We were approaching the trendy pastel yellow Casta stall; it clearly stood out from the others in terms of its pleasing and aesthetic design. It was tastefully decorated with all the different hues of yellow that signify their house. The meeting lounge, at the corner of the stall was a pleasure to sit at, soft and sleek, giving our tired legs some much-needed solace.

Casta’s attractive kitchen display caught our eyes. The mono-blocks sat majestically at the centre with their stylish lines and the efficient finish of the burners, fryers and the hotplates. The cheerful lava stone grill was a thrill to look at – the round smooth lava stones were displayed discretely, with a component lifted up to show its function and build.

The star TWIN TEPP unit was the show stopper with its well thought-out design of hot and cold surface plates, integrated in a unit. The insulation between the hot and cold surface of minus 38 was expertly done, in a mere 50 mm, yet keeping the TWIN TEPP in one metre dimension. It was so compact – a beauty to look at! The built in self-exhaust system was another enviable USP.

With such amazing equipment, could the chef be left behind? No! The handsome Italian chef in black coat was churning out delicious looking dishes, expertly tossing the newly formed crisp ice from the cold plate on the left to the hot one on the right hand. Tasty aromas hit our nostrils, and our senses went overboard as we longed to sink our teeth into the many gourmet platters on display. These were whipped up in barely a few minutes. The salmon The chef served was so delicious and out of this world, that we were left wondering, can heaven be this close?

The sunshine Italian welcome
Loretta, the boss, was busy giving a TV interview; dressed smartly in a sunshine yellow designer gown, fitted with elegant straps. We stepped aside and waited near the TWIN TEPP unit, examining it with great curiosity. On spotting us, she rushed towards us, and held out a welcoming hand! A bit surprised, I said politely, “We know you are busy, we will wait for you and, in the meanwhile, go around your interesting space.” She would have none of it, though, as she gave us a cheek-cheek peck. When my partner John hesitated, she said seriously, “This is our customary Italian way of welcoming our guests and making them feel at home. We are courteous, loyal, helpful and smile always even if there is no business what so ever.” I was sure impressed with such a rare attitude in these times of global cut throat competitions.

Kuch Kuch at Casta
She entered with a sweet smile, dressed in a gorgeous black skirt suit. She extended a warm handshake and introduced herself as Hind, the export manager at Casta. “I am very fond of India; my name means India in Hindi right? I love the rich culture, the colourful soul and the warmth of the great nation.”

I was bowled over with her introduction. Further pleasantries exchanged, she invoked the magical name India’s heartbeat – Bollywood. “How about allowing me to sing a Bollywood song for you gentlemen.” She asked. We were amused, but agreed. She quickly fished out Shahrukh Khan’s famous song- Kuch Kuch Hota Hai from the ever helpful You Tube. Lo and behold, there she was singing melodiously, “Tum Pass hothe, yuun muskuraate, sapne…ab tho mera dill…jaage na sotha …” Whoosh we were exported back to India in a jiffy by this beautiful export manager! Now the impact was getting deeper – here was a company which knew how to make their guests feel at ease!

She paused and egged us on to join in the chorus. I was swaying and singing along merrily while my partner and our friend Varun, had a rather amused look on their faces. Hind’s voice raised as she sang, “Na jaane kya kya hota hai,” while translating in English for every one’s benefit – “Wonder what happens in love.”

We all laughed and I said, “She does indeed understand the meaning of the song.” To complete the scene, I twirled her into a half circle. She obliged, with graceful steps and giggled. The entire crowd that had gathered by now, smiled and clapped. What a wonderful show this had been!

Need we say more about the great Italian hospitality and their way of creating new friends for life?

And, thank you for the yummy Biscotti box as a parting gift.

Venu Rao
Peacock Hospitality


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