Plated Stories in Chennai serves up signature dishes from the kitchens of eclectic new home chefs
Monster-sized pincers. For crab lovers this description will suffice. And the fact that we splattered gravy and shards of shell at each other is yet another giveaway that it was a supremely successful meal. This gorgeous dish of Andhra-style Mud Crab (peethalu iguru) is from Lakshmi Krishna-swamy’s personal kitchen. No, we are not at one of her famous weekend parties, where this crustacean has been the star quite often. In fact, we are nestled in our homes (as good citizens should be) and thanks to Plated Stories — every weekend is going to be about an eclectic menu handcrafted like this one — it came with ghee rice, vadams and javvarsi payasam. Having sent out 70 kilograms of mud crab last weekend via the Plated Stories’ pop-up, Lakshmi (fondly called Lakku by friends) tells us that she plans to have another pop-up this weekend and next time you might get a portion of Kerala Fried Chicken. “I plan to do this regularly. This pop-up with Plated Stories was more of an experiment. You can expect specialised dishes that are not common, from my kitchen,” says the owner of the fashion boutique, Lux 214, as she adds that we can place orders on her Instagram page.
Roping in well-known professionals who are in a completely different field and are monetising their cooking skills for the first time for the love of food and enterprise — seems to be the USP here. This initiative was designed by Aditi Suresh and Pooja Reddy Nath — the brains behind Plated Stories. Started about a year ago, this cloud kitchen is a boutique catering venture that offers fine dining and beverage services. Under the lockdown circumstances, they have re-invented themselves and now offer home-delivered The Dinner Box (portioned) meals.
While they have tie-ups with kitchens of restaurants like Kabuki and Ciro’s and have included their menus in their offerings, this month they have come up with the concept of the Home Chef Edition. It started with a meal offer from Shiv Gupta (aka DJ Shiva Moon) the founder of Go:Madras who tells us that he has always loved cooking. He dished out nearly 60 portions from his menu last weekend that focusses on Southeast Asian signatures like Dan Dan Noodles, Saigon Summer Rolls and Lemongrass Panna Cotta. “I have always wanted to start a restaurant and bar. And yes, my favourite cuisine will always be Southeast Asian food — primarily because I love Southeast Asian street food,” says the entrepreneur, who hopes to start a restaurant in Goa eventually.
Roast in translation
Meanwhile, for those who are eager to try a new menu, tonight the Managing Partner of Beroza Handcrafted Leather is donning the chef’s hat and plans to woo us with traditional continental fare like Mushroom Vol-au-vents, Old Fashioned Herbed Roast Chicken and a Key Lime Pie, among other dishes (of course, you can expect some creamy mash!). Having mastered dishes like the Prawn Pizza and Avocado Chicken Salad, Mikhail Khaleeli tells us that for the longest time he remembers it had always been Indian for lunch and Western for dinner at his home through childhood. “This is my kind of comfort food. These are the dishes I grew up with,” says the businessman, who loves cooking and unwinds by watching cooking shows. “I have been mulling over starting something in the food space — and might have plans to open a cloud kitchen soon. This initiative will be an interesting experiment for me,” adds Mikhail.
Meanwhile, Aditi tells us that this series has many other surprise home chefs and gourmands in the works. And one has to keep an eye on the updates on their Instagram page to snag a limited edition gourmet meal from an interesting kitchen.
Pop-up dinner tonight, per portion at INR 1,499.