Masterclass by Delta Nutritives


Delta Nutritives is one of my favourite vendors. Merely going through their brochure is a rather dicey job for me because they have stuff in it that makes me forget my baking ingredient budget. So when I received an invite for a masterclass by Delta and that too at the newly-opened Sheraton Grand Chennai Resort and Spa, I grabbed the opportunity - I would have been some kind of a nut to turn it down!

Art installation

It's a pastoral scene that greets visitors as they enter the portico of the new property on the ECR - there's a group of 3 buffaloes that are a-laying around. Beyond this art installation is a walkway and beyond that, the blue waters of the bay.

Focaccia before and after baking

I had booked for the afternoon session which was to be a demo on a variety of breads using premixes. However, there was a mix up between schedules and I was just in time to see the last of the breads - a batch of focaccia - going into the oven.


Well, no harm done because the chefs were slicing up the breads they had baked earlier and they were passed around for us to taste. Dee-li-cious!

Fillings and chocolates by Delta Nutritives

While the preparation for the next session was going on, I browsed through Delta's display stall. Single origin chocolates, 5 kg chocolate bars, bags of chocolate callets, canned fruits, cake and confectionery fillings, sauces, bread mixes and so much more. Yup, it did look like I would overshoot my budget for the month :(

On the other side of the hall, the competition for GO Cheese Indian Chef awards were going on. Competing chefs were busy cooking up yummy dishes at their stations and the aromas that arose from their cooking pots filled the room.

Back at the demo area, Chef Satish cleaned up his workspace and started to temper chocolate. He then proceeded to fill a piping bag with the chocolate and piped the chocolate into previously filled moulds. He also used the tempered chocolate to make chocolate shells. Well-tempered chocolate sets with a glossy finish and breaks with a sharp snap.

Piping chocolate into the moulds

Finishing touches

Chocolate shells
Irresistible - shiny chocolate bonbons
Squares of frozen mousse ready to be coated in red velvet glaze
Red velvet glaze

The eggless red velvet entremets had been made ahead - cream cheese mousse that enclosed two thin layers of red velvet cake. Red velvet glaze was poured over it and it was decorated with chocolate beetles and flowers.

Eggless red velvet entremets
The inside story

Shells and mousse for chocolate banoffee tart

"Tart Revisited" was a chocolate banoffee tart. The pastry shells had been baked ahead, the mousse filling was also ready and well frozen. Slices of banana were cooked and laid over the tart shells, a chocolate glaze was poured on top and carefully placed over the shell. The only adornment they needed were crispearls and chocolate flowers.

Chocolate banoffee tarts

An afternoon of desserts

The chefs and their creations

What an amazing show by Chef Satish and his talented team. And yes - the glazes, chocolates, fillings and decor are available at Delta Nutritives.

Oktoberfest 7 at Hyatt Regency


"Chug the mug", they said and we guzzled cold beers. "Dive into the bratwurst," they said and we did that too. And then we went gaga over the Bavarian beer fest!

German Deputy CG and his wife

While the first Oktoberfest started 211 years ago in Munich, Hyatt Regency is celebrating the festival for the 7th consecutive year with plenty of food, drinks and music. We were invited for the inauguration of the 16 day festival that started on September 22nd.
365AS came alive with the colours of Bavaria when the German Counsel General tapped the keg open. Mugs of beer were served and we tapped our feet to German folk music.

The wursts...

...the beer...

...the salads...
and pretzels

Executive Chef of Andaz Hotel, New Delhi, Alexander Moser and Hyatt Regency's Vikram Ganpule and the team did a marvellous job of curating the menu. Along with a selection of German beers, chicken and pork sausages, including the ever popular snail sausage, a variety of salads were laid out at the tables. And of course, pumpernickel rolls and pretzels and bottles of mustard; is any self-respecting Oktoberfest menu ever complete without them?   

Table settings and mustard

Roasted pork belly with jus

At the carving station was roasted pork belly. Beautifully scored and baked to burnished gold, it was deliciously tender and moist.

Tadka sausage

Tandoori sausage

The chefs have been rather innovative this year and came up with 2 new additions to the sausage menu. There's tadka sausage - sliced sausages cooked in a spicy masala. Also, tandoori sausage, grilled in a tandoor. The crowd seemed to love these variants; they were served with chutneys and dips and my friends swore they were perfect accompaniments to the pretzels.

The chefs pulled out all the stops to ensure an all-inclusive menu this time so that even vegetarians and vegans did not leave disappointed. Along with vegetarian salads, there was also grilled soy "meat" and even a veg biryani on the special menu.
Delicious desserts - chocolate & salty caramel tart; sacher; Kasierschmarrn; apple & cranberry strudel

As for the desserts, from the peach kuchen to the addictive salted caramel tart and strudel with cherry compote, each one of them was sinfully delicious.

A train line dance started, the line moved through the tables, adding to the mirth and merriment and everyone who was not eating, joined in the fun.

Oktoberfest at 365AS is on till October 7th, from 7 pm onwards. It is priced at 1499/++ per head.

Oktoberfest euphoria at the Hilton


It's Oktoberfest and the world's largest beer festival is happening at Munich. We in Chennai headed over to the Vintage Bank, Hilton Chennai for the festivities which were kick-started with a launch party. A barrel of beer was rolled in and tapped open by the German Deputy Consul General. Beer glasses were filled and in no time, we were all celebrating Oktoberfest Chennai style, in balmy weather!

Beer cocktail for the early birds

The deck outside the bar was decorated with Bavarian colours. We sipped on cold, cold beer and feasted on pretzels, 5 kinds of sausages, beer braised meats, schnitzel and sauerkraut (and lots of other yummy nibbles as well).

A selection of cheese

Oktoberfest roast chicken; sausages & pretzel; schnitzel, potato balls
A selection of mustard
 Cheese bread with onion & bacon
...and more beer
Beer fishing!

There were competitions too; for the men, on who could down a glass of beer the fastest. For the ladies, there was beer fishing. Of course, there was much laughter and merriment and the evening ended with a train dance that looped its way through the deck and into the adjoining restaurant.

Oktoberfest at the Vintage Bank is on till October 7th and yes, you need to book in advance.

 Vintage Bank
+91 44 2225700; +91 9500058722.

*This was an invited review 

A Picturesque Brunch at Courtyard by Marriott


The brunch at Courtyard by Marriott comes with a view. The works of three photographers are on display, they are from different countries but live in India. Their lenses capture the essence of India, showing us the different faces and facets of this country through their eyes.

Adam Barr is from the UK and lives in Pune. Faces fascinate him and that's the subject of many of his photographs, like the one of the two men at the Pushkar Camel Fair at Rajasthan and their contrasting coloured moustaches. Or the one of the man, his face a picture of concentration, engrossed in his craft of making a drum frame at Meerut. Adam's favourite photograph is the one he had taken of the Shivling at Gaumukh. He captures the majesty of the mountain as well as makes one aware of climate change when he points out how much the glacier has retreated in recent times. (

Hellmuth Conz teaches photography at Bangalore. The collection he has displayed at the hotel is titled "Hurried Break". His pictures convey a sense of motion, a reminder that our lives are so hurried that even when we take a break, the quality of stillness evades us. (Hellmuth Conz Photography on Facebook)

Magali Couffon de Trevros is French and she too lives at Bangalore. In all her photographs, her subjects hold up a mirror but the mirror does not capture the holder, but how she sees them and the story they convey. She herself is never in the frame; her photographs are well composed, reflecting the ordinary lives her subjects lead and the splashes of colour that sometimes come into their lives. For her, this is how we celebrate our differences. (

Chocolate cameras

Executive Chef Sushant Kote and his team displayed creativity of the culinary kind. They had got the details of their cameras down pat. Crafted in chocolate and brushed with gold luster dust, they too are works of art.

Pop art in chocolate

Nut coated chocolate

Coloured mantou buns with a choice of fillings

As for the food, the extensive buffet served the food of these countries as well as some Indian favourites. Multicoloured buns with a choice of fillings caught the eye and indulged the palate. Pickled cucumbers were a delicious contrast to the fairly spicy fillings.

Test tubes and syringes at the chaat lab

Sausage fest

The balance beam with appetisers
One off the beam: Mutton purple with olive dust 
International cuisine: very English shepherd's pie, French lamb navarin, bratkartoffeln from Germany

Main courses include pasta, Chinese, Indian breads and curries including a very delicious biryani.

Tending the bar with some amazing cocktails

Summer Bliss with elderflower and vodka

French Opéra; English trifle and lemon tart; pavlova

Desserts on display were such works of art by themselves. An Opéra log, trifle with a twist, tarts, chocolates, gâteaux, cheesecake and Indian sweets too. On the chocolate coated branches of twigs, pictures of desserts from the three countries were clipped on. All edible of course, except for the clothes clip!

Clip art

The Picturesque Brunch will be on at Courtyard by Marriott every Sunday till October 28th at Paprika Cafe. The brunch is from 12.30 - 4 pm. Prior booking is strongly recommended.

For reservations, do contact +91 7338836320 / 9500127909.

*This was an invited review 

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