It Takes Three to Tango : Deepali Goyal, Shweta Mahtani and Latika Golyan

Deepali Goyal teams up with Shweta Mahtani and Latika Golyan to launch their ambitious brand, The Big Feed – with an event that is all about gourmet food, fashion, music and art By Sabrina Rajan

With The Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park hotel for a swanky backdrop, we find the team from the newly launched event management company The Big Feed, exuding elegance and fashion forward aesthetics with charming nonchalance. Deepali keeps it subtle and wistful with an Anamika Khanna paired with a crop top. “This En Inde neckpiece was gifted to me by a close friend,” shares the business graduate from Carnegie Mellon, USA. Meanwhile, Shweta and Latika are childhood friends and their choice in wardrobe does give it away. Both have donned chic dresses from Montage Fashion House (by designer Ritika Arya Jain) and picked jewellery from Ritika Sachdeva.

We catch up with the three gorgeous ladies over pots of honeyed tea and delicate pastries, as we talk about their plans with their new enterprise, their debut concept event and more. Deepali who has made a mark with curated events in the past, starts off by telling us, “We are the game changers.” The fashionista, who is part of the family that owns and operates hotels with the Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) in Chennai besides ITC and Oberoi Group of Hotels outside the state, further adds that, “I feel the city is ready for stylized events. There are some private events – but most are not privy to them. The city is growing and the people want to be exposed to more.”

“My favourite winter destination – Florence any time of the year….so beautiful, it’s like walking through a museum” –  Deepali Goyal

The trio promises that The Big Feed showcases will be nothing like what Chennai has seen before. “It will be experiential events with fashion, gourmet, music and art in the mix,” says Shweta, brimming with ideas, who also happens to be the marketing director of two of Chennai’s franchises of Specialty Group’s Mainland China and is the creative head of the café, Toastie Express. With part of the experience being al fresco, Latika, an effervescent Chennai girl now settled in Nepal and who owns the Cashmere Outfit store there, says, “Nepal is known for their big open markets that have fashion, gourmet, music – I wanted to do something like that here.” Excited about their debut showcase, the Big Feed Boulevard is an extravagant statement of all that the brand stands for. From exclusive designer collections, delicious menus to tarot card readers and famous make-up artists – the gala has an exotic European street vibe and is all about indulgences, luxe labels and of course heaps of feel-good retail therapy.

Offering select participants, there are exclusive labels coming to the city for this showcase. Chennai’s swish set will be thrilled to know that Big Feed is bringing to the city for the first time – labels like Paridhi Jaipuria, Shrdha Trehan, Baroque and Richa Khemka, besides many others. Latika who is also the director of Golyan Group of companies and Arya group, and has her own knitwear manufacturing unit, tells us that makeup trainer and artist Bijon Burepaga participating in the event is another first for Chennai.

“This season’s LBD – Shrdha Trehan’s jumpsuits” – Shweta Mahtani

Recreating the glamourous 1920s, the highlight of Big Feed’s extravaganza this month is intrigue, drama and delectable experiences.  As we quiz them about the retro telephone booth, Shweta tells us it symbolises clandestine entrances to nightclubs and watering holes of the 20s when prohibition was in full swing, and is suggestive of Please Don’t Tell, the speakeasy bar in NYC. Shweta is also the creative force behind her eponymous jewellery brand and says, “This is the first time that Chennai will experience a speakeasy bar – a New York concept from the 20s.” Of course grabbing attention and adding big laughs to the evening is the famous stand-up comic Atul Khatri – as there is a rush to buy tickets for his show ‘48 Shades of Grey’ at the venue. With a well-stocked bar, quirky bites, a DJ, a jazz performer and a celebrity standup comic on the cards, their pop-up night club promises to be a blast.

Meanwhile, their food section is about carefully curated new and exclusive tastes for the palate. From gourmet tea by Tea Trunk, to mulled wines and gourmet muesli, even familiar brands like Nicky’s Café will be bringing only specially designed menus to the do, we are told. Launching her new brand, Somras, city-based Kirthi Wassan is bringing wild honey, along with her sister who is bringing home-made muesli to the gala. Gentlemen can join the party too as there is a full-fledged men’s lounge (featuring a vintage twist) that has offers like Uff from Delhi with fusion wear, Son Of A Noble from Bengaluru and city-based designer couple Heeba and Omar Sait with their bespoke internationally-renowned range, besides other brands. They have also roped in Gallery Veda for art at the venue.

“A restaurant I would want in Chennai – Wagamama! I totally love this Japanese healthy food chain. It’s a perfect combination of health food with great taste!” – Latika Golyan

With more curated events in the pipeline and going by their debut showcase one can safely say that Big Feed is set to change the face of event management in the city. Offering concept designing and exclusive vendors, Shweta concludes that, “We are not just about fashion. Our event designing skills are meant for unique launch ideas for new products, exclusive brand building programmes and concept events.” Bringing varied expertise and interests to the table, the delightful trio does have more in common besides their passion for the out-of-the-box and quirky – for instance their sense of fashion. We discover that all three swear by the Kolkata based designer Anamika Khanna for her eponymous label of wearable and understated fashion that ticks all the right boxes.