Home Chennai After Dark Offantasies and cookie crumbs

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    One of the best things about ‘the season’, besides all the partying, is being able to savour all the gastronomical delights it has to offer. Put simply, we get to stuff our faces and not feel bad about it. This week, I felt like I ate more than my fair share of food and the month has only just begun. Our dear expatriate friends got the ball rolling by including us in their Thanksgiving celebrations. All over the city, happy Americans enjoyed turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, and we slowly but steadily ate our way into a food coma.

    Before we even had time to recover from Thanksgiving, it was time for the Anything but Ordinary party at The Park. And yes, the sampling of delicious food continued. The theme for the dinner revolved around discovery, with the setting taking us back to our childhood days. After an unending flow of Moet and chicken buns, guests were led to miniature custom-made chairs lined up under a huge table, where we were treated to delicately plated signature dishes.

    Think sous Vide duck, nuts in Nilgiris floral honey, Kashmiri morel, saffron spun sugar and bon bons with rhubarb. I was reminded of Alice in Wonderland, and going down the rabbit hole, but with an exotic Indian twist. Priya Paul and her chefs, led by chef Rajesh Radhakrishnan, wanted to present a series of unique eating experiences, of which this was the first, while also giving us the chance to meet the new general manager, Siraj Mukerjee. It has taken them a year to design the dishes and we now have an appetite for more.

    The week ended on a cookie heavy note, with an eating contest by Cookie Man at Forum Vijaya Mall. While I can be quite the cookie monster myself, it seemed more fun to sit back and watch the madness unfold. Choco-chip, butter, shortbread and berry disappeared in a matter of minutes with Subramaniam emerging the winner. Fifty six cookies in seven minutes! The victors took home a truckload of gifts including a year’s supply of cookies. Elsewhere, a baking workshop at the Courtyard by Marriott ended with a Christmas tree decorating session. You know the saying… It’s not Christmas until the tree is up!

    Paloma Rao (paloma@newindianexpress.com)

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