Chef Pushkar Marathe’s Stage Kitchen & Bar has already garnered a devoted local following, but magic is now striking twice with the opening of Ela Curry Kitchen in The Shops of Donald Ross Village. Another venture between Marathe and partner Andy Dugard, Ela spotlights Indian street food and thali-style dishes that are traditionally composed of many small items. Chef Marathe notes that regular Stage diners will find familiar flavors at Ela, but the experience itself will be even more transportive.
“The cuisine at Stage has always drawn inspiration from Indian food and spices, which our patrons who support Stage have enjoyed and become accustomed [to],” says Marathe. “When they come to Ela, they will recognize flavors, but the food will be like going to India. … They will travel there through our food in terms of traditional ways of serving [and] the flavors, giving them a more traditional experience sharing my culture and heritage.”
In Sanskrit, “ela” translates to “cardamom,” a native spice that is significant in both northern and southern Indian cooking. For Marathe, the name encapsulates the personal nature of this project.
“There are a lot of memories behind this menu,” he says. “Many dishes have memories attached to me and my childhood or my upbringing, whether it is with my mom, gatherings and travels with friends [and] family, or my grandmother’s cooking. Through Ela, we will share many memories and have many stories to tell.”