The lady with a foodie purpose up her sleeve is back with a Gourmet Safari, and a farmer’s market. Karen Anand is always exploring taste trails that are different, which she then brings back to our doorsteps. She is also starting some unique culinary tours that will bring influences and taste of cuisine with local references. She speaks about what’s new on the ingredient and recipe agenda and more.
“I’ve embarked upon a new venture organising specialised culinary tours — the first one is to Venice and Tuscany in September. I am also pitching for a new TV show. Let’s see, fingers crossed!,” says Karen who loves the city because of the people and their openness to new cuisines. “We had markets in Whitefield as well as Central Bengaluru. The response is tremendous here. People seem to be open to new ideas and embrace and accept new products,” adds the lady who has her own organic patch at home and has recently ventured into groezee vegetable trays that are doing extremely well.
The organic nature of food is on everyone’s mind, and Karen speaks of organic pesticide free food, “I think it’s a question of trust. I don’t think we necessarily need organic certification. It’s very difficult to certify soil if the farm next door to yours has been using pesticides. However, if the vendor is growing responsibly, and not using pesticides, that’s as much as you can hope for.”
In the city, Anand loves Mysore Saree Emporium but her fave activities are, not surprisingly, culinary in nature, “I always pick up burrata from Father Michael and steak from Abba Foods, who I have been patronising for the past 25 years from Haroon, who is a personal friend. There is always so much going on here, Olive, Toast and Tonic, Toshis, Karavalli, Yataii at Shangri-la, Edo at ITC are some of my favourites. In malls, my favourite is VR Bengaluru as it’s got a great Foodhall and Muji Outlet.”
She has also been travelling a lot within the country and feels those trips to Chettinad, Kolkata and Delhi were “very gratifying,” and she heads to the hills, to Ananda and Landour after the market.
Her easy, delicious recipes are in the market which she recently re-launched under K’s Kitchen. “I am doing little recipe products which go along the necktag of each product. We have produced a range of salad dressings — Bombay Chutney Sandwich Spread, Minty Mayonnaise, Tikka Mayonnaise and Spicy Chipotle... We also launched a range of sugar-free (no added sugar) jams. In our Italian range, our new pasta sauces are with olives, hot peppers, mushrooms, etc,” explains the culinary expert.
The products are available at prominent food stores and online as well. This time, the market has enough and more soul food, she explains, “My favourite stalls at the market are Sancha teas from Delhi, Happy Healthy Me for organic products, Caroselle cheese from Kodaikanal, Frubites, freeze-dried fruit from Pune, Taal with pink salts and honey from Kumaon, Bliscent natural cosmetics from Bombay, Soul Tree from Delhi, etc. I am also organising a Gourmet Safari at VR Bengaluru on April 6, with the Farmer’s Market at Shangri-La on April 9.”
Her sons are helping as well, now, “I am very fortunate to have my sons join. My youngest son Sasha looks after the operations and marketing of the Markets. He also has his own business, a social media company specialising in food and beverage called Pomelo Social. My son Param looks after finances and export,” she adds....