Culture and cultural performances have largely been the preserve of the SoBo and western suburb. You have to head to either of the areas for your fix of this bouquet of pleasures. There, though, has been a unique development in the recent past – for some years now the central side has seen a spurt in such activities, especially the suburb of Vikhroli. Since 2011, the India Culture Lab has lent itself as a platform to bring about a space that allows for fusion of various ideas and themes to usher in the new and progressive. With L’Affaire, a new page has been turned in this regard.
In its third edition, this lifestyle and luxury property was all about the celebration of the five sensory organs and their influence on culture. It was the marriage of literature, food, fashion, art, and photography in a virgin suburb. The gathering provided a complete enthralling experience coded to excite your sense of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell in a unique repurposed factory setting.
Some of the highlights were a fashion show arranged by renowned designer Vikram Phadnis with the glamorous compere Shibani Dandekar in tow, and many masterclasses with the likes of well-known photographers Joseph Radhika and Jatin Kampani, Masterchef Sarah Todd, chef Saransh Goila, and world-renowned mixologist Dimi Lezinska.
For an evening of engaging conversations, music, fashion, and other performances, it sure carried a lot of cultures and lifestyle gravitas. With women making forays into the culture of the city steadily, we focus on three such achievers who roused the party with their own light.
Kiran Manral, Author
Kiran Manral is an award-winning blogger and author, TEDx Speaker, and columnist who is ready with her latest book, co-authored by the popular fab Ashwin Sanghi, called ‘13 Steps to Bloody Good Parenting’. At the event, she read from the book and discussed how parenting is not a tried-and-tested formula but requires continual and uninterrupted learning and adjusting. She reminisced about a time when households teemed with multiple children and elder siblings brought up the younger ones with parents. “Today, with single-child homes, we train all our attention on that poor kid and fret away.”
Given that her 2015 book ‘Karmic Kids: The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You’ was listed amongst the top five books on Indian parenting by the Sunday Guardian, it’s easy to see that she’s a very observant parent. When asked why she folded up her well-loved blog, her reason, that her son had grown up old enough to object to being the subject of her blog and she complied, teems with sincerity and empathy.
When asked if parenting has turned into a competitive game, she agreed wholeheartedly. “Today it’s all about hitting each milestone on time, if not earlier than the other kids. If that’s not the case, we tend to worry. My son was late with a few milestones and we let him take his own time to arrive at them. Patience is in short supply today, and it is the one thing that is most needed, especially by parents,” she signs off as the ultimate advice to parents.
Sarah Todd, Masterchef, Workshop theme: Back to the Roots
Masterchef Australia Sarah Todd delighted the gathering with a Masterclass session on going back to one’s roots with a modern spin on the well-known traditional cooking methods. When quizzed by a young audience member about her favourite dish to cook and savour, she reminded them of the delectable Keema. She shared how she craved keema throughout her pregnancy, even as she held forth on the challenges of being a lady in a male-dominated bastion of the restaurant business.
When speaking to The Free Press Journal, Todd reminisced about her food roots. “My mum was a single parent and hardly had the time to cook elaborate meals with all the duties she would juggle. Yet my fondest memories are of huddling around the dining table at meal times with the entire family to hot, home-cooked meals.”
The theme could well have been of her choosing as she loved going back to the roots of every place she visited. “When I went to the inner recesses of Assam and got myself invited to some local homes to taste their food, I was amazed to see that the entrance of the homes were through the kitchen. They are so proud of their culinary roots and loved to share it with the guests,” she said with amazement. No wonder the trend of enjoying heritage food or local cuisine at the homes of talented home chefs sounded fantastic to her, and one that’s here to stay.
Her advice to budding chefs is to know their appliances in and out. “Something as simple as the food processor when used correctly and imaginatively can lend a lot to your cooking, than an expensive gadget that you don’t know well.”
The 2019 Godrej Food Trends Report
Tanya Dubash, Executive Director and Chief Brand Officer, Godrej Industries, unveiled the much awaited Godrej Food Trends Report 2019 at the soiree. Curated by culinary expert Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal, the report comprises of insights from over 100 experts and thought leaders in the food space and covers trends in the food, restaurant, kitchen designs, and beverage and desserts arenas.
The most looked-forward-to feature of the report is the list of predictions for the year ahead. And the Top 10 Predictions for 2019 are:-
1. Rustic, artisanal and handcrafted food will be in
2. Convenience cooking methods such as speed-scratch cooking will be the need of the hour
3. Responsible cooking and eating will gain a bigger following
4. Fermented foods will gain more votes
5. …As will micro-cuisines from specific communities and regions
6. …As will your grandma’s recipes
7. …As will indigenous grains like millets and similar traditions grains and indigenous varieties of rice, etc.
8. …As will local, seasonal vegetables that are conspicuous by their absence in commercial kitchens
9. Functional and medicinal attributes of foods such as turmeric and moringa will inform diet and lifestyle choices
10. Packaged snacking options will be increased by credible choices in keeping with health guidelines.