Gift yourself a chef this Christmas
’Tis the season to be jolly. And we’ll tell you why. We have put together a gift list of chefs for hire this Christmas season. And whether you find your version of merry in a table for two or many — these folks are ready to serve. Bespoke menus, orchids and silverware, and even sommeliers at your home dining table, can be a part of the unwrap if you so wish. This is apart from exclusive spaces for private dining — from a wine room to a massive chess garden at five-star hotels. Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle over the menu this year. These chefs know how to ‘sleigh’ it!
The movie-star chef
You might not be familiar with the name Adrian Lambert, but a number of Kollywood’s top actors are — be it for a private party or a birthday. The 49-year-old who is hush-hush about his VIP clientele, after stints in Miami and the Cayman Islands, now owns the Great Wall, a Chinese restaurant in Besant Nagar. But for Christmas, we suggest you go with his Continental specialities — namely Shepherd’s Pie, Pot Roast Pork and Baked Bread Pudding. Book a week in advance for an intimate gathering of 30 guests or more. Buffet or five-course sit down dinner. Rs 700 to Rs 1,000 per person depending on the menu.
Chef and I
With a swank private dining space and kitchen that can seat up to 15, Chef Regi Mathew promises a specially curated dining experience of up to seven courses, this festive season. Known for the unique and traditional Kerala fare at the restaurant, Kappa Chakka Kandhari, the chef promises delicious offerings like free range spring chicken fry, chicken peralan, churuttu and jam rolls at the Gourmet Experience Centre which is located right above the restaurant. He further adds to the excitement with dishes like soft-shelled crabs and oysters at his table. Japanese, Continental and Thai cuisines are other options. Price on request. Book in advance via firstname.lastname@example.org
India on a platter
Tucked deep inside the pan-Indian restaurant, Bharat Bistro, is this kitschy private dining space that can seat up to 30 people, and boasts a menu that has dishes like Rameshwaram Pocket Rice and Rajasthani Safed Lamb Rack from the restaurant. However, once you chat with chef S Kamalakannan for customised options, dishes like the Butter chicken samosa and Lamb galouti burger can be included for your special meal. With a flair for presentation, expect interesting and Instagram-worthy plating, even as the flavours take you to kitchens across the country. At Rs 900++, located off Cenotaph Road.
Christmas pudding & chess
Romance your beloved in the middle of a giant chess board this Christmas! At the Leela Palace Chennai’s chess garden, expect a waiter at your disposal serving up a pre-curated menu with a chef, paired with exclusive wines. We hear recommendations for the menu include Butter Poached Lobster, Gibblet gravy and Christmas pudding. Rs 50,000 plus taxes for a couple.
The Travelling Chefs
If your appetite can handle a seven-course Bohri-style feast, then CEO (aka Chief Eating Officer) Munaf Kapadia of The Bohri Kitchen in Mumbai can organise a thaal fit for a king in your city. Kapadia who made it to a premium 30 under 30 list last year, says the popular dishes on their menu include the Smoked mutton kheema samosa, Rann and red masala and of course, the Dum Biryani. A week’s notice is required. Price on request. Details: thebohrikitchen.com
Feeling like a slice of Goa this Christmas? Charming home chef Sarita Ajit Chavan travels across the country with a bagful of Goan spices and heirloom recipes. Expect traditional Pork Sorpotel and sannas, Chicken Cafreal and Stuffed Turkey with dried fruits, with bebinca for dessert, among others. Rs 2,500 per head. Minimum party of 20. Dinner only. Travel charges not included. Call 9823016601
Queen of Moplah cuisine Abida Rasheed might be based in Kerala. But her authentic Thalassery biryani is just a call away. Though the home chef has curated festivals for luxury hospitality brands like the Taj group and Novotel, she still enjoys whipping up a feast for farmhouse parties and private dos. Other signature dishes of hers include a Chicken Roast and Muttamaala (egg garland dessert). A week’s notice is required. Price on request. Reach out on her Facebook page.
Iranian turkey, anyone?
This turkey takes 10 hours to slow roast in the oven. And for once, it doesn’t come with cranberry sauce. Nasrin Karimi’s oh-so-delicious Iranian-meets-Parsi spin-off we’re told is so tender it melts and because it is made with spices, can be paired with rice. Perfect for the South Indian soul, looking to try something new. Curate your own Iranian-inspired Christmas menu with Nasrin a week in advance. Outdoor seating for a private party. Shiraz Cafe at Tryst. Rs 800 upwards per head.
In the wine room
Skip the menu and create your own. And we don’t mean just a one-off dish. The culinary team at The Park Chennai will put together a bespoke three or five-course meal for an intimate gathering with exotic ingredients like heart of palm, Chilean sea bass and New Zealand lamb chops. Opt for private dining at the hotel’s wine room on request. Rs 2,999 to Rs 3,999 per person. This includes a pairing of white, red or sparkling wines with your meal.
Reddy, steady, banoffee!
Friends of restaurateur Sandesh Reddy have over the years raved about multiple dishes — that made it to their homes, offices and parties — dishes that can’t always be ordered off his menu at Sandy’s Chocolate Factory. Like his team’s delicious Beef Wellington or a much-talked-about Banoffee Pie from a social do last year. With his Teynampet space open to exclusive dining this holiday season, now you can pre-order your favourites with a chef on call. Expect a made-to-order spread of three mains, four sides, salad and dessert for Rs 1,600 per head. Five days notice is required.
Your table, 2.0
Ever imagined your dining table at home could be transformed to look like its in a luxury hotel? Payal Rajankar (26) of The Gourmet Gig won’t just whip up a Christmas feast, her team also manages custom flower and table arrangements and even a sommelier on request. Look up sample menus on her website that cover Indian, Asian, Mediterranean and Spanish options which can served course by course or buffet style. The impressive presentation is credited to years of being around food, hailing from the established Goldline Catering family and later working within the Oberoi group. Some of her Christmas must-haves include Smoked Salmon Scotch Eggs, Sticky Maple Glazed Ham with baked apple sauce and a Salted Caramel Yule Log. Rs 3,000 per person for a five-course meal. Details: thegourmetgig.com
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