Hyatt Shabu Shabu Festival with Food-Adda Team

 I was invited for the Hyatt Shabu Shabu festival at Baan Tao, Hyatt, Kalyani Nagar by the Food Adda team. Officially, this was the second meet organised by food-adda.com .

A team of bloggers and twitter-influencers were invited by the food-adda team to preview the special ongoing Shabu Shabu festival at Hyatt, Pune.

What is Shabu Shabu ?
Shabu Shabu, is a popular hot pot dish from Japan which features meat, vegetables and sea food cooked in flavorful broth and is served with dipping sauces.

Where and till when?
Hyatt, Pune, Kalyani Nagar is hosting the Shabu Shabu festival from 15th January,2014 to 12th February, 2014 and the timings are from 12:30pm to 3:00 om and from 7:00pm to 11:30pm.

The food-adda team was greeted by Mr. Mohit Kanwal, Director of Sales and Marketing for Hyatt, Pune.


The ingredients used in the making of Shabu Shabu were exquisite and the meal was a different experience altogether! The meal is prepared by the chef at your table, which makes it even more exciting!! We chatted with the chef for a while who told us about Shabu Shabu.

One of the best feature of Baan Tao is the ambiance...It is so beautiful, so different, it actually takes you to a different world altogether! The calm sound of the water flowing...Sitting on a table near the water area, is just very relaxing!

The service of the hotel is also noteworthy! :)


If you are a vegetarian, do not worry, because they have a lot of veggie options, which taste amazing!

Next, we were treated to some mouth-watering desserts...These are by far, one of the best I have had.

The yummylicious desserts at Baan Tao, Shabu Shabu festival

All foodies conected over food-talks and had a wonderful time together! 

About Food-adda.com :
Group of foodies and twitter influencers who connect over the love of food. They love to meet new people and organise foodie meets regularly! The meet is open to all, so don't worry if you are not a blogger or a twitter influencer.  If interested in attending any future meets, you can contact them on facebook or twitter and they will let you know about the next event.

Do check out this lovely festival...Its a unique concept, and a lovely experience !:)

You can like Hyatt, Pune on facebook : Hyatt, Pune
You can follow them on twitter at : @HyattPune

You can like the food-adda page on facebook : Food-adda India
You can follow food-adda on twitter at : @foodaddaindia
You can visit their website for more updates on Pune events : www.food-adda.com

Au revoir!

Christmas Eve at Marriott Chakan (Best Christmas Ever!)

After organizing the first one-of-its-kind meet-up of Pune food bloggers and twitter influencers, our group gained a lot of recognition in the food industry, and started receiving a lot of invites. I personally met up a few restaurant owners and planned for the future meet-ups.

Our next event : The Christmas Dinner at Courtyard Marriott, Chakan . 

Raghav contacted me through twitter and we together organised this bloggers meet at CY Marriott, Chakan.
After all the hard-work, we finalised a list of food-bloggers to invite for the event. 

Being a Christmas eve, Marriott had allowed a +1 with each of us, and I chose my best friend Kshitija to accompany me for the event.



A lot of excitement was building up for the event among each one of us....and finally, the day arrived!

Marriott offered us a pick-up service, but being a working day on 24th Dec,2013 many of the bloggers chose to travel by their own vehicle. I was picked up from outside my office by Kshitija Kadam in the Marriott vehicle. We picked up my friend Kshitija on the way and headed towards the hotel.

We were greeted warmly by the Marriott staff, and offered a few welcome drinks. Our luggage was taken to our respective rooms and we checked-in our rooms to relax for a while. While we enjoyed the mesmerizing sunset from our rooms,  the staff got us some chocolates and cakes in our rooms.

After the arrival of all the bloggers, the CY general manager took us around the hotel, and showed us the beautiful surroundings. While discussing about food and the lovely hotel, we parked ourselves near the beautiful poolside at the hotel. Being a little away from the city, the area is free of pollution. We were offered Grover Zampa fine wines along with some starters. We chatted around a little while and then headed for the lovely Christmas dinner (special menu was decided being a Christmas eve).



The Christmas dinner buffet looked exquisite and mouth-watering. Being the food bloggers we are, seeing the lovely spread, we all got busy taking food pictures. 

Marriott had also done some special decorations for Christmas which included a ginger bread house...It looked just fab! 


About fOOd :
First, we checked out the live counters (on one side of the huge dining area). The live counters served roasted Turkey stuffed with leek, bread and celery with cranberry sauce, Baked king fish with caper burre blance, maple Syrup glazed Roast Chicken with honey mustard sauce, Peking duck with pancake, Peking Pork chops, Antipasti (Turkey roulade, ham and cheese terrene, Chicken liver pate, Southwestern Christmas salad, Red wine poached pears, Marinated roasted bell pepper with feta) and what not! We were amazed by the variety of food they had prepared! And yes, of course, the food was delectable to the core!

SOUPS : In soups, we had an option between Chicken consommé and Pumpkin and almond soup with sesame crackers.

STARTERS : For starters, we had Wild mushroom crepes with leek sauce, Potato gratin with clarified butter, Sweet potato and marshmallow bake, Bacon wrapped tenderloin steaks. My personal favorite was potato gratin and wild mushroom crepes. The crepes were made perfectly, and tasted exquisite!



SALADS : Among the salads, we had options between Pickled mushroom and arugula salad with a fennel dressing, Grilled vegetable and roast tomato salad with  chili and olive oil drizzle, Italian tomato salad (blanched tomato skin off, julienne onion basil olives) salsa verde, Green beans with red pepper and hazelnut, Egg salad with beetroot carrot and tomato coriander and lime vinaigrette, Chorizo and mango salad, Asian style beef salad, Fish terrine salad with cherry tomatoes green beans and red onion garlic comfit dressing, Smoked chicken salad with vinaigrette. Being a mushroom fan, I loved the pickled mushroom and arugula salad the most. The egg salad and italian tomato salad were delightful!

MAIN COURSE : For the main course, we were served Caramelized Brussels sprouts with pistachios, Caramelized Brussels sprouts with pistachios, Rosemary mashed potatoes with yam cubes garlic and parmesan, Parmigiana di melanzane, Pesto grilled vegetables, Grilled chicken breast with caramel cloves and anise jus, Red wine braised beef tenderloin with roast pepper and rosemary, Cajun pork chops with beer barbeque sauce, Winter vegetable stir fry, wok tossed duck with sprouts, vietnamese fried rice among the western and oriental cuisine. 



INDIAN MAIN COURSE : Indian main-course consisted of Paneer amir khusrooKhumbh mutter hara pyaz, Subz kofta currySabout dum ki BhindiDal MakhaniHyderabadi Subz BriyaniKacche gosht ki BiryaniSteamed Rice, Gosht Hundi Lazeez, Goan Fish Curry, Chicken Kolhapuri, Muttai Varuval. The food was perfectly cooked and was maintained at the right temperature (neither too hot nor too cold, just perfect!).

We all tasted as many dishes as we could, but given the variety of food, we were full too soon! But nevertheless, the food that I tried was yummm yummm yummm....Hats-off to the chef for his efforts!

After completing our dinner, we moved to the most amazing course of the meal, the desserts. 

DESSERTS : Among the desserts there was Christmas pudding (Hot), Date pudding (Hot), Yule log, Mince pie, Panettone, Stolen, Croquembouche, Dundee cake, Strawberry Pavlova, Baba au hrum, Key lime pie, Fresh fruit tart, Mango Saffron cheese cake, Strawberry mousse, Opera pastry and Sacher tort. I loved the mango-saffron cheese-cake the most...Just the right amount of softness is what I loved! The strawberry mousse, key lime pie and fresh fruit tart were also delish!



CONDIMENTS : Sauces & Compote (Chocolates / Caramel / Mango / Vanilla / Figs / Apricot / Pineapple), Marshmallows, Jujubes, Christmas cookies & Bars, Biscotti, Sugar twist & Chocolate Stick, Toy Bread.

BLOGGERS JUST GO ON AND ON....
We continued our lovely night at the Marriott, by chatting and relaxing on the outside area of the Momo Cafe. We were served their best cocktails and the bloggers stayed till 2 in the morning before retiring for the night. We discussed food, events, life, philosophies and what not! We all had a wonderful time, and all thanks to Raghav and the Marriott team!



CHRISTMAS SURPRISE :
Next day, we woke up to a wonderful surprise. We discovered a stocking full of goodies outside our door. For most of us, it was the first Christmas stocking, and we all had the happiness of a 10-year-old after we found the stockings outside our door!



BREAKFAST :
We were treated to a sumptuous breakfast. I tried the hot waffles with my favorite toppings of fresh fruits, chocolate sauce, cream and gems. They were mouth-watering! I loved the pancakes too!! They were delicious!!  

What more, we were served freshly made cup-cakes and they were exquistely delicious...Hot and freshly made!! 

We had an array of other options to choose from which included fresh juices, fresh fruits, crepes and various toppings, tea, coffee, danish, etc.

Overall, we had a lovely breakfast!

AFTER BREAKFAST :
We all left for the Gowardhan Cheese Factory visit, organised by Raghav and the Marriott Team. After coming back to the hotel, after the cheese factory visit, we checked-out from the hotel. We were all gifted special packages by the Marriott Team (Cherry on the Cake !) and were dropped back by the Marriott vehicles.



#FINAL VERDICT :
It was one of the most special Christmas evening for me! Kudos to the hospitality team for their efforts! Kudos to the Chef for the exquisite spread of food he prepared for us! Kudos to Raghav for the efforts he took for organising this event for all of us!

We all had a lovely time. I would definitely recommend each one of you to check out the hotel. If you are a localite from Pune, you must check out the spread of food they have, because its worth it! You can check -out their barbecue nights which they hold on Wednesdays, A good place for professionals to fine dine, and a lovely place for all of us to relax and unwind..!

You can follow them on twitter at : @CourtyardChakan
Like them on facebook : Courtyard Marriott, Chakan

You can read more about this meet on the posts by other bloggers :
Lifestylerr, Farzana and AliLemon In Ginger HuseinUTes At Home, Recipe Follows, Husein, and last Amarnath's Blog which is still pending (hope it will come someday!).

Live Cooking, Wine to celebrate and lovely people @ Palate Culinary Studio

While in Mumbai for a weekend trip, I received an invite by Food Bloggers Association of India (FBAI) and my dear friend Sameer Malkhani for an event in Bandra at the Palate Culinary Studio in association with Aspri Wines and Alpen-Koch Raclette Grill





What's Palate Studio you ask....Let me brief you about them...
Palate Culinary Studio is a one stop shop to fulfill all your culinary adventures. Chef Rakhee Vaswani, a cookery expert brings the most amazing recipes (delish as well as made with ingredients easily available) from all around the world, to your kitchen.

They have a variety of workshops available teaching you about cuisines like Indian, Continental, Mediterranean, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Italian, South East Asian and the list goes on...They also have classes for some yummy desserts. The classes are conducted on a regular basis and in a group of 6-10 people in one batch. You get to learn how to cook in a fun and interactive manner, and get to savor each dishes later on after the class.

About the Event...
The brunch started with a brief introduction about Palate Culinary Studio and the chef Rakhee Vaswani followed by the introduction by the food-bloggers present for the event.

The chef Rakhee was kind enough to prepare the dips and keep the ingredients ready. 

Everyone was very excited for the live cooking session! We all divided ourselves in a group of 4-5 and took one grill among each group. The chef guided us on how to use the Raclette Grill, given that many of us were using it for the first time. We chose our ingredients from the assorted vegetables, meats and sausages and started the grill with Chef Rakhee overseeing the preparations and guiding us through the process.We melted our favorite cheese along with the barbecued veggies and mushrooms, which made the meal even better. 

The brunch was accompanied by wines from Aspri Wines. We had an option to choose from one of the two South African Wines, one was the Nederbura Shiraz and other was Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc. I loved the sparkling wine, and it tasted just perfect with the barbecued veggies.

Finally, we were served some out of the world desserts and fresh macaroons by Chef Rakhee. The Tiramisu was just heavenly and the best I have ever had...!! #Awestruck #InLove 

About Raclette Grill :
Aplen Koch has introduced its new range of Raclette grill, which works on electricity and helps you have a hassle-free barbecue right inside your house.The Raclette grill comes in the two sizes, i.e. the small and the big one. The small one costs around 5000-6000 and is ideal to have when you are having a few friends over for dinner. 

Overall, all of us had a great time! Learning to cook with the Raclette Grill, having amazing wines to accompany it and side by side interacting with the fellow foodies, just made it even better! Thanks to FBAI and Palate Culinary Studio for hosting a wonderful event!

PS : Each one of us got to take away a yummylicious Plum Cake, which was very beautifully wrapped (Oh, the Christmas Spirit!)

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