They’re known to transform the staid to the splendid, ordinary to the extraordinary and all this with complete panache and finesse. They can go to extraordinary lengths to serve that one perfect meal that will leave a lasting impression. Their offerings whipped from the freshest ingredients can make any diner sink in their teeth and go gaga over their epicurean delights. And it’s not just about the food memories they help create that tend to last a lifetime, but also the extreme reverence and warmth with which they handle their modus operandi. Meet these restaurateurs who are at the helm of culinary affairs in their kitchens serving a treasure trove of culinary treats and are clearly the talk of the town for all the right reasons.
Text: Namita Gupta.
Rahul Khanna and Kabir Suri, Director Mamagoto, Dhaba by Claridges and Sly Granny, Bengaluru (Azure Hospitality)
The entrepreneurial plunge: A student of Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Switzerland specialising in international hospitality management with electives of architecture history and philosophy, Rahul is also a writer and a published author, whose expertise is in literature. Feeling a need to provide a fresh paradigm to the lifestyle and hospitality sectors in India, he founded Slang – a lifestyle concept company. Having worked with Mandarin Oriental and Jumeirah in London, Hong Kong and Dubai, he is an expert in conceptualising design-oriented food and beverage outlets, special events and training of operational staff in different capacities. “My partner Kabir Suri and I were both interested in creativity in interior design/architecture and at the time we opened our restaurants, food seemed like a natural progression for both of us,” shares Rahul. After schooling from The Doon School, Dehra Dun, Kabir went to study economics and business management at Wheaton College in the US. Kabir worked in the investment strategy sector that focussed on the banking and hospitality segment, but since his personal interests were in the food and hospitality segment, he shifted focus from finance to hospitality soon with International award winning restaurants ‘Zuma’ and ‘Roka’. Kabir says, “Founding Azure hospitality and scaling it to 34 restaurants has been a highpoint for me.”
Technovations: “The trends in food right now are about tighter menus, more regional cuisines and techniques and disruptive concepts. We have an innovation kitchen in Delhi where we ideate weekly for all our restaurants across India,” states Rahul. Kabir adds, “Small portions and plates with simple fresh farm to plate food will always be evergreen, no matter what innovations are made in the food sector. We like to fuse local needs with global trends.”
Culinary trails: Rahul shares, “My F&B travels are focussed more on wine trips. I’ve been to Argentina, Napa, Tuscany and other vineyards across the world on many wine trails in the last two years.” Kabir adds, “I travel internationally every three months to explore global trends and experience and sample nouvelle offerings.”
-Mamagoto, Dhaba by Claridges and Sly Granny, 12th Main Road, Indiranagar, Bengaluru.