Minogue picking at the blue-berries served in
mango baskets. Anil Ambani freaking out on the
chhena nargisi kofta in white saffron gravy and
matar ki reshmi puris. Javed Akhtar tucking into
a tender Indrani pak on golden ice
The Dom Perignon may have flowed like water,
by strawberries on ice, and the Japanese millionaires
could have glided out of stretch limos to head
for the Lenotre chocolate fountain bars. But,
at the six-day Mittal wedding spectacular (June
18-23, 2004) in Paris, it was Calcutta-based catering
king Munna Maharaj (alias Dipak Kumar Singh) who
cast the real spell with his epicurean delights.
the Indian celebs have come to expect something
special from Munnabhai's kitchen on every occasion,
the international were stumped by the sheer variety
of vegetarian fare on the table," observed
a member of the culinary squad that was flown
to Paris from Calcutta.
The popular chef, who has whipped up rare delicacies
at many a starry occasion in the past and also
catered to a Marwari diamond merchant's do in
Israel post-paris, feels the Mittal wedding was
something "hatke(different)", for its
elaborate "planning, personal touch and eye
for detail" in everything.
So , the Jodhpuri chakki ki subzi and the nine-course
badam mithai- Munna Maharaj's "signature
items" both - were ferried alongside the
Taj Kebabs and the Blue Elephant dim sums in 40
refrigerated Volvo 14-wheelers to the various
venues. English-speaking waiters and waitresses
were flown in from across the Channel and the
crockery on the table was exclusively embossed
everyday with the ritual rolls and the "Vanisha
Weds Amit" line.
Nite , a Javed Akther-scripted songs and Dance
gala, saw Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, Rani Mukherjee
and Saif Ali Khan parading their prancing prowess.
But it was the flamboyant duo of Akshay Kumar
and Aishwarya Rai with their high-energy numbers
accompanied by the inimitable Javed Jaffery that
drew the loudest applause from Lakshmi Mittal's
distinguished guests, reveal Munna's men.
French band drummed up the welcome tune at the
elegant Le Grant hotel, where most of the guests
camped , while the night sky at the Vicomte was
lit up by a sensational fireworks display on the
occasion of the wedding. The picturesque park
of Jardine des Tulieries at the 16-road crossing
of the exotic all-Indian dinner menu on the night
of the ring ceremony.
eclectic spread of non-vegetarian continental
cuisine by French caterers was on offer for the
internal audience, but for the Ambanis and the
Goels, the Hindujas all the way, be it breakfast
or lunch, high tea or dinner,it was Munna's magic
all the time.