Trichy Mani Iyer’s Catering.
In my college days, I studied B.Sc., Chemistry, but “Culinary Art Cuisine” was the one that gravitated my heart the most. The primary factor was to elevate the legacy of my grandfather Gangatharan (I share the same name as my grandfather) and my father, Mani Iyer. In fact, Mani Iyer’s cooking was prevalent during his time. His culinary skills are still king in this era too. His popularity was evidently overwhelming and encouraging. Although this popularity is all based on customers’ opinions transcending various generations, It is only happening because of them”, says Trichy Malaikottai Gangatharan.
Apart from the other required ingredients, the greatest ingredient that makes cooking tasteful is good thought and speech. This was always preached by my grandfather. This good part, which Grandfather Gangathara Iyer was doing on a very small scale during his lifetime, expanded into “Mani Iyer Catering Services” during the time of my father Mannachanallur Mani Iyer. Since then, “Mani Iyer’s cooking” has been very popular in Trichy, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, and Karur districts till now. “The ball shall keep running.” It’s unnecessary to abhor someone. Those who are going to eat will talk about us. If they acknowledge the fact that Mani Iyer’s cooking is still here I will be very happy. As said by Gangatharan of “Mani Iyer Catering Services”, every single wedding reception is like a gold medal competition for me and my team.
Don’t let anyone think that catering service is only about cooking. They say that if it is a wedding or an auspicious occasion, it is not only our job, but also our duty to pull together all the necessary things and make it better, even better. We are the ones who print the invitations, build the banana tree, decorate the hall, decorate the wedding table, and cook the food. Our catering services are extensive, with sixty people regularly. Occasional visiting chefs are also arranged as per the requirements.
In 2007, my father, Mani Iyer, died of natural causes. I have been working with him since my childhood. That is why I am able to perform well even now. We have a reputation for hosting weddings ranging from a hundred to fifteen thousand.
“Okay. They tell you to order five hundred people for a wedding party. Another two or three hundred people arrived during the party. Won’t you stumble then?”
We never had that dilemma. Because if the client says food for a thousand people, we will go to the hall with ingredients to make food for sixteen hundred people. We will transport large quantities of food, including food leaves, rice, pulses, and groceries, and store them. We don’t run to the shops outside and buy any items while the food is being served. We have the vision that the food court should continue to run without any stoppage.
“Do you take “four to five” wedding banquet contracts in one day?”
Oh yes, generously. We have been doing five wedding parties in one day and that too in different cities while achieving complete satisfaction from our clients. Under my family supervision, my wife Gomati, my son Subramanian alias Krishna, my daughter-in-law Subhasree Krishna, and my younger brother Viswanathan had overseen every function in various cities simultaneously, and the wedding feast is being prepared in the halls. I visit every town from time to time. Under my supervision and in direct view of my family, the work of cooking in the place will continue. No matter how many halls in how many towns in a single day it is done by the direct labor of my family, it is all “Mani Iyer’s cooking.”
“What is your specialty?”
Everything in our “Mani Iyer cooking” is the children we gave birth to. Everything is special. We can go on and on layering things like jaggery, Akkara Adisal, Ilanaer Payasam, Mysoorbak, Cashew Pulao, Mushroom Biryani, Chola Puri, etc.
The VIP you won’t forget at the dinner party..?
I have personally served many VIPs during their functions. They will tell me all their grievances. I will tell them myself. So I believe the most is that you should always tell your trusted people a lot. Always inquire about any shortcomings or dissatisfactions they may have with my service or in general. I will say that we can definitely fix it next time. Time fixes everything for those who are keen to fix the issues. It always shows the way. I prepared food for many VIPs, especially for Muppanar Ayya alone at the dinner party. He calls me, too, Mani Iyer. He likes curd and always tries to mash it. He takes surba and chews mysurpa now and then and loves the vattal kulambu rice. He relishes the dish. I was very happy to see all of it. Amarar G.K. Ayya is always excited when it comes to Mani Iyer’s cooking. He used to inquire, “Is Mani Iyer cooking? Mani Iyer is cooking?. ” To hear that is the biggest award for us, says Trichy Malaikottai Gangatharan.
Interview by Srirangam Thirunavukarasu.