|As the best in the city's food and nightlife categories were honoured at the Times Food and Nightlife Awards 2012 at the ITC Maurya, the guests experienced a night of super entertainment, warm hospitality and above all food that was hard to miss.
LET THE AWARDS BEGIN: With Ash Chandler taking over the duties of emceeing and stand up comedy for the night, there was hardly a moment when someone or the other didn't crack up. There were ofcourse the Delhi-Mumbai jokes, but Ash even joked with a few of the winners; when Smoke House won an award, Ash said, "That's Riyaaz Amlani - the man who puts the 'smoke' in Smoke House!" However, the cheers were the loudest when actor Akshay Kumar and Times Group MD Vineet Jain unveiled the three guides for the year 2012. And the dilliwala that Akshay is, he couldn't help but talk about his Punjabi roots and his food habits, and said, "Mujhe khaana bahut achha lagta hai - after all, meri padaish Delhi ki hai, main Punjabi hoon, Paranthewali gali se hoon, aur yeh main bahut garv se kehta hoon... Dieting karna bahut achhi baat hai - yaa toh aap dieting kijiye, yaa die eating! Mujhe yahan aa kar bahut achha laga, aap sab aise hi khaana banate rahiye, aur hum chakhte rahenge."
EXERCISE TIME: The awards were followed by a lavish dinner. Many promises to gym and swim were made over dinner at the Nandiya Gardens, as everyone tucked into the sumptuous offerings and indulged themselves. Charu Parashar was on a diet (so she stuck to sushi), but Anupam told us, "I've just gotten started, but I've had the excellent soup from threesixtyone degrees, sushi from the China Kitchen, fish in mustard sauce from Oh! Calcutta, and then the roast from Punjab Grill. But tell me this - how do you get your selection so right? The selection of restaurants for the awards - I don't think anyone can question it, it is absolutely the best in Delhi!" Anupama Varma said, "I'm the biggest foodie, it's like my heart and stomach are connected. I am going to try everything that's here, because I gym to earn my calories, not burn my calories." Restaurateur Saurabh Khanijo told us that he'd go back walking to his house to burn all the calories he's consumed.
David Abraham even promised to swim a river! Nikhil Mehra told us that he'll simply take a pair of chopsticks and take a bite each from every stall, and model Lakshmi Rana, a self-confessed foodie, told us, "I've already had food from China Kitchen and threesixtyone, and now I am going to have more. If people think I don't eat, that is such a misconception. I love food so much, that I know exactly what I am going to eat tomorrow for my meals. The awards were great, I really enjoyed them because a lot of my favourite places - like Smoke House Grill and Dakshin - won."