Of Food and Fables, at Table Stories

Chicken Mappas by Chef Kunal Kapur

Because food is the most beautiful binder. Of cultures, people and emotions. And memories. Imagine tucking into a glorious Mutton Deomali rustled up on an open charcoal fire by celebrity chef Amninder at a posh Bombay diner on an Autumn night... But I can bet my last dime that as your canines bite into the succulent smoked meat chunks, you will remember the first time you tasted it in a little restaurant in Arunachal Pradesh... That familiar smell and emotion comes floating in your mind...
Mutton Deomali by Chef Amninder Sandhu

That’s why what Chef Kunal Kapur, loved by gourmands all over for serving modern Indian cuisine, said made so much sense as we tucked into his Confit Chicken Mappas at the launch dinner of Table Stories, hosted at Iah Bar in The Roseate, Delhi, a week ago. “Brought up in a typical Punjabi household, my eyes were set on foreign shores. But, the first posting was in the South. We Punjabis knew south Indian cuisine as comprising only Idli, Dosa, Vada and Sambhar. It was a revelation getting to know the length and breadth, the nuances of the culinary varieties of the states down south. My table stories start from there. My initiation into the world of regional Indian cuisine. The dishes I will present bring back memories and I hope they do the same for you.” Interestingly, the Confit Chicken Mappas did just that. As, the Ragi Tart, Curried Mash, Raspberry Chutney and Coconut Snow showcased the technique and flavours inspired by his cooking lesson from a local chef in Kerala. A staple of Syrian-Christian cuisine, it burst with flavours in every bite.
Chef Kunal Kapur
Those who didn’t want the bird were given jackfruit, grown aplenty in the south of India, said Chef Kapur, “We see trees laden with the fruit everywhere. It’s such a natural substitute for meat.” Interestingly, even the Mutton Deomali’s (served by Chef Sandhi at the launch dinner) vegetarian cousin was a mean Jackfruit Deomali. 
Chef Amninder Sandhu
Table Stories is an innovative concept to rustle up stories of yesteryear, of childhood, of first-time tastings, of inspirations and strike up conversations as you eat a delicious spread cooked by eleven of India's most celebrated chefs. A unique pop-up restaurant concept hosted by The Roseate in Delhi and London from December 12, 2019 to May 2020, a gourmand (seating of 40 guests in total at the pop-up) can book himself a table from a chef's session of his choice every two weeks. Tickets are priced between Rs 4000-10000 (per person). I'm talking of world-renowned names such as Peter Kuruvita, Chef Kunal Kapur, Chef Sricharan Venkatesh, Chef Himanshu Saini and Chef Amninder Sandhu.
Table Stories (a joint initiative of Roseate Hotels & Resorts and FoodInk Expeditions) pop-ups will be hosted twice a month, with a common philosophy of a stellar menu from a top chef, immaculate service and shared experience from one table to the next. The prime idea is for diners to be able to not just savour the glorious food but also indulge in meaningful interactions with the eminent chefs, completely feeling immersed in the entire storytelling of the gastronomic experience.
Setting for Table Stories last week at Iah Bar in The Roseate, New Delhi

Open for discerning gourmands or just anyone who loves to eat, from across the country. These pre-booked experiences will take the guests through the chefs’ culinary journeys – from their cooking philosophies to career milestones. The chefs, in turn, will take the guests through their expertise and skill, one scrumptious dish at a time.
If you take my word, do give this pop-up a try. Because, I was lucky to have tasted (amidst a beautiful set up) a thoughtfully curated menu of five delightful dishes cooked and plated by four gourmet chefs who are part of this fest. It was a special experience. And, before I forget I decided I must write down about it. Because such stories aught to be shared.
Find below the schedule for all the participating chefs/restaurants so that you can book your table.
Chef Sricharan Venkatesh
Schedule 2019-2020

Kunal Kapur – December 12 to 15, 2019
Modern Indian
Specialising in regional Indian delicacies, Kunal Kapur became known to most Indians through appearances on television. Also a restaurateur, his cookbooks are treasure troves for Indian cuisines.

Himanshu Saini – December 19 to 22, 2019
Molecular Indian
Regarded as a trailblazer, Himanshu Saini started the trend of serving food in eye-catching props. Known for food that’s bold, inventive and playfully Indian, Saini is currently the Head Chef at Tresind, Dubai.

Rohit Ghai – January 9 to 12, 2020
Modern Indian
London based Rohit Ghai has worked in the city’s top Indian restaurants including Benares, Gymkhana and Jamavar. He currently runs Kutir, in the heart of Chelsea.

Amninder Sandhu – January 30 to February 2, 2020
Modern Indian
Amninder Sandhu is one of the first chefs in the country to work in a gas-free set-up. She recreates traditional, recipes using a charcoal-powered hearth.
Peter Kuruvita – February 13 to 16, 2020
Sri Lankan Seafood
Peter Kuruvita imbibed the culinary influences of his traditional kitchen early on, and is now a global figure restaurateur, TV presenter, author, industry speaker and restaurant consultant.

Nadodi – February 27 to March 1, 2020
Molecular South Indian
From the heart of Kuala Lumpur comes Nadodi, seen as the next great Indian restaurant, is re-inventing South Indian food from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and even Sri Lanka in a new modern light.

The Bangala – March 12 to 15, 2020
Authentic South Indian
The Bangala, Karaikudi is run by the Chettiar entrepreneur Meenakshi Meyyappan, who transformed her father-in-law’s club into a heritage hotel which serves homestyle food - on a banana leaf, sans cutlery.

 Bo.Lan – April 4 to 5, 2020
Authentic Thai
Serving royal Thai dishes for nearly a decade, Chef couple Duangporn Songvisava (Bo) and Dylan Jones (Lan) have made Bo.Lan a much sought after and highly rewarded destination in Bangkok.
Atul Kochhar - April 23 to 26, 2020
Regional Indian
The first Indian Chef to win a Michelin star for Tamarind, London, Atul Kochhar has many laurels to his credit. Kanishka, his newest restaurant showcases the authentic flavours of the Seven Sisters.

For details, visit www.tablestories.in (@tablestoriesind on Instagram) or contact 9873733770/9818605959.


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