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Updated: February 17, 2010 21:14 IST

Fightercock and food

Shalini Shah
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ORIENTALLY ORIENTED Designer Nandita Basu at R.E.D. in Radisson MBD, Noida. Photo: Anu Pushkarana
The Hindu ORIENTALLY ORIENTED Designer Nandita Basu at R.E.D. in Radisson MBD, Noida. Photo: Anu Pushkarana

When it comes to cuisine, designer Nandita Basu, of fashion label Fightercock, likes adventure

Might be hard to believe judging from her petite frame, but designer Nandita Basu, one half of the husband-wife duo of Abhishek Gupta-Nandita Basu of the label Fightercock, calls herself a die-hard foodie.

When we meet at R.E.D. (Rare Eastern Dining) in Radisson MBD in Noida, she tells us about her varied palate, which could love sushi one day, prawn malai curry the next, and Singaporean street food on another.

“I love Chinese food, Mediterranean, Mughlai and also the fusion food that's happening a lot these days,” she says over chicken aniseed and veg honey chilli bean at RED.

“I travel a lot, and wherever I go I make it a point to try out new things.”

We're soon served kappa maki sushi — “vegetarian sushi” as the waiter tells us.

“I love sushi and Japanese food. Back in London (where Nandita studied design at Central St. Martins), there used to be a lot of sushi places too, but I could never bring myself to eat it. But I tried it a few years ago and love it ever since,” she says.

“London had some really fantastic restaurants,” she recalls.

On Delhi's restaurant scene, she says, “It's much better than what it used to be five years ago. There are many restaurants and lots of interesting places. We now also have a lot of Bengali and South Indian restaurants.”

Occasional cook

The kitchen, though, is more of husband Abhishek's department. “I don't cook at all. We have a cook at home and Abhishek also cooks frequently. I've just recently started cooking after the birth of my daughter (she's two now). I mostly cook for her,” grins Nandita.

There are exceptions though. “There's this prawn malai curry that we Bengalis make, which is my favourite thing now. It is my mom's recipe.”

The main course arrives in the form of steamed fish in fragrant sauce, chicken chilli garlic veg Thai curry and Chinese greens. “I love Chinese greens,” ventures Nandita.

What about cookery shows and recipe books?

“My husband's more of an instinctive cook, but I refer to recipe books,” says Nandita, who's been in Delhi for about 12 years now.

“At home I like simple food, with very little oil, and I like a salad with every meal. We have Chinese home-cooked food once in a while,” she says.

Coming to Fightercock (apparently named after Nandita), this is a busy time, with Fashion Week looming ahead next month. Revealing a little about the label's Autumn/ Winter 2010 line, Nandita says, “We're using a lot of wool and leather. It's quite classic, yet modern. It's going to be about western women's wear with a focus on prints.”

On the label's expansion plans, she says, “We want it to be a mass-based brand. We like it to be Indian in essence, in prints, in fabric treatment. There's a lot of wit and humour in it, but it's essentially Indian.”

With this being the time of designer-corporate collaborations (in areas ranging from sportswear to gadgets), we might see Fightercock working with a popular street label too, this one on a denim wear line.