Chef’s table

Imagine mixing a stylish, contemporary Indian brand with an Australian masterchef.

Published: 14th October 2018 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th October 2018 08:04 PM   |  A+A-

(From left) Mandy Mehigan, Nicobar co-founder Simran Lal and Raul Rai, and Gary Mehigan

Imagine mixing a stylish, contemporary Indian brand with an Australian masterchef. Add a dash of aboriginal art motifs and Indian tradition, and lo and behold, served up before you is a fresh take on cooking and dining.

Indeed, the Gary Mehigan x Nicobar collection has cultural cross-currents running through every aspect of its design, craft and application—the typically Indian spice box built to solid, nautical specifications; brass star-kissed lassi-makers that are equally adept as cocktail shakers; modern bakeware that can sail straight from the kitchen to your table; and a beautiful variety of accessories with organic accents and luminous shell and coral-inspired elements.

A collection for cooks, kitchens and dinner tables, these home products are inspired by India, Australia and everything in between. Launched against the backdrop of the Australian festival, which is a four-month celebration of contemporary Australian culture that aims to strengthen and deepen ties with India through cultural, art and business platforms, this collection is sure to add a touch of elegance to every home. It celebrates food and the Indian tradition of cooking, and at the same time, it is about each craftsman bringing his design to the table with a stamp of individuality.

Say Simran Lal, co-founder and creative director of Nicobar: “I was introduced to Gary on Masterchef Australia by my sister. Watching episodes together over delicious food are some of my favourite memories, so when we heard about this collaboration, it brought those happy memories right back. Nicobar is a little island on the vast Indian Ocean that laps the western shores of Australia and that literal link really got our creative juices flowing. The Mehigans (Gary and his wife Mandy) worked out a fabulous brief for the Nicobar design team to work on, and with regular conversations with Motherland (the branding experts, who played an instrumental role in the communication and the collaboration), this is a truly collaborative collection.”

Gary Mehigan has always been very vocal about his love for Indian food and the country. It is a place he visits often and from where he takes back many cooking traditions. This collaboration is an introduction to a world of fresh new ideas. It is a blend of the best of both worlds—the rich traditions of India and the hip, new age culinary culture of Australia. And why not? Before either art, or music, or literature connects, what connects two people, or two countries, or even two continents, is the shared love for food. This is what keeps us going, warms us to the core and makes strangers become best of friends.

Over conversations on how much he loves dosas and his first experiment with making it and then finally succeeding in the endeavour, the renowned masterchef who has charmed us for years on Masterchef Australia, says, “When I’m at home I love to cook and, together with Mandy, we also love to entertain our friends. Mandy mixes different design elements, with a touch of contemporary and traditional. Those refined and sophisticated influences shine through in our first lifestyle collaboration for Nicobar, which also draws inspiration from Indian home cooking.”

For him, it is the simplicity that matters. Be it food, or design. And the collections presented only reiterated what Gary believes in—the humbleness of design, the textural beauty, and no over-the-top innovations. “I found all my design sensibilities merging with what Nicobar had to offer. The idea of me and Mandy digging into Indian culture to help design these products is really exciting,” he says.  

Engraved with motifs that traverse the Indian Ocean, this collection of homeware will seamlessly figure into kitchen cabinets anywhere in the world. The tableware has both folk motifs from Indian shores and aboriginal motifs from Australia. And what’s surprising, believes Lal, is the wonderful similarity between the two.

(Available online and at Nicobar stores. Prices range from `950 to `7,200. Pre-order starts December 2018)

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