Raring to go – Esha Gupta

22 Apr

Esha Gupta  (9)Esha Gupta is no stranger to glamour and fame. A former Miss India this Delhi girl started her career with thrillers like ‘Jannat 2’ and ‘Raaz 3’ and followed it up with Prakash Jha’s political drama ‘Chakravyuh’. While her perfect porcelain skin, wide eyes and lush locks, make Esha a true standout she has the acting chops to back up her mind-melting hotness. Excerpts from my interview with Esha.

How’s Bollywood treating you?

It’s been great so far. For a girl from a middle class background and no godfather I think I have done quite well. My dad was in the Indian Air Force. I am glad to be accepted by the industry so warmly. But I am still trying to figure out my base. There is no one to guide me here. While I consult a lot of people, I take my own decisions. I am working hard and taking each day as it comes.

How your first day of shoot?

In front of 2000 people in a crowded lane in Darya Ganj in Delhi – I was truly nervous. Emraan Hashmi has his own fan following and acting opposite a pro like him was very scary.

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Tried and tested – Johara skincare and beauty products

16 Apr 01 copy

Johara Cosmetics Product picture (1)Are you guilty of hoarding more beauty products than you can actually use? I am! I have a whole lot of unopened makeup stored in my closet apart from the ones I so proudly display on my bathroom shelves. Most of them I have never used (and don’t intend to). Thank god it’s not an expensive hobby like buying vintage cars! All said and done new makeup is rather tempting.

So here I go again – buy more beauty and skin care products. This time from a new brand – Johara (it means jewel in Arabic). The products which are free of harmful chemicals like Parabens, Sulfate, Synthetic Dye or Formaldehyde fall under the cosmeceutical category and use ayurvedic herbs which are also dermatologically tested. Most of all, they are free of animal testing (reinforces my motto of – Doing good while looking good).

Should you buy them? Read on to find out…

What it is: Johara Whitening Day lotion

What it does: Sun protection and brightening

Why we like it: The cream has a light fresh scent and made my skin softer and more glowy. The results improved over the course of a week, thanks to sabiwhite (an ingredient sourced from turmeric) and licorice which is known for its skin lightening and antioxidant properties. Just a single pump suffices. Just one caveat: The cream comes with a SPF of 20 which could have been higher especially for people who stay longer in the sun.

Price: Rs 900

Johara products_Fairness rangeWhat it is: Johara Whitening Night Cream

What it does: Revitalises skin after daily exposure to external stress

How it feels: It has the most awesome, whipped-cream texture and feels light. Though it takes a few strokes to spread, it’s super absorbent.

Why we like it: Bedtime is the best time for pampering your face with some good skin care products as skin cells renew faster when you are asleep and the raised body temperature at night time also facilitates serums, lotions, creams, and masks to sink deeper in the skin. Johara night cream has a very soft and mild texture. The fragrance is mild, and just right for a night cream. A small quantity of the cream is enough to cover the face and neck thus making it last long too. Enriched with shea butter, jojoba oil and olive oil the skin feels plumped up, hydrated and supple in the morning. Only caveat: It feels a little greasy.

Price: Rs 900

What it is: PhytoBright Cleanser

What it does: Lifts away impurities and excess oil

Key Ingredients: Lemon peel extract, papaya extract

Why we like it: The cleanser made my skin squeaky clean without leaving it feeling like the Sahara. So it cleanses while protecting the skin’s vital moisture. Though it’s not creamy, foamy or even frothy it felt like a cloud on the face…super-soft and luxurious.

Price: Rs 600

What it is:
Whitening face mask

What it does: The Barley Beta glucans in the cream help maintain the collagen balance, while Gylcolic Acid acts as a mild exfoliating agent.

Why we like it:  Contrary to popular belief, whitening masks are not just there to lighten darker skin tones, but actually help to get us closer to achieving that clear complexion look. Johara mask does a good job of exfoliating dull surface skin giving it that much desired plumped-up and supple appearance.

Price: Rs 450

01 copyI also tried the nail color (Pacific Blue). Priced at Rs 250 it is fast-drying and long lasting, but required more than two coats to get the desired effect.

However I loved the InstaRemover. It’s a black plastic bottle which contains pre-moistened foams that eliminate the need for messy cotton balls. Just insert your fingers, one at a time into the bottle and twist until the polish comes off. Simple!

Price of Insta Remover: Rs 575

So try the Johara range and put your, um, best face forward every day.

Johara is retailed through direct marketing. www.samidirect.com and www.joharacosmetics.com

Michelin popup at JW Marriott, Mumbai

10 Apr Strawberry, espuma kapao ( thai basil) sorbet rocket cream cheese

I like the concept of pop up restaurants. They give a theatrical sense of another place and time. Pop ups also deliver a unique experience and an intimate feel especially when the venue of the pop up is something out of the ordinary and the theme unusual.

JW Marriott Mumbai has lined up two such unusual pop ups this April. Fashionablyfoody attended the first one – fusion of traditional French and Japanese cuisine by Michelin star chef Laurent Peugeot from Burgundy. The other pop up is by renowned chef Giovanni D’amato which is traditional Italian fare.

The table setting was lovely and the food arrived on beautiful white ceramics and brass pots that threatened to upstage what they’re meant to support. The dishes are a tasteful blend of French and Japanese influences. Everything in the 8 course menu is served degustation-style, whether it is wild sea bass with white turnip fondue and sesame broth or Canadian lobster served with morel mushroom sabayon. There is a definite “gastronomic” feel to the whole dining experience.

Watermelon cube , ricotta , garlic clam , tomato water ravioli and marmalade olive oil

Watermelon cube , ricotta , garlic clam , tomato water ravioli and marmalade olive oil

A simple watermelon and ricotta starter with olive oil marmalade was a juicy, vegetal, meaty combination that hit on many pleasure sensors at once.

Organic Chicken breast , yuzu koshio , beetroot salt crusted , melted curry ball - Chef Laurent Peugeot

Organic Chicken breast , yuzu koshio , beetroot salt crusted , melted curry ball

But it was the chicken breast with yuzu Koshio (Japanese lime and chilli mix), salt crusted beetroot served with melted curry ball that took my breath away. Plated like a painting you almost feel bad eating it!

Strawberry, espuma kapao ( thai basil) sorbet rocket cream cheese

The dessert of Strawberries thai basil sorbet, rocket cream cheese

The dinner climaxed with the dessert of fresh strawberries paired with Thai basil sorbet and cream cheese. It was the gastronomic equivalent of a Kenny G composition.

Chef Laurent Peugeot with a dish of wild Seabass , crispy scales with fondue white turnip and sesame broth

Chef Laurent Peugeot with a dish of wild Seabass , crispy scales with fondue white turnip and sesame broth

With every bite the young and handsome chef Laurent gets us to experience both countries with a clever blend of different ingredients in French and Japanese cuisine. The chef also caters to veggie lovers with a vegetarian menu with dishes such as Risotto of Hazelnut, Pumpkin Espuma and Shiso Leaves and the Green Asparagus, Morel Mushroom Sabayon and Crisp Vegetables.

With my French-Japanese cravings satiated, now I am looking forward to the Italian pop up with Chef Giovanni. Stay tuned for that…

Venue: JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu, Juhu Tara Rd, Juhu, Mumbai- 400049

Dates: Chef Laurent Peugeot (8th April-12th April 2015)
Chef Giovanni D’amato (15th April-19th April 2015)
Pricing: INR 7,000/- per person+ taxes

Tena Desae on movies, men and matters of the heart

10 Apr

tina2Tena Desae is over the moon. With a role in the Hollywood film ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,’ and a lead character in American fiction series ‘Sense8’ this hottie is raring to go.

Three films old and you are already making waves in Hollywood…how did that happen?
When I was younger, I dreamed of being a part of Bollywood films. But working with Judi Dench who I have seen in James Bond films and Maggie Smith from Harry Potter is beyond my dreams.

So what was it like acting opposite these legends?
Surreal! I would stay back to see these actors at work. Cast dinners gave me the opportunity to interact even with actors I didn’t have scenes with, like Tom Wilkinson. It was just incredible!

And then there was Dev Patel…
He is Jim Carrey on 500 Red Bulls! Hyper-energetic and very funny he is great entertainment on set. I loved his company.

Any strategies to deal with link-ups?
I am waiting for the link-ups! Who wants a squeaky clean image? Maybe I’ll fuel the rumours. Being diplomatic is just so boring.

For more of my interview with Tena Desae click here On for the road

Kay Kay Menon picks 5 of his favourite films

7 Apr kay kay2

kay kay2Raging Bull
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci
This Scorsese film had a big impact on me. Though a film on boxing, it went much deeper than that. It’s the story of a sportsman who wanted to achieve great heights. And while he is achieving great things in his professional life, his personal life is completely ruined. The stark contrast of life within and outside the ring makes you sit up and watch. Robert De Niro was amazing in the film. It’s fascinating to watch his transformation from a boxer to an overweight club owner. Watching the film made me realise that certain films are never really about a profession, but about human beings and their trials and tribulations in the backdrop of the profession.

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8 pairs of shoes every man must have in his wardrobe

31 Mar Roush Brown Oxfords With Leather Stitch Detailing  Rs. 7490
Ruosh Brown Oxfords With Leather Stitch Detailing  Rs. 7490

Roush Brown Oxfords With Leather Stitch Detailing Rs. 7490

Shoes speak a lot about the man wearing them. In fact it’s the first thing a woman notices when she meets a man. How he takes care of his shoes says something about how he treats life and maybe how he takes care of a woman! Thankfully you don’t need a wardrobe full of expensive shoes to prove you are man of detail. Just investing in eight pairs will do the trick.

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Jacob’s Creek Longest Reserve Table – where great wine meets good food

25 Mar Jacob's Creek The Reserve Table 3

It was a perfect evening with great wines, company and food. Jacob’s Creek (Australia’s leading wine company) introduced its unique concept – The Longest Reserve Table with a wine dinner at the ITC, Parel. The idea is to invite people with a shared love of great food and fine wines to experience wines from Jacob’s Creek Reserve along with a curated menu – in this case Awadhi food. I felt quite privileged to be a part of the 100 odd invitees to this event.

fountainThe iconic fountain at the hotel courtyard was made dreamy with dry ice and intelligent lighting. It was almost like a Bollywood dream sequence! But nice. The evening rolled off with a sparkling Pinot Noir Brut Cuvee. This was paired with hors d’oeuvres  – beetroot carpaccio and goat cheese with balsamic drizzle. I particularly liked the crispy baked sweet potato chips with cheddar and chili sprinklings.

Just when we were getting restless (not to mention bored of multiple glasses of the Pinot Noir) we were heralded to the terrace for the rest of the evening. And what a setting it was! Tables decked up with white roses, glistening cutlery and live violin. All this under a star lit sky. Perfect.

DSC_2389Conceptualised and put together by Executive Chef Bhaskar Sankhari the dinner commenced with dum cooked chicken mince kebabs served with Sheermal. The kebabs just melted in the mouth. The coriander pesto spiked fish fillets were moist and oozing with flavour. The wine with this course was Classic Shiraz Cabernet. I liked the wine but was a little put off with the temperature it was served at – room temperature in Mumbai! That’s blasphemy.

The next course took my breath away – Lamb Trotters. Simmered overnight with Hyderabadi spices and finished on dum it was a complete delight and went perfectly well with the crisp and elegant Chardonnay. Chilled shots of frozen pudina pani with a hint of chili acted as a palate cleanser.

Jacob's Creek 'The Reserve Table'The main course had to be the legendary ITC biryani – moist with saffron and Bohri spices. This was paired with Reserve Barossa Shiraz. The vegetarians got raw jack fruit Pilaf cooked on dum. For desserts it was saffron infused baked Rosogulla, served with edible flora and brandy snap. And the curtains came down with a sparkling Rosé.

The Longest Reserve Table will continue as Jacob’s Creek Reserve has partnered with leading 5-star hotels across metro cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Gurgaon; where the chefs will create three course meals to complement select wines from the Jacob’s Creek Reserve range.

So go ahead and book your own ‘Reserve Table’ at www.reservetableindia.com

Nivedita Jayaram Pawar

Imad Rehman Photography

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