Wednesday 5 August 2015

My SelectED Experience

Do you know when you see posts about certain events on blogs, and you think to yourself, "Hmm, I wish I could experience a bit of that." well that happened to me when I came across a few  blog posts about the SelectED experience. Selected Dining & Events, or SelectED is actually a catering company that provides a bespoke luxury dining experience, with a very big emphasis on the words ‘luxury’ &  ‘experience’. Whether small intimate gatherings or the ‘big fat Indian wedding’ SelectED is no ordinary catering service. It provides its client with a very special, one of a kind, ‘concept’ dining experience with artfully curated menus.

I was happy to get a taste and feel of this experience, when I was invited for a special sit down lunch with SelectED CEO, Ishaan Sarkar and a few other bloggers. Ishaan Sarkar is himself a chef and a passionate foodie and has tremendous experience in the industry. While he briefed us about SelectED, it surprised me to hear that SelectED takes on only one event per day, such is the attention to detail that they endeavor to deliver to their clients. Some of his stories describing to us the extent to which the SelectED team has often gone to create an unforgettable experience were quite impressive.

Our meal, which was carefully created by Chef Gaurav Mathur, who is the director of cuisine and has more than a decade of experience with ITC. The meal was a typical representation of what SelectED specializes in- fusion cuisine, with European and oriental influences, all beautifully and innovatively presented, with a little theatre thrown in.

On the menu for our lunch was Smoked Dill Atlantic Salmon with Garlic Sea Salt and Tandoori Murgh Wasabi Malai, both served in a mason jar filled with smoke and sealed off with a poppadom lid. Next up came Lobster Tortellini with a real hit of chilli. The presentation of the starters was beautiful and theatrical and tasted lovely.

Between courses we were served with a Jamun Gelato. It was a welcome treat that refreshed the senses and made me look forward to more :) Also, can I just say that I’ve been dreaming about this Gelato ever since that afternoon! If only it could be packaged and retailed- my freezer would be overflowing with cartons and cartons of it!

The main was a traditional Indian Thali which consisted of crispy fried bhindi (okra), aloo curry, prawn coconut cream curry, Sarson Maach (fish marinated in a mustard sauce and steamed in a banana leaf) and a Koh-e-Awadh, not to mention Lamb Biryani and dal Makhani. It was quite a spread, one that was both delicious and varied and had something for every kind of palate.

For dessert we had a tasting platter of three desserts. One was a miniature Jalebi with a delicate orange cream, which was my favourite of the three. The second was a coffee creme brulee which was rich and creamy and quite delicious. The last was a chocolate sponge with a mousse and a strawberry glaze, topped off with a macaroon. This was the most spectacular of the three in terms of looks, but my least favourite in terms of taste. For me the glaze had an artificial, almost synthetic taste which I didn’t like. This was the only thing I wasn't a big fan of.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the creations of Chef Gaurav Mathur, what I enjoyed more was the learning from Ishaan Sarkar about the effort, innovation and quick thinking that is needed to succeed in this business. I hope I get a chance someday to attend an event handled by the team at SelectED. I’m sure it would be an unforgettable experience.

[All images clicked by Shalini Pereira. Please do not use without prior written permission]

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