Culinary Event | Up Close and Personal with Chef Saby & Leonardo … & Sizzling Gamba {recipe}

“Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!”
Mae West

We were brought believing that too much of a good thing is bad! Times have clearly changed and with good times come dispelled notions! Our afternoon at the decidedly charming Olive Bar & Kitchen, Mehrauli sponsored by Leonardo Olive Oil was nothing short of magic.

{Warning: Long post}
Leonardo Olive Oil @ Olive Bar & Kitchen, Mehrauli Nine Delhi food bloggers, Italian cuisine and olive oil that flowed nonstop, celebrity Chef Saby with his passionate efficient team, warm and light hearted hosts Himani & Chandana, and one of my favourite eating places OLIVE – it was food heaven under one roof! Four hours with one of India’s top 10 chefs passed by in a heartbeat!Leonardo Olive Oil Meet @Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New DelhiI’m an ardent admirer of the super talented Chef Saby. Having missed a couple of opportunities to see him create culinary magic, this was one event that I wasn’t going to miss. Apprehensive about meeting a guy who has won just about every chef award in India, cooked for India’s top families like the Bachchans & Ambanis, someone inspired by Sydneys Tetsuya, he instantly put us at ease. Leonardo Olive Oil Meet @Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New Delhi

 Leonardo Olive Oil Meet @Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New DelhiI walked in on the dot of 12 noon, the given time … everything was ready, in place and waiting. Have been to events before where apparently a wait of 30 minutes+ is seemingly acceptable. Not so here. The anti pasti counters gleamed invitingly, Leonardo flavouring the spread –  apple relish, onion & chili jam, mushroom pate, hummus, Caprese salad, the exotic cheese platter, stuffed little red peppers with whipped feta {my favourite}, Leonardo olives, more olives, cured meats …Leonardo Olive Oil Meet @Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New Delhi Himani Dalmia, Senior Manager Corporate, Leonardo and Chandana Paul went out of the way to make us live the experience – Up Close and Personal with Chef Saby and Leonardo”! It was soon time for Olive fish & chips, asparagus the vegetarian option! Crisp & delicious! Leonardo Olive Oil Meet @Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New DelhiThe Chef? Jack of all trades and master too, wonderful human being, as level headed as he is large hearted, ever smiling, humorous, an engaging speaker, fantastic team leader, eagle eyed, perfectionist … too many adjectives but it’s impossible to describe the man in a few words! His accolades speak for him – Best Chef of India Awarded by President of India, National Tourism Award, 2011-12, Director of Kitchens – ai, lap, olive qutab, olive beach , the moving kitchen by olive yet so down to earth! {He even walked us to the porch and waited for our respective cars to come}.Leonardo Olive Oil Meet @Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New Delhi

For him, cooking is an art, the ultimate form of expression. “The platter is my canvas and the food ingredients, my colour!” … in the case of this artist you can eat his art. At Olive, he brings his love for all things culinary to life as he cooks right in front of the guests at a rustic kitchen called the Greenhouse on the Ridge. His recipes, as always, satiate and leave guests asking for more.

He threw his kitchen open to us, patiently guiding us into every nook and cranny {it was buzzing at lunch}, explaining kitchen procedures, chef training, sourcing fresh produce … the works! Once inside the cold room, you can imagine the grin when we saw the Padano! If we could have lifted that 40kg block of cheese we would have run for it!Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New DelhiThe menu for the day demonstrated different uses of Leonardo products – pasta, green and black olives, India’s first non-alcoholic beer, and olive oil of course! Non stop banter and photographs continued while discussing olive oil, the myths particularly surrounding pomace, the changing face of ‘food on our table’ … Pasta Marinare @ Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New DelhiOlive oil is the juice of the olive, the only oil on the market that is extracted from a fresh fruit is universally accepted as the healthiest of all edible oils. Adding olive oil to your diet is the easiest change you can make towards a healthier lifestyle. I ♥ olive oil! Mr V N Dalmia @ Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New DelhiLeonardo Olive Oil the first Indian brand of olive oil introduced in 2003 is a brand owned by Dalmia Continental Private Limited the flagship company of VN Dalmia {seen above; he joined us for lunch}. It offers four of the finest versions – Leonardo Gold, Leonardo 100% Pure Olive Oil, Leonardo Olive Pomace Oil and Leonardo Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The product list includes Leonardo Olives, Hudson Canola Oil, Granora Pasta, Indian pickles too.

Leonardo Olive Oil Meet @Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New Delhi

Photo courtesy Rekha @

By the time we were done, we were ready to burst, yet Saby could have hypnotised us to eat another marathon round! He held us in good humour woven around the food and drinks, gently introducing each variety of olive oil used in the menu from batter fried asparagus shoots and basa fish, to the mind blowing apple & feta saladLeonardo Olive Oil Meet @Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New Delhi… to moorishly beautiful fresh baked artisan skillet bread {close to the Indian pav something like I recently made, but up several notches} served with individual pestle and mortals to make your own olive oil dip {YUM} …Leonardo Olive Oil Meet @Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New Delhi… melt in the mouth classical lasagna Bolognaise in a skillet, followed by black truffle porcini risotto {excellent was the word} …Black truffle porcini risotto … and then a variety of wood fire pizzasMarinara pizza; Asparagus, smoked Scarmoza cheese, walnuts, Parmesan, truffle oil; Spinach, sundried tomato, olives, feta; Pepperoni jalapeno; Olive’s signature Milano paper pizza … fresh from the rustic oven in the courtyard of this picturesque restaurant.Leonardo Olive Oil Meet @Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New DelhiHe has us eating out of his hands, all this while his super efficient team set up the dessert counter and had us hopelessly distracted! I’m definitely a small eater but I was amazed at how far I stretched it. How could there possibly be so much deliciousness on a single day? I am proud to say I tasted everything, well almost  … Sizzling Gamba @ Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New DelhiI’ve never had a gamba before, not always food adventurous, but having it stirred under your nose does something to your taste buds. Mouthwatering and sizzling good, I loved the way it was served? Beautiful flavours, the undertones of olive oil marrying the ingredients so well, the freshness of the produce and the passion of the chef! {You an find the recipe at the bottom}Tiramisu @ Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New DelhiOlives signature tiramisu made with inhouse mascarpone had me swooning! It was delightful, as was the praline mud cake! I regret that I didn’t get as far as the apple & walnut crumble with the stunning spun sugar! Desserts @ Tiramisu @ Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New DelhiSaby or Chef Sabyasachi Gorai is the Executive Chef at Olive in Delhi. Launched in 2003 by AD Singh, Olive was immediately chosen as one of the world’s best new restaurants. One of Delhi’s must visit eat out places offering hand picked recipes from the Mediterranean, overlooking the romantic Qutab Minar, it is housed in an ancient Mughal mansion.Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New DelhChic in every way –  the old world character beautifully blends with the rustic charm of old wood, vintage furniture, light furnishings, an open courtyard, indoor eating places, a terrace sit out overlooking the monument … and of course, the ancient banyan tree! {Thank you Sangeeta for clicking me clicking Olive}Leonardo Olive Oil Meet @ Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New Delhi My deep love for the vintage feel and distressed wood makes me love this place!  The Olive Bar and Kitchen is a rustic hideaway where good food, laughter, culture and conversation come together in a delightful Mediterranean melting pot. Leonardo Olive Oil Meet @ Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New Delhi Thank you Himani and Chandana for playing the perfect hosts on behalf of Leonardo, and for the generous goodie baskets!Leonardo Olive Oil Meet - Goodie basketsThank you Saby, Vaibhav and Astha for the outstanding food, warmth and fun you served up, and for the ‘bottle cakes‘ and chocolates …Bottle Cakes @ Olive Bar & Kitchen Mehrauli, New Delhi …and thank you Sid for being the glue that binds the Delhi food bloggers together!

Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


  1. A wonderful event! Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures with us.

    That prawn dish looks and sounds amazing!



  2. Sounds like a wonderful event!
    indugetscooking´s last blog post ..Honey and Caramel SemifreddoMy Profile

  3. What an amazing event and happy you! You look beautiful, too, I have to say. The food looks amazing (especially those desserts!!!). Your photos are stunning and tell the entire story even if you didn’t write about it. And thanks for sharing the in on this amazing (and handsome) chef.
    Jamie´s last blog post ..CHERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP MAPLE CHALLAHMy Profile

    • Much love sistah! This was the place I told you about if we ever plan a meet in India. Even if we don’t will take you here when you come by {soon?}. xoxo

  4. Wow Deeba, I feel so jealous!! I admire Chef Saby too, and your endearing post almost made me feel like I was there with you, living the experience myself! all the food looks amazing!! and beautiful photography by you, as always!:)
    Mansi´s last blog post ..Comment on Banana Oatmeal Pancakes With Orange Maple Syrup by Banana Pancakes… « My California LifeMy Profile

  5. You are not only a wonderful cook yourself but an amazing photographer as well. Let me know if you are planning to hold any photography classes -I will be the first student :)
    ~nm´s last blog post ..Go for it!!My Profile

  6. lovely pics deebs! captures the event beautifully.

  7. Srimathi says:

    You make look amazing through your camera. Loved the marinara pasta picture. Thanks for sharing such events with the rest of us.

  8. Deeba, your photos are stunning.
    Chowder Singh´s last blog post ..Halwa parathaMy Profile

  9. ritu gorai says:

    beautiful story… have shared it on my FB ac… didnt know my husband is so good-looking till I saw ur wonderfully captured photographs… cant wait to hear ur experience too…

    Ritu Gorai

    • Thanks a ton for stopping by. Means the world to me. You are sweet Ritu, and as I said to Saby, “How lucky can your wife be to have such a wonderful hand in the kitchen?”. Pat came the reply, ” I have a cook coz I work 18 hours!”. You are a lucky lady, and he a lucky man. Gave him a piece of advice re your 19 month old daughter and her plastic hammer! Ask him!! Hopefully we will meet one day!

  10. awesome food, wonderful blogger friends(im lucky to have met all you guys!!), amazing chef…the best ambiance….it was perfect!!

    those are some amazing pics deeba…you are awesome!!
    shooting star´s last blog post ..Accessorizing it differently part deux ~ Today’s Look #35My Profile

  11. What a lovely event. Now I am hungry.

  12. Ashleen Moreen says:

    My gosh, these dishes are so yummy. So mouthwatering.
    and the plating are so pretty. I hope I was just there!
    Ashleen Moreen´s last blog post ..French Doors Open Up the Outside World to You with Architectural StyleMy Profile

  13. It looks like a great event.
    Joy´s last blog post ..Work, sick, and Junk foodMy Profile

  14. What a stunning post once again! Looks like you all had a fabulous time! Every little thing looks picture perfect. Wish they have a similar event in Bangalore ;)
    chinmayie @ love food eat´s last blog post ..Healthier Breakfast Hot ChocolateMy Profile

  15. Brilliant stuff!

  16. Loved the ambiance and time spent with all you lovely people … Looking forward to more indeed one of the best I had in long long time :)
    Rekha Kakkar´s last blog post ..A Memorable Brunch Event: Up Close & Personal with Chef Saby and Leonardo Oil at Olive Bar & Kitchens MehrauliMy Profile

  17. Gorgeous, gorgeous pictures! So lovely to have met you finally!

  18. Amazing pictures ! I wish i wold have then on my portal.

  19. Loved the way you’ve captured the afternoon, the pictures tell the tale so well
    It was so much fun indeed… looking forward to seeing you…. am still smiling thinking of the afternoon :)

  20. Hi Deeba ,
    Lovely effort !!!
    Would love to have you at our culinary institute and share your passion and experience with many more budding chefs .. Kindly let us know how and when ??

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge