‘This Crazy Food Festival’ comes to town – Debuting on December 9 to 10 at the Mahalaxmi racecourse
(Left to Right) Zaheer Khan, Shriya Saran and Rekha Pamani-Gulati and Nisha Sareen
Mumbai, while a melting pot of sorts, has little to few food festivals, according to Rekha Pamani-Gulati, who along with her friend Nisha Sareen, is on a mission. The duo is the brains behind À la carte company, which aspires to create and position, ‘This Crazy Food Festival’ as a first-of-its-kind, annual food-fest and family celebration in the city.
ON MAKING A DEBUT
Rekha along with Nisha is thrilled about debuting ‘This Crazy Food Festival’ in the city. Talking about what motivated the duo to step into the food fest space,
Rekha shares, “ Globally, be it the Taste Festivals or the likes of The Melbourne Food Festival — Mumbai does not have anything that belongs in the Food Fest Space. There are many shopping and music festivals where food is a subset. There are great Food Trade Shows and exhibitions and there are fabulous restaurants and eateries springing up around the city — but nothing that can be the equivalent of an Oktoberfest for Mumbai. There have been some good food festivals, but they have not recurred, and there have been some fun smaller pop-ups. We really have only three to four months of great outdoor weather and limited outdoor spaces — so Nisha and I together looked at this opportunity to create an annual festival for the city.”
WHAT’S ON THE CARDS?
Great restaurants and multiple cuisines under one roof. The Long Bar, an Art Walk by many schools of Mumbai, a kids zone with games, rodeo and zip-lining. There’s also the Spartan Poker Indian 1000 Guineas Race, Capoeira demo, a dance flash mob, a shopping souk, some great music and a movie on both days. Apart from all of the above, kids can also look forward to interacting with their favourite cartoon characters like Santa, Dora and Spongebob, and watch the antics of the clowns and jugglers.
WHAT’S ON THE CARDS?
Without a doubt, the variety of cuisines available. Rekha says, “Having so many restaurants in one place for me is the biggest USP. Shiro, Fatty Bao, Zaheer Khan’s eatery from Pune, Smokehouse Deli, Fish N Bait, Bombay Bronx, The Good Wife, Out of The Blue to name a few. Pop-ups and home chefs like Authenticook, The Fromagerie, Finding Momos and Twisty Station will also be part of the event. Sweet and retail brands like Chatoor Cinnamon from Sri Lanka and House of Candy from Delhi, two new food trucks — Purple Monster and Saga Station are other added attractions to look forward to.”
For those who have not had a chance to try cricketer Zaheer Khan’s Pune-based eatery Dine Fine, here’s a rare opportunity to do so and to also check out Pune’s Toss Sports Lounge as well. Make sure to sample some signature dishes from Dine Fine’s menu including Murgh Musallam, Haleem, Rogan Gosh, Chettinad Biryani and Shahi Tukda with Dates. The best part about the entire experience according to Rekha is that everyone can choose what they want to eat. No need for table booking, wait- list or last orders. A great and unique shopping souk —and some very talented young artistes on stage during the day and a great band at night.
UNWIND AND PAMPER YOURSELF
Apart from a delectable range of cuisines, you can also indulge in some spa therapy. Actor Shriya Saran, whose NGO Spandana Spa is part of the fest, shares, “This Crazy Food Fest’ is a fabulous day out for the entire family, and a wonderful way to relax.” The team hopes to create food communities — events where brands can co-exist and not worry about belonging in the same category. An environment that is both inviting for customers and brands. So co-creation without competition for brands and a festival where people have the best food choices.