The most popular Australians in India used to be cricketers or actors. But this is a thing of the past; post the advent of MasterChef Australia. Now heading for the 10th season on television, Chef George Calombaris, one of the host judges, bowled the guests over with his food at the second edition of American Express CEO Series 2017 held over the weekend. Taking inspiration from his Greek heritage, Chef George curated an exclusive delectable menu based on Greece – the blessed land of the sun, the seas and the olive trees!
The bespoke dinners held on September 16th & 17th, 2017 in New Delhi at the Roseate House and at St. Regis Mumbai saw the presence of crème de la crème from the Indian business, finance, media and technology communities in attendance to relish a night of luxury combined with an extravagant culinary experience curated by Chef George. Some of the guests present were Gregoire Carde, Chief Financial Officer BMW Financial Services India, Abhiraj Bhal, CEO Urban Clap, Deep Kalra, CEO MakeMyTrip, K.S. Dhingra, Chairman Berger Paints, Rajat Luthra, CEO KFC, Arvind Uppal, Chairman Whirlpool, Suresh Narayanan, CEO Nestle India, Ajit Joshi, President and COO Urban Ladder, Harish Bhat, Chairman Tata Global Beverages, Nick Gliddon, Director Vodafone Business Services, Simran Hoon, EVP Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd., Sanjeev Kapur, Executive Vice President HDFC Standard Life Insurance, Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director Knight Frank India, Capt. Amarjeet Vidyarthi, MD Indus Consulting, Milee Ashwarya, Editorial Director Ebury India Random House, Nidhi Dua, Country Manager Marks and Spencer, Vivek Ramabhadran, Vice President Asia-South Swarovski, Akash Poddar, COO Yatra amongst others. The event also witnessed George having a fan moment when Sachin Tendulkar attended the Mumbai event. Their mutual admiration for their respective profession was admirable to watch.
When such powerful top executives come together to dine, the gastronomic spread can be nothing short of extravagant excellence. The guests were treated to a lavish menu ranging from beetroot Greek salad with papadum praline, delicious potato skordalia followed by slow-cooked egg with smoked yoghurt, almond butter naan and garlic roti. Poached chicken with Hellenic grain salad in cauliflower cream followed suit. The fifth menu comprised of curry butter poached carrot, apple, malt tarama, Horta with wild rice. The next course was “gr-indian street food” soft-shell crab naan souvlaki which was eaten with hands; no cutlery allowed. The final meal was the toothsome mastic, strawberry, vanilla loukoumades. The menu truly was an exciting amalgamation of Greek and Indian cuisines and highlighted the fact that simple veggies can be turned into gourmet cuisine.
Speaking on this novel concept, Sapna M Vats, Director – Luxury Marketing & Special Events at Evolve says, “The second edition of CEO series was huge success and it is an impressive feat achieved by my team. George and his team were a true delight to associate with. The idea behind this annual series is to create opportunities of bringing so many impressive and creative top executives together to build peer relationships and explore opportunities manifold. It was my distinct pleasure to have curated these dinners where we witnessed the amalgamation of luxury and power under one roof, bonding over their common love for food.”
Speaking about the initiative, Mr. Manoj Adlakha, CEO, American Express Banking Corp, India says, “At American Express, we are passionate about delighting our customers and making their experiences memorable. Many of our Card members are food connoisseurs and we curate events for them to treat their culinary senses. It was a pleasure to be a part of this successful series for the second consecutive year and witness Chef George mesmerize the boardroom executives with his Greek-inspired cuisine!”
“Delighted to have George conceptualize the exquisite menu for the guests in Delhi’’, said Kush Kapoor, Area General Manager – Roseate Hotels & Resorts, in a statement. “Our endeavor at Roseate House is to bring together a diverse array of culinary expertise and experience at our restaurants serving wide-ranging cuisines; it was a delight to host the event at the hotel.”
Speaking on this occasion, Anuraag Bhatnagar, Multi Property Vice President, Luxury India, Marriott International & General Manager, The St. Regis Mumbai, said, “The St. Regis Mumbai is delighted with the association with The American Express for the second edition of its CEO Series. The evening was a spectacular success, a blend of exquisite cuisine curated to perfection for a stellar audience. Renowned for its tradition of innovation and commitment to impeccable service, The St. Regis Mumbai continues to be the best address in the city of Mumbai.”