Love on a platter: 5 couples from the F&B industry tell us how food binds them
Plus, recommendations from the best on where to go for date night this Valentine's day.
Universally, food is the common denominator that brings people together; this is true for most couples. Whether it's a first date over coffee, a special dinner celebration, a quick getaway at a bed-and-breakfast or simply, flowers and a box of chocolates - there is so much that centres around food. So, you can only imagine what it's like for couples who are actually in the business of food. The magnitude of their conversations around food and eating out must be doubled. Since the day of love is right around the corner, we thought, who better than the couples who know the industry at the back of their hands to give you suggestions on where to go for a date night.
This Valentine's Day, we're talking to some of the most accomplished couples from the Indian culinary space about how food binds them together and their favourite spots for a romantic date in the city of Mumbai.
Gauri Devidayal and Jay Yousuf
The Table in Mumbai is the brainchild of Gauri Devidayal and her husband, Jay Yousuf. Back in 2011, when they opened their restaurant in Colaba, fine dining at stand-alone restaurants was a concept that was still coming up. Neither Yousuf, an ex-telecommunications expert, nor Devidayal, a former tax consultant, had any previous experience in the F&B sector. Having spent a substantial amount of time living abroad, they wanted to create a dining experience that could offer the experiences they had in the US and UK, respectively. When quizzed about their favourite cuisine, Devidayal shares that "It depends on our mood.'' However, if they had to pick a special place for a date night, there's a go-to for this duo. "It will have to be Wasabi for sushi. We love the Japanese staple and that's where we had our first date 13 years ago.'' How cute is that?
Karishma Sakhrani and Sameer Uttamsingh
Masterchef India's Season 4 finalist, Karishma Sakhrani has always been passionate about food. Currently, she is culinary and operations director at Acme Hospitality with fiancé, Sameer Uttamsingh who is the founder and creative director of the same company. We got in touch with the couple who is to be married soon to check where they head to for date nights. ''Sameer and I are both obsessed with pizza. And our favourite date spot in town is Gustoso. Beautiful interiors, amazing food, a great selection of wines and the city's best tiramisu,'' she shares. And we'd have to agree, pizza does make everything better.
Seefah Ketchaiyo and Karan Bane
The husband-wife duo who run the popular Southeast Asian joint, Seefah in Bandra, met when they were both working at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai. Karan specialises in Japanese food and worked at the hotel's coffee shop while Seefah was sous chef at the restaurant, San:Qi, and specialised in authentic Thai cuisine. Their love for Asian food runs deep, and this comes through in the authentic flavours of the Thai-Japanese menu at their own restaurant. With Valentine's Day just a day away, we caught up with the two, to see how they'd like to spend the special day. "We like to go out, mostly to try something new, but of course, we love Asian food a lot. As we are always in the restaurant, for our date nights, we like to be at home and Karan cooks for us'', says Ketchaiyo.
Tripti Bhatia and Anup Gandhi
This foodie-duo has been involved in the F&B industry in Mumbai for a while. Founder and CEO of the PR company, Detales Communications, Bhatia manages several well-known F&B brands, while Gandhi is a partner at Auriga Hospitality & Entertainment, which owns Jamjar Diner, Bonobo and a delivery service called Bowl Baby Bowl. "We love exploring new restaurants,'' she shares, adding that, "Some of our favourite cuisines include regional Indian, Mediterranean and Italian. Bonobo is our go-to bar for a date night since we met there and it has been a part of every milestone in our relationship." When asked about other recommendations for good food, she says, "In terms of eating out, The Love Fools is a great secret spot with delicious food. The champagne breakfast mornings here are truly special.''
Yash Bhanage and Nikoulina Berg
Yash Bhanage is the founder and COO of the hospitality brand,Hunger Inc. While his partner, Nikoulina Berg has worked with brands like the Grand Hyatt, Singapore, The Table, Foodhall, and now, curates experiences and events for the The Bombay Canteen and other restaurants under the Hunger Inc banner. ''While my food choices include pasta and pizza (preferably with pepperoni) for Yash, it's sushi, preferably anything with unagi on it'', says Berg. ''Americano is our favourite place to dine at in Mumbai. We usually get the crudo of sea bass, shaved Brussels sprouts and the cassrecce pasta'', she adds.
Well, now that we've given you a sneak-peek into what folks in the F&B space keep in mind while booking a table for a date night, we think we've got you covered for your personal Valentine's Day plans. If you're planning to check out any of the establishments mentioned by our power couples, do let us know. You know we're you're true forever Valentine though, right?