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Updated on: Sunday, August 22, 2021, 01:15 AM IST

Add a touch of gourmet to your traditional, festive meals

Sometimes you want your favourite cuisine to be served on a platter. For those days when you want to indulge your family and friends without breaking a sweat, gourmet caterers will ensure you relish every bite of the lavish spread by taking care of every nitty-gritty.
Onam Sadhya |

Onam Sadhya |

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Food is always the focus in each festival, get-togethers and events. Long discussions and detailed planning go into what is served at the table. With gourmet catering, you don’t have to worry about this. It promises tension-free, extravagant and carefully curated meals to add joy to the gathering.

Understanding gourmet catering

Visually appealing balanced meals, also known as haute cuisine, cater to the refined taste and passion of food connoisseurs. It also leans towards cross-cultural influences with novel elements, ingredients and applications. Generally, it focuses on the usage of exotic and decadent stuff, known to come in smaller, more expensive servings.

“It’s a lavish spread right from drinks, appetizers, salads, main course and desserts with stylish presentation, high-end service and service ware with a lot of emphasis on detail,” says Harsh Shodhan, who steers The Gourmet Kitchen & Studio.

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Regional cuisines are a draw

A regal yet earthy traditional thali from various regions evokes homely memories. Speciality cuisine and good food usher in good vibes and The Heritage Street by Varun Inamdar validates it. Recipient of the prestigious Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Gaurav Award, he has curated a thali which consists of 29 vegetarian delicacies replete with thoop, panchamrut, sun-dried chillies, tamarind candy, from across Maharashtra served on a banana leaf embellished with tea lights, festive flowers and designer bags that encases it all making a total of 33 items. It comes along with a glossy reference flyer mentioning the dishes.

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Celebrity chef Vicky Ratnani’s budding baby, The SpeakEasy Kitchen bounces with specialised niche Sindhi cuisine, one which you rarely come across in regular restaurants. Sindhi dal pakwan, Sindhi kadi, sai bhaji, alu tuk and other authentic and homestyle ethnic food delivered at home with apt trimmings can be a welcome change from regular cuisines.

Sagarika Jhangiani believes in promoting regional cuisines through Prasadi Rasoi. Her humble way of delighting people with Onam sadhya – a complete ‘elai’ (plantain leaf) repast. It consisted of a three-course meal with a lip-smacking array of 23 vegetarian dishes. “From crispy pappadoms, pickles, to the delicious payasams, we wait in anticipation for a sumptuous sadhya true to our Kerala traditions,” says Laxmi Ramadurai, who regularly orders Indian food from caterers for her joint family of eight people. Jhangiani is busy planning for the next big festival Ganesh Chaturthi – where big, juicy modaks take centre stage along with authentic Maharashtrian preparations.

Just sit back and enjoy

Those with a flair for elegance, epicurean indulgence and class, and to impress their guests opt for high-end gourmet catering. According to TV host and food expert Amrita Raichand, who orders repeatedly from The Heritage Street, “Gourmet caterers have an eye for the tiniest details to include everything under the gastronomical sun from starters, main course to exotic desserts, making it an immense and enjoyable experience.”

Colossal Hospitality, helmed by Jigar Sanghvi, ventured into a niche delivery kitchen amid the pandemic with Colossal Kitchens. “An extensive menu of traditional Gujarati dishes has been a constant demand among Mumbaikars, especially Marwaris,” says Sanghvi. The catering unit’s menu serves global cuisines too with a flourish and most dishes can be made Jain, as per the client’s preference.

Neelam Magoo, a Mumbai-based architect who often opts for gourmet catering services for small gatherings, says, “They offer high-end service with a lot of emphasis to detail and in any venue.” For interior designer Vandana Bhoolani, it’s a matter of prestige. “I always opt for gourmet caterers since I like the food at my parties to be conversation starters.”

Not just home

Some GCs like Jigar Sanghvi cater to niche, limited number of people up to 25 to 35. But for Shodhan, there’s no limit to the number of people. “We specialise in professionally served stylish glamorous vegetarian food, irrespective of the number of people or location,” says Shodhan.

The demand is so high that GC units have already started breaking barriers and boundaries. They have started serving patrons not just at their homes but also in offbeat getaway locations, studios, vanity vans, corporate lounges, board rooms, office cafeterias, regal courtyards and religious premises to name a few.

The USP

GC has carved a niche in offering bespoke experience with excellent ingredients, and engages an in-house wine sommelier for a private bash. The advantage of the all-veg Colossal Kitchens is that the luxury food service has five brands under its aegis.

“Vegetarian Maharashtrian delicacies is the first step towards some other grand cuisines showcasing India’s heritage in all possible culinary ways,” says chef Varun Inamdar.

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Traditionally, culture-wise and emotionally, patrons are reconnecting with their roots. Memorable moments have been rekindled with this humble serving on a banana leaf with the taste that is reminiscent of Maharashtrian homes and gatherings called pangat. For a party palate with a mix of cuisines, Colossal Kitchens is ideal – all-veg, full-service luxury kitchen offering five brands from within its orbit from European and Oriental to Indian and Jain.

Gourmet Catering, owned by Pramod Poojary, offers non-vegetarian options as well. Their seafood, specialty cuisines like Parsi and oriental delicacies at fairly reasonable prices are a winner. Be it world cuisine or Indian, the underlying maxim is, “Food must seduce all five senses including sight, smell, touch, hearing and of course, taste,” as Shodhan puts it succinctly.

Safety protocols and food aggregators

All gourmet caterers adhere to total ‘contactless’ culinary practices as no staff from the central kitchen space ever comes in physical contact with the ingredients used in dishes. Extreme care and measures are in place to safeguard the food delivered to the doorstep. They are usually associated with aggregators such as Zomato, Swiggy, Wefast and some have their own delivery facilities.

Additional GST and delivery charges are levied on the rates

The Gourmet Kitchen & Studio: Rs 3,600 for four people;

Rs 425 for kids

The Heritage Street: Rs 1,999 for two-three people and

Rs 2,999 serves five to six people

Gourmet Catering: Rs 1,950 (non-veg) and Rs 1,500 (veg meal) serves two people

Prasadi Rasoi: Rs 780 for Sadhya/ thali serves two people

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Published on: Sunday, August 22, 2021, 07:00 AM IST
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