Chef's note:

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  • Published 21.06.11

“Well, it has been a pleasure to finally see the other and true side of Calcutta. The side of the true connoisseurs and appreciators of world-class culinary and also the true side of a properly running, well organised restaurant operation like Afraa. That regardless of the challenges that the city itself offers, still such an operation permits chefs like me to execute magical nights like the one on Saturday.

The staff was very professional and eager to see Europe in the making in their own kitchen, and very humble to accept the indications and suggestions of a demanding culinary event, where every detail was extremely important. Colours, flavour profiles, combinations of textures and temperatures and visual balances in the plate were understood and operated by this wonderful staff. Indeed, a true operation that I am proud to have been a part of at least for 24 hours.


And of course many great opportunities of collaboration and consultancy have come out of this wonderful night, where I had as an added value the pleasure to meet interesting guests and relevant personalities; all wonderful people. All in all, a magical and successful culinary night for Afraa and Calcutta!”

king of the kitchen

Pictures by Rashbehari Das

The menu


How the afraa hosts and some of their 12 guests loved the saturday night special

“It was one of the most memorable gourmet experiences. In terms of the presentation, the look, the minimalist feel. Especially the non-veg (items) were so exotic. All the guests who ate non-veg were completely going overboard. The whole meal was like a delicacy. What was also interesting was the kind of people who were there; the kind who understand food and enjoy it. They have tasted the best of food all over the world.

The chef is very talented and passionate about his work. His was like a performance at the table. The non-vegetarians loved the lamb, scallop and prawns. I loved everything; the desserts in particular. It was absolutely amazing. The mousse was the lightest mousse I have ever had.”

-Madhu Neotia

“The variety was quite amazing. It was unusual, not the kind of food that we normally eat. Very subtle flavours. I am not a wine guy…I don’t drink really, but he was trying to match the wine with the food…that was interesting. I tasted a little bit of wine. It was interesting how it was conceptualised. The presentation was very interesting. I really liked the aubergine dish.”

-Harsh Neotia

“It was very special to be there. It was an intimate group. The conversation, the ambience, it was all so beautiful. And the food was outstanding.”

-Anamika Khanna

“It was a very interesting mix of intellect, glamour, fashion, controversy and great food. The food was very different from what the Calcutta palate knows. It was wholesome, nutritious, delicious, low on carbs and high on content. The food was not spicy, but the attitude and conversation was! Like any other Michelin chef, Gianfranco was busy outdoing himself. He explained what he served with each course. Most ordinary things were converted into extraordinary dishes. Calcutta needs to do more such sit-down dinners.”

-Raj Mahtani

“The food was delicious. The lamb was tender and delectable — something I don’t often find. So it was a special treat.”

-Beth A. Payne

“A lovingly prepared classical Italian dinner presented with apposite aplomb — like a sublime symphony — with the right wine to accompany every phase. In sum, a fine-dining experience that was truly memorable.”

-Ram Ray

“It was an amazing culinary experience. He got cold sauces, meat and fish and combined it with hot food. It was really good and in this weather especially, I liked that touch. Each platter was like a piece of art and all of them were done to perfection. The colours were appealing. I loved all the dishes. He had done a Basil Ricotta, that was very good. The lamb was done to perfection. The wine pairing was good...”