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L’Opera: From France, with love and flavours




New Delhi, April 26: Remember Julia Child? The famous chef known for introducing French delicacies to the US? In similar fashion, a Frenchman has been keeping alive his country’s recipes in the very heart of the national capital for the past six years.

L’Opera — Kazem Samandari’s initiative — is a delightful place that offers authentic and explicit French bakery and pastry products and has been successful in bringing the best of the French recipes to the people of Delhi.

Samandari came to India along with his wife nine years ago to stay along with their daughter and ever since have became a part of the country.

Just step inside the small patisseree in Khan Market and the sensational aroma of chocolate and coffee mesmerises you.

An exquisite array of breads, Viennese, mini-Viennese, pastries, tarts, cakes, biscuits, salads, quiches, sandwiches, feuilletes, tapas, canapes and many more is spread across the outlet.

“The whole idea of L’Opera was accidental, it is not something that we thought of doing initially. It was my son’s idea to come up with the concept of L’Opera,” Samandari told IANS.

For him, the absence of authentic and original French bakeries in the national capital paved way for L’Opera.

“Hence we thought that L’Opera can be that perfect escape for the pastry and bakery lovers who are looking for that original taste of French culinary in India,” Samandari added.

Over six years, L’Opera has grown a lot and now is a food chain with 15 outlets in the NCR region and one in Dehradun. It is also planning to expand its reach to other metros and take its count to 66 in next five years.

Samandari claimed that it is the authenticity and very high quality of its products that makes L’Opera stand out from others.

And to prove his word, came a croissant, a fluffy ceation that brings alive the rich taste of butter and softness when tossed inside mouth.

“We have got Paris to India. When people come here to eat and say ‘This reminds me exactly of what I had in Paris’ makes us happy and proud,” Samandari noted.

For Samandari, the success of L’Opera is a great indication of the fact that India welcomes cuisines from across the globe.

“India is a combination of many many people of different origins. Indians are global. It is a very good thing that in India there is an increasingly interest for French type bakery and pastry products, because this develops the market,” he maintained.

Samandari also pointed that though the products reflect the rich flavours of France, the soul remains very much Indian.


“The raw material used for baking and making the items are mostly Indian products. If the Indian products are not of highest quality then we use imported products,” he replied.

For him, fusion is a great way of indulging two different flavours and coming up with a new exclusive dish like that of strawberry pepper.

However, ‘Indianising’ of items is something that hasn’t yet been thought about and nor are there any future plans to do so.

“We strictly don’t believe in the amalgamation of the Indian flavours in our products. Let there be some French taste,” Samandari responded.

And to get the feel of Paris while sitting at the Khan Market outlet, this foodie went ahead and tried some of the personal favourites of Samandari.

First came the Eclair Coffee — thick layer of coffee enriched cream over the bun as well as stuffed inside, then nutty chocolate treat and chocolate mille feuille — both chocolate based pastries, a heavenly pleasure for anyone who is in deep love with the flavour of chocolate. It was followed by the macaroons. I devoted myself in two varieties of macaroons — salty caramel and macaroon rose, both delicious.

A single bite of any of these products will end up increasing your appetite and making you crave for more.



‘61% parents use social media to keep tab on kids’



New York, March 20: While social media has been associated with a negative impact on children, 61 per cent parents feel that the online medium has enabled them to keep a track of “tweens”, according to a survey. “Tweens” is a term given to children between the early elementary grades and those entering teenage.

55 per cent of parents would read their tween’s texts or social media pages to learn if their tween was invited to a boy-girl party at the home of an unfamiliar family.





Also, 39 per cent of parents reported tracking their tween’s location on their cell phone during the party.

Mothers were more likely, than fathers, to say they would use technology to monitor their tweens, according to a report from the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

“The tween stage brings new challenges for parents as they often must balance their child’s desire for more freedom and independence with supervision. It’s not an easy balancing act,” said Sarah Clark, poll co-director.

“In some families, reading text messages or social media posts might be seen as ‘spying.’ But in others, parents discuss rules including sharing passwords,” said Clark.

“Establishing family rules around the use of social media, and discussing the reasons for those rules, is an important part of parenting tweens,” Clark said, in a statement released by the varsity.

However, 91 per cent still wanted to get the information about their child via the traditional way, which includes talking with the parents of their kids’ classmates.

About one in four parents reported being very concerned about their tweens experimenting with sexual activity, marijuana or other drugs, beer or liquor, and guns or other weapons.

Importantly, two-thirds of the parents agreed that tweens need some freedom to make mistakes, and balancing freedom with supervision.

“Parents must balance their responsibility to help their tween learn to be responsible and make good decisions while ensuring their tween’s safety,” Clarks said.


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Make-up tips for a summer wedding



Wedding Makeup

New Delhi, March 16: There is nothing that sounds more beautiful than the idea of a summer wedding. What is not pretty, however, is the melting makeup, especially if its your wedding day.

Since the summer season has started, Shinjini Chawla, wedding make up expert at and Komal Kapoor, Founder at Koko Glam, compile a list of tips for makeup that does not suffer a meltdown.

* Foundation: Get the basics right!
* Apply an anti-shine product on your face just before applying the foundation.
* Hydrate your skin with lightweight essence or serum. Moisturizer cream is also great for giving a dewy look and provides a great texture to the skin
* Use a spot concealer on areas with blemishes, under the eyes or around the corners of your nose. A spot concealer stays longer than a foundation.
* Always double-cleanse as your skin produces a lot more oil and sebum. Oil cleansers are extremely beneficial to let the skin cool off first and then use the cleansing product.
* The final touch – After the application of foundation, powder your face with a brush.

* Blush: For the blushing bride
* Exfoliate the skin thoroughly- excess oil leads to more dead skin cells. For ensuring a fresh face for any outdoor celebration, sheet masks are very useful as they remove the excess impurities.
* Go for powder blushes instead of creamy formulas that will make your skin appear oily.
* The beating sun will add an extra sheen to your face anyway, so use a bronzer that does not have too much shimmer.

* Eyes: Smoky eyes or the classic look?
* Apply the concealer you have used on your face, all over your eye-lids to maintain uniformity.
* Eyeliners are a popular choice to make your eyes appear big and beautiful.
* Waterproof your eyes- Use a great eye base, then use a smudge-free eyeliner and a water-proof mascara. This will prepare you for the moments when you want to let go of yourself in the moment by shedding a tear or two.
* Finally, use a powder eye shadow and dab two layers of it, from the lash line to the brow.

* Lips: Let your lips do all the talking!
* Pick the classic summer colour according to your skin tone. Shades of pinks and nudes work best in a day wedding.
* Colour in your entire mouth with a lip pencil so your lip stick does not bleed in the heat.
* After applying the lipstick, blot it with a tissue. Apply a touch of gloss on the lips so they do not appear chapped.
* Finally, apply the lipstick concealer to seal the deal.

* Conclusively, sunscreens are a must for day events. High SPF reduces the burning and PA+++ reduce dark spots. Hence using a sunscreen that is suited to your skin is crucial.


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Salary hike correlated to ease of falling asleep: Survey



salary hike stress asleep

New Delhi, March 15: Having trouble sleeping? Your salary might be one of the reasons behind it.

There is a direct correlation between increasing salary and ease of falling asleep, according to a survey.

The India Sleep and Wellness survey, released ahead of the World Sleep Day, was commissioned by Sunday Mattresses and was conducted among 345 working professionals above the age of 25, read a statement.

The survey, conducted across Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, indicates that there is also a direct correlation between productivity and sleep.

Over two-thirds of the sound sleepers believe they are 100 per cent productive at work. whereas more than half of those who reported getting insufficient sleep, believed they were only 75 per cent (or less) productive.

People below the age group of 30 sleep better compared to those who are older. Adults over 30 are twice as likely to have sleep-related problems and adults over 45 years are three times more likely to have sleep-related issues.

Almost 40 per cent of people use an alarm to wake up. This is significantly high in Mumbai where 50 per cent of the respondents use an alarm on a daily basis.

People in Bengaluru go to bed the earliest (between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.), whereas Mumbai has the highest proportion of night owls who sleep after midnight. Bengaluru also has a better record of falling asleep as compared to Delhi and Mumbai and this is mainly attributed to relatively lower noise levels.

The research demonstrates that people who eat less than two hours before going to sleep are 50 per cent more likely to have sleep-related issues.


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