Happy coupling

Word comes in that Isheta Salgaocar, the bright and pretty daughter of Raj and Dipti Salgaocar, has got engaged to her longtime boyfriend Neeshal Modi.

Isheta, who is an alumnus of Stanford University, and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism programme and is actively involved in The Sensorium festival in Goa, whereas Neeshal graduated from City University, London, and has interests in the diamond trade and is based between Antwerp and Mumbai.

Isheta Salgaocar and Neeshal Modi
Isheta Salgaocar and Neeshal Modi 

We wish the lovely couple well!

Kitchen musical chairs
With the restaurant scene exploding in India and private equity freely flowing in, stand-alone restaurants have managed to grow into established chains, with a multiple outlets and a pan India presence, and can now even afford the high salaries of famous chefs. In this scenario, we heard a funny story recently that had to do with the triple poaching of one such famous chef, and the politics around it, that created a stir in the hospitality industry.

The chef in question, a big name, known for his oriental cooking skills and use of innovative gastronomy techniques, had worked for some years for a big Indian hotel chain where he built up an envious list of clientele at his expensive Asian restaurant. Not given his due respect, he left for another big Indian hotel chain that offered him a better remuneration.

All appeared to be hunky dory, until a couple of moons ago we had been informed and reported that the chef would once again be moving, this time from the hotel group to a wealthy Mumbai-based restaurant chain, where he would helm their new oriental fusion offering.

And now our foodie source called to inform us, “He lasted only a month there and has now gone back to his old post with the hotel group and they have welcomed him with open arms and even doubled his package!”

And what about the new restaurant in Mumbai that he had been hired to launch? “The owners are keeping mighty quiet about it so far, with the message that the project is delayed and hoping the whole episode disappears below the radar.” Sometimes too many openings can spoil the chef!

Of pretty hats and fast steeds
If it hasn’t occurred to you yet, racing seasons been on and along with the sound of hooves and champagne corks popping. The week has seen the usual run up to Derby Day which falls this Sunday.

Gary LawyerGary Lawyer

Described as ‘Mumbai’s most looked forward to fashion-cum-sporting feast,’ the build up started with a Breakfast with Champions on the turf, to meet the Derby hopefuls, a glitzy fashion show by Manoviraj Khosla, and a performance by Kailash Kher last evening followed by a performance by Gary Lawyer on Saturday.

Vivek Jain and Vijay Mallya
Vivek Jain and Vijay Mallya

And then on Derby day, expect much glamour, as punters wear their best suits, horse owners strut their prized steed, and sundry women show up in fancy hats!

This year there’s additional revelry, ‘The Other People’ will perform. There will be gaming zones and a Flea Market, and finally the cherry on the cake: Vijay Mallya being escorted by RWITC’s Vivek Jain in a horse-drawn carriage to the main track, to present the trophy, to the accompaniment of the Army Jazz band! Yes, it’s Derby Week alright!

Music sunshine and wine
On Saturday morning we are hoping to drive down to Nashik to be part of the sunny side up Sula festival. And as much as we look forward to bands like The Cat Empire - and Kailasa we are just as excited about sampling the farm to fork cuisine of the renowned La Plage restaurant from Goa, which runs Soleil by La Plage at the vineyard, the spa therapies at the boutique hotel Beyond, and the vineyard tour.

Cecillia OldneCecillia Oldne

“We at Sula are known for bringing artists to India, that have millions of fans around the world but are yet to break through in India,” said Cecilia Oldne, Sula’s ebullient VP, Marketing. “The Cat Empire’s new album is “coincidentally” called Rising with the Sun!” she said.

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