Chef Bram Fowler of Sanford's Old Jailhouse says his South African upbringing inspires him to cook world cuisine

Chef Bram Fowler of Sanford’s Old Jailhouse says his South African upbringing inspires him to cook world cuisine

South African-born chef Bram Fowler is no stranger to our dining scene, having wowed guests at his Longwood restaurant Journeys well before helming the kitchen at Sanford’s Old Jailhouse, a stunning restaurant specializing in “Sun Belt Cuisine.”
As a chef, there are obvious challenges when you run the kitchen but don’t own the restaurant. How do you navigate your relationship with an owner? My owners give me the freedom to run the kitchen and menu as I see fit. I’ve had other owners at different establishments that liked to micro-manage. There was a restaurant whose owner wanted to tell me what menu items should appear on the menu because, he said, “people love that dish.” Well, that restaurant is no longer in business. I run the Old Jailhouse as if it were my own restaurant and, so far, it’s working out and my owners are very supportive. click to enlarge Photo by Rob Bartlett
What effect has your immigrant experience had on the restaurant’s evolution? My mom is such a great cook, so my love of cooking came from her. I was fascinated that she could create anything from any restaurant and make it better, so I guess I started playing with dishes and plating food at an early age. I believe my background coming from South Africa has helped me in my cooking career. I was brought up with so many different cultures who all “stayed in their own lane,” as it were, so when you ate at a Greek or Indian or even French restaurant, it was as authentic as it was in the home country. That’s what inspired me to cook world cuisine. I enjoyed blending the cuisines of different cultures that were so separated where I came from.
How are you reducing food waste? What are you doing to make the restaurant more sustainable? Using the right vendors who can get sustainable fish and local produce and meat is the key. We try using every part of the animals and or vegetables we get. I’m working with a local pig farmer and will be sending them some of our plate waste. The beef we use comes from Florida, the shrimp comes from the Gulf and so on. I like to use the Seafood Watch app and only get green or yellow options. I get my tomatoes from Waterkist Farm in Sanford. I believe that as a community we can work together on reuse and recycling.
What was your first food addiction? Curry. I love it and ate it on a weekly basis growing up. ( theoldjailhousesanford.com )▲ Jump to comments More in Bite

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IRCTC move: Bihari cuisine to tickle taste buds

PATNA: The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation ( IRCTC ) is planning to incorporate at least 10 Bihari delicacies in its menu soon. They will be available on trains originating from the state.
According to IRCTC regional manager (Patna) Rajesh Kumar, a proposal in this regard has been sent to the zonal office of the corporation in Kolkata and is likely to be accepted in a month.
“When you visit the southern part of the country, you can easily find ‘idli’ and ‘dosa’ on trains, but if you are in Bihar, you will not be served the local cuisine. The 10 dishes that we will introduce are ‘litti-chokha’, ‘litti-dehati chicken’, ‘dahi-chura’, ‘chana-ghughani’, ‘poori-sabzi’, ‘zeera rice’-fish curry, ‘chura-moong ghughani’, ‘sattu paratha’-curd-pickle, ‘khichadi’ and ‘dal poori-sabzi’,” Kumar said.
Meanwhile, Patnaites are happy that Bihari cuisine will tickle their taste buds even when they are travelling. “That’s great news. I can’t wait to taste the food,” Ashiana Nagar resident Ashwin Shekhar, who studies at Panjab University, told this reporter over phone.
Event manager Rakesh Kumar said, “I know many Biharis, who have not yet tasted a number of dishes available locally. Introducing them on trains will make them popular among all.”

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Lovely hotel with beautiful gardens

A lovely hotel close to the beautiful beach. We had a great time here, made extra special by all the staff. Too many to mention, though Steve the Restaurant Manager and Bholah the bar waiter were very helpful and friendly. Our room was kept very nice by our maid (can’t remember her name, room 134). nnThe gardens were really beautiful and well maintained by the gardeners. The food was good, but needs more international cuisine. Indian food was too spicy. However we were always able to get something to eat. Breakfast was very good, the lady making the omelettes and fried eggs was very nice. Evening entertainment was varied and good. nnThe only negative point for this hotel was the bathroom which really needs to be refurbished. nnOverall a lovely hotel in a lovely location and would definitely recommend it.

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Budget Places to Visit in India

India is a colorful country with different types of people, their living traditions, cultures, values, ethics, beliefs, and landscapes.
It is consistently ranked as one of the best countries to travel on a budget-trip for having numerous beautiful destinations. As there are several places to visit in India for making your journey even better & cheaper. Let us explore some of the names of the budget places to visit in India that can actually provide you a comfortable & wonderful journey. Below is a list of such budget places that can eventually make this possible for you. 1. Jaisalmer
One of the best places to visit as the well-known destination offers splendid forts, architectural beauty, marvels palaces, and much more. Find numerous fun-filled activities & interesting experiences at economically reasonable prices that will really make your head spin.
No matter wherever your final destination will be, you’ll ultimately amaze yourself while visiting Jaisalmer. 2. Goa
Up for a pool party? Then, Goa is actually your true destination!
One of the tourists & an underrated place in India, this delightful state in the western part of India has the best home-stays, beautiful beaches & spiritual churches throughout the state. Visiting here, one can find the cheapest rate of accommodation, incredible foody places; spend good time at lovely beaches, rent a bike & roam around the city, grab cheap liquor & else take a dive into the sea.
Everyone must come here across the huge spirit of Goa once in their lifetimes and live the Hippie life at Rock bottom lakes! 3. Jaipur
Another must-visit-place on your list of cheapest tourist places in India! Travel to the pink city Jaipur which is situated in Rajasthan, the westernmost state in India. The Land of Kings is almost on every traveler’s go-to-list as the city is one among the places to explore on a low budget. Also, there are many budget-friendly tours & stay options in this beautiful city.
If you’re going to Rajasthan, the Pink City offers cheap & easy getaway as there is plenty of things to do in Jaipur. It is thus an economical getaway with our Golden Trriangle Tour Packages. 4. Darjeeling
A beautiful yet gratifying place, Darjeeling is famous for its traditional & pretty little hotels, beautiful tea gardens, small old cottages; all are unexpectedly at low costs. Dawn & dusk time view with snow-laden mountains, delectable cuisines at reasonable prices & divine savor of renowned Darjeeling tea make the place worth to visit.
Add this beautiful destination to your go-to list, which can easily fit your budget. Enjoy its scenic beauty, charming view of the city with our short tour to Darjeeling. 5. Varanasi
From cheap stay, homes top affordable boating rides, this religious place in India offers a lot way & takes little in return. Varanasi provides innumerable options for sight-seeing & a wide variety of foods at different food points with an incredibly low cost. Various temples, ghats, sanctums, sanctuaries and a holy dip in the holy water to cleanse your soul, make Varanasi, a must-visit-place in India. All of these things can be experienced with just a few money in your pockets. Try our 6 Days Delhi Agra Varanasi Tour and enjoy the spiritual journey to Varanasi.
Let’s move on to the land of spiritual Gods for getting an immeasurable essence of spirituality! 6. Amritsar
The beautiful place is well-known for the famous Golden Temple, which is bound to calm you down & make you stress-free. Enjoy an amazing Golden Triangle Tour with amritsar tour for affordable Price with Us.
It is thus a city endeavoring with the divine ardaas of Golden Temple. A great paradise for all those random travelers, unlimited no. of foodies & devout staunch believers. Staying & worshipping at the Gurudwara is free for all. Men have to pay a nominal amount to stay there, however food & stay is free for girls & women.
7. Kodaikanal
Located in Tamil Nadu state in India with incredible scenic beauty, an expanse of pristine hills, and some of the best street foods in the country, a stay at this ‘Princess of Hill Stations’ goes unbelievably easy to your pocket. Kodaikanal gives you homely places to stay and mouth-watering delicious street foods like fried chicken, etc at invariably low prices. Is it hard to believe, right?
All what you need for a great vacation. Plan a trip to Kodaikanal where hills & street food is just a matter of few bucks.
Why travel to India?
As the name itself suggests, India ranks 40th among 136 countries in the trade of Tourism & Travel and had alone entertained almost around 15 million tourists in the year 2017. One will find a lot of cheap places to travel but eventually, get exploited. India has thus become a popular tourist destination for the locals as well as for the outsiders too. Because of the following reasons, the country has maintained her glory:
Biodiversity
One can find a rich biological diversity in India as the country has a diverse Flora (Wild Life) including tigers, lions, elephants, camels, etc. and some other unique species of birds like peacocks & various others to be visited at several Wildlife Sanctuaries and at Botanical Parks.
Delicious food
Indian cuisines are as rich & diverse in taste as its culture. You’ll enjoy super tasty, spicy & sweet foods at various local street food stalls.
Multiple Religions & Cultural Diversity
India is multi religion country Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Buddhists & Christians. Such type of diversity dates back to the Kushana Empire, which was one of the oldest known civilizations in Central Asia. India has a vibrant culture of its own and with each province having its own very unique traditions, regional languages, customs, beliefs, dressing styles, folk songs & dances.
Historical Architects & Geographical Diversity
India takes pride as being home to several beautiful historical architects like royal forts, big churches, mosques, temples & grandeur palaces located in almost every part of the country. The country has planes, snow-covered mountains & deserts. There are waterfalls, beaches & lakes, caves, fields & gardens to see.
These are some of the budget destinations in India. Explore all or any one of your favorite tourist place out of these & make your trip the most interesting and ever-memorable. All these Indian destinations offer a quintessential introduction to the history of ancient & modern India.
Travel for the adventure & experience!
Budget Places to Visit in India was last modified: July 5th, 2019 by admin Featured Tour Packages

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The way to a tourist’s heart is thru the stomach

Summary: Al Ain, UAE: what better way to get to know a foreign land than having a taste of its array of cuisine.
In my first two weeks in Al Ain, all my father and I did was to go out and eat. I enjoyed it simply because food is cheap. I get to eat my favorite shawarma at 5 AED. My father warns me not to convert.
Clearly, UAE is a country of so much diversity.
Volcano
Eat and Drink
Across the block. My father sotoodtood up to get something by the cashier. When he returned, he had
“What’s that?”
“I don’t know what it’s called but it’s something the locals eat after meal. They say it aids their digestion.”
Before leaving, I asked the cashier what the food was. I hardly caught what he said, but I managed to get some wrods that could help me research about it
When I we got home, I searched on Google what it was. I found out it goes by the name of mukhwas , a colorful Indian snack. My father is right, mukhwas helps in digestion and also a mouth freshener that can be made of various seeds and nuts, but often F ound with fennel seeds, anise seeds, coconut, and sesame seeds.
Al Mallah Restaurant
This is the bomb we had a meal for three for less than 50 AED.
Al Yafar Restaurant
In my few days in Al Ain, my long-time gi friend Cejs mentioned the local dish biryani . She says it fits my appetite, tipong pangkargador.
My father took me to Al Yafar Restaurant in what street, it was way more than how I imagined it!
The waitress came to the table with a large plate full of beryani rice topped with a whole grilled chicken. There were spinach and slices of cucumbers, too, and chili tomato paste where we dip the chicken.

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The Heritage Keepers, Feature – THE BUSINESS TIMES

THE HERITAGE KEEPERS: Singaporeans who take it upon themselves to keep their culture and traditions alive’ ALL PHOTOS BY GAVIN FOO, ALPHONSUS CHERN, SYAZWAN MAJID, KEVIN MARTENS WONG, KEVIN LEE. (Left) Char Siew Pao. (Right) Paper Wrapped Chicken. (Left) Father and son. (Right) Kevin Lee and Poon’s Chilli Sauce. Kevin Martens Wong started the Kodrah Kristang movement. Kristang classes have attracted young and senior participants. (Left) A Malay kampung house. (Right) Syazwan Majid, a Pulau Ubin community liaison officer Volunteers for the Pulau Ubin Kampong Clean-up. (Left) Kampong Clean-up. (Right) View of the Main Village during the annual Tua Pek Kong Festival. Super Sedap High Tea set at The Peranakan. Retail area at The Peranakan. (Left) Raymond Khoo, executive chef and founder of The Peranakan. (Right) Tok Panjang at The Peranakan Gallery. The Heritage Keepers A group of Singaporeans take it upon themselves to keep their culture and traditions alive. Jul 5, 2019 5:50 AM by
KEVIN LEE Heirloom Recipes
By day, Kevin Lee runs Invisible Photography Asia, a platform for photography and visual arts which organises events, exhibitions and workshops to shine a spotlight on emerging photographers in the region.
But on the weekends, you are more likely to find Mr Lee, 46, slaving over a stove, frying up Poon’s Chilli Sauce – a fiery concoction of chilli, spices, peanuts and Sichuan peppercorns – named after his late father. Since he started in June, he’s sold about 200 bottles, the proceeds of which will go towards a cookbook tribute to his Dad.
The elder Mr Poon – due to poor recordkeeping, father and son have different last names – was a successful restaurateur in Fiji before he retired and moved to Singapore. He died of heart failure in 2018. Mr Lee, a naturalised Singaporean says, “I feel indebted to him so I decided to cook 100 meals and recipes as a project in his memory.” sentifi.com Market voices on:
Father and son were close, if not affectionate. “He was an old-school father. I remember him going to the markets everymorning in Fiji to buy fresh produce for the restaurant, and staying with him late into the night until the last customer left so we could close shop and drive home,” recalls Mr Lee. SEE ALSO: Passion projects
He hopes to finish the cookbook, titled Hundred Daughters, Hundred Patience, A Hundred Meals , by the end of 2019. It will be self-published with a print run of 500 to 1000 copies.
The title comes from his father’s name. Mr Lee’s grandparents had named their son Pak Nui, or ‘hundred daughters’ in Cantonese, to fool the demons a soothsayer told them were out to get their only son. His father later changed it to Pak Noi, or ‘hundred patience’.
The recipes are inspired by the family’s history – from the rice farms of Kaiping, China, where Mr Lee’s father was originally from, to the sugar cane fields of Fiji, to Singapore’s HDB heartlands. He includes family recipes as well as those from his father’s restaurant, and even those he picked up while living in Singapore. Examples include Kokoda, a tangy chilli Fijian fish ceviche, and Scrap Pot Curry, a spicy curry made from chicken bones, prawn heads and discarded parts that became a staff meal in his father’s restaurant.
For the book, Mr Lee would cook and photograph a dish a day at home in Tiong Bahru, ending up with 150 dishes in all. Some failed, some took time to perfect and finally, he whittled the list down to the final 100. “My mother, wife, sister and helper were my food critics,” he laughs.
Mr Lee hopes that those who buy the book will be inspired to try the recipes and learn “not only my family’s history, but a universal story of migration and identity which are relevant topics today”. It would be even better, he adds, “if they took the recipes and adapted it to reflect their own taste and history.
Order Poon’s Chilli Sauce from kevinwylee.com/100recipes.
KEVIN MARTENS WONG Kristang Revival
The next time you meet a Portugese-Eurasian pal, say “Oi, teng bong?” Chances are he may be able to understand that you are saying “Hello, how are you” in Kristang.
Kristang is a creole of Portuguese and Malay that evolved after the Portuguese conquered Malacca in 1511. With intermarriage, a new pidgin evolved that combined the two languages, with influences from Hokkien, Dutch, Konkani, Malayalam, Hakka, Cantonese and Indian varieties of Creole Portuguese. Kristang was commonly spoken among the Eurasians as recently as a century ago, but by the 1930s, started to decline as English emerged as the lingua franca.
Kevin Martens Wong, 27, a teacher at Eunoia Junior college, is the founder of Kodrah Kristang (Awaken, Kristang), a revitalisation initiative to keep Kristang alive.
The Eurasian-Chinese linguistics graduate who speaks several other languages, picked up Kristang from older Eurasians, and could speak it fluently in two months. For the past three years, together with a small group of Kristang speakers, they started to run classes at Cairnhill Community Club, and have taught about 500 students since.
Along the way, Mr Wong has also held a Kristang Language Festival, produced a Kristang online dictionary and a board game.
Two-thirds of their Kristang language students are Eurasians of all ages, including entire families.
“I studied linguistics in junior college and university, and for me, learning and teaching Kristang is my way of preserving Singapore’s linguistic diversity,” says Mr Wong, who converses in Kristang with this grandparents.
“I’m greatly encouraged that Kodrah Kristang has helped create stronger interpersonal relationship among Eurasians and get even non-Eurasians to be interested in the culture,” he says.
For example, Mr Wong’s distant cousin Andre D’Rozario, felt disconnected from the Eurasian community before he learnt Kristang. “I heard about Kristang but didn’t know where to learn it before. But now I speak it to my grandpa and aunts,” says Mr D’Rozario, who has been teaching Kristang for the past year.
Mr Wong’s plans for Kodrah Kristang are to keep classes going, do more research on the language, and to expand resources for Kristang.
Follow facebook.com/kodrahkristang for class schedules.
SYAZWAN MAJID Pulau Ubin’s custodian
As a child, Syazwan Majid wasn’t entertained with fairy tales or nursery rhymes. Instead, his mother would tell him stories about kampung life in Pulau Ubin, where she grew up.
The stories used to irk the now 22-year-old who failed to see the relevance “given how I was growing up in modern Singapore in the 2000s.” But as he grew older, he began to appreciate his mum’s nostalgic pining for kampung life.
His mum, Noorriah Sulong, lived on Pulau Ubin for over 30 years before moving to the mainland in 1989. During the school holidays, the family made day trips to Pulau Ubin, when she would rent a tandem bicycle, and they would have a picnic by Chek Jawa before visiting former neighbours.
“It was mum’s vision of a kampung being her true home that sparked in me a desire to find this joy that she missed,” says Mr Syazwan, who made more frequent visits to the island in the last few years to learn more about his late grandparents and the family’s former home.
In 2018, he started an online journal to document his visits and interaction with Ubin residents.
He also set out to find 818K, the family’s old home. He succeeded after a few months with the help of old archival maps and speaking with residents. The wooden house had been abandoned for three decades, and only the foundation stones remained.
“Even then, I was so relieved and excited. I felt like I was reconnected to a heritage I had long been apart from,” he says. “I felt the same as my mum did at my age, and I felt a closeness to my grandparents just to be at the exact spot where they raised my mum and her siblings.” His mum was on the verge of tears when she saw that the house her father built from scratch was no more.
Mr Syazwan is now a Pulau Ubin community liaison officer, “engaging with the residents to find ways to improve their quality of life while advocating for the preservation of the rustic charm of kampung life,” he says.
He has also started a monthly cleanup exercise on the island with a group of volunteers, helping elderly residents to trim their yards and clear bulky refuse. “It’s the least I can do for them to help maintain the beauty of their kampung homes,” says Mr Syazwan.
“I hope that my journey of retracing my family heritage will inspire others to do the same,” he says. “Everyone has their own stories and it is in each of these stories that we’re able to build our own identity.”
See details of WUJ Kampong Clean-up at wansubinjournal.blogspot.com.
RAYMOND KHOO Growing the Peranakan culture
Having dabbled in French, Indian, and Spanish cuisine during his 30 years in F&B, and after some years working in Macau, Raymond Khoo hankered for a cuisine closer to his heart, namely Peranakan.
Five years ago, Mr Khoo, 56, started The Peranakan restaurant on Orchard Road, cooking up decades-old recipes that were handed down by the Nonyas and Babas in his family.
The restaurant serves classics such as ayam buah keluak and babi pong teh . On weekends, it is popular with families, while corporate clients make up the majority of customers on weekdays. The restaurant gets a mixed bag of guests from all over.
While the older generation are familiar with such dishes, he finds that younger diners are often lost as to what to order. “It is not good enough to just have older diners. We want younger ones because food is a way to keep traditional heritage alive,” he says. So he started a high tea menu that includes toast with buah keluak and nasi ulam to introduce diners to Peranakan cuisine.
To make his menu more inclusive, he has also introduced a vegetarian version, using mock meat in dishes such as ayam pongteh and fish assam pedas . He is happy to cater to vegetarians, “so that more people can enjoy Peranakan food,” he says.
Mr Khoo’s push for Peranakan culture doesn’t stop at just food. This year marks the third Peranakan Festival, which he organises, for people to discover more about the Peranakan culture. There are special menus created, including wine and sake pairings to show the versatility of Peranakan cuisine.
He also has invited experts to give talks on porcelain, textiles and how to invest in Peranakan jewellery.
He has also taken it upon himself to open a gallery dedicated to all things Peranakan. Located next to the restaurant, The Peranakan Gallery features an elaborate 20-seater Tok Panjang table set with exquisitely-crafted Nonya ceramics, Chinese porcelain and Waterford crystalware; and other artefacts such as tiffin carriers and enamel chamber pots. Mr Khoo has also set up a small retail area outside the restaurant selling kebayas, brooches and beaded slippers.
He hopes to start language and beading classes later in the year at the Gallery, and maybe even offer cooking lessons.
Mr Khoo is waving the Peranakan flag high on his own, because he feels the promotion of Peranakan culture done by associations is limited to their members. “The associations do good work, but I want to reach out more to the public,” he says.
He adds that it has been challenging promoting Peranakan culture on his own, but “the biggest satisfaction has been the ability to create this curiosity with a wider audience.”
The Peranakan is at 442 Orchard Road, Level 2, Claymore Connect. Details of The Peranakan Festival at theperanakanfestival.com.

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Meet the jury of the Himalayan Raw & Fine Journey of a Lifetime to Japan

CNT + Himalayan Top Restaurant Awards Meet the jury of the Himalayan Raw & Fine Journey of a Lifetime to Japan The tour is an all-access pass to the best Japan’s best culinary experiences. Here the judges who will select the lucky winner CNT in collaboration with Himalayan Published: Jul 04, 2019 | 18:29:35 IST L-R: ISH’s Dilip Puri, CNT’s Divia Thani, Masque’s Prateek Sadhu, NourishCo Beverages’ Kuttiah KS, The Bombay Canteen’s Thomas Zacharias
The popularity of Japanese cuisine has captured the world, especially India, with restaurants popping up in the smallest of cities. Most dishes are beautiful works of art—in terms of presentation and preparation. Respect for the source of the ingredients is sacrosanct and it is this detail that makes eating Japanese food such a pleasurable experience. One young Indian chef now has a chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Tokyo and Kyoto as CNT and Himalayan Sparkling launch the Himalayan Raw & Fine Journey of a Lifetime to Japan. It gives him or her the opportunity to experience Japanese life firsthand, through food and culture. They will visit some of Japan’s top restaurants and get the opportunity to shadow their chefs (the world famous Kyubey in Tokyo, established in the 1930s known for their warmth and luxurious sushi, and the Michelin-starred Kikunoi in Kyoto). They will also live out a traditional Japanese life—by sharing meals with sumo wrestlers and visiting home chefs to learn the simplest and best kept secrets to the perfect Japanese meal.
The culinary tour is a chance to understand and experience the purity of Japanese food. Himalayan’s Raw and Fine philosophy extends organically in this context, as it highlights the importance of naturally sourced unique ingredients like the alkaline mineral water it bottles—a natural source that takes 20 years to become a rich source of minerals for the human body. Applicants will be judged on their entries by the following discerning group, each one known for their expertise, work and commitment to the Indian food and beverage space. 1 /5
Thomas Zacharias, chef-partner, The Bombay Canteen
Prateek Sadhu, co-owner & executive chef, Masque
Dilip Puri, founder & CEO, Indian School of Hospitality
Divia Thani, Editor, Conde Nast Traveller
Kuttiah KS,Vice President & Head of Marketing, Nourishco Beverages
Thomas Zacharias, chef-partner, The Bombay Canteen The Himalayan Raw & Fine chef at Top Restaurant Awards in 2018, Zacharias has changed the way Mumbai enjoys Indian food, thanks to his innovative take on favourite staples. Along with his co-founders he’s created a space that is equally enjoyable for its space and its food. With specially curated menus that take on seasonal cultural festivities to making his travels across the country a mainstay in the menu, this is a chef who understands the value of culture in a menu. He is also known for his stories of sourcing interesting and exciting ingredients from forgotten corners of the country and turning them into bestsellers in the restaurant.
Prateek Sadhu, co-owner & executive chef, Masque A purist visionary, Sadhu has been pedantic about the organic origins of his ingredients. The Himalayan Raw & Fine chef at Top Restaurant Awards in 2017, Sadhu creates menus based on their natural tastes and properties, making sure those natural flavours are the stars, and not its surrounding fanfare. With Masque, Mumbai, he can created a unique space where each dish is a surprise and a lesson about its journey from a distant farm to the table. With a mission to create a sustainable food and beverage industry, Sadhu opened the restaurant after almost two years of research and experiments. It led him to build an incredible network of farmers around the country, making sure the produce reaching guests at Masque was the best.
Dilip Puri, founder & CEO, Indian School of Hospitality The former Managing Director of Starwood Hotels and Resorts South Asia, Puri comes with over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. It informs the exceptional curriculum at the Indian School of Hospitality (ISH) at Gurgaon, that encourages creativity and innovation amongst their millennial student body. They have also partnered with Lausanne Hospitality Consulting (LHC) to prepare an academic certification by Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), making sure their students combine the best from the creative as well as analytical sides of hospitality, making them leaders in one of the most dynamic industries today. His in-depth knowledge of the space, as well as his natural curiosity to learn more about the younger generation, makes him a popular speaker at education and hospitality conclaves, as well as a regular columnist on hospitality, education and technology trends.
Divia Thani, Editor, Conde Nast Traveller As the editor of Conde Nast Traveller, Thani has been at the helm of some its most exciting properties like Hot Tables and India’s Top Restaurant Awards. Both properties have been instrumental in creating and sustaining a conversation around the contemporary food and beverage industry and its dynamic growth. Before taking on the reigns at Conde Nast Traveller, she worked with Vogue and Time Out, and has been a jury member for several national and international properties like Asia’s 50 Best and the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in literature and was the recipient of the Robert C Laing Award for Creative Writing, as well as the first Sheth International Alumni Achievement Award.
Kuttiah KS,Vice President & Head of Marketing, Nourishco Beverages As the Vice President and head of Marketing of Nourishco Beverages, a Tata Pepsico JV, KS has been instrumental in creating the holistic picture around Himalayan Natural Mineral Water among other brands. Prior to this, he headed the Tata Tea portfolio of brands during which the iconic “Jaago Re” campaign ran.

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This new Maldives resort is the ultimate tropical island getaway

Raffles Maldives Meradhoo brings a fresh glamour and luxury to the Maldives Published: Jul 04, 2019 | 18:17:49 IST The iconic Raffles Long Bar at the new Raffles Maldives Meradhoo. Photo: Raj Aditya Chaudhuri
My Maldivian flight from Male landed on the airstrip in Kooddoo Island in the pitch dark of the night. I saw none of the much-hyped turquoise blue Indian Ocean waters I had been promised. What I did see, almost as soon as I got off the aircraft, was my Raffles butler who whisked me away to a boat that would ferry me to the hotel. Once on-board, the crew plied me with a snack of sliced fresh coconut and a refreshing juice. A masseuse worked on my upper back and the top of my head to relieve me of any stress my journey had caused me. My butler meanwhile charged my phone and connected it to the boat’s high-speed WiFi router. This must be what they refer to when they talk about the “Raffles treatment”.
Just opened on the tiny, tropical atoll of Meradhoo, marginally north of the equator, is the Raffles Maldives Meradhoo, a 21-villa luxury resort. The thatched-roof, bleach-white villas and residences dot the sandy outer edge of the atoll, so they all have stunning, uninterrupted views of the cerulean expanse that is the Indian Ocean. The beach villas feature sprawling bedrooms with beautiful, aged driftwood furniture – a roomy four-poster bed, and a scattering of couches and loveseats spread around a low coffee table. The electric curtains roll up to reveal an L-shaped glass wall beyond which lies your private plunge pool. And in the corner of the glass wall is a cosy little nook with a writing table and a most inspiring view of the ocean. The Raffles Spa is an over-water affair. Photo: Raj Aditya Chaudhuri
Larger families would be very content with the five deluxe beach villas and three beach residences on the property. The former has all the space of the beach villas and a separate cottage with a living room that can be converted into a bedroom for the kids. The residences have a second bedroom. And just off the sandy shores of the island is the cluster of over-water villas that will later this year welcome guests to the Raffles Royal Residences.
There are two restaurants on the island. Thari, the all-day dining spot is helmed by chef Annibal Torres, a master of Nikkei cuisine – a blend Peruvian and Japanese food traditions. Try the Peruvian ceviche, the delicious grilled mahi mahi and end with the theatrical experience that is the affogato here. The beachside restaurant also caters to different dietary requirements and has a wellness menu with a special emphasis on jet-lag recovery. They can also organise a floating meal in your private plunge pool or an excursion to a nearby sandbank for the signature caviar breakfast experience. You can also dine at The Firepit that serves simple, grilled delicacies that you can enjoy with your toes in the sand and a thousand stars twinkling overhead. For a drink, head to the Long Bar, a mainstay of every Raffles experience. It is the perfect spot to enjoy the gorgeous sundowns here.
The spa is an over-water affair with a gym and four couples’ treatment rooms. When you are face-down enjoying the signature Raffles Spa treatment, a combination of Balinese and Swedish techniques with some Maldivian influences thrown in, you can see turtles, manta ray and baby shark swim through the glass windows on the floor. All the marine life, especially the turtles, have been catalogued by the resort’s marine biologist.
During your stay here you also have access to a dedicated marine butler who will take you snorkelling. Or you can windsurf, kayak in a glass-bottomed boat, jet ski or take a sunset yoga class.
The resort has employed the services of a Feng Shui expert whose remit is to create an intuitive and pleasing guest experience – right from how you check in to the way the furniture is set up in your villa and how the resort staff interact with you. Everything is fine-tuned to give you that experience that Raffles prides itself on. Website . Doubles from MVR15,770 (Rs70,130)
Take a sneak peak: A beach villa at the resort. Photo: Raj Aditya Chaudhuri
The view from the landing jetty. From here the main resort is a short walk away. Photo: Raj Aditya Chaudhuri The view from Thari, the all-day dining restaurant, looking on to the Long Bar. Photo: Raj Aditya Chaudhuri
The roomy four-poster bed in the beach villa. Photo: Raj Aditya Chaudhuri
The bathroom in the beach villa is almost as spacious as the bedroom. Photo: Raj Aditya Chaudhuri
The white and teal coloured booths at Thari. Photo: Raj Aditya Chaudhuri
A lounger by the splash pool at a beach villa. Photo: Raj Aditya Chaudhuri

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Amazing Babymoon!

Had the best babymoon ever! Was greeted on arrival by a very welcoming gentleman called Mido, he was fantastic and gave us an upgraded room with a sea view with no extra charge. This was such a lovely touch as we did not expect this at all. He also checked us In so quickly with no waiting time, we arrived at 8am and was in our room within 20mins or arrival. Honestly the best service. I have stayed at many hotels in Dubai, Jumeriah Beach hotel, Atlantis but I must say the service here is second to none. nnFood: the food at this resort is wonderful, we had the half bored option which gave us the option to dine at most of the restaurants In the resort and the sister hotel The Westin. What can I say all the restaurants included are amazing! My only regret was not eating at the buffet in the hotel more, we choice this on our last night at the hotel and regretted not eating there sooner. The food was fabulous – what a choice of cuisines, from Indian, Chinese, English with all wonderful flavours! I wish I had eaten dinner at the buffet more. The other restaurants was nice but we ended up repeating a few of the restaurants in the Westin. nBreakfast at the hotel was wonderful! What great choice of food! nnRooms/location: Wondering very clean and also had a night down service, with chocolates left on your pillow. They also topped up on water bottles which was brilliant. The only downfall for this hotel is the building work next door. We was on the 5TH floor and could not really go out on the balcony as there was so much noise! But then again who comes to this wonderful resort to sit on a balcony! nBeach is lovely white sand and clear water, more of a lagoon then the sea.nnService: Would like to thank Mido again for everything he did to make our holiday special. He also has take away breakfast prepared for us on check out which was so lovely as we left at 7 in the morning and didn’t have time for breakfast. nnThank you Mina Seyahi Resort!

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