...A Dinner That Costs Rs 10 Lakh
If wishes were horses, I'd gladly ride all of them even if it meant spending Rs 10 lakh on gorging oneself silly. Ten lakh, phew...that's a lot of money to spend on just food and drinks. But believe me, it won't be difficult to spend all that moolah, especially if you have a taste for things that are exotic.
Any food that's extraordinary, fascinating or strangely different would qualify to be an exotic dish. Obviously, exotica costs money. But it'll be money well spent.
So here is an excellent menu I have dreamed up with which my wife Alyona and I will entertain Delia Smith (Britain's bestselling cookery author who has presented cookery programmes on BBC for 25 years) and her husband, writer-editor Michael Wynn Jones. Neither Alyona nor I drink or smoke but I shall be getting the best of wines and liqueurs for my distinguished guests; a menu like this cannot be complete without them.
I plan to start the meal with Caviar Beluga, Meleno Prosciutto and Tandoori Gucci (the Himachali morel). Beluga is sturgeon roe to be flown in from Russia. Sturgeon is found in the Volga basin and its roe, at around Rs 80,000 a kg, is considered the most expensive in the world. Prosciutto di Parma ham (around Rs 20,000 a kg) and Parmesan cheese (around Rs 3,000 a kg) will come from Parma in Italy. Of course, it will be stamped "Parmigiano Reggiano" to ensure authenticity. Gucci (around Rs 7,000 a kg) is an extremely expensive mushroom that will be specially flown in from Europe.
A 1946 Chateau Petrus, from Bordeaux in France, will accompany the meal throughout. At Rs 3,00,000 a bottle, it's one of the most expensive vintage vines. For the second course, I will serve Raw Artichoke, Rocket and Parmesan Salad. Artichokes and rocket, when served tossed with Parmesan cheese, make a lip-smacking side dish.
The main course took me some time to plan for I wanted it to be something really out of this world. After a lot of thought, I came up with Asparagus and Parmesan Raviolli with Truffle (vegetarian), Scallop Filo with Wasabi Pepper Sauce (non-vegetarian). Truffle is another variety of exotic and expensive mushrooms (around Rs 60,000 a kg) that will be specially flown in from Europe. I will import scallops from Japan, which, when served with Wasabi pepper sauce, leaves one completely satiated.
For dessert, I plan to serve Pistachio and Saffron Kulfi with Rhubarb Sauce. I have yet to savour a kulfi more exotic—I got to taste it first when I had shared a meal with the Maharaja of Jaipur.
How can one end such exquisite fare without a liqueur taken along with chocolates and cheese, rounded with a puff or two at cigars? So I plan to get Remy Martin, a fine champagne cognac vsop of 1940 (around Rs 1,00,000 a bottle), to be served with Kohler, Cailler and Krokant chocolates (around Rs 5,000 a box) and Vacherin Mont d'or Cheese (around Rs 10,000 a platter). And when you wish to present the best of cigars, you should certainly go in for Davidoff, Cohiba and Monte Cristo, available at around Rs 5,000 per piece.