his week, visitors to Atta Galatta will be in for a double whammy with two events dedicated to storytelling and food. While A La Carte – a festival of narratives and cuisines, will marry the ancient art of storytelling with baked goodies, the bookstore-cum- cafe’s cultural space Reading Hour session will see author Andaleeb Wajid in conversation with Samar Halarnkar, the author of Married Men’s Guide to Creative Cooking about why the Indian male needs to conquer the kitchen.
Eat and tell
“I think it’s a combination made in heaven,” begins Lakshmi Shankar, the co-founder of Atta Galatta. “We’ve done a lot of little one-to-two-hour events where we’ve combined food and stories and they’ve always been a success. So I thought a whole day dedicated to it would be something that will resonate well with both kids and adults,” she explains.
While Storywallahs, the Bangalore-based storytelling trainers organisation is in charge of the tales, which will be happening at Atta Galatta’s event space on the second floor, home bakers – Lavina Oberoi and Monika Manchanda will be serving up some specials from their kitchen, along with the cafe’s own creations. “The stories were chosen after the food was decided. So they’re all stories that revolve around food,” Shankar tells us. So spectators can expect treats that are tied to the narrative they listen to in each session.
Manchanda will be offering a mix of savoury and sweet treats such as tomato and feta tartlets, spinach, onion and pepper mini quiches, lavender and orange brownie buttons with white chocolate and sea salt ganache, brown butter mango bars and Nutella cupcakes. Oberoi will stock up her stall with nibbles such as carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, lemon and walnut tea bread, sausage rolls and more.
The stories will be told in four languages – English, Hindi, Kannada and Tamil. While the morning sessions (10 am – noon) will have Tamil and Kannada sessions, the afternoon (3 pm – 6 pm) is dedicated to stories in English and Hindi. From the story of the fattest prince who was always chomping on something delicious to the tale of Raman, who was a burden on his mother due to his obsessive love for food, to one about a greedy spider, the stories are interesting, funny and very engaging, promises Shankar.
Atta Galatta’s Reading Hour is back and this year it starts off with author Wajid chatting with author Halarnkar, who is also a food columnist for Mint Lounge and editor of Indiaspend.in, a website dedicated to open data and research-based journalism. Wajid, known best for her food memoir book, More Than Just Biryani will be debating the merits of Indian men taking over the kitchen with Halarnkar, whose cookbook specifically targets this demographic.
“Samar will be talking about his own experiences with cooking and also about his book. What one must note is that it’s not special if a man cooks. Cooking should be a normal part of life,” Wajid explains, adding, “His book is very different. It’s not just about him waxing nostalgic about what he ate growing up but is packed with useful information, anecdotes and quirky illustrations,” she tells us.
The monthly event will also see other authors such as Anjum Hassan and Geeta Aravumudan in upcoming months.
A La Carte (June 27 )
and Reading Hour (June 28). At 5th block, Koramangala. Call to register as seats are limited.
— Rashmi Rajagopal