Raising A Toast To The Winners of the Living Foodz Epicurean Guild Awards 2018
It was a night of glamour, glory and great food as some of the best achievers from the F&B industry were awarded
Living Foodz, India’s premium lifestyle channel recognizes India’s best authentic premium-dining restaurants and lounges across cities at the Epicurean Guild Awards. While the first edition, held in the year 2017, applauded restaurants and lounges from Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, this year the cities of Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Goa and Jaipur were also included. Restaurants and lounges from these cities competed across diversified food categories to take home the trophy. Applauded for being the only restaurant awards platform in the country to uphold complete transparency in its selection process – a year-long process of shortlisting restaurants across various food categories, jury meets and anonymous dine-outs – the jurors awarded winning restaurants with ‘Flames’ based on their experience and varied parameters. The Flame signifies power and acts as a symbol to honour the relentless driving force that creates exemplary culinary experiences. Flames indicate the scale of excellence offered by a premium dining destination, where one flame indicates very good cooking so a must visit, two – excellent cooking hence deserves repeat eating out, and three – an exceptional cuisine "worthy of a special place in the culinary hall of fame”. This year, the categories were diversified to recognise individuals from the food and hospitality industry as well as homegrown wines.
At a glittering ceremony held on March 22, 2018 at Sahara Star, Mumbai, the Living Foodz Epicurean Guild Awards paid an ode to the best of the best restaurants and individuals offering memorable culinary experiences and innovations. The event was attended by some of the country’s best food mavens and influencers, including eminent personalities such as Chef Kunal Kapur, Maria Goretti, Amrita Raichand, Thomas Zacharias, Kunal Vijayakar and Prahlad Kakkar. The star-studded evening was a celebration of food, drinks and all things good. Comedians Kunal Rao and Azeem Banatwalla sent the audience into jolts of endless laughter. Taking inspiration from his popular show Northern Flavours that was aired on Living Foodz, Chef Ajay Chopra unveiled his book with the same title that will release soon. Tracing the roots of some of the most authentic delicacies from the heart of North India, the book in collaboration with Living Foodz, explores some of the best regional recipes from North India, including Rajasthan, Delhi Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir.
Here’s a complete list of all the winners of the Living Foodz Epicurean Guild Awards 2018:
The Asian Multi category represented cuisines from various Asian countries - Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Malaysia. Beating Bomra’s, Goa and Thai Pavilion, Vivanta by Taj President, Mumbai, Gung The Palace, Delhi took home the trophy with two Flames.
Left: Best Chinese - Yauatcha, Mumbai; Right: Best Japanese - Megu, Delhi
Perfecting hand-pulled noodles and celebrating the diversity in cuisine from different regions of China – Cantonese, Sichuan, Jiangsu and more, Yauatcha, House of Ming and China Kitchen were the top three restaurants to have delivered stellar Chinese food time and again. Yauatcha, Mumbai bagged the title of the Best Chinese Restaurant, taking home a trophy with two Flames.
Sushi, wasabi and miso have found a permanent place in our cities and palate, thanks to the top three dining destinations – Wasabi, Sakura and Megu. Megu, Delhi bagged the title of the Best Japanese Restaurant, with three flames.
Left: Best European - Masque; Right: Best Italian - Artusi Ristorante E-Bar
Serving classic Italian specialities by staying true to provenance, Artusi Ristorante E-Bar took home the Best Italian Restaurant trophy with two flames. Ottimo – ITC Gardenia and Vetro – Oberoi were among the other restaurants that made it to the top three in this category.
Serving some of the most eclectic food menus from Spain, Lebanon, Greece, Turkey and France, The Table, Olive Bar & Kitchen and Masque rose to become the finalists. However, Masque took home the trophy with two Flames.
Honouring the chefs whose only mission is to dish up good food every time they enter the kitchen, this category acknowledged the masters of taste. The Bombay Canteen emerged as the winner, taking a trophy with two flames, beating Bastian and The Indian Accent – The Manor.
Left: Best Night Life - Koko Asian Gastropub; Right: Best New Restaurant - Progressive Oriental House
Within months of their launch, there were few restaurants who managed to create a buzz from the start of 2017 until October 31, 2017. Beating Nara and Sly Granny, POH took home the trophy with two flames under this category.
This category raised a toast to Koko, Mumbai for having changed the nightlife landscape of the city. Koko took home a trophy with one flame. PCO and Bar Palladio were among the other finalists in this category.
By driving value and creating formidable brands, this category recognised Indian labels that have stood the test of time by reinventing and adapting to an ever-evolving market. KRSMA, Grover Zampa Vineyards and York wines made it to the top-three, with KRMSA emerging as the winner.
Left: Best Traditional Indian - Dum Pukht; Right: Best New Indian - Royal Vega - ITC Grand Chola
Re-inventing India’s indigenous dishes for a global appeal, Masala Library, Pali Bhavan and Royal Vega managed to make a place for themselves in the top-three list. However, it was Royal Vega that took home the trophy.
By staying rooted in our rich culinary heritage, and consistently serving exemplary food to its patrons, Bukhara, Dum Pukht and Karavalli were among the top-three restaurants that were credited were putting Indian cuisine on the world food map. However, Dum Pukht bagged the title of the Best Traditional Indian Restaurant.
Best Lifetime Achievement - Madhur Jaffrey
From among the best of chefs, hoteliers, writers and historians, Madhur Jaffrey rose on to become the biggest game changer of India’s food universe, and we’re not surprised. The Lifetime Achievement award wouldn’t have suited anyone better than her.
Best Iconic - Bukhara, ITC Maurya
This category honoured the only restaurant in the country, Bukhara – ITC, Maurya, which offers a groundbreaking and inspirational dining experience to each patron on every visit. There are no ‘Flames’ to describe the experience that you live in this restaurant, and for this very reason, Bukhara took home a blank trophy.
This category allowed viewers and followers to choose their favourite personality on television and in the social space, through online voting.
From among those who captured food narratives with stunning photography and engaging content on the most visually-interactive digital platform, Shivesh Bhatia (bakewithshivesh.com) took home the trophy.
From recreating lost recipes, passionately mentoring aspiring chefs on reality shows to exploring indigenous culinary experiences, it was no surprise to see Chef Kunal Kapoor take home the trophy.
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