From sweet to savoury to artisanal, the cupcake people have a new spin on your 3 pm snack.
From the house of Cupcake Company and Shitija Nahata comes an all-new brand of gourmet popcorn, Mr Poppin, which promises to reinvent the way you munch the all-weather snack — from soggy to sassy, one kernel at a time. It has been almost five years since the birth of Chennai’s trendsetting cupcake business and now Nahata has yet another feather to add to her hat; this time in the form of a personal favourite turned into a handcrafted gourmet product. Chennai is no newcomer to this obsession with popped kernels of corn, as the likes of restaurateur Mahadevan’s Eddie’s Popcorn, My Pop and Zea Popcorns are already flourishing in the city and giving national players like 4700BC and The Crunchbox stiff competition. While Mr Poppin’s signature flavour is Salted Caramel, others like Cheesy Caramel, Sweet & Spicy and Dark Chocolate are getting an equally enthusiastic response. Feisty flavours
“Built on the same ethos as The Cupcake Company, the quality of the ingredients we use and how we handle them is of utmost importance. This, along with the process of creating all the flavours from scratch in-house, and then painstakingly handcoating the popped kernels exclusively by our pastry chefs are what separates us from the pack,” elaborates Nahata.
Importing corn kernels from the US, and 70 per cent dark chocolate, Nahata also uses superior Indian produce like red chillis and sea salt to create interesting varieties and combinations of flavours. The Cheesy Caramel flavour in particular is addictive and has us wondering why these flavours have never been paired together before! Meanwhile, the Sweet & Spicy is predictable, though the dark chocolate delivers quite an impact. Kernel pact
Like the flavoured popcorn that was pioneered in Chicago, Nahata assures that Mr Poppin embodies that original experience.“It is all about complete transparency to our customers as what you taste is exactly what you get — no hidden artificial junk.” Currently available on the shelves at the Cupcake Company outlet in Alwarpet, you will soon find them across their other branches and neighbourhood departmental stores. Packed in re-sealable high-grade vacuum pouches, the contents promise to remain crunchy fresh for a while.
Priced Rs 65 onwards per 100 gms. Details: 9952928927 and mrpoppin.com
I keep seeing some really interesting posts these days in the digital and social media. Most of them are the baby pictures of our celebrities or images of their school days. Otherwise it is of the wife of a big star who recently tied the knot or page 3 moments. In fact, this trend is spreading among politicians as well.
I am sure many of us saw our Chief Minister’s family pictures out there – with his grand kids during one of the family pujas. It is actually a healthy trend that the line between the public image and private selves of celebrities is thinning. It also brings out their more humane side as we would otherwise expect them to be like superheroes!
We have always wanted a peek into celebrities’ personal lives – what they eat, wear, do on weekend etc. But with the older generation it was almost a deliberate secret. Most celebrity weddings were kept private for a long time before people knew details. But with times changing and Hollywood style coming in, we know who is dating who, what their holiday plans are, how their wedding went etc.
As someone who worked in the media in the early 2000, I have myself seen how things have changed over the last ten years. Star wedding video clips were usually leaked out from cell phones earlier as nobody had access to the inside space. Those clips were played non-stop with a caption – ‘exclusive’ and channels would try to up their TRPs. Sometimes these events would even be like sting operations.
Now times have changed. The groom and bride pictures, video footage and even some candid stuff is put out by celebrities themselves. Channel and print media partners are picked before the events or the same clippings are distributed across channels. “Mere paas YouTube hai” is the new line. Just type in the keywords and you get more than you can imagine. Not just these – star kids are bigger stars even before entering the tinsel town. The country went gaga watching the first pics of Aradhya – daughter of the hottest Indian star couple- Abhishek and Aishwarya as she made headlines. She is frequently seen at events now, looking adorable wearing cute designer outfits and people talking about who she resembles. Actor Sridevi Boney Kapoor’s daughters were kept undercover for a long time, but soon enough came out into the open. Our very own superstar Mahesh Babu’s kids have many thousands of likes on Facebook. The reticent actor went ahead and posted 14 pictures of his ‘Snow Holiday’ with wife Namrata and kids Gautam and Sitara on his official Facebook page. And why not?
As part of our culture, we embrace everyone and fans have a special affinity for stars who give them glimpses of their persona life! Added to this, the gen-next kids seem to have much more than even these star kids had growing up- the best opportunities, the right environment to put themselves out there and another generation of fans.
In the snap-happy world of internet, celebrity updates in pictures are a fad for the doer. And a national pastime for the seeker. Instagram photos, tweets or Facebook posts, however off-the-cuff they seem, are usually carefully curated. The audience today believe that social media is a direct route to the star’s personal life.
Two decades ago, the audience hardly got to know the star at all. The privilege of wealth insulated them. But today there are also others who wish the veil remain. Media Consultant Sinu M K says, “Once you get close, the thrill is gone. Say they had the same road side dosa as you did, who wants that?” According to him stardom’s most powerful lure is mystery… Perhaps not so much anymore.
The writer is a popular TV show host, radio jockey, professional singer… and most importantly, a hardcore Hyderabadi)
Directed by Nandini Reddy, Kalyana Vaibhogame is a romantic family entertainer releasing today. The movie has Naga Shourya and Malavika Nair in the lead roles. Produced by K Damodar Prasad, the film also has Pearle Maaney playing a vital supporting role. The music for the two-hour long movie has been scored by Kalyan Koduri. The movie is about two people who are scared of the concept of marriage. It also gives different perspective of marriage.
There is a supernatural-horror experience in store for audiences this weekend. Shiva Ganga, the Srikanth-Raai Laxmi starrer, is out today. With Vadivudaiyan directing it, the movie is about a girl who is brutally killed and her spirit taking revenge. Vivekh has been roped in to add to the fun element. Incidentally, Srikanth takes on his first dual avatar in the film—an urban look in one and
a scary, aghori-look in the other.
A romantic thriller directed by K Dasaradh, Shourya has Manchu Manoj and Regina Cassandra playing the main leads. Produced by Malkapuram Siva Kumar, under the banner of Suraksh Entertainments, the movie also has Prakash Raj and Brahmanandam playing prominent roles in the film. K Vedaa has composed the music for the film. Manchu Manoj looks promising in his new avatar where he is donig a geeky look, where as Regina looks simple, yet elegant in the trailer and the posters.
Peking Duck Carving Festival will begin at Golden Dragon, Taj Krishna from March 4 and will continue till March 13. On offer will be The Peking Duck dish is served with Hoisin sauce, and rolled in thin pancakes. There will be other accompaniments as well. Time: Lunch and dinner. Details: 66293309
The royal treasures of Nawabs find their way onto the chef’s table at ITC Kakatiya till March 31. Muqawiyat, a menu with wholesome dishes of energy foods like Dum Ki Raan Kareli Ki Nehari and desserts such as Shahi Tukra Asal will be served. Time: 7.30 pm to 11.30 pm (Dinner Only) Cost for two `2000 ++ Details: 40081816
Organic Hut is a new store and café that’s has opened up in the city. It has a vast range of products starting from honey, cooking oil and flour. You can savour dishes of ragi, jawar and organic grains, those that are tasty and rich in nutrients too. The store is located at Kavuri Hills. Price: `150 ++ onwards Details: 65555333
Park Hyatt’s roping in specialists from Goa and Chennai for a unique culinary experience
Park Hyatt is introducing its first season of Chefs on Tour under Masters of Food & Wine. The experience will be of culinary journeys and explorations consisting of interactive sessions and workshops.
Three chefs from Goa, Chennai and Hyderabad will travel to these three cities sharing their culinary experiences. Officials at Park Hyatt say that this will be a regular annual event from now. Through engaging and interactive events, residents and visiting food connoiserurs can engage with the award-winning chefs, sommeliers, and specialists
At Park Hyatt Hyderabad specific menus will be curated for a cooking class where the master chefs will share their tips with guests. There will also be a wine dinner and family style Sunday brunch.
The trip starts on March 11 and will continue till March 13. Speaking about this tour at the three hotels, Lars Windfuhr, executive chef of Park Hyatt Hyderabad said, “Using fresh and hand-picked ingredients from the local markets of each city, it will be fun to craft offerings that tantalise the taste buds of the foodies.”
Along with chef Windfuhr there will be Saulo Bacchilega – Executive Chef at Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa and chef Grzegorz Odolak from Park Hyatt Chennai.
Humans are social beings and this inherent nature propels us to make and celebrate relationships. This week seemed to have many glimpses of toasting and celebrating relationships with others and with ourselves too.
Aditya, soon to be married, was spotted celebrating the last few days of his bachelorhood with close buddies. Friends Pranav, Pankul and Khush dressed in the comforts of tees were all about boys time out.
The engagement of Jayesh and Sonu at Park Hyatt was like a fairy tale where the two found their soulmates in each other. Dressed in black, Mr Handsome was a perfect companion to the smiling Sonu adorned in blue floral gown.
Vibha, Aparna and Divya, the three sisters posed perfect. Vibha dressed in shades of peach with netted 3- D flowers, emerald drops and a wisely paired gold clutch was a quick summary of how to highlight feminine touches.
With the upcoming International Women’s Day, the city experienced the spate of womanhood celebrations. The Kakatiya Ladies Group organised a fun-filled afternoon for its members. Sushilla dressed in a fitted orange ensemble was a disclosure of a naturally toned up shape. Namita, in a blend of fusion twist to Kaftan with blue and fuchsia, epitomised the merriment of being a woman. Bina, in a printed black and white jumpsuit, summed up the casual look.
Wishing you all a nourishing soak into the celebrations and festivities of Maha Shivratri and the spirit of International Women’s Day.
(The writer runs her own organic cafe, spa, salon Meghavi and is a people’s person with a pulse on the city’s happenings)
Actor Mark Wahlberg is known to be quite the hands-on father when it comes to coaching his son. Here are other Hollywood dads who are never far away from the action
When it comes to his daughter Lila, True Blood star Moyer is as involved as her mother Anna Paquin. In fact, he can easily be labelled ‘soccer dad’—both the parents are ‘sideline coaches’ and have no qualms in admitting so. He is so involved in his daughter’s game that he’s often been spotted training the young girl, even when it is raining. Incidentally, the actor—who used to play soccer as a kid—recalls that he used to walk down the aisle with his soccer cleats on because he had to go to church right after his game. We wonder what the priest thought of that.
Funnyman Ferrell takes his soccer
rather seriously. Not only does he coach his son Magnus, he often resorts to screaming out from the sidelines to grab his attention. However, when the actor—who played a basketball team owner in Semi-Pro—appeared on The Graham Norton show with Wahlberg, the latter labelled him the “worst coach”. Ferrell asked why and Wahlberg replied: “Because they could be down 20 (and you’d say), ‘Don’t worry guys, you’re doing really good. You know what? There are a lot of positive things happening… why are you crying? It’s OK!’”
In the soccer dad club, Wahlberg is right on top. On The Graham Norton Show a couple of months back, he proved how much of an excited father he can be at his nine-year-old son’s games. He admitted to being such a loud parent on the sidelines, that his wife Rhea Durham pretends to not know him. “I can’t help it,” he shrugged. “He just played in a championship game, and I couldn’t even eat. I mean, my stomach had butterflies. He’s nine.” He went on to tell Norton that he lost his voice for a week from all the yelling, and his son’s team didn’t even win!
He might not be raging on the sidelines, but singer Seal is quite hands on when it comes to being part of his sons’ — Henri, Leni and Lou — soccer games. In fact, whenever his ex-wife Heidi Klum isn’t around, he takes on the role of ‘soccer dad’—accompanying them to all their games, cheering them on, and even making sure he’s in a good position to take
photographs every now and then.
He and ex-wife Reese Witherspoon might not always see eye-to-eye, but the 40-year old Lincoln Lawyer star never lets that get in the way of being part of their son, Deacon’s, life. Phillippe more often than not spends weekends watching his son play or practising soccer with him. In fact, he’s even been spotted at games with fiancée Paulina Slagter. Now here’s a bit of trivia: Phillippe is going to star in a series pickup of the 2007 film Shooter, which starred Wahlberg. Now that’s what we call from one ‘soccer dad to another’.
Hollywood’s Indiana Jones is quite hands-on when it comes to his son Liam’s soccer games. Ford and wife Calista Flockhart are often spotted on the sidelines when their son Jr Ford is playing, too. Now he may not scream and shout the way Wahlberg is known to have, but the actor rarely misses his sons’ games.
Art strokes March 4 | Banjara Hills
Pictorial calligraphy artist P Parmeshwar Raju presents an art exhibition entitled ‘Must Have Been Love’ at Park Hyatt. Through Minimalist approach, he tells complex episodes. It’s on till March 5. Time: 10 am-7 pm. Entry free. Details: 7702202517
Buffet delights March 6| Ameerpet
Hotel Aditya Park offers Sunday brunches. This includes live counters of dosa, idli and pav bhaji along with counters of fresh fruits. There will an array of other delicacies also like Pulao, Paneer Korma and a variety of other delicacies. Time: 12pm-4pm. Price: `550++ taxes. Details: 66788888
Flower power March 8| Banjara Hills
Goethe Zentrum is celebrating the International Women’s Day with a number of movie screenings. Acclaimed movie Barbara will be shown at Hamburg Hall. This German movie is about a lone woman’s struggle. Entry: free. Time: 6 pm. Details: 23350473
All that jazz March 10 | Mumbai
If you are interested in attending a workshop to learn Jazz and Hiphop music, then head to Bhaktivedanta Swami Mission School at Off Link Road. Conducted by Matt Steffanina and Dana Alexa from Los Angeles the workshop will be of two days. Time: 2 pm. Charges: `4,000. Details: 9256022330
Theatre power March 5 | Banjara Hills
Sanjana Kapoor, founder of theatre group Junoon, will be in town for theatre workshop with children at Lamakaan. There will be seats for 30 participants. Children between 6 and 9 will be selected. Parents can accompany them as observers. Time: 11.30 am-2.30 pm. Charges: on request. Details: 9642731329
Water fun March 7 | Hussain Sagar
Enjoy kayaking on waters of Hussain Sagar Lake. There will be competitive racing on a stable three person sit-on-top Kayak. At misty mornings you can click brilliant pictures especially near Buddha statue. Tickets: `550. Time: 7.15 am-9.30 am. Details: 8688884444
Movie time March 9| Banjara Hills
Alliance Francaise Hyderabad is hosting the screening of movie Laurence Anyways. The story revolves around a woman who falls in love with a transgender woman who undergoes change of sex. Much drama follows thereafter. Entry free. Time: 6.30 pm-8.30 pm. Details: 23554485
In style March 10 | Banjara Hills
For the premium and exclusive range of clothes, jewellery and accessories head to Taj Krishna. The exhibition Trendz is back with its unique collections. The exhibition will be on till March 12. Entry free. Time: 9 am-9 pm. Details: 66669999
Sign the kids up for a stencil-making workshop or visit an art exhibition. Also, check out what Hidesign has recently achieved with leather.
Art on the street
Do you enjoy seeing art in public spaces or like to create/fund one? Drop by Art Beat on Perumal Koil Street and brainstorm with artists at Shilpataru’s week-long event to raise awareness on public art. Till March 8, from 10 am to 7 pm. The event concludes with the screening of a film on street artist Banksy, at 6.30 pm
on Tuesday. Free entry.
Details: 0413 2221052
Some memories refuse to fade from our collective consciousness. Like the mass exodus of the Sindhi Hindus during the Partition. Author Saaz Aggarwal revisits the traumatic event and their memories of the lives and land they left behind—through first-hand accounts and insights provided by her mother—in Sindh: Stories from a Vanished Homeland. She will be in Pondicherry on Sunday to discuss her book. At Palais de Mahe, from 6 pm onwards. Details: 0413 2345611
Call of the wanderer
This Saturday, sit back or swing to the tunes of gypsy jazz. Featuring Lithuanian artiste Nadaprem—who is trained in Hindustani and western classical music—it includes to the viola and the flute at the weekly Pondy Night Out live music show. From 8 pm. At Kasha ki Aasha on Rue Surcouf. Entry at Rs 100. Details: 0413 2222963
Up your fashion game with Hidesign’s new arrivals, for both men and women. From briefcases to wallets, they come in woven emboss, croco, lamb and other leather variants. Choose from an assortment of bags like crossbody, shoulder, duffle and slings, in shades of blue, red, brown, aubergine and more. The range starts from Rs 1,095. Details: 0413 2229944
Love of print
Engage children in a stencil making and T-shirt printing workshop at DakshinaChitra tomorrow. They can pick a design of their choice and Chennai-based Prabhu Balakrishnan will teach them the art of making the stencil (using a hobby knife) and printing the same on cloth. Materials will be provided. Rs 800 (including transport and refreshments). From 10 am to 4 pm. Details: 24462435
Knock on wood
Kalinka Art Gallery will be the venue for The Life of Celeste B—paintings and wood etchings by France-based artist Celeste Bollack. Watch her world come alive through oil on canvas featuring her brother, a friend and others — all portraying stories of life and femininity. Around 14 paintings, four lithographs and 15 prints of wood etchings will be showcased. Till April 14 (every Tuesday to Sunday), from 10 am to 1 pm and 3.30 pm to 8 pm. Details: 7094956976
Expect classical dances, music, workshops and more, at the fourth edition of Tantrotsav
ON a tree-lined stretch of Edayanchavadi Road, between Pondicherry city and Auroville, is where the much-misunderstood Indian philosophy of tantra is celebrated in its true spirit, year after year. In its fourth edition, Tantrotsav takes place at Kalarigram, an offshoot of the Hindustan Kalari Sangam in Kozhikode, which trains men and women in the martial art form of kalaripayattu. In the nine days leading up to Mahashivarathri (March 7), the centre transforms into a hub to explore and understand what tantra is all about—through workshops, theatre and yoga—says Lakshmanan Gurukkal, who heads Kalarigram.
For participants, tantra is a philosophy that celebrates the divine love of lord Shiva and goddess Shakti, or the union of the masculine and feminine energies. “The festival is truly an utsav (celebration),” says Paarvathi Om, a volunteer, adding that it is an opportunity to interact with experts who’ve been practicing tantra in their daily lives.
The festival attempts to make the ancient philosophy more accessible, by encouraging participation at the daily satsangs. Participants discuss tantra and its manifestation in art, Ayurveda, architecture and healing (7 pm). There are cultural performances, too, including theyyam, Odissi, Carnatic music and ottanthullal (8 pm). Bharatnatyam dancer Rajashree Warrier is holding an ongoing workshop on manodharma this year. Kalari classes are held every morning and evening, at six. The final day is chock-a-bloc with events, including an interesting demonstration where gymnastics and parkour meet kalaripayattu.
At Yogishananda Peetham, Edayanchavadi Road, till March 7. Details: 0413 2622091
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