Last weekend, celebrity chef Ritu Dalmia’s Porcini Risotto and Ravioli Stuffed With Green Apple, along with her meticulous attention to details, transformed Kala Ghoda’s shapeshifting space House of Tales into her classy Italian restaurant, Diva, for three days. With all dinner services packed with satisfied diners, the thought of setting up shop in Mumbai should have crossed her mind.
Encouraged by the success of Dalmia’s pop-up restaurant, Cellar Door Hospitality, which organised the pop-up, is planning to make this a regular feature. So, every once in four months, the city will have the opportunity to have a meal cooked by a celebrity chef. In the second quarter of the year, the company will bring Chef Alessio Mecozzi, who will be cooking food from the Lombardy region of Italy at a yet-to-be-disclosed venue in the city starting February 7. “The concept will be similar — for three-days we will convert a non-restaurant space into a beautiful setting and people can buy a spot online,” says Nachiket Shetye of Cellar Door Hospitality, who is planning similar events in Bangalore and Chennai.
Recently, the city has had a taste of this concept with pop-up restaurants, such as Thalassa at Olive in Mahalaxmi and Iranian restaurateur Nasrin Karimi’s Shiraz Art Cafe at Olive’s Bandra outlet. So what sets apart Cellar Door events from the rest? “Right from the equipment to the staff, every aspect resembles the chef’s original restaurant,” says Shetye.
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Cellar Door is in talks with popular Delhi-based modern Indian cuisine restaurant Indian Accent and chef Gaggan Anand, owner of Bangkok-based restaurant, Gaggan. “We also plan to get the three MasterChef Australia judges — Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris to cook in India,” says Shetye.