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    Karen Anand débuts her farmer’s market in the city with artisanal cheeses, eco-friendly sunglasses and live music performances.

    With the city embracing the love of all things local, natural and organic, many weekends have seen Chennaiites heading to farmers’ markets, like the popular Woodside Farmers Market or the ones held at the MadHatters’ Tea Garden. Now Karen Anand—chef, entrepreneur and the original ‘food guru’, who introduced her brand of alternative food fairs in Pune four years ago (which has since travelled to nine cities, including Bengaluru, Goa and Mumbai)—is débuting the Chennai edition next weekend. “It (the first market) started as a labour of love for myself as I couldn’t find many products easily. And when I did find them, I wanted to share them,” Anand smiles. With 33 stalls, the Chennai Market promises a nice mix of local brands—like Cocotrait, Panakam Pickles and Brownie Heaven—and products from around the country. “I am especially excited about Aiedobarie tea, a great tea estate from Assam, and Bonhomia coffee, with amazing coffees and coffee machines. I personally use these and think they are fabulous,” says Anand, who is currently working on a food and travel TV show. Also expect restaurant pop-ups and live bands.
    September 10-11, from 12 pm to 9 pm, at Phoenix MarketCity.
    Free entry. Details: 66513007

    Bonhomia
    You don’t have to be a barista to brew the perfect cuppa any more. “Compared to ground, bean-to-cup and mass-produced instant variants, our 12 blends of coffee capsules (including artisanal flavours like hazelnut and vanilla) are convenient and ensure consistent café quality beverages made from locally-sourced beans. These can be made via our signature small brewer machines (from Rs 9,995 onwards). At Chennai, we will also introduce our new tea capsules,” shares co-founder, Tuhin Jain. Rs 35 per coffee capsule. Details: bonhomiaworld.com

    Pune Farmer’s Market
    Also the name of Anand’s brand of sauces, dressings and conserves, she says, “Our USP is all-natural with no artificial colour or flavour. I choose products that are both flavoursome and easy to use.” At the market, try out flavours from her new range that includes a Fig and Orange Conserve, Citrus and Ginger Marmalade, Tibetan Hot Sauce, and Moroccan Harissa Sauce. “We are also launching a new range of dressings—like Bombay Chutney Sandwich Spread, Tikka Mayonnaise and Spicy Chipotle Mayonnaise—which we will be sampling and selling at the market,” she adds. Rs 125 onwards. Details: karenanand.net

    Käse
    A cheese workshop in Coonoor and a desire to help the differently-abled inspired friends Anuradha Krishnamoorthy (founder of Can Do) and Namrata Sundaresan to launch Käse, their brand of fresh cheeses, in July. “We use milk from grass-fed cows for our cheeses, none of which contain any preservatives. Since climate plays such a big role in how cheese tastes, we experimented a lot before coming up with nine varieties, including feta, ricotta, mozzarella and burrata,” says  Sundaresan. At the market, also expect bottles of their pickled feta in olive oil, in flavours like char-grilled garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. “We will showcase our range of desserts, too, like tiramisu, apricot panna cotta and salted caramel cheese cake,” she adds. Rs 200 onwards. Details: facebook.com/kasechennai

    Served up warm
    When all the shopping makes you hungry, stop by the food stalls of The Westin, Mamagoto and Meena Tai. While the former will showcase dishes like Peruvian-style ceviche and Spanish tapas from their speciality restaurant, Sunset Grill, the Meena Tai counter will feature Maharashtrian and Parsi fare, including dhansak, Pathare Prabhu pulao and santrani kheer. For Oriental, there’s Mamagoto with dishes like cheese and truffle dumplings and basil fried rice.

    Coffee conversations
    Catch Pondicherry-based coffee aficionado Marc Tormo, at The Brew Room stall. He will be roasting coffee beans, to demonstrate the bean-to-cup concept, and talking about their signature blends (Rs 400 onwards for 250 gms). While there, also sample their fudge bars and coffee cakes. Rs 75 onwards. Details: 28114700

    Rujani Tea
    Raj Barooah is a fourth generation tea farmer, whose family has run a 350-hectare plantation, Aiedobarie, in Assam for the past 119 years. He launched Rujani earlier this year, after four years of research, to produce three premium variants of whole leaf green teas and two non-CTC (crush-tear-curl) black teas.“Tea in India is primarily the mass-produced granular CTC packets. We produce only whole leaf teas. In Chennai, we will also introduce our new Silky Silver Needle white tea,” shares the 46-year-old. Rs 200 onwards (per 100 gms). Details: rujanitea.com

    The Tribe
    In a time when plastic, acetate and stainless steel sunglasses rule, this year-old Pune-based outfit’s wooden eyewear stands out. The biodegradable, sustainably-sourced wayfarers from The Tribe are made from 25-30 types of surplus wood (think ebony and yellow bamboo) from Indonesia—the first in the country to do so. “We’ll also be bringing our line of eight wooden watches and semi-wooden sunglasses (just the arms) to Chennai,” explains co-owner Dinesh Relwani. Rs 2,800 onwards (for fully wooden glasses). Details: 9860833863

    Amaravathi

    Savera Hotel’s Amaravathi restaurant’s brand of Andhra sweets and savouries has been steadily increasing its fanbase in the last two years. “We use age-old recipes, sourced from home cooks. Currently, we have pickles and podis besides the sweets and savouries,” says Nivruti Reddy, managing partner. At the market, Reddy asks us to check out the putarekulu (sugar-filling stuffed rolls), sunnundalu (laddoos), spicy murukkus and uppu chekkalu (rice crackers). “We’ll also have five to six varieties of podis and pickles, including our signature avakkai and gongura,” she adds. Rs 75 onwards.

    Surya Praphulla Kumar

    —With inputs from Anoop Menon

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