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KOLKATA: Mrs Goodall came to Kolkata in 1955. With an Anglo-Indian upbringing, she with her husband started the wedding cakes business. Back in the day, Calcutta was the rising sun of the recently independent India and there was a certain novelty about the city and its inhabitants. Her wedding cakes business took off really well with her wedding cakes, easter eggs and Marzipans, the most famous of her delicacies in Kolkata and abroad.
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Fast forward to 2012, Raymond Blaquiere, Mrs Goodall’s grandson opened the first of it kind authentic Anglo-Indian Restaurant, Granny’s Kitchen. Granny’s Kitchen, inspired by Nana (Mrs. Goodall), was a warm, happy little cafe located on the Ripon street, Kolkata, serving first of its kind authentic Anglo-Indian food. The cafe was run by the whole family, Nana, Mrs Goodall would always be around giving inspiration to the place, Raymond’s wife, Deepika would handle the cash register and make sure the orders were well-coordinated, Raymond’s brother would come in after work to help and of course Raymond inside the kitchen would cook the wonders of anglo-Indian food. The cafe closed down about after 2 years due to certain misfortunes.
The things we love define us and find expression in forms more than one. Raymond didn’t go to culinary school, his learning started when he, a young child would help in the kitchen. Nana (Mrs. Goodall) says, “Learn everything at home, while you can”. Raymond did just that.
After Granny’s Kitchen closed down, Raymond didn’t give up cooking. He started Blaquiere’s to follow the legacy of Goodalls. Once again, wedding cakes, easter eggs and Marzipan is a speciality demanded by clients throughout the globe. He is also starting with Anglo-Indian cooking, as a home-chef.
Raymond feels the Anglo-Indian food is still very unknown. It is often confused with Goan or European Cuisines. Anglo-Indian cuisine developed when the colonisers mingled with the indigenous population. The soups, steaks and broths of these foreigners bland to the palate of the Indians, made the Indians experiment. With this experiment was born something in between the hot spice of Indian food and the delicate flavours of western foods. Anglo-Indian food strives on black pepper and uses a lot of garam masala. The anglo-Indian food between the two extremes hits the sweet spot.
With his love for food and the family’s collective passion, Raymond plans to take Anglo-Indian food to bigger audiences and newer heights. Sometimes all one needs is a flavour that brings alive the feeling of home. This is what Raymond desires to give to the world.