Inspired by her Bengal and Sikh roots of cooking and the love for food, chef Janeya’s learnt the art of different flavours and cuisine from both her paternal and maternal grandmothers. With a degree from London School of Economics and a career in Human Resources of 8 years with companies like Bain, McK, and Ministry of Water Resources, she decided to pursue pastry from LCB Paris. Once she got connected to chef Rishi after a gap of 12 years they both had ambitions of setting up something of their own. Initially, the duo wanted to set up a Wine and Dessert Bar but eventually thought of starting small and test waters in the catering world. Hence, started a HollyBelly, a niche catering company. Experts from the interview:
How is the concept different from the normal catering?
It is a Food Boutique, We curate menus and experiences. We tailor makes any event be it a sit-down or a flying buffet or a canapé afternoon or even a high tea. Our food moods take care of any and every occasion be it bourbon and BBQ or tequila and tacos or champagne and Canapés or aphrodisiac evenings
Experience is driving the whole business in food today. How are you taking these experiences to the next level by your services?
Customized and personalized - we cook ourselves and serve ourselves along with our team.
How do you decide on the menu? Tell us about ‘Food by Mood’ concept.
Basically, we marry the food to the mood of the event. If it is summer and we are using summer produce we could do a fun theme like tequila and tacos or champagne and Canapés
We have seen that pop up restaurants and counters are a big hit in off-beat locations. How is it working for you in Delhi?
So far so good. We are niche and exclusive and primarily based on word of mouth and our growth has been super organic.
Shahpur Jat is known for its unique and much-deeper culinary instinct. How are competing with others in the market?
It’s amazing and inspiring to be around so many culinary setups. It inspires you to grow more than compete.
What is the number of catering that you do on a weekly basis? What is the procedure to get a table booked?
We do about four a week, generally, our bookings are mainly done through our phone reservation number or we get a lot of booking through social media and of course word of mouth.
You guys have been trained under top Michelin-starred chef. How are you trying to bring those international trends to India?
I guess the trick is to marry the two and cater to a more global palate. Going super niche and conventional may or may not work at times. Techniques are old school but the ingredients and local produce is played around with. Our typical menu depends on the mood of the event (Occasion being celebrated) the weather, the seasonal produce and the clients palate preference. Sometimes we like to surprise the client with just discussing the ingredients with them and curating a gorgeous menu as a surprise!
Who are you targeting as your customer?
Our target customers are people with a varied palate, we usually cater to private/home affairs be it sit down or flying buffet or just a game night. We love the food we especially create for brands with their guidelines such as Coach, Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors, Armani etc. The pre-wedding and wedding events are doing well and people are getting very experimental.
What is the plan going forward?
Looking at active investment in jacking up the catering numbers and acquiring a bigger space. We are at the forefront of innovation with respect to Pan European cuisine and will be adding a lot more European influences cuisines like Catalan etc.