Flour, saffron, and cardamom infuse freshly leavened bread in the small bakeries scattered across from Kabul to Kolkata: Taftoon. Warm, filling, an aromatic flatbread that binds disparate regions, all along the Grand Trunk Road.
Rudyard Kipling described the Grand Trunk Road as ‘a river of life as nowhere else exists in the world’. A ceaseless stream that runs from Kabul and Peshawar in the West through the heart and hinterlands of northern India, to Kolkata in the East, carrying people, their cultures and traditions, their cuisines, along this living route.
Taftoon is an ode to the flavors of the Grand Trunk Road, the northern axis of the Indian subcontinent from the 16th Century. It is an exploration of authentic recipes recreated for the modern day.
Savour the sublime experience that highlights classical cuisines shaped by diverse cultures and local influences. And when you visit, Nooshe Jan. May your soul be nourished.
Pankaj Gupta grew up in Mumbai after his father migrated from a town called Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh and started a small business selling grains. He joined his father’s business at a young age and helped him grow it while simultaneously pursuing his education. Watching his mother cook at a young age is what inspired him and he decided that he would open his own chain of restaurants someday.
After attaining his masters degree he left his family business and embarked on a food trail across Punjab after which he made his first mark in the F&B industry with Oye Kake which specializes in vegetarian Amritsari food and instantly became a hit amongst the foodies of the city. A second outlet was soon opened in the Victoria Mills Compound at Lower Parel.
Abhir Dhawan is a partner at the booming ‘Flavor Pot Foods LLP’ which has birthed multiple successful restaurant brands in the span of merely a few years. After graduating with a Business Marketing degree from a reputed institute in Bombay, Abhir knew that a business in the food industry was his calling. To gain experience & understand business in depth, he took up a challenging marketing job which he excelled at for 3 years. At the young age of 24, Dhawan & his then college friend Pankaj Gupta decided to join hands in partnership & took the first step towards their life long dream of building successful restaurants together. In the year 2011, the duo opened their first restaurant brand ‘Oye Kake’ in the bustling streets of Fort, Mumbai. At that time, Oye Kake was one of it’s kind to serve pure vegetarian North Indian Cuisine, which instantly became a hit amongst the vegetarian crowd of Mumbai.
Chef Milan Gupta
Chef Milan is a culinary expert with a passion to create. “Simple and Authentic’ are the buzz words in his kitchens where ‘Simple’ relates to using spices and herbs in the right proportion and not confusing the taste with too many flavours. He has expertise in Regional Indian, French, Middle Eastern, South East Asian and Desserts.
Chef Milan also specialises in Food and Beverage concept development, Quality Assurance planning and development, cost control and cost management, training and Manpower development with over 24 years of Industry Experience.
Since the last 5 years as a Chef Restaurateur and Food and Beverage Consultant he has co-founded Café Haqq Se; a progressive Indian Cuisine restaurant and Taftoon.
Avinash like his brother Pankaj Gupta was also born and brought up in Mumbai. It is when he was in college that he took a more active role in his fathers business and juggled an active college life alongside it. He received a Bachelors Degree in Business Management Studies and it was an obvious move when he also joined the Oye Kake team in its nascent stage. Providing guests with a meaningful, exciting, and positive experience is his Mantra and he strives to achieve it in all his business dealings. With the success of Oye Kake, Avinash was present for the conceptualising Cafe Haqq Se and Taftoon.
What he brings to the table is the mind of a Business Analyst with extensive knowledge acquired through the years from his hands-on approach to business. He is the overseer of the procurement of raw materials through vendors and operates autonomously in all facets of business.