Blog Event | Our MasterChef Australia moment … Breakfast with George Colambaris at Olive Beach, New Delhi

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”
Gilda Radner

Breakfast at Olive with the MasterchefsThe Best thing in life is ‘the unexpected’. Pinch me, was I dreaming? This was one of those days. Didn’t think in our wildest dreams that we’d get an opportunity to meet up with Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris of MasterChef Australia. They’ve created tsunami like waves in India on a multi-city visit promoted by the Aussie government. Savouring Indian food from fine dining to street food, rickshaw rides, book signings, farm visits, jalebis & malpuas, chai & much more, miles of newspaper columns ran daily accounts of their India trip! The Bloggers Table was honoured to be a small part of the visit.

Delhi Bloggers Table with George Colambaris, Aussie MasterchefWhat Masterchef Australia has done to food in India is HUGE! Schedules were built around the MC TV slots, dinner appointments cancelled, generations glued to the telly to watch the euphoria and emotional drama unfurl; a strange sense of disbelief as the youngest to the oldest sat united in viewership. Uncanny but true. The show changed the way we perceived food, especially the ability to home cook & create! A generation of young culinary enthusiasts were born, while ‘resident’ cooks became innovative and adventurous!

Astha @ Breakfast at Olive with the MasterchefsSo when we heard the duo were visiting there was a song in the heart, yet a good meeting seemed out of reach. It was Astha’s hesitant call late one evening that nearly had me pass out. She asked if I was free on Friday to meet Gary & George. I almost died! Free? I was already doing a crazy jig. The kids were duly warned not to fall  sick on Friday, the 27th!!

with George ColambarisThis is what dreams are made of. The invite was for an informal breakfast with Australia MasterChefs Gary & George hosted by the folk we love to love –  good old Saby {Chef Sabyasachi Gorai, India’s top chef}, the very sweet Chef Astha at the wonderful Olive – chic, rustic and warm!

Breakfast at Olive with the MasterchefsInformal breakfast with Gary & George strictly by invitation only? You will not believe how I shot up in my teens eyes. Suddenly from screams of “No, you’re kidding, don’t tell me, not possible…”  to “YOU ARE???” Then it was a L O N G list of friends who wanted autographs … 

Olive Beach, New Delhi The day was truly the best in a long time. Love the idea of a breakfast meet where everyone walks in chirpy, bright & happy, tea and coffee are on the boil, good moods bubbling happily and clear headed mindless chatter takes over!

Breakfast at Olive with the Masterchefs‘Olive Bar & Kitchen’ never fails to deliver. The hospitality, the punctuality, the attention to detail, the warmth, the camaraderie … so characteristic of this beautiful place! 

As always, we were greeted by ‘ever charming‘ Astha and nattily turned out Saby who is quite the best. Warm, friendly, funny, chatty, relaxed, hospitable … more about him at the Leonardo Meet & the Blogadda Workshop.

Breakfast at Olive with the Masterchef, George Colambaris Sadly, Gary couldn’t make it as he got hit by the dreaded Delhi belly. George Colambaris was at his entertaining best. Spoke passionately about food, culture, the beginnings of Masterchef, Matt and his 45 minute make-up routine vs Georges own 5 minute make-overs. Oh, his love for the jalebi too, lactic fermentation and all!

Breakfast at Olive with the Masterchef George ColambarisSupermarkets are for toilet paper!” You got to love this man! The audience hung on to every word he said, roaring with laughter at his witty quips. He talked about fresh seasonal produce, home cooked meals, introducing kids to ‘real’ food, growing vegetables in your backyard, how MasterChef changed his life …

Breakfast at Olive with the Masterchef, George ColambarisHe took questions from the audience which included an enviable line up of all the top chefs of Delhi who had turned up in their crisp whites to meet the two. The Ozzie wit shone through, a man passionate about his Cypriot-Greek heritage {reminded of my Greek witty friend Peter @ Kalofogas} yet characteristically Aussie in every way. Laid back, honest, so grounded, he spoke from the heart!

Breakfast at Olive with the Masterchef, George ColambarisHe did get flustered by a short, simple question from Ruchira, “Food or sex?”, she posed rather nonchalantly. That got him rather red under his collar and for once at a slight loss for words. The poor embarrassed guy eventually asked if there was another question! 

Breakfast at Olive with the Masterchef, George ColambarisWe ate … LOTS! Good food once again, and well managed as always. Breakfast IMHO is a difficult task yet Saby & his team made it seem effortless. A sweet man piped delicious churros while masala chai did the rounds in earthen pots {a break from Olive tradition}. There was fresh fruit, cheese platters, varieties of tostadas, pigs in blankets, amuse bouches, financiers, baklava, chocolate fudge cake, nut tarts … and much more.

Breakfast at Olive with the Masterchef, George ColambarisAs you can see we really enjoyed the ‘event’ and loved the company too. Thank you Saby & Astha for thinking of us. It was truly wonderful …

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

The Best thing in life is ‘the unexepected’ as I said in the beginning. A good day got even better as I got an early Christmas from a friend and food blogger in Belgium as her sweet hub flew into Delhi for a music fest the same night. Thank you Finla for this HUGE surprise ‘sack’ of goodies you sent for me. I am at a loss for words, but brimming with ideas! I also unexpectedly won a Phillips Air Fryer at the Philips Foodathon the next day … lucks looking up!

 

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India



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Comments

  1. A great event and terrific gift!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Wish we had happenings like this were i loved but alas i think i am the only blogger were i live as mos of the food bloggers are living in Brussels.
    I am happy you loved the things and it was a pleasure shopping for you, as i knew how much you will enjoy the things. Hugs

  3. Thanks for sharing your photos and reflections from this afternoon with Calombaris & co. Thank you as well for the mention. I hope to meet him someday.

    • You were my first’window’ into Greek food Petah. The rani remembers and was thrilled to see so much similar passion that day. Each time I make filo/phyllo at home, I think of your Mum and all that delicious food at Kalofogas.

  4. awee….your pictures are so so enticing. Everything came alive seeing these pictures again.

    Loving every bit of this post :-)

  5. Ooooooh, that is so lucky….I did follow them on the newspaper, but to actually meet them! Wow

  6. You are a story teller ! I felt I shared the moments with you all.

  7. it was a lovely breakfast and you have captured our collective enthusiasm and high spirits of the meet!!!

  8. urs is one blog i can keep reading and start living it :) george is one person both me n d husband adore… thanks for sharing the moments , loved it… and love all shots of astha and ruchira.. always… :)

  9. lucky you, that looked like a breakfast to remember! We bought the Phillips airfryer and have been swapping the deepfryer for it with such brillian result, cant wait to see (and try!)your innovative recipes on the airfryer!

    • Jehanne…I’m gonna fry your brains for recipes! What fun that we share something with so much prmoise. I had to leave early that afternoon, and the fryer will be delivered in a day!

  10. There are so many pictures I am in love with. But the yellow scooter takes the cake. Such a lovely experience, I can almost feel as if I was there, just reading your words. I do hope to meet George n Gary n Matt some day, even-thought I might be too much n awe to say much sense. Chef Saby seems more doable currently, I have missed so many opportunities to meet him, I must, I must.
    You have such wonderful friends all over the world Deeba, waiting to see all the lovely things you will create to fill those beauties.

  11. Delighted for you and a ted bit…may be very is more like.. jealous :) And Oh! My! that is some spread for breakfast. Love Gary & George to bits. Thanks for sharing such wonderful pictures with us.

  12. Can’t wait to see what you’re going to make with all that callebaut. And a blow torch! Some creme brulee for me please :) (And on the side, you did really deserve to win that fryer)

  13. Oh, this is one of a kind event , unexpected fun!
    Read every word again n again just to relive it with you.. sigh someday I may get to go to such an event!
    Lovely pictures and such a fun event!

  14. Totally wow indeed. I wish I were in Delhi !!!! Meeting Gary,George &Matt is a cherished dream of mine and I am elated you got to meet one of them. Looks like you bunch had a whole lotta fun not to mention digging in to good food. I am still laughing at the food or sex query by ruchira and george getting flustered over that. R.O.C.K ON !

  15. wow i just envy you… those two are my dearies… waiting for ur posts with all those goodies

  16. wow i envy you… those two are my dearies… waiting for all ur posts with those goodies

  17. Saw your tweet this morning and was absolutely floored. Seriously! George!
    I could imagine his voice while reading your brunch experience.
    Wish I was still in Delhi…I can always dream of getting that phone call one day! :)

  18. Wow, glad that you had a good time. Gorgeous clicks and what an amazing location. I really liked the scooter picture. Cute!

  19. You are a lucky bunch of bloggers! Wish they had something like this in Bangalore too :)

  20. Long hiatus from your blog and not mention I missed visiting your space. And when I do visit I am greeted with such a fantastic post. SUch lucky bunch of bloggers, all of you. I am so envious. But this post really helped me live every moment of what you guys experienced there.

    Beautiful pics!!

  21. Oh my goodness, you got to meet THE George!!! I adore him and Gary. Reading your post makes me feel like I was there. Thanks for that

  22. wow! that is quite a haul… so sweet of Finla… just waiting to see what you do with what i suspect is a blow torch!

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