“Welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome,” gushed B. Shankaranarayan, Moderator, Pune Gourmet Club, as members and guests arrived at Trikaya restaurant, Pashan Road, Pune, to celebrate Pune Gourmet Club’s third anniversary on Sunday, September 27, 2009.
Three welcomes he said were for the three enjoyable years gone by, and the fourth welcome was for the fourth year being ushered in! Left, above: Members of the Pune Gourmet Club celebrate their third Anniversary.
Members and guests met and mingled, and then settled down to the much awaited sit-down Indian feast paired with wines from Good Earth Winery Pvt. Ltd. “Today’s menu has twenty five items which have been carefully chosen by Chef Nilesh Limaye, Chef Culinaire, to pair with the wines,” said Shankaranarayan much to the delight of the diners.
The plot for the celebration lunch had apparently been hatched three months ago in New York between Shankaranarayan and Girish Mhatre, Director, Good Earth Winery Pvt. Ltd, co-host for the celebration lunch. Mhatre presented three wines – a Sauvignon Blanc, a Shiraz Reserve and a Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from the winery’s first vintage, saying the company aims to create the best wine in India. “This is our Coming-Out Party and who better to celebrate the moment with than the Pune Gourmet Club?” asked Mhatre to loud cheers.
Right,above: B. Shankaranarayan, Moderator, Pune Gourmet Club
The elaborate lunch was soon in full flow with a steady offering of delights from the kitchen that were pre-plated and efficiently served. With Pyaz ki Kachori, Shark Porial, Corn Bhel, Jumbo Prawns, Lobster with Mustard Paste, Ladyfish, Murgh Malai Tikka among other delights, the first course paired with Aarohi, a light, refreshing and chilled Sauvignon Blanc, spoke of a leisurely afternoon ahead.
The second course unveiled another sequence of delicacies with Raan E Gulmarg, Chettinad Chicken, Galouti Kabab, Mutton Boti Kabab and more, plus a choice of Indian breads, paired with Brio, the purplish-red, well-balanced Shiraz Reserve that was much appreciated by the diners. Earlier the wine had been poured into decanter and allowed to breathe, and its nuances truly pleased the palate.
The third course of Avadhi Mutton biryani and Kale Moti biryani was paired with Basso, a Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, that had also been decanted and presented a pleasing oak and fruit balance. The lunch was nicely wrapped up with a serving of three desserts – the unusual Lasuni Kheer, a flaky Lavang Latika, and a cool gelato with an Indian flavouring, placed in a charming flower shaped crust, specially created by Jyoti Nafrey.
After the meal Chef Limaye and his team emerged from the kitchen to a round of applause. There were cheers of appreciation for Girish Mhatre and his team for the wines, and to Shankaranarayan and members of PGC for a thoroughly enjoyable lunch and lively afternoon.
— Brinda Gill