Tag Archives: French

Decadent French Treats: Gaylord Mumbai

I have a fetish for Afternoon tea. Something I have fancied right from my Enid Blyton days. So an invitation for High tea at Gaylord Mumbai, an iconic restaurant excited me no end. And to make it even more exciting was the fact that Chef Lionel Villaron, a famed pastry chef from France was the chef in the kitchen, whose delicacies, we were to taste.


I began with the coffee choux, my favourite. The appearance was inviting and the first bite, set my taste buds tingling. oved every bit of this dainty treat. Chocolate Mille Feuilles, were equally delicious. The mille-feuille, vanilla slice, custard slice, also known as the Napoleon, was well made. Chef Lionel had done justice to this French classic.


In between sips of tea, I chatted with Chef Lionel who told me he loves to keep his pastries simple and enjoys working with fruits in puree form. He lauded how the taste buds of Indians had evolved and thus it became challenging to wow their palates now. His 25 years of experience comes handy no matter where he is.

The cronuts too did not disappoint but the highlight were the Raspberry and Blueberry Bavarois. This decadent dessert with whipped cream and fruits, took me by surprise. An absolute treat for the palate.


Baba Au Rhum and Chocolate crunchy mousse were also on offer. This was pure sin. Having gorged on so many delicious treats, I knew I’d have to walk that extra mile the next day, but I did not seem to mind. Nothing could keep me away from these tasty treats.

With perfect hospitality at Gaylord and the delectable spread from Chef Lionel, I had an enjoyable evening.

Parisian Choux Pastry Goes Desi

Eclairs au chocolat used to be my favourite. Not surprising at all, as most of us love chocolates and when combined with an eclairs, the combination is pure sin. I say used to, as my preference changed just recently. On my recent trip to Delhi and Gurgaon, I sampled some new divine eclair flavours, which have led me to relinquish my fav chocolate eclairs. And I don’t regret the shift.

Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts recently launched their first-ever global éclair program in partnership with award-winning pastry chef and new LM100 member Johnny Iuzzini. who is from the Catskills region in upstate New York. I was lucky to get an opportunity to indulge in a variety of modern twists to the chic Parisian treat, including both classic flavours as well as unique creations inspired by the destination.

Iuzzini 2

It was an absolute culinary treat as I got to sample some unique eclairs at Le Meridien Gurgaon and then Delhi. As part of the programme, each hotel offered their own modern take on three signature éclair flavours – coffee, chocolate and vanilla – as well as one locally inspired flavour. It was a revelation to see each chef’s creativity and penchant for innovation.

I loved the Mishti doi eclairs at Le Meridien Gurgaon. The Bong in me could not resist that one. The chef had obviously perfected it. The Kalakand one at Le Meridien Delhi was delectable and the winner. Sweet and strongly reminscent of the North Indian sweet Kalakand. Absolutely loved it.

mer-150409-Eclaire Lifestyle

“Through local recipes and a modern perspective on this quintessentially French pastry, Le Méridien éclairs enable us to offer unique, memorable guest experiences in our signature Le Méridien Hubs and restaurants around the world, ”  Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien & Westin, told me  I could not agree more with him.

Through this unique culinary collaboration, Chef Iuzzini will create eight signature éclair recipes exclusively for Le Méridien over the next 12 months, inspired by a global tour of select Le Méridien destinations.

“I am excited to work with Le Méridien in particular because of the brand’s commitment to unlocking the destination through locally-inspired cuisine, and I look forward to reinventing the éclair with the help of Le Méridien’s talented chefs around the world, ” gushed Luzzini.

Darjeeling tea, ginger and jaggery caught his fancy while in India and Luzzini created the Darjeeling Express eclairs. It was an amalgamation of unique flavours, subtle, spicy and sweet.

So the choux pastry—traditionally filled with pastry cream, custard, or whipped cream and topped with fondant icing just went desi. I am lovin’ it!