By Sourish Bhattacharyya
MANJIT GILL, Corporate Chef, ITC Hotels, and President, Federation of Indian Culinary Associations, green-flagged the online voting for the Delhi Gourmet Club's Top Chef Awards 2014 on July 18 with the stirring declarations that chefs are "the custodians of the nation's nutrition".
Gill had chaired the nine-member jury that shortlisted the names of the 48 nominees in 14 categories who will vie for the vote of the Delhi Gourmet Club's 5,500-strong Facebook community of food aficionados. "Chefs are no longer responsible for your indigestion," Gill said on a lighter note at the briefing and then added: "They not only safeguard your digestion, but also ensure the absorption of the nutrients in the food they cook. Awards such as these will only make them more committed to their profession and encourage them to deliver their best."
|Puneet Sharma, Dean, School of Hospitality,|
G.D. Goenka University, which has partnered
Le Cordon Bleu to provide hospitality
education in India, also spoke at the
hospitality trade media briefing on July 18.
DGC's founder-members -- Rocky Mohan, Atul Sikand and yours truly -- released the list of nominees to the hospitality industry media at a briefing held at La Riviera, the much-awarded European restaurant of the Pullman Gurgaon Central Park. Members of the Club will cast their online votes till July 22, 12 midnight, by logging on to www.topchefawards.com.
|The invitees and the speakers gather around the|
Moltini, the Rolls Royce of show kitchens,
at La Riviera, the award-winning European
restaurant at Pullman Gurgaon Central
Park, which was the venue of the
hospitality trade media briefing,
The results of the vote will be declared at a gala event, expected to be attended by Parvez Dewan, Secretary, Tourism, Government of India, and the leading luminaries of the hospitality industry, at the Pullman Gurgaon Central Park on July 27. DGC will also honour the chefs who have been nominated by the jury (these awards are not up for voting) for the Best Young Chef, Chef Leader of the Year and Lifetime Achievement awards.
On the eve of the announcement, there was good news for the winners of the awards for the Pastry/Bakery Chef of the Year (Five-Star and Independent) from Elle & Vire, the brand of butter and cream preferred by professional chefs across the world. A co-sponsor of the event, Elle & Vire has said it will gift to each of the two winners an all-expenses-paid trip to Bangkok to attend a three-day bakery programme led by the world-renowned Eric Perez at the Macaron Pastry Training Centre on September 18-20.
An illustrious chef from Toulouse, France, Perez has represented the U.S. and won medals at the Pastry World Cup in Lyon, work with the Ritz-Carlton and the upper-crust pastry shop, La Maison, in Shanghai, launched his own chain under the brand name Visage, where he lifted pastry art to a level not seen before, and then opened the Macaron Pastry Training Centre (www.macaronbkk.com) on Soi Sukhumvit 63, Bangkok, to share his vast knowledge with "young and old, professional and enthusiast".
The media briefing was also addressed by David Hopcroft, General Manager, Pullman Gurgaon Central Park, who lauded DGC for "doing the right things" and pledged his hotel's wholehearted support for the first-of-its-kind initiative. Pullman Gurgaon Central Park is the co-presenter of the event. Puneet Sharma, Dean of the School of Hospitality, G.D. Goenka University, which has joined hands with Le Cordon Bleu's famed hospitality management and culinary arts programmes, also spoke at the media briefing. He said the Top Chef Awards Delhi-NCR 2014 was the first industry-focused activity of Le Cordon Bleu-G.D. Goenka University and he expressed the hope that this would be the beginning of many more such collaborations.
Top Chef Awards Delhi-NCR 2014: An Overview
For the first time in the country, the Delhi Gourmet Club is organising an awards evening dedicated exclusively to chefs who have quietly contributed to the success of Delhi-NCR's celebrated restaurants. At the Top Chef Awards Delhi-NCR 2014 on July 27, the Delhi Gourmet Club, in association with the Pullman Gurgaon Central Park, is giving these chefs the limelight they deserve at a gala event where the chief guest will be the Secretary, Tourism, Government of India, Shri Parvez Dewan, and leaders of the hospitality industry will be in attendance.
Giving DGC support for this first-of-its-kind consumer initiative to honour Delhi-NCR's top chefs are some of world's finest brands. The event is being powered by hospitality education leader Le Cordon Bleu and its Indian partner, G.D. Goenka University. Its lead co-sponsors are leading food and beverage brands Elle & Vire (French; dairy products), Delverde (Italian; pasta), Torani (American; juices, mixers and smoothies) and Granini (German; fruit juices). The other co-sponsor is Nestle Professional, a global network of 10,000-plus professionals providing top-drawer culinary and beverage solutions to businesses around the world.
Massive Restaurants Pvt. Ltd., the banner behind the ground-breaking Masala Library, Made in Punjab and Farzi Cafe restaurants; FnS, the brand behind a new generation of cutlery; and Foodhall, the Future Group's premium multi-city food destination, are the award sponsors. Beam Global is the beverage partner, offering Teacher's Single Malt, Teacher's Original, Jim Beam bourbon and Sauza tequila.
And the nominees are...
Award for Excellence in North Indian Cuisine (Five Star)
*Gaurav Tandon, Masala Art (Taj Palace)
*Ghulam Qureishi, Dum Pukht (ITC Maurya)
*Karan Singh, Dhaba (The Claridges)
*Shams Parvez, Made In India (Radisson MBD, Noida)
Award for Excellence in North Indian Cuisine (Standalone)
*Bernard Mondal, Kwality
*Chiquita Gulati, Gulati's Spice Market
*Gurpreet Singh Gehdu, Punjab Grill
*Pradeep Khullar, Chor Bizarre
Award for Excellence in South Indian/Coastal Cuisine (Five Star)
*Ravi Vatsyayan, Amaranta (The Oberoi Gurgaon)
*Velu Murugan, Dakshin (Sheraton New Delhi)
Award for Excellence in South Indian/Coastal Cuisine (Standalone)
*Arun Kumar TR, Zambar
*Pawan Jumbagi, Carnatic Cafe
Jiggs Kalra Award for Excellence in Modern Indian Cuisine
*Anshuman Adhikari, Diya (The Leela Gurgaon)
*Harangad Singh, Varq (The Taj Mahal Hotel)
*Shantanu Mehrotra, Indian Accent
Award for Excellence in Best Regional Cuisine (Standalone)
*Cris Fernandez, Bernardo's
*Bhaskar Dasgupta, Oh Calcutta
*Shekhar Bhujel, Yeti: The Himalayan Kitchen
Award for Excellence in Asian Cuisine (Five Star)
*Nilesh Dey, Wasabi (The Taj Mahal Hotel)
*Yutaka Saito, Megu (The Leela Palace New Delhi)
*Zhang Hongsheng, China Kitchen (Hyatt Regency New Delhi)
Award for Excellence in Asian Cuisine (Standalone)
* Khoo Thiam Huat, Royal China
*Kim Suk Hee, Gung The Palace
*Lok Prasad Subba, Yum Yum Tree
Award for Excellence in European Cuisine (Five Star)
*D.N. Sharma, Orient Express (Taj Palace)
*Federico Pucci, Le Cirque (The Leela Palace New Delhi)
*Rajeev Sinha, Sevilla (The Claridges)
Award for Excellence in European Cuisine (Standalone)
*Jerome Cousins, Rara Avis
*Nira Kehar, Chez Nini
*Shamsul Wahid, Smoke House Deli
*Sujan Sarkar, Olive Bar & Kitchen
*Suman Sharma, Tonino
Pastry/Bakery Chef of the Year (Five Star)
*Devendra Bungla, Hyatt Regency
*Vikas Vibhuti, The Oberoi New Delhi
*Anil Kumar, Pullman Gurgaon Central Park
Pastry/Bakery Chef of the Year (Independent)
Best New Entrant of the Year
*Anahita Dhondy, Soda Bottle Opener Wala
*John Oh and Kurt Michael, Akira Back
*Rahul Dua, Cafe Lota
*Vikram Khatri, Guppy by Ai
*Yenjai Suthiwaja, Neung Roi
Best Restaurant Manager of the Year
*Sarabjeet Singh Bhalla, K3 (JW Marriott, New Delhi Aerocity)
*Deepak Rawat, Megu (The Leela Palace New Delhi)
*Shipra Pradhan, Le Cirque (The Leela Palace New Delhi)
*Malvika Sahay, Wasabi (The Taj Mahal Hotel)
*Deepak Shettigar, threesixtydegrees (The Oberoi New Delhi)