The #WhatsHotTasting Session with Rashmi Uday Singh
The What’s Hot Tasting Session, hosted by Rashmi Uday Singh at Gaylord’s in Churchgate, showcased some of the upcoming bakers/caterers in Mumbai, working out of their homes that are yet to be discovered by the city and need that encouragement, push and a wider customer base. The idea is fantastic, the initiative is thoughtful. And how did we have anything to with this? Well The Bombay Foodies were invited to be a part of the tasting team by Rashmi Uday Singh.
Frankly speaking when a friend of ours who works closely with Rashmi invited us, our faces were exactly like this, O_O, 😀 and sounds like *EEEEOOOOAAAAAAWWWAAAAZZZZZAAAAAAAA* were heard coming from the Chef’s mouth. But being the professionals that we are, we gracefully said yes and headed to Gaylords on a Thursday afternoon.
The Chef: I look out for Ms Rashmi’s column every Friday, without fail, just to know what’s new and what’s trending in the city. Knowing that I had been invited to one of these gave me butterflies in my stomach. The night before, I even asked my friend who works with Ms Rashmi, if she was strict or if she would be open to my stupid jokes and comments. All she said was, wait and relax. This got me even more restless. The good part about this tasting was that two of the other gourmet tasters were my friends Mumbai Foodie from Instagram and one who shares her last name with a famous politician ( Mr. Arvind of course) were also attending it. That helped me calm down a bit..
Arriving at the legendary Gaylords Restaurant and Bakery, we made our way to the first floor where the entire space was ours. The home bakers marched in at 3 pm sharp and were getting their tables ready. Meanwhile, Ms Rashmi came to us and started briefing us about the plan of action and also what and why we were called. Being very socially active, Instagram ready and twitter crazy we were to tweet, snap and get out the message about these talented bakers and their products. The focus was not about just the tasting but also for these home bakers and caterers to be known throughout the city such that they also get a wider reach and a bigger customer base. I must admit, Ms Rashmi has to be the nicest, sweetest most adorable person , I’ve met in a while. Her sense of humour, witty one liners and also the fact that she became so friendly with us so fast made all six of us, very comfortable. After this little brief the tasting began, of 21 home bakers and 1 caterer.
Here is how we started. “Sweet Favours” owned by home taught, Shanaaz Barodawala with her signature Mango and Yoghurt cheesecake and caramalised apple pie cookies. For most of the tasters this was one of the best dishes that day, but to me it was only innovative and nothing else. The cookie was beautifully made with its chewy and sweet apples in the center. She also had walnut fudge brownies (which was my fav from the lot) and whoopie pie cakes. From the lot I recommend the Walnut Fudge brownie.
Next was the chirpy Tara Kapur, and her company the “Bombay Bizzare Baker.” Due to her son’s allergies to flour and its products she decided to do something different. Gluten free, gelatin free and any other potential allergen-free suffered by one, she is the person to go to for all thing sweet. Her Pumpkin cake with dry fruits, Vegan Chocolate cake (yes vegan!!!!!) and Almond Lemon cake were all great products for someone who doesn’t have an opportunity to indulge in the sweet sins of desserts.
In the middle of all this, there was Chef Chandini, who we kid you not, makes the Butter Chicken of the famous Moti Mahal. The best part about her is that she caters to all those who miss and crave for awesomely sexy Butter chicken. It was not on the sweet side but the nice tangy side (as I like it) with soft morsels of tandoori cooked chicken. This was sooooo needed as it helped cut out on all the sweet tastings that we were doing. All six of us kept going back to those bowls even if it was for a small lick of the savoury dish. Orgasm levels had been reached!!!!
Moving on next we went to Shika Murarka of MishMash Bakery. She is an internationally trained baker, and specializes in Cake decorating, fondant working and some unusual cupcakes namely — The Popcorn Cupcakes. Sweet and savoury with pop of the corn on top as garnish this cupcake was one of the first of my favourite dishes at this tasting. She also had a macaroon cake and doughnut cupcakes (Great idea but a little too dry)
Next was Jahan Bloch or as she is known as more famously as the Toxic Baker and her company “Chic Confectinery”, her two cupcakes were great namely the Espresso Cupcake and more interesting Stawberry milkshake cupcake which has a hint of the milkshake flavour in both the cake and the frosting. Based out of Versova, Andheri she is a famous instagrammer and very active on twitter as well.
“Chocokisses” by Charvi and Jayshri Mehta were next. Beautifully arranged Coconut coffee and fresh cream cupcake and chocolate tartlets, which by the way was another of my favourites with their Biscotti which had a fennel and pisatchio filling. The chocolate tarlets were made of pure bitter chocolate which was gelatin free and eggless — A Winner for me!
Right next to her was Umehani Rangwala’s “Love crumbs” great array of home baked fresh cakes. She had on display, a Kiwi cheesecake with fresh kiwis (LOADED I must add), Almond Ricotta cake and another of my favourite – The simple Lemon Tart. A simple lemon cheesecake topped with a lemony fresh cream and lemon roundels was great and fresh.
A cleverly named company Charvi Bubnas’s “Cheat Clean” was where we headed to next. She is a nutritionist and all her dessert are also based on her occupation. All her items are sugar free and gluten free and the items include a famous Carrot cake with coconut gel and rice flour and honey brownies. Yes they are a little on the dry and crumbly side, but then one cant be on a f*****g diet and always enjoy it!!!!
After her, we went to a patiently waiting girl and her brother. She is Dimple Sanghvi and her company is simple called “The Mad Batter.” Only after trying out her Whoppie cupcakes, Glitterati Vanilla Butter cream cookie tower and Sandcastle cupcakes we were told by her that she was only 19 years old!!!!!! Most 19 year olds nowadays are busy on their f*****g smartphones or going out to “high teas” with their other girl friends, but Dimple is different. She is also a home learner and for her age and knowledge, the products were excellent!!!!!
NOW COMING TO THE BEST OF THE LOT, THE CHEF’S FAVOURITE!!!Starting out first was Richa Lulla and her company “Knead with Love” This also happens to be her twitter handle. Her cookie based, brownie mid and cheesecake topped cupcake was one of my top 5 things i had that day. It was so good i had 2!!!!! She also had profiteroles with a chocolate filling, white chocolate and lime mousse and another of my favourite. Herb and Chili Crackers, which was not only the hero of the hour, but was so light and so good, i kept a few in my pocket because i knew we’ll run of the Butter Chicken and would need something salty.
Right next to her was another gem, Ruchika and Kirti Vyas’s “House of Cookie.” Their cookies were GINORMOUS, and only after we broke into one, we realised as to why. In their signature Nutella chocochip cookies and Caramel chocochip cookies, the centre is stuffed with nothing else but NUTELLA AND CARAMEL. When we broke the cookies, the center just oozed out and made for mad photography scenes!!! They also make cookie bars and something called a Mexican wedding cookie. What I loved most about these cookies was that they were topped with just the right amount of sea salt, which actually got out more flavour from each cookie.
On the same table as the above, was “The Vanilla Bean” by Roshni Vatnani. She deals in good old-fashioned American cakes, the Ombre effect is a difficult art to master and she has got it pretty nicely mastered. She also had a white chocolate and bluberry scones, which were okay-ish but the she took out a bottle which said “Spiked Egg-Nogg.” Giving me just a sip to taste, I ended up consuming half a bottle, it was smooth, silky, great flavor of cinamon and of course Rum. Great drink which she said can last upto 2 weeks!!!!!
“The Big Apple Co.” belonging to Meha Aggarwal has a few surprises for us. While her salted caramel pannacotta has lost its firmness due the heat in the room, The orange and cream cheese cake was awesome!!!! For some reason which i just realized that day, I like my cakes with a little bit of citric acid in them. It just gives a real fresh feel to the cake. Her apple crumble with fresh cream and DEHYDRATED APPLE CHIP was insane. The chip which was just a garnish was so simply yet so tasty, we ended up having the whole bag.
Varsha Kalani’s “Okashi” which is made with the help of imported Japanese choclate was one of the last bakers we tried. It seemed as if we were saving the best of last. Her Nama Chocolate mousse and Argentine Chocolate Torta were just incredible, but what blew us away was her Chocolate Salami with cheese platter and perfectly soft chocolates with a cherry. The chocolates did melt a little but they were divine.
Now the best tasting I had done was courtesy “The Dessert Table” by Delafruz Talgi and Jalpa Timbadia. Not only do they do event specific dessert, they also bring the cutlery and crockery that will go with it. All of their products hit the mark in our books, everything from the Rosemary and Orange Sponge cake, to the smooth and creamy chocolate pot de creme. The mini chocolate truffles coated with cocoa and hazelnut (F*****G INSANE) to the beautiful Chocolate and caramel tart. I just couldn’t let go, one bite was not enough for their dishes. They were one of the last few we tasted, but the flavor stayed on till the end. These two young girls have a great future ahead if they continue with these kind of products. Sh*t i want some their truffles right now!!!
When told about the event by the Chef, I was quite thrilled, as just a few days ago we had reached out toRashmi over an email requesting her to allow us to be a part of her blind dates. Her reply was a sweet and humble one and I was really looking forward to meeting her in person.
The experiences she shared with us from 20 years ago were really inspiring. She’s done things that as foodies The Chef and I always want to try. Seeking the undiscovered.Makes you realize how even food blogs can make a difference, contributing to the society by sharing and spreading the word/ experiences/ hunting down culinary geniuses who need that push….you look at food blogging in a different light.
“Whatshot” tasting session was full of a talented bunch of people. from Doctors, CAs to 19 year olds running for tuitions right after the session. It was very impressive. While the chef has covered all the lovely people from the tasting session, I’ll list the highly recommended dishes from the lot and their contact numbers. Please feel free to call them and order away 🙂
Sweet Favours: by Shenaz (9890453087)
Caramel Apple Cookie
Bombay Bizarre (gluten free and free of potential allergens): by Tara (9820006440)
Almond Lemon Gluten Free Cake
Vegan Chocolate Cake
Mish Mash by Shikha Murarka (9819766027)
Knead With Love by Richa Lulla (9833480814)
Biscuit based brownie with Cheesecake
Herb and Chilli Cracker
Nutella Caramel Cookies
Mexican Wedding Cookie
Vanilla Bean: Roshni Vatnani (9833325822)
Chocolatee Ombre Cake
Spiked Egg Nog
Cheat Clean: by Charvi Bubna (9820934080)
Brown rice flour and honey brownies
Choco Kisses by Kairvi mehta and jayshri Mehta (9820029065)
Mango Mascarpone Cheesecake
Coconut coffee and fresh cream cupcake
Love Crumbs by (8108429266)
Almond Ricotta Cheesecake
Okashi Japanese chocolates: (9833505747)
Sugar Fairy: (9820246367)
The Dessert Table: (9867385908)
Chocolate Pot De Creme
Orange Rosemary Cake
Chocolate Caramel Tart
All My Sins: (9820651129)
Garlic Parsley Dip
Black Forest Cake in a chocolate cup
Hope this list is helpful, for next time when you consider ordering confectionary home 🙂
And remember if you’re a homebaker/ a caterer who is working out of their homes