PARIS — Like many, Paris-based designer Manish Arora found himself in the kitchen during the spring lockdown, revisiting comforting family recipes. Sharing tips and techniques with fellow ambassador of Indian culture in France Marielou Phillips, a former longtime Chanel executive, they came to realize that their beloved dishes were not widely available in restaurants, whether in France or in India.
So the pair decided to bring it to light by creating Holy Holi, a culinary concept that pays homage to home cooking and Indian family food, particularly from the Punjab region, and the cities of Goa and Bombay from which they originate.
Holi, a popular Hindu festival that celebrates the arrival of spring in the Hindu calendar, best remembered for the free-for-all pigment battles caught on camera, is an occasion to gather with family and loved ones.
From Oct. 2 to 18, Arora and Phillips will take over Desi Road, a popular contemporary Indian eatery in Paris. Located at 14 Rue Dauphine in Paris’ sixth arrondissement, across the Seine from the soon-to-reopen Samaritaine, the restaurant was created in 2015 by interior designer Stéphanie de Saint-Simon who took cues from Mumbai’s historic Irani cafés and has redecorated the restaurant to match the colorful style of the Holy Holi concept.
On the menu will be variations around the thali, a meal set symbolizing togetherness and abundance, made up of various dishes served on a round platter.