Gateway To India AUG. 2016 - Page 17

Destination catering is the most challenging component of Indian Weddings and brining out the authentic Indian menu beyond one’s ken is arduous.

Let us enlighten the insides of the Destination Catering by Puneet Sikand himself who comes with enormous experience.

WT: First destination wedding catering service by TKAC?

PS: Salzburg in Austria.

WT: How was your experience in this foreign land?

PS: We were very new to Europe and our first catering event was in “Hangar Seven” (Red Bull Hangar) where open fire wasn’t allowed inside the hangar and we had to cook & serve our entire menu on the electrical equipment. We understood the criticality and hence we had to adjust and revise the cooking time for every dish.

WT: Which is the most challenging destination catered?

PS: Venice in Italy.

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WT: How do you source ingredients and/or Indian spices?

PS: Most of the ingredients are sourced from London if the catering is in Europe and our special ingredients (which are not available) are shipped two months prior to the event from India.

WT: Was it logistically manageable?

PS: With great difficulty – YES!!!

WT: Was weather suitable? Any challenges faced?

PS: It was a rainy season in Venice that time. However, we were fortunate to have covered areas for preparing and service.

WT: What was the most toughest to achieve out of the menu?

PS: A simple product – Paneer (cottage cheese). We had to get fresh buffalo milk and make the cheese ourselves which was time consuming and needed perfection in terms of coagulation time and the temperature of the milk.

WT: Some ingredients are prohibited by law to get into the country, what was your solution? Did you change the suggestion completely ? Or you managed it? Any memory attached to this?

PS: Only fruits and plants are prohibited in the countries we have catered.

WT: What size staff generally you travel with?

PS: Usually between 28-30 crew members for a 3 day wedding though it may vary depending on the menu and number of parties in a day.

WT: What kind of inventory goes in destination weddings?

PS: A container load of various cooking utensils specially used for cooking Indian Cuisine, our own special masalas; fruits & vegetables are sourced locally, dairy products, and different types meats according to the menus.

WT: How important is food styling to you?

PS: It is very important. No matter how delicious the meal is, if it doesn’t appeal to the eye, the guest will lose interest.

Connect with him on puneet@tkac.in