By Sourish Bhattacharyya
GAGGAN ANAND was a little-known chef when he left India to take up a job at a restaurant named Red Bangkok in a city where he's now among its culinary superstars. On September 2, Kolkata-born Gaggan, whose eponymous restaurant in Bangkok is ranked No. 3 in Asia and No. 17 in the
world, will land at the Indira Gandhi
International Airport for his first professional assignment in Delhi, where he
once fed Bill Clinton during his days as a junior chef at Orient Express. And
he'll be laying out an 11-course tasting menu for India's most exclusive club
-- the uber-wealthy people who possess the American
Express Centurion Card.
|Gaggan Anand at work in the 'laboratory' of his|
eponymous restaurant located in one of
Bangkok's upscale neighbourhoods.
"I will recreate the Gaggan experience as much as possible with the ingredients available in Delhi and Mumbai," the chef said on phone from Bangkok. On many occasions, Gaggan has said that it is dream to launch a restaurant in Mumbai. Will his Indian experience bring him closer to his dream? That's a question up for speculative answers.
No bank in the country has taken the entertainment of its key customers to this level. But then, the people who own the anodised titanium card, famously known as the Black Card, are in a league of their own. Amitabh Bachchan is the owner of one and so are members of the Bhartia, Burman, Godrej, Munjal and Oberoi families. The charge card comes with annual fee of Rs 2.5 lakh and a joining fee of Rs 2 lakh, with there's no spending limit globally. Unsurprisingly, a Centurion card holder bought a Bentley with the world's most hallowed piece of titanium.
Arriving with his team of chefs and sommeliers, the Master of Progressive Indian Cuisine, who's the only Indian to have interned under Ferran Adria at El Bulli, will curate eight meals, four at the ITC Maurya and the remaining four at the Four Seasons Mumbai. Each wine-paired meal, according to sources, has been priced at Rs 12,500 per person.
Cellar Door Kitchen, a platform for pop-up restaurant events founded by Mumbai-based culinary consultants (and creators of Citibank Restaurant Week India) Mangal Dalal and Nachiket Shetye, is the organiser of this eight-day event, which promises to a set a new benchmark for food events across the country.