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Race Course turns Covent Garden

An epicurean piazza with a view of the Indian 1000 Guineas Race is being put together by a Moti Mahal family scion and her marketing maven partner

A spot at the races where you can lose the fancy hat, kick up your feet, sink your teeth into the delicious and chug beer? Eliza Doolittle would have been chuffed!

Chandi Kohli with Rekha Pamani Gulati. pic/BIPIN KOKATE
Chandi Kohli with Rekha Pamani Gulati. Pic/Bipin Kokate

But that doesn’t even come close to covering everything that will be on offer at the mega F&B experience that Chandni Kohli Dhall and Rekha Pamani Gulati are putting together.

Neighbours before they were partners at The Eat India Company, the Worli-based duo joined forces last November to form the company that channels Dhall’s culinary arts education and Gulati’s marketing experience.

Leaning on the ledge of Gulati’s balcony, her back to the lush lawns that will soon be the canvas for their creativity, Dhall, granddaughter of Moti Mahal Delux founder Amrit Lal Kohli, admits that the idea for the 22-hour fest (12 noon to 11 pm on December 12 and 13) was born from experience. “Most families go to the same restaurants every weekend, usually because kids have a favourite dish there,” says Dhall, who capitalised on the idea with her previous venture, The Butter Chicken Company, a delivery service for just one product — Moti Mahal’s trademark butter chicken. “When the city hosts a food festival that offers something for kids, it’s usually a chaotic mela with bouncy castles and painfully loud DJs; not a place where grown-ups can enjoy a rich, relaxing culinary experience.”

Gulati thinks Mumbai lacks outdoor experiences. And so, they have musicians who will put up an impromptu performance and flash-mobs “with a difference” to inject a lively Covent Garden flavour to the event whose chief allure will be an array of extraordinary dishes.

Designed by two women, who are mothers, it’s hardly coincidental that the project particularly considers the interests of a long ignored segment of the demographic: parents. Workshops for kids on everything from cooking and baking to understanding herbs should keep the children engaged while parents try their hand at fruit-carving or learn tricks from a celebrity chef at a masterclass.

From 12 noon to 6 pm on December 13, they can soak in the experience while watching (even placing their bets for) the exciting G1 race. A souk will hawk kitchen tools and high quality ingredients, both, local and exotic.

Stalls here cost R40,000 onwards, and all workshops and entertainment programmes are free for visitors. “There is an entrance charge of R300 per person which goes to the club; kids under 12 walk in free,” says Gulati, “And you pay for your food and drinks, of course.”

For more details on The Eat India Company Festival, call 9920954552 or mail fest@theeatindiacompany.com

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