When the chef comes calling

May 25, 2014, 09:35 IST | Moeena Halim

Whether it’s a party of two or 20, Chef Aditi Keni is happy to be your personal chef and whip you a gourmet meal in the comfort of your home

When she’s got her chef’s coat and hat on Aditi Keni becomes quite the magician in the kitchen. The personal chef, who goes to people’s houses and caters meals, has a penchant for experimentation and innovation. And there’s nothing she likes better than feeding a bunch of willing mouths.

Aditi Keni prepares coffee and doughnuts
Aditi Keni prepares coffee and doughnuts

“I can cater for a party of two to 20 people,” reveals Keni, who graduated from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and worked as sous pastry chef at Vancouver’s West before she decided to head back home to Mumbai.

Summer quiche of courgette, madras onions, telicherry pepper, grana padano
Summer quiche of courgette, madras onions, telicherry pepper, grana padano

Although she loves juxtaposing unlikely flavours, whipping up arincini with chicken tikka, a pesto-rubbed malai tikka or a citrus tiramisu, she is careful about her guests’ preferences. “Not everyone is as willing to experiment, and that’s just fine. I can cook up anything from Asian, Italian, French or Indian,” says the chef, who works with the host to personalise the menu.

“Apart from being nutritionally trained to work around people’s dietary restrictions, I am also qualified to pair food with wine. So I’d love to suggest the perfect wine to go with the three or four-course meal,” she adds.
Keni, who had her first public outing at the Bandra pop-up Bombay Local last Sunday, also caters to large orders of bottled herbed oils, dessert dips, flavoured mayos and butters, salad vinaigrettes and pizza sauces.

Her sangria mixes, which were also on sale at the pop-up last week, have been the biggest hit. “All you have to do is add a bottle of the fruity mix to a bottle of wine. Instead of paying through your nose for a glass of sangria, this way, you can make your own,” says the 28-yead-old, who retails the bottles at R 450 for a tropical white mix and R500 for a mulled wine mix.

The young chef, who now knows the market of Mumbai like the back of her hand, is also planning to organise market tours for the uninitiated. “Most people head to supermarkets to buy exotic veggies. I’d love to introduce them to my vendors who give the freshest fruits and veggies at a pocket-friendly rate,” says Keni.

Chef Aditi Keni can be reached at 9820444561 or aditikeni@gmail.com

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