Munnabhai Magic at Mittal Marriage


Choclate Fountain at Marwar

Mannabhai magic at Mittal Marriage

Back from the blues in Arabian hues

Kylie Minogue picking at the blue-berries served in mango baskets. Anil Ambani freaking out on the chhena nargisi kofta in white saffron gravy and matar ki reshmi puris. Javed Akhtar tucking into a tender Indrani pak on golden ice…..Sheer satiation!

The Dom Perignon may have flowed like water, accompanied by strawberries on ice, and the Japanese millionaires could have glided out of stretch limos to head for the Lenotre chocolate fountain bars. But, at the six-day Mittal wedding spectacular (June 18-23, 2004) in Paris, it was Calcutta-based catering king Munna Maharaj (alias Dipak Kumar Singh) who cast the real spell with his epicurean delights.

"While the Indian celebs have come to expect something special from Munnabhai's kitchen on every occasion, the international were stumped by the sheer variety of vegetarian fare on the table," observed a member of the culinary squad that was flown to Paris from Calcutta.

The popular chef, who has whipped up rare delicacies at many a starry occasion in the past and also catered to a Marwari diamond merchant's do in Israel post-paris, feels the Mittal wedding was something "hatke(different)", for its elaborate "planning, personal touch and eye for detail" in everything.

So , the Jodhpuri chakki ki subzi and the nine-course badam mithai- Munna Maharaj's "signature items" both - were ferried alongside the Taj Kebabs and the Blue Elephant dim sums in 40 refrigerated Volvo 14-wheelers to the various venues. English-speaking waiters and waitresses were flown in from across the Channel and the crockery on the table was exclusively embossed everyday with the ritual rolls and the "Vanisha Weds Amit" line.

Bollywood Nite , a Javed Akther-scripted songs and Dance gala, saw Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, Rani Mukherjee and Saif Ali Khan parading their prancing prowess. But it was the flamboyant duo of Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai with their high-energy numbers accompanied by the inimitable Javed Jaffery that drew the loudest applause from Lakshmi Mittal's distinguished guests, reveal Munna's men.

A French band drummed up the welcome tune at the elegant Le Grant hotel, where most of the guests camped , while the night sky at the Vicomte was lit up by a sensational fireworks display on the occasion of the wedding. The picturesque park of Jardine des Tulieries at the 16-road crossing of the exotic all-Indian dinner menu on the night of the ring ceremony.

An eclectic spread of non-vegetarian continental cuisine by French caterers was on offer for the internal audience, but for the Ambanis and the Goels, the Hindujas all the way, be it breakfast or lunch, high tea or dinner,it was Munna's magic all the time.