‘Champagne can make any dull place light up, but today it is just adding to the aura of this one.’ said Rajiv Singhal, Ambassador of Champagne in India. The venue was the Zenith Suite (a mysterious multi-level private party venue) on the 38th floor of the Palladium hotel,the occasion, International Champagne Day and the hosts, Rajiv the Champagne man and Abhishek Malik the hotel manager of the Palladium.
For those who did not know, Champagne, a sparkling wine can only be made in the Champagne region of France; but the brand of ‘Champagne’ is so entrenched in the minds of most that almost every sparkling wine is addressed by the name. If it were to be just about the name, one would not have cared but the whole process of making Champagne and the aging of the wine for a minimum of 15 months and the blending of wines endows the liquid with all its complexity with yeasty bready aromas. Champagne Day celebrations started five years ago and now it’s a global thing, frankly for us another reason to uncork one more!
Champagne Menu for the evening:
Taittinger Brut NV: A light and refreshing tipple with balanced fruit and biscuity aromas.
Billecart-Salmon Brut NV: This was fruitier on the fore and the toast lingered on
Castelnau Brut Rose NV: This brought in set of red fruit aromas couple with the the classic Champagne nose. Quite easy drinking this one was.
Drappier Brut Rose NV: This was spicy and had much more body to it than the rest.
Krug, Brut Grand cuvee: Coffee, honey and intense toast with a golden hue, the Krug was the most mature that evening.
Another star of the evening was Varun Chawda the Sabrage specialist at the Palladium. Sabrage is the technique of opening Champagne with a saber. We just couldn’t stop applauding the act. The picture below would tell you the story.
The evening went on for a few hours with good food and Champagne interspersed with topics ranging from Sunday brunches to Darjeeling tea to Goan Feni. And also to a certain extent on what could the Champagne day in 2015 look like! Champagne dinners, Champagne tastings and many more, you never know some of us could actually be in Champagne to celebrate the day!!!
An Australian model gives up a thriving modeling career to pursue a career in cooking inspired by her partner of Indian origin and almost hits the maximum in the celebrated Masterchef Australia – Season Six, the girl in question; Sarah Todd the 27 year old was in Mumbai on a recent trip. At hotel Grand Hyatt at a soiree, she not only wooed the audience with her style of food but also paired some cocktails to go along.
Sarah a fan of Indian food used spices like ajwain and ingredients like Besan or Gram flour in here first dish, Zucchini and pea pakoras served with corn relish, this was paired with the Martini Cooler a vodka cocktail with mango, orange, and rosemary. The second was the Salmon Ceviche with mint chutney paired with a Pink lady, a gin cocktail with pomegranate and Apple infused brandy and lastly was the audience’s favourite for the night, slow roasted lamb shoulder with beetroot relish on crisp bread paired with the Bellany Scotch sour, with ginger, honey and orange. I tasted the first dish and was tippling otherwise..Not complaining!
Coming to how was Sarah behind the bar? She was superb, only in posing for the shutterbugs and gallantly passed on the cocktail samples to people, no pun intended here. She happily admitted that she was better cooking in the kitchen than acquiring a completely new skill of bartending, and I must admit she was swift, composed and methodical in her cooking demos earlier in the evening.
What’s next for Sarah? I don’t know but of what I feel and see around, she will sure find a lot of patronage for her food if she were to open a restaurant here in the country, all due credits to her and a fair chunk to MasterChef Australia for a fact that even a five year old saw a picture of Sarah and me and shouted out aloud ‘Master Chef Australia’. The Chef revolution is indeed awakening in the land of spices!