{VIDEO} In Conversation with Chef Kunal Kapur

What I love the most about blogging is that it gives me opportunity to meet achievers, celebrities from different walks of life. Be it fashion designers or Bollywood stars or Master Chefs, I have been fortunate to interview some very interesting personalities who we celebrate and who inspire us.
 
And today, I am delighted to share with you a tete a tete with the very popular Celebrity-Chef Kunal Kapur at his lovely signature Indian restaurant, Patiala by Kunal Kapur located in the beautiful Souq-al-bahar.
 
Chef Kunal Kapur is Chef Extraordinaire and is much loved as TV show host too. He has won several culinary and television awards and has even written a cookbook called ‘A Chef in every home’.
 
So, here is yours truly in conversation with Chef Kunal.
 
Hope you enjoy  watching the interview as much as I enjoyed doing it.

 
Until I see you next,
 
*Shine Bright*
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An Aromatic Journey with Diptyque Paris

Hi Sheikhlanders!

Allow yours truly to take you through an aromatic journey today with the tale of an evening recently when the Sheikhland weather had started tilting to being pleasant, with the event – season in full bloom in the city. The evening when I could not stop falling in love with the glittering face of this city when I looked at it from the 69th floor of the JW Marriott Marquis.

And what made the whole falling in love much more romantic was the divine aroma in the air as I was at this fantastic venue for the exclusive launch of La Collection 34 And its Bazaar by Diptyque Paris.

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Now how would a girl feel when she is surrounded by all her favourite things in the world – candles, perfumes and beautiful fragrances. Ahh …. well I guess it’s difficult to put it all in one emotion for that huge smile flashing across my face was a mix of being happy, mesmerised, relaxed, refreshed and curious as to what’s the story behind this lovely range by Diptyque aris, now in markets for you to buy.

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Well, this girl is also lucky coz she got an opportunity to talk to the spokesperson from the popular brand who took me through a beautiful aromatic journey behind the range.

Presenting the video I filmed exclusively for all you my lovely readers for you to know more about 3 of my favourite picks from the range – Mimosa – the perfume, the solid perfume and the candle Le Redoute (in a separate blog post)

Here you go –

Hope you enjoyed reading this blog!

Until I see you next,

Toodles

Chandni

In Conversation with Nargis Fakhri@2B Launch

The Armani Hotel with its stunning view witnessed the launch of a promising multifunctional fruit drink in the presence of its glamorous brand ambassador Nargis Fakhri. The event was one of the best I have attended this year with an entertainment program hosted by none other than the very popular RJ Kris Fade.
But what made it really memorable for me was a rendezvous with the stunning Nargis Fakhri, a Bollywood actress and a fitness enthusiast climbing up the charts of popularity.

She is beautiful. She is charismatic. But the best thing about her is that she is a star with no tantrums, very relatable, very grounded. Her knowledge about fitness and well-being has inspired many including yours truly.

Presenting a lovely conversation here with this lovely star, that also I shall reckon as one of my most memorable interviews with a celebrity.

About 2B:

2B Active’ and ‘2B Relaxed’, two natural and refreshing fruit-flavoured are lightly carbonated, multifunctional fruit drinks containing no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

Packaged in a chic 250ml can, 2B is a tasty natural alternative that is designed to resonate with consumers who want an energy boost 2B active or 2B relaxed. The drinks were developed by Dr. Armin Breinl, member of the Austrian Anti-Aging Society, with a new formulation that features natural ingredients to promote health and well-being.

Shiraz Javed, CEO of 2B MENA and Asia commented, “2B Drinks is a convenient way for active individuals to accomplish their daily nutritional goals while maintaining their busy lifestyle. These nutritional drinks offer a thirst-quenching refreshment from real fruit juice and a boost of natural energy. The result is a multi-functional beverage that fits well into our mission to promote healthy living.”

The drink is available at all convenience stores throughout the U.A.E including Al Maya, Choithrams, Al Safeer, Lifco, All day Minimart, E-mart, F-mart, Istanbul, Emarat, Abu Dhabi Co-op Society , and soon they will be available in Spinneys, Geant, Union Co-op Society, Eppco-ENOC, Ramla, Al Douri, Milestone, Waitrose, Cinemas and all major vending machines across UAE.

It will also be available soon at all major Hotels, Clubs, Bars, Fitness outlets and Spa’s across UAE

So, do try this one. It’s absolutely worth checking out.

Until I see you next with yet another Sheikhland update,

Toodles,

Chandni

In Conversation with Darren Sammy and Ishant Sharma@Launch of Patiala Sports Lounge

As promised in my last post here, presenting to you some more interviews with the WHSmith Sunrisers Hyderabad.

My Sports Correspondent (and husband) Amit Lahoti spoke to Darren Sammy, the Deputy of the SRH. Can he hit it longer than Chris Gayle? Does he know the names of any Bollywood beauties? Well, check this video out to know where Amit is trying to spill the beans!

And now in conversation with Indian cricketer Ishant Sharma – is IPL a value addition to cricket or a distraction? Which team may win IPL 2014? Let’s see what Ishant Sharma thinks.

Interview with the SRH captain Shikhar Dhawan Coming soon in this space, stay tuned!!!

Until we speak next,

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Design P_

Aara Fashion House launches Neeta Lulla Collection with Kalki Koechlin

It’s a fantastic Friday in the Sheikhland and yours truly is just going to make it a Fashionable fabulous Friday for you as I tell you the tale of the day when the Goddess of Indian fashion world landed in the Sheikhland to add more glamour to one of the most glamorous corners in the city – yes I am talking about the biggest fashion event this week that is flashing across in all newspapers and is very much the talk of the town.

Fashionistas and Style-addicts, Aara Fashion House launched the latest exquisite collection
by the Queen of fashion, Neeta Lulla in her gracious presence on Monday, 27th January 2014.

And hold your breath, as to add much more sparkle to this event, there came in a Bollywood Diva who has won all our hearts with her acting skills and a very unique style – Kalki Koechlin who looked no less than an angel clad in the white beautiful creation of Neeta Lulla.

Before I show you the pictures of the event, let me share this little interview with Heena Husain, the beautiful and dynamic Managing Director of Aara Fashion House. Heena’s passion for fashion is evitable and contagious. Have a look for yourself on my very own YouTube channel –

Now let me share with you a sneak peek of the event and a sneak peek into the gorgeous and very classy collection that Neeta has come up with.

Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin

Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin

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Ace fashion designer Neeta Lulla

Ace fashion designer Neeta Lulla

Heena Husain - The MD of Aara

Heena Husain – The MD of Aara

That's me with Neeta Lulla!

That’s me with Neeta Lulla!

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The beautiful collection

The beautiful collection

I loved the cuts and the details in the work

I loved the cuts and the details in the work

The colours were soft, beautiful and drool worthy!

The colours were soft, beautiful and drool worthy!

Guys and gals, don’t be disappointed if you missed this event, as I also have the footage of all the action in this video clip that yours truly is all delighted to bring in only for her fabulous readers! smiles

So, while you get fashion-inspired while reading this post, I shall take your leave for today until laters.

Have a beautiful weekend! 🙂

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Design A_ (1)

Sheikhland Diva of the month – Manisha Kumar Chhabra

Today we would celebrate an achiever. Today we would celebrate womanhood. Today we will crown our first SHEIKHLAND DIVA OF THE MONTH! Are you excited Sheikhlanders? I totally am and if you are too, then stay tuned as we unveil the first Sheikhland-Diva only at Chandni@Sheikhland and let the drum rolls as I announce that our very first Sheikhland Diva of the month is –

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An elegant face, a warm smile, a go-getter attitude and determined eyes – when I first met Manisha Kumar Chhabra at the launch of Aara Fashion House, I was spellbound by her humility. The founder and the CEO of Wow Marketing, Manisha is an achiever, a home-maker and an inspiration for women in the Sheikhland and beyond, who make it seem possible to dream on and to achieve those dreams. It’s my honour to present to you all our first ever Shiekhland Diva of the month – Manisha Kumar Chhabra!

Here is my interview with this woman-achiever who is the lady behind one of the most prestigious fashion events in the Sheikhland – Numaish. So, are you ready to be inspired ladies?

C – Chandni M – Manisha

C – How did Sheikhland happen to you? Do you like living here?
M – It’s been 20 years for me in Dubai and I love this place for the infrastructure and the lifestyle it offers.

C – Behind every successful diva is a loving family. Please tell us about yours.
M – My family is my most precious possession and my biggest support. My husband is a banker and my 22 years old daughter Tanya is the apple of my eye. I am fortunate that my parents are also here in Dubai. I have a younger sister who lives in the US.

Manisha - the proud mom with lovely daughter Tanya

Manisha – the proud mom with lovely daughter Tanya

C – How did you land up in a marketing career?
M – I passed out as a Marketing Major from college. I have been fortunate to have worked for all aspects of marketing from events to exhibitions to road shows to online marketing to conferences to crisis management and all that exposure and experience has culminated into Wow Marketing.

C – In your college days, did you have the vision that one day you would be the CEO of Wow Marketing and the woman behind a successful event as Numaish?
M – No, I did not have this vision in the college days but what influenced me a lot was what my Uncle once told me – ‘ Don’t go with the crowd’. That somehow stayed with my mind and I always knew that whatever I would do would be unique and I would do it with all my heart.

C – What inspired you to create something like ‘Numaish’?
M – I always find it fascinating what magic can be created out of a simple garment. I wonder how the fashion designers can imagine, create and put together it all so beautifully. This magic that they create inspired me to put a variety of fashion all under one roof and that’s how Numaish was born. It is a collage of designs from very talented designers from India and Pakistan.

C – What are the challenges in organising a big event like that and how do you overcome those?
M – (Smiles) The biggest challenges are on the day of the event when one has to fulfil the expectations of the exhibitors and also keep the partners happy. It is tough but it is doable. What makes it easy is a great family support.

C – So, what is the latest edition for Numaish bringing in for us?
M – My ambitions through Numaish have been to bring aspirational clothes by famous designers to people at affordable prices and it makes me proud when they say that they are wearing ‘Numaish’. Also Numaish gives the new designers an opportunity to share the same platform with established designers. And following the same tradition, the latest edition is bringing in an interesting blend of 60 designers including Masaba Gupta, Rimi Nayak, Nitya Arora, Anushri Reddy, Shristi Latha Puttana and many more.

C – What according to you makes an event a great event?
M – It’s all about having the correct product mix, I believe. For me, presentation is really important and there should be a story, a concept behind it like through Numaish, we celebrate the heritage and pay tribute to the traditional weavers.

C – Who is your favourite fashion designer?
M – Ritu Kumar (smiles) I cherish my memories of meeting her.

Manisha with Ritu Kumar

Manisha with Ritu Kumar

C – Who according to you are the most stylish Bollywood actress?
M – Kareena Kapoor Khan, I believe is very stylish. Infact I am a fan of both the Kapoor sisters – Karisma nad Kareena.

C – I am new in Dubai and I have realised that there is a very strong women-community here. Your thoughts on that.
M – Yes, Dubai is great in offering women a platform to connect with each other on all levels – fun level, intellectual level through meet ups, book clubs and events. It’s great because it helps in creating a support system for those who are living in a nuclear family here, in sharing of ideas and in building up an active community.

C- What is the biggest lesson that you have learnt as Manisha – the home maker and as Manisha – the CEO of Wow Marketing?
M – I have learnt that neither under-estimate nor over-estimate anyone. One should always have a neutral approach in life, it really helps. I have learnt it is important to be innovative, to challenge yourself to create something new.

C – Who is your icon in life?
M – My father, Mr. Kumar is my icon in life. Whenever I am in a tough situation, I stop for a while and think what would my father have done in this situation and then proceed accordingly. I always thank him for my success.

Manisha with her parents

Manisha with her parents

C – What are your favourite places in Sheikhland that you like to go again and again?
M – It’s Board Walk at Golf and Creek club in Deira.

C – What will be your message for the readers of Chandni@Sheikhland.
M – Hard work always pays off. Passion and commitment towards your work is never a waste and honesty is an icing on the cake. (smiles)

And with that my memorable rendezvous with Manisha came to an end. But she filled my heart with a never-ending spirit for working hard, for standing unique in a crowd, for loving family with all heart and also love my own dreams to bring out a diva which I learnt is hidden inside all of us.

Manisha with me

Manisha with me


Thanks Manisha for the wonderful interview. We are looking forward to Numaish.

And all you lovely people out there, do drop in a line if you liked this feature and if this inspired you like it did to me. I always love hearing from you.

Until we speak next,

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Design

The Gramercy ~ New-bar-snack tasting and interview with Head Chef Andrew Paderes

Hello all you lovely people in and around the Sheikhland!

Hope all is well. It is a pleasant Sunday in the Sheikhland smirking a bit extra as it a holiday here, with people making the most of this gorgeous weather. And yours truly is all set to treat herself with some amazing food at one of the really popular places here that she recently got invited to and has instantly fallen in love with – the Gramercy.

Located in DIFC, the Gramercy is Dubai’s first genuine Gastro-pub, which took me back to London, as soon as I stepped into it, with it’s old-world-charm with it’s cosy ambience making it an apt place to just have a cuppa with girlfriends or grab on some drinks after work or a just kick off the weekend to spend those Thursday evenings or a delightful lunch or to just sit back to enjoy the soothing sounds of Jazz and other live entertainment in the evenings to unwind and treat yourself with some delicious food.

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I was invited to the Gramercy for their new-bar-snack-tasting and I was fortunate to have a rendezvous with the amazingly talented and immensely experienced Head Chef there – Chef Andrew Paderes. As me and my friend R, were being spoiled with some yummilicious bar-snacks coming soon in the Gramercy menu from January 2014, we had the honour of sitting in the company of Chef Andrew, who not only is great at what he does but is a person extraordinaire. Being nominated for the BBC Good Food ME Awards again this year, his passion towards creativity in cooking can’t go unnoticed and his commitment towards serving quality food is inspiring.

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So, presenting to you all, a little interview with Chef Andrew along with a sneak-peek into the new-bar-snacks coming up in January 2014 at the Gramercy:

C ~ When did your journey as a Chef begin and when did you get associated with the Gramercy?
A ~ I joined the industry back in 1995 and have been fortunate to work with some big names in the industry like Nobu in London, Gordon Ramsay’s Maze in Doha, Qatar; also got myself an opportunity to explore different cuisins from Asian to French to Italian to Mediterranean. I started with the Gramercy in July 2010.

C ~ What is the USP of the food at the Gramercy?
A ~ The idea for us at the Gramercy is always to bring in unique, diverse food to the table and to be able to cater to different people. We are always on the look out for constant learning and experimenting to serve our clients with just the best. And this is precisely why, we have been able to have a strong identity and a loyal clientele here in DIFC, which is a hub of some of the biggest brands in restaurants/bars and a promising home ground for us to be able to serve people from different nationalities, tastes and backgrounds.

C ~ What is the most-loved dish at the Gramercy?
A ~ It’s our Burger made with home-made bread and all processed here. (smiles)

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C ~ What is special about the new menu coming up?
A ~ The new menu we are bringing forth in 2014 is exciting and straightforward with no frills and fancy. At the Gramercy, we are committed to serve you not a fine-dining experience but a refined dining experience with cooking done in the classy way, where the main ingredients speak for themselves – all straight-forward as I said.

C ~ What new experiments can we look forward to in the new menu?
A ~ With the growing focus on healthy food, we are bringing in recipes using quinoa and wild rice. I am particularly excited about an interesting recipe I am bringing in made with the collar of Yellowtail fish. (smiles)

C ~ Is the new menu going to be all price-friendly as well?
A ~ Yes, of course. We have always maintained a reasonable pricing and the average cost for 2 people would be between AED 90-160.

C ~ As we speak, your passion towards food is obvious. How and when did this love-affair with food start for you?
A ~ (Smiles) There is always a fire burning inside me to come out with new things in cooking. Being a Yoga-enthusiast, I love to cook with a lot of positivity that I would say is one of my most special ingredient in whatever I cook. I come from a family that loves food. My father, an architect would cook for the family. He would bring me to the market with him, teach me how to pick vegetables. (smiles again) And so all that building my interest in cooking, I would look forward to jump into the kitchen everyday after coming back from the school and the love-affair with food started ever since and is still going on.

So, this was the smiling and inspiring Chef Andrew for you and now let me tell y’all, the new-bar-snacks that I got to taste were simply AHHH-MAZING. Not the usual finger-foods, these were like a breath of fresh air. The juicy burger or the chicken quesadillas, the chilli hot dog or the kababs – it was mouth-watering to say the least and I can’t wait for January 2014, as these snacks hit the menu at the Gramercy.

Here is a sneak peek for you. Dig into the deliciousness –

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Here is the direct link to the Gramercy for you to hop on http://www.thegramercybar.com

Hope you enjoyed the interview and the sneak peek.

Until we speak next,

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Design