensive report “Indian Food Services Report 2013” on the Indian restaurant industry. The report was released by the Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and textiles, Anand Sharma with other eminent personalities present at the event, which included President NRAI, Samir Kuckreja; President and CEO, Coca Cola, Atul Singh; Chairman, Chinese- 24% Continental- 5% Technopak Advisors Pvt. Ltd, Arvind Singhal and Managing Director, McDonalds India, Vikram Bakshi. The report has been prepared after a detailed research on the Indian food industry and it sums up the present industry size, trend, growth and its contribution to the economy. Heading the conference, Samir Kuckreja on behalf of NRAI took initiative to introduce American- 1.6% the company and its efforts to prepare this source not only to report. Through this report, the NRAI has tried those who have a to draw attention towards the opportunities and challenges that rapidly growing industry is facing direct business interest but also to India’s and suggestions to overcome these issues. Commenting on the launch, Kuckreja said, “Analyzing policy makers who can create a suitable and documenting industry trends and contribupolicy framework to tions has been one of the key endeavours of the NRAI. Through this report, we intend to draw the support the needs of Mexican- 0.9% all stakeholders in this attention of the public and government towards vital sector. the opportunities the industry is offering as well as the issues which are dampening its growth. EMERGENCE OF NEW As we have been a significant contributor to the CUISINES nation’s economy through efficient collection of Based on the martax and employment generation, we hope that we ket offerings, three can work together with the Government’s supcuisines such as North port to help grow the industry. We are proud to Indian, Chinese and announce that the industry currently employs 4.6 million people directly which is projected to grow South Indian make up 70 per cent of players offerings; with the to eight million by 2018”. rest 30 per cent offerings include international Atul Singh took charge of the podium to cuisines such as Continental, American, Italian throw light on the basics of the report. “We at and regional cuisines like Maharashtrian, Gujarati Coca-Cola are glad to be part of such a worth and Rajasthani. Predominantly, the Indian food initiative,” Sharma initiated and added [that] services market’s offerings are ‘North Indian’ in India is one of the largest producers and conorigin, with most of the restaurants offering a sumers of food. Change in food consumption menu loaded with items from that cuisine. South reflects the growth in agriculture sector and Indian cuisines are also most preferred after the agriculture based industries. The rapid shift from top two cuisines. Indian food to trying western cuisines shows Furthermore, Italian and American cuisines the improvement in Indian’s taste buds as well are also gaining popularity due to the increasing as country’s economic growth. Sharma added, popularity of brands like Little Italy, Domino’s “The good news is that the food service industry Pizza and McDonald’s. This in turn has resulted is set to grow for many coming years, giving the in the rise of standalone, authentic specialty forrising disposable incomes, a greater population mats. The chain format within this category has of younger people, the growth of consumers in been limited to few brands like Olive Beach, Little Social Economic Classes of A and B, the widenItaly, etc. Overall, cuisine options are evolving ing exposure to new cultures and cuisines and from being a combination of simple and familiar increased prosperity of eating outside the home.” to being diverse in style and origin. The Indian Food Service Report 2013 is more transparent and a step ahead initiative from the SOME KEY FINDINGS OF THE REPORT earlier report launched in 2010. This fresh addition intends to map out the scale and impact  The current size of India’s food service indusof India’s food services sector in a much more try is Rs 247,680 crore and is projected to grow at holistic way. It should become a very useful reTx HOSPITALITY

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Pizza- 2.5%

Italian- 3.3%

Other Pan Asian- 1.7%

Thai- 1.5%

“THE RAPID SHIFT FROM INDIAN FOOD TO TRYING WESTERN CUISINES SHOWS THE IMPROVEMENT IN INDIAN’S TASTE BUDS AS WELL AS COUNTRY’S ECONOMIC GROWTH.”


DINE OUT

(L-R) Atul Singh, President and CEO, Coca-Cola (India and South West Asia); Samir Kuckreja, President, NRAI, Anand Sharma, Union Minister for Commerce, Industry and Textiles; Vikram Bakshi, MD and JV partner, McDonalds India and Arvind Singhal, Chairman, Technopak releasing the ‘India Food Services Report 2013’

a rate of 11 per cent to `408,040 crore by 2018.  In terms of market segments, Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) and Casual Dine-in formats account for 74 per cent of the total chain market, while Cafés make up for 12 per cent with Fine Dining and Pub Bars Club & Lounges (PBCL) comprising the rest.

“ORDERING SAMOSAS AND KACHORIS AT THE STALLS OR AT DHABAS HAS BEEN CHANGED TO TRYING ALTERNATIVE CUISINES AT NEW EATING JOINTS, HELPED CHANGING THE CONCEPT OF EATING-OUTSIDE IN INDIA.”

 The chain and licensed standalone industry will contribute estimated `11,500 — 11,900 crore in 2013 and is projected to contribute more than double to `24,600 — 25,000 crore by 2018.  The government has the opportunity to generate an additional collection of `17,000 — 26,000 crore through closer monitoring of tax collection from the unorganised segment.

KEY GROWTH DRIVERS AND EMERGING TRENDS THAT THE INDUSTRY IS WITNESSING Increasing share of delivery and take-away formats with a focus on convenience Experimentation with new formats, themes and menus; interest through entrepreneurial Tx HOSPITALITY

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ventures Indian brands going international Larger focus on value meals Tech savvy consumers — increasing importance of online/social media, food websites and mobile applications Increasing interest from private equity and venture capital investors in the industry  Issues and challenges the industry is facing include: Economic and market factors such as high food cost inflation, fragmented market and increasing competition Operational challenges including real estate, manpower, fragmented supply chain and liquor sourcing Regulatory concerns such as existing high taxes, burden of new taxes and over licencing. Over the years, the reason behind eating out was to be either a special occasion or hanging out with the peers. Ordering Samosas and Kachoris at the stalls or at Dhabas has been changed to trying alternative cuisines at new eating joints, helped changing the concept of eating-outside in India. The continuously evolving economic, societal and demographic changes have reshaped the Indian

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DINE OUT

The availability of food was never an issue, people needed to eat then as well as today. In particular food industry has seen dramatic changes with the other major changes. If asked how many restaurants are there in India, no one can answer precisely, but this report and directory carries the facts that how the graph of Indian restaurants is rapidly growing. Tourists can know more about India when they visit us and carry happy images and positive impressions when they go back” Anand Sharma Union Minister Commerce, Industry and Textiles

Analyzing and documenting industry trends and contributions has been one of the key endeavours of the NRAI. Through this report, we intend to draw the attention of the public and government towards the opportunities the industry is offering as well as the issues which are dampening its growth. We hope to work together with the government’s support towards industry’s growth. We are proud to announce that the industry currently employs 4.6 million people directly which is projected to grow to eight million by 2018.” Samir Kuckreja President, NRAI

consumer’s profile, behaviour and spending patterns.

HOW CONSUMER PERCEPTION CHANGED?

Change in eating habits can be felt by every Indian. Celebrating every occasion at home was an old philosophy, which later changed to celebrate in a good star restaurant or hotel. Now, however, eating out is not considered an occasion-driven activity, but is considered an occasion by itself that may not necessarily be clubbed with other activities. The consumers nowhere compromise in terms of trying specialised cuisines of different countries and seeking diverse options for eating out: CAFÉ: a place to spend time, hang-out with friends, conduct business meeting etc over a cup of tea/coffee. This compromises coffee bars and parlours (e.g. Barista Lavazza, Cafe Coffee Day) and chai bars. These are casual formats which primarily focus on beverages, supported by food items. QSR: Places where self-service is the norm for meals like burgers, pizzas, wraps etc. These places are focussed on speed of service, affordability and convenience. They have a strong focus on takeaway/delivery with minimal table service. McDonald’s, Dominos Pizza, Subway and KFC are some of the leading names in this category.

We at Coca-Cola are glad to be part of such a worth initiative. The rapid shift from Indian food to trying western cuisines shows the improvement in Indian’s taste buds as well as country’s economic growth. The good news is that the food service industry is set to grow for many coming years to come, giving the rising disposable incomes, a greater population of younger people, the widening exposure to new cultures and cuisines and the increased prosperity of eating outside the home.” Atul Singh President & CEO, Coca-Cola India and S-W Asia

FROZEN DESERT/ICE-CREAM: Outlets visited after meals that specialise in desserts in a host of flavours, even offering healthier options like yogurt. This segment compromises small kiosk formats of ice-cream brands and has now extended the dine-in concept. Few examples are Baskin Robbins, Cocoberry and Gelato. CASUAL DINE: An avenue for indulging in quality food in a premium ambience for visits with family to celebrate occasions. A restaurant serving moderately priced food and providing an affordable dining experience, with table service. Examples are Pizza Hut, Yo China! and Pind Baluchi. FINE DINE: An expensive establishment with proper arrangement mostly offering specialised cuisines. A full service restaurant with high quality interiors, specific cuisine speciality and high standard of service. This segment targets upper and upper-middle class consumer segments offering a unique ambience and an upscale service by highly trained staff. Few examples are: The Great Kebab Factory; Copper Chimney; Oriental Octopus; Olive Bar etc. PBCL: These formats mainly serve alcohol and related beverages and include Night Clubs, Sports Bars etc. Examples: F Bar, LAP, Underdoggs etc. As consumers are trying wider options and adopting a lifestyle which enhances eating out,

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“CHANGE IN EATING HABITS CAN BE FELT BY EVERY INDIAN. CELEBRATING EVERY OCCASION AT HOME WAS AN OLD PHILOSOPHY, WHICH LATER CHANGED TO CELEBRATE IN A GOOD STAR RESTAURANT OR HOTEL.”


DINE OUT

such steps helping to shift towards healthy alternatives and higher brand engagement.

EMERGING THEMES

Today, India is witnessing a sea-change in the mannerisms of the people when it comes to eating out. What earlier used to be a occasion-driven activity has now become an occasion in itself. Eating out has now become a means of catching up with friends, meeting business clients etc. The frequency of eating out has increased and so have the evolving taste and the demand for new and varied flavours and cuisines. Eating out in India has now evolved from the fixed set of characteristics that have been associated with the various food formats. Hybrid concepts and theme based concepts are the new entrants into the Indian food market. These concepts include those such as Beverage-based formats, Theme-based formats such as Microbreweries, Entertainment Cafes, and Organic and Gluten-free Food shops.

LEARNING FROM SOUTHEAST ASIA AND CHINA

Southeast Asia has made a mark as one of the most favoured tourist destinations across the globe. The population here has relatively higher incomes and an increased appetite for consumption. People are increasingly adapting to an

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DINE OUT eating out culture and spending more on food services outlets. The size of the food services market in Southeast Asia is estimated at US $100 billion (` 5,30,000 crore approx) with Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia constituting 80 per cent of the overall market. The landscape of the food services market varies across the various countries with both regional and international players present across the segments, exploiting this highly competitive market by always actively wooing consumers. The overall consumer sentiment in the Southeast Asian market has been quite positive even as the region recovers from an economic crisis. They are opting for premium or additional items given that value for money is established. Thus food services players continuously strive to innovate and focus on quality of service to position themselves advantageously amid the teeming competition.

THE KEY EMERGING TRENDS FROM THE SOUTHEAST ASIAN MARKET ARE HEALTHIER MENU OFFERINGS

Across all markets, organised players are focussing on new menu developments in tandem with the growing preference among consumers for healthier food. Example, McDonald’s inclusion of a salad menu in Singapore. This new development was brought about by the need for new and healthier options in the chaotic and hectic lifestyles of the new, younger generation. AsiaPacific food has seen this change in recent times wherein both domestic and international outlets focus on healthier variants.

INCREASING USAGE OF ONLINE PLATFORMS

In response to the growing number of Internet users, market players in the Southeast Asian market are rapidly switching to the online medium to connect with target consumers. This platform is by and large used to promote products with discounts designed to lure consumers. Brands use platforms such as Groupon and social media like Facebook and Twitter for online marketing and promotions etc.

EXPANSION OF DELIVERY SERVICES

Busy and chaotic consumer lifestyles around the world have propelled the demand for home delivery services specially in major cities that face huge traffic snarls. These services and visibly conspicuous in Southeast Asia as compared to the rest of the world. Southeast Asian outlets go beyond convention to meet the needs of its consumer base.

EMERGENCE OF NEW LOCATIONS

With the surging demand for food service outlets, players in the market are expanding their presence in newer locations based on consumer profile, location prominence, etc. Outlets have started

propping up in suburban areas and increasing their urban footprint. Also, with the trend of establishment of concentrated business districts, concentrated educational districts and residential areas etc, new locations are turning out to be a boon for food service outlets as they expand their wings. These similarities in terms of demographics and consumer preference in the Southeast Asian, Chinese and Indian markets correspond to the increasing demand for food services and showcase the huge potential that exists for both existing outlets and new entrants into the market.

WAY FORWARD

The growth of food services market in India has triggered a growth in a wide range of ancillary industries, thus providing a boost to the entire ecosystem. These ancillary businesses include suppliers of raw and processed food materials, storage solutions and supply chain providers etc. It also has an impact on real estate, commercial kitchen equipment and the employment market. Further, food services plays a bigger role in the overall socioeconomic sphere of India, right from creating job opportunities to contributing to government revenues. Text: Anjana Tanwar Additional Inputs: Rijul Singh Uppal

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“ASIA-PACIFIC FOOD HAS SEEN THIS CHANGE IN RECENT TIMES WHEREIN BOTH DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL OUTLETS FOCUS ON HEALTHIER VARIANTS.”


MIX & MATCH

TEMPERED

WELL A

few months ago, when Temperance opened its doors in one of the most happening suburbs of Mumbai, Bandra, the reception was a bag of mixed emotions. It was undoubtedly the city’s first one stop shop for all activities, but with open wide rooms on each floor, of this four-floor Tudor bungalow, one wasn’t sure of how exactly it would include everything from Zumba to Jazz to Theatre under one roof. Six months and with an addition of a cool looking health café later, Temperance proved it how. Temperance today attracts the best of Mumbai’s talent glitterati to hold workshops here, and at a rate that’s not only economical but makes for a day well spent, and exercised. A labour of love of cousin sisters, jewellery Tx HOSPITALITY

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It’s a gym, it’s a café, it’s a chic, fun lounge, it’s a dance school with a floor dedicated for martial arts. It’s Temperance, Mumbai’s first one stop cultural hub.

designer Voila Wadia and consultant Hema Thakur, the idea behind Temperance was essentially more personal than profit based. That’s why Temperance. With its easy schedules and flexibility to pay for classes as and when attended, it gives a platform for time and cash strapped people to wholeheartedly indulge in the things they like for one whole day — without feeling the pinch, money or otherwise. But first some caution Finding Temperance in the maze of small lanes and old and new houses can be a little daunting task. It may test your temper too, but do not fret. Thanks to the place’s few month old existence people around now know about it and can guide you to this Tudor-style bungalow with its own compound. The entry to the place is through a small door, and at first

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glance may not be totally confidence aspiring. But we would suggest you still trudge to the small reception. This is the place where the magic actually begins. The reception, which doubles up as a lounge, meeting and chilling area — with its own smoker’s zone, for those who need a puff — is where you can fill yourself on the day’s activities. Unlike other places in Mumbai, Temperance works on both fixed batches and impromptu ones as well, provided that the teacher/guide is available. So you have two choices. There might be a few minutes delay, but once inside the place, the sheer energy and the calmness of the place, will make you more patient to any holdups or setbacks. Once registered, you are guided to your first class which can be any of the floors of the building, each with its own changing area. The good thing about Temperance is the untold but inspired attitude that can easily egg you to try out new things. Like for instance the mixed martial arts, where the punching bag stands as an open invite to kick out your week- long frustration and stress. What’s more, you are even persuaded to do so, by good company and music. And before you know it, you have lost all the anger and may be a 1000-kilo by exercising for close to an hour or more. The same is for the dance classes as well. While most couple dances need a certain gear, the floors here allows you to indulge in a dance form you fancy barefooted. By default here, mistakes and new styles are an order of the day. So unless your mistakes are injurious, chances are there will applaud your each attempt at getting the step through, albeit differently. One of the common misassumption here is that Temperance is all about fitness activity, given its broad nature of rooms that are either designed for dances, aerobics, judos or MMA (mixed martial arts). Temperance though provides much more, starting with cooking classes, pottery, clay designing and such. So there is something for everyone. And if something is amiss, the owners are more willing to add it to the long list of things they already offer. The highlights of this place are two one the Café and two the upcoming library that would soon be the venue that hosts get-togethers to discuss poetry, music, movies and all forms of films and theatres. In fact, one of the weekend highlights of the place is theatre and acting classes that people can take for fun. As for the Café, it’s any dieter’s and non-dieter’s den. Run by a set of amateurs with an extremely talented chef as the team lead, the café’s food gives unhealthy eating a healthy twist. Like most of the desserts here are flourless. The pasta served here is hand-made and the sauces are freshly prepared, along with the pasta. And while this stickler for keeping all things fresh — even the cream is hand churned in the morning — results in a little delay, the easiness of the café ambience, a smiling staff and the natural quietness around more than compensate the delay. What’s more, most of the dishes can be

either custom made or new dish can be made for you, if the ingredients are available. Clearly, Temperance takes the whole idea of culture hub to an altogether new level. It indulges you, pampers you, helps you make new friends, share laughter with strange, good people and yet at the end of the day, it leaves you with a sense of accomplishment that’s rare to downbeat. It’s just the place to come to make friends in an unknown city and truly live up your dreams of learning something new. Text: Madhulika Dash

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ONE COMMON MISASSUMPTION IS THAT TEMPERANCE IS ALL ABOUT FITNESS ACTIVITY, GIVEN ITS BROAD NATURE OF ROOMS THAT ARE EITHER DESIGNED FOR DANCES, AEROBICS, JUDOS OR MMA.


WINE LOVER

DI-WINE

INTERVENTION

A winery tour today is not just about the wine or the brand, but a cleverly planned itinerary and a different take on the age old varietals, discovers the writer as she found herself in the midst of yet another premium offering of Indian vino — ARYAA — in Nasik.

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here was a time when vineyard hopping in Nasik would merit a little over a day. But a slew of stylish new guesthouses, new wineries and specialised tasting rooms have turned this once sleepy, grapes growing hamlet into a turf of pleasure. People from long and far descend not only for wine, but also the balmy weather, the ambience and most importantly to experience the making of the newage Draksharishtha, the heady Ayurvedic concoction that was once the ‘poison’ of the royals, and is considered the granddad of Indian wines. Today ‘searching new wines and understanding winery’ has become a modus operandi for many visiting Nasik. But the inflow is rather short-lived and there is little that entices you to make a second or a third visit, unless of course you are a writer or a wine connoisseur. Tx HOSPITALITY

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So recently when we chanced upon the invite to visit Mercury Winery, which brings out a lesser known, but widely available brand ARYAA, the curiosity was obvious - What new would this tour have to offer? The blame for such a thought was partly on the monotonous winery tours that have become a commonplace these days. Happily for me the Mercury Winery tour was nothing of the above. To begin with, the crowd was a mix of wine writers, beginners, photographers and food lovers, whose interest in wine varied from a new found love to flavour exploring. The second highlight was of course meeting our tour guide. Helming the entire tour wasn’t a marketing head or a brand manager or even an agency, but the owner and director of Mercury Winery, Veral Pancholia. A well-versed, self-taught wine aficionado

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WINE LOVER himself, Veral started the company in 2007. “We have a history of winemaking, which is older than those of France and Italy. Our grapes are sweeter and mature well. The place where we lose is maintaining the quality. Most Indian wines taste like a water-downed cousin of a good vino, and that is a perception (and a sad reality) that Mercury Wine plans to change with its mature, premium wines,” says Veral. Veral isn’t far from the truth. The few table wines available lack the flavour, acidity and the body of a true vino, thus giving Indian wines a bad repo. The road trip to the vineyard is a little over four hours, with considerable time spent on navigating the city traffic. While the first half can be a little rough given the number of toll posts one has to cross, the second half is refreshingly clean with lush greenery on both sides of the road. Mercury Winery is built on 35,000 sq feet and is literally a walk back in time, with a large haveli (traditional Indian bungalow) posing as the wine making centre. Mercury Winery produces over 2,00,000 litres of wine annually, while its state-ofthe-art bottling line can churn out 2,500 bottles an hour. ARYAA is its premium brand while Ex and Mex — two recent entries — are their entrylevel labels, recently introduced in the market. Distribution wise, ARYAA wines today not only covers the wine markets of Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Jammu and most North Eastern states of India, but also nine other countries including Norway, Italy and Poland. Yet, despite all this, ARYAA for its nascent period stayed under ‘hibernation’. Today with over 13 varieties of successful wines varietals in its kitty, which includes the rare Fume and the award winning Rose, Mercury Winery is set to make its presence felt. One of the high points of visiting Mercury Winery, besides its balmy, calm location, is the food. A far cry from the usual cream cracker and cucumber sandwich, the food here is traditional Rajasthani with a few tweaks made to suit the urban palate. And it’s vegetarian, which expert say is essential to be able to enjoy the wine tasting. The two sessions of wine tasting were another highlight of the tour that involved a walk around the vineyard, winemaking unit and the tank room. Whilst the first, a sampling of the various wines was a learning curve for most, the blind tasting was a self analyses of how wines even under the same varietal can be totally different in texture, taste and aromas. Even though wines are often differentiated on five basic aromas, when it comes to personal tasting, wines ace in playing hide and seek. So what can be a smoky flavour for a few can turn into a fruity flavour for another and a seasoned palate can also identify subtle flavours of those of grass and eucalyptus. Like the Chenin 2012 that was too dry for me, appeared rightly sweetened and citrusy to others. It isn’t out

of ordinary to find ARYAA wines with the exception of the Fume and Rose-less sweet and drier than most of the Indian wines in the market. Where the wines actually score is in the aroma. Each wine has a distinctive aroma that is evident as soon as the bottle is uncorked. What helped Mercury Winery is the in-house bottling section. So bottles are made and bottled only on demand. Having their own bottling unit and a big tank area has its own advantages. To start with, it resolves the issue of having a cellar while giving liberty to have a new version of a popular variety like the Cabernet 2012. This six month wine is still in the process of maturing and yet seems promising with its taste and aromas. In fact, during the tasting, it emerged to be the new debit to look out for. In spite of not being filtered, one could taste the different notes of the vino distinctively as it ranged from fruity, spicy to grassy. Best part, it went wonderfully with the Indian chole bhature. So next time you are looking for a vino for your regular dining, Mercury Winery is place you visit to pick your favourite wine. With its ready stock, knowledgeable staff and happy ambience, chances are you would end up taking more than just a bottle or five of your favourite wine-you would take back a new chapter of vinology. Text: Madhulika Dash

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“YET, DESPITE ALL THIS, ARYAA FOR ITS NASCENT PERIOD STAYED UNDER ‘HIBERNATION’. TODAY WITH OVER 13 VARIETIES OF SUCCESSFUL WINES VARIETALS IN ITS KITTY, WHICH INCLUDES THE RARE FUME AND THE AWARD WINNING ROSE, MERCURY WINERY IS SET TO MAKE ITS PRESENCE FELT.”


FINEST LUXURY

HOSPITALITY

AT ITS BEST

Situated at the heart of the city’s premier shopping district, the newly opened Hotel Kempinski Ambience is the ideal residence for the discerning luxury traveller.

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he Kempinski is Europe’s finest luxury hotel that has now extended its warmth and hospitality to the mystical land, India. The Kempinski Ambience at Shahdara, Delhi, brings luxury that reflects a contemporary feel with an Art-Deco twist. The hotel offers outdoor spaces that include two towers that are well-connected with each other and have an Urban Garden with two pool decks, two gyms and a bar. The hotel features expansive and unobstructed city views, with a panoramic rooftop vista of the city.

ROOMS WITH A DIFFERENCE

Kempinski Ambience has 480 guestrooms and suites. With an apt division into two towers, the hotel sits pretty with 180 rooms in the Club Tower and the remaining 300 in the Hotel Tower. At Kempinski Ambience, hotel rooms feature a contemporary layout with a palette of warm tones. Every element has been selected or designed with the guests’ personal needs in mind. Presidential Suite — Offering a panoramic view of Shahdara, the presidential suit on the twelfth floor is a 220 sq metre bullet proof suite that comes with a living room, one bedroom with a king bed, walk-in closets, a relaxing whirlpool bath and a shower. Deluxe Suite — It offers plenty of space for rest, relaxation and casual meetings in the large living room. A king bed, two bathrooms and a full size walk-in closet are some of the additional features. Executive Suite — The suite has a king sized bed and is spread out over 80 sq metres, offering a bird’s eye view of the urban cityscape. Located on the 11th and 12th floors, the suites include access to the Club Lounge. Executive Lounge — This exclusive area is accessible only to Club Tower guests and provides the perfect background to conduct relaxed business meetings or unwind after a hectic day. Guests can club business with leisure here.

FINE DINING

With an array of choices in fine dining, options leave an ever-smiling gesture by the genuine hospitality at the restaurants. Here are some restaurants that offer world class cuisine suited to the guests’ choice and preferences Dilli 32 (pronounced Dilli Battis) - Diners can satiate their appetite with the unique dining experience at Delhi Battis. The menu offers Awadhi and Mughlai cuisine with regional Indian Tx HOSPITALITY

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dishes. Most famous ones include vodka infused shikanji, flavoured ice teas and mojitos made with seasonal fruits. Café Knosh — Literally meaning “eating to your heart’s content”, Café Knosh takes guests on a palatable tour of Middle Eastern, Chinese & Western cuisines offering an interactive dining experience in a very relaxed and intimate ambience. The chefs conjure up mouth-watering dishes showcased through a preferred choice from an exhaustive buffet or A-la Carte. With a lobby overlooking the pool deck, the restaurant offers a seating capacity of 80 Covers and welcomes guests for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

FACILITIES

Mei Kun — This journey of traditional South East Asian cuisine complements its variety of dishes with fresh Asian fruits and exotic desserts, all with a wide selection of wines and beverages. The Chef makes delectable Malaysian cuisine prepared with exotic vegetables all the way imported from the Far East. The live station showcases the delicacies prepared before your eyes.

Kempinski Ambience has implemented measures that go beyond the run-of-the-mill business centre that includes, 24/7 business networking lounge with computers, printers, fax machine and video conferencing and complimentary private office space.

Fitness with a twist — Kempinski features The Park Club and City Club fitness centres. The fitness centres give a stunning view of the pool deck. The gyms feature state-of-the art equipment each furnished with an individual television set.

SHANAYA: THE SPA

Featuring a wide array of restorative and reenergizing treatments ranging from rejuvenating facials to relaxing massage therapy, the spa on the fourth floor boasts of 5 private rooms including a couples massage room.

BUSINESS CENTRE

n

Text: Reena Batra

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ONE COMMON MISASSUMPTION IS THAT TEMPERANCE IS ALL ABOUT FITNESS ACTIVITY, GIVEN ITS BROAD NATURE OF ROOMS THAT ARE EITHER DESIGNED FOR DANCES, AEROBICS, JUDOS OR MMA.


ART EXHIBIT

EXHIBITION AT THE MET SHOWCASES

CALLIGRAPHY

Artist Poosapati Parmeshwar Raju

Gndjon Bjarnason, Eva Dogg Atladottir, Gaurav Khanna

A

rt Spice Gallery at The Metropolitan Hotel and Spa in association with MillionaireAsia India showcased a unique form of calligraphy art in an exhibition — “Sacred is the passion of sacred integrity” — by legendary contemporary artist, Poosapati Parameshwar Raju. The glittering exhibition was attended by eminent personalities from different walks of life such as Thailand Ambassador Pisan Manawapt, Editor of MillionaireAsia India and Asia Spa Aarti Thapa, Owner of ‘The Woman’s Quotient’ Rachna Kohli Sandhu and many more. It turned out to be a memorable evening as guests went through every painting on the wall while sipping on a glass of wine and enjoying hors d’oeuvres. Babita Gupta, Director, Art Spice spoke about the exhibition, “I relate to the artist because his art reflects the same ideal as mine that God in any and every form or religion is one, which is very evident in his works. Moreover, as an artist his art is unique giving calligraphy a contemporary twist but at the same time not effecting the visual perception of the viewer. Also, exhibitions like these help in promoting art and culture from various corners of our country giving everyone an opportunity to witness varied imagery, culture and traditions.”

CONCEPT BEHIND THE EXHIBITION

The exhibition — “Sacred is the passion of sacred integrity” — was about showcasing a wide range of works in calligraphy ink on archival paper inspired from Shiva, ‘The fragrant one who makes us grow’, The Ramayanam, Lores of the living God, with reference to narratives from the Jagannath Temple of Puri, significant images of Surya and Krishna leela from the Bhagvatam by Poosapati Parameshwar Raju. His images of the Ramayanam, Krishnaleela, Nativity, Ninety nine names

Miss Babita and Thailand Ambassador Pisan Manawapat

of Allah, Buddhist Symbols, Narratives of Jagannath Temple of Puri, Images of Shiva, Aum, Vinayaka, Venkateswara, Jewish Symbols, Jain Symbols, and conceptual trees reflects the notion of sacred integrity and resonates the concept of Ekam Evadwitiyam — that all the manifestations of matter and spirit are ultimately one in the Supreme Personality. The artist, in this exhibition with his calligraphy engaged with a distinguished form of expression that traversed both traditional and contemporary terrains. His images were offspring’s of an epistemological discernment and the minimalist’s aesthetic, ensuing from his personalised research of iconography, signs and symbols inherent in the Indian ceremonial culture, mythology and temple embellishments. The exhibition aimed to bring together knowledge of significant forms and iconographic symbols, expressed in calligraphic flourish. The artist interprets the form uniquely with an academic austerity as he plays with just the rudiments of thin and thick line.

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