Eat what the chef recommends — there will be exclusives and not much deciding to do that way. Chef’s Table Week is here from March 4 to 10

If as Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw said: “There is no love sincerer than the love of food”, it is perhaps this love for food that would see gastronomes swarming to some of the city’s best restaurants next week.

Citibank and Desi Restaurant Week Events will be launching the Citibank Chef’s Table Week (CTW) across Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. This one-week program, to be held between March 4 and 10 will give customers the opportunity to indulge in a six-course tailored chef’s tasting menu as well as the privilege to interact with the head chef.

For someone who noticed that new diners at restaurants are clueless when they need to place their order, organiser Mangal Dalal, Director Desi Restaurant Week Pvt. Ltd, felt there was a need to do something of this nature. What brought about CTW was the desire to promote an experience as well as encourage non-regulars to visit the restaurant where one is basically in the hands of the chef — the person with the best recommendations on what to eat

Delving into the concept, Mangal explains: “Each participating restaurant will have its six-course Chef's Tasting menu. Typically it will feature an amuse bouche or palate cleanser in addition to five proper courses. In terms of how CTW works, the chef asks the diners when they start their meal for allergies and preferences and then devises the menu.”

Customers can enjoy special signature dishes as well as off-the-menu specials at the participating restaurants from Bangalore which include Caperberry (Dickenson Road), Blue Ginger-Taj West End, Masala Klub- Taj West End, Karavalli- The Gateway Hotel (Residency Road), Olive Beach (Ashok Nagar), Likethatonly- Whitefield, Rim Naam- The Oberoi, and Royal Afghan- ITC Windsor.

In the run-up to the CTW, Manu Chandra, Executive Chef, Olive Beach and Likethatonly, says: “It’s a great concept and has a highly stylised, organized and structured approach and format. What really is the USP of the CTW is that a restaurant gets to display what it is capable of doing, at a fixed price. It is as much for the patrons to indulge in as it is for new diners. Having said that, though the menu is not expansive, it doesn’t mean one’s choice is limited. The beauty of something like CTW is that guests are treated to an array of culinary delights from outside the regular menu. The sense of exclusivity and excitement that they’ve signed up for something this unique is what would make their experience wholesome.”

Amit Wadhawan, Executive Chef, The Oberoi, feels: “CTW is a great opportunity for a chef to come out of the kitchen and host guests, cook what they want to eat, and suggest what he thinks is best for their palate. We’ll be talking about herbs and spices used, we would be answering their questions and we’ve also got some souvenirs customers can take back with them after the meal. The focus here is to give the guests an experience, not just a meal.”

While the spotlight of CTW is largely on showcasing a restaurant and its chefs, according to Chef Rishikesh Rai, Masala Klub, Taj West End, “The value for money is what would really attract new diners in particular. Also, given that Bangaloreans are foodies and that we’re even laying on the table our signature dishes, we’re confident that there will be many more successive seasons of CTW in the city.”

Caperberry’s Chef Abhijit Saha says: “Our restaurant is a pioneer of the tasting menu in Bangalore. We introduced ours four years ago and so, though the concept is not entirely new to us, it is great to see the trend getting bigger. So far, the response to our tasting menu has been good. It is the ability to create, innovate and the opportunity to showcase one’s restaurant that has gotten me really excited about CTW.”

The specially designed six-course chef’s tasting menu costs Rs. 2,000 plus taxes and charges. Bookings for CTW are open. Customers can reserve their tables online at www.chefstableweek.com.