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Chef Diaries, Chefs, Cocktails, Mumbai

Weekend Remedy: Baos & Cocktails at the Panacea Pop-Up!

25 Mar , 2016  

Its official – Mumbai’s  in the midst of ‘bao’ fever and taking things up a notch higher this weekend, is ‘Panacea.’ A 2-day pop-up event where creations from ‘The Bao Haus Co.’ will be paired with cocktails specially created by mixologist Mariki Sayles from the 3 Michelin starred ‘Le Bernadin’ in New York. The Bao Haus Co. is tucked away in Colaba Market, but this delivery-only place has been the talk of the town with its soft, pillowy baos and high quality ingredients. I managed to get some one-on-one time with the famed mixologist soon after she landed in Mumbai as she and Siddharth Somaiya, Owner & Chef of The Bao Haus Co. gave me a sneak peek of what to expect.

Mariki Sayles, the Le Bernardin mixologist who's in the city for the Panacea Pop up

Mariki Sayles, the Le Bernardin mixologist who’s in the city for the Panacea Pop up this weekend

As we settled in for our chat, Mariki Sayles told me that this wasn’t her first trip to Mumbai. “I was here this time last year and gorged on all the homemade food that Siddharth’s family made for me. The dessert with sweet grated carrots (gajar halwa) was my favourite and oh my God, the mangoes! I can’t get enough of them!” Evidently, she loves her desserts! “It’s true, I never feel like a meal is complete unless I’ve had something sweet at the end of it,” she laughs.

Sayles and Somaiya have been friends since the time he worked in New York. “Everyone in restaurant life hangs out together after work and gets a beer to unwind and complain about the day,” she tells me. Needless to say, she’s been part of Somaiya’s journey as he set up The Bao Haus Co. and had been urging him to take his creations to a larger audience — and a pop-up seemed like the perfect way to start.

Siddharth Somaiya, Chef & Owner-The Bao Haus Co

Siddharth Somaiya, Chef & Owner-The Bao Haus Co.

“Tamarind, sesame, lemongrass and herbs – these are some of the elements I’m looking to work with this weekend,” she tells me, as she works on her 6 cocktails. She’s not one to shy away from elements of molecular mixology, but for her, none of it is gimmicky and is more about extracting and infusing elements for flavour and texture. These cocktails will complement the flavours of Somaiya’s Hickory Smoked Chicken Wings, a Bahn Mi Bruschetta, the bestseller baos and even some Burrata with Basil Foam and Cranberry Puree!

An assortment of fluffy baos from The Bau Haus Co

An assortment of fluffy baos from The Bau Haus Co.

Just as it’s time for me to leave, I asked Mariki for some tips for the rest of us who like to mix some cocktails at home, “Don’t be afraid to experiment, “ she’s quick to tell me. “And food, savoury flavours can be a great source of inspiration too, like not many would think of combining tamarind and sesame in a cocktail, but that’s where it came from,” she signs off.

"Don’t be afraid to experiment," says Sayles to those wanting to mix cocktails at home

“Don’t be afraid to experiment,” says Sayles to those wanting to mix cocktails at home

Catch the ‘Panacea’ pop-up at House of Tales in Kala Ghoda on 25th & 26th March. There will be two seatings – 8 pm and 10:30pm, call 022-22043446 for details.


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Tarika

Tarika Singh is a Mumbai-based food blogger, YouTuber and recipe developer. Every week, she comes up with recipes that are lapped up by an audience not just from India, but around the world. Her growing popularity and following has led to successful collaborations with brands such as Dove and KitchenAid India amongst others, and Tarika also features on the cover of Femina magazine dated July 14th 2015.

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