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Is it a chef’s kitchen? Or a DJ’s booth? It’s both!

Kitchen Rave, Mumbai’s latest offering is drawing eyeballs for combining the best of both worlds—food and music—under one roof.
Kitchen Rave

Imagine freshly baked Korean cream cheese buns coming out of the oven and the aroma engulfs you while you are grooving to music and devouring them—now that’s the vibe at Kitchen Rave.

Last month when I got an invite to something called the Kitchen Rave, my interest was piqued because I love food and music, equal parts. It didn’t take very long for videos to show up on Instagram where a DJ was seen spinning some tunes and a chef cooked at the same table as him. Is it a food show? An electronic gig? A DJ booth or a chef’s kitchen? The answer: It is all of this combined to give a unique experience to the audience.

The Kitchen Rave is the most interesting and upcoming IP I have noticed in Mumbai by a Bhandup-based bakery called The Baykery and Darko, a streetwear brand. Co-founded by Harshith Bangera and chef Siddharth Shetty, The Baykery was founded in 2022 with a dessert-oriented approach but they are now expanding into savoury and catering services as well.

The inception of Kitchen Rave

“Both of us are ravers and once a month we go to these raves,” says co-founder Bangera who is also a marketing professional. “We have always thought about having a cook-off with friends and playing [music] in the kitchen. I have always wanted to throw a dessert party rave,” he adds.

Bangera also talks about a video by Crab Culture—a platform where DJs are recorded to promote House, Jazz, and Disco music—where Dhiraaj, a musician was listening to music and playing at the same time in the kitchen. “So, I thought why not just throw a rave in the kitchen because we have the space.” In this series—Crab in the Kitchen—artists perform their sets in the kitchens of aesthetic cafes and restaurants, showcasing the chefs and baristas working on their craft. Besides this, Bangera also took inspiration from an Instagram page called Flavour Trip where two artists cook together and play music. “Adding all of this together to bring it as a one-stop-shop where music and food come together; we thought of forming a Kitchen Rave where we already have the space.”

Darko came on board because they share a similar love for music and rave culture. It helps that they also target a particular kind of niche, making it a win-win to have them on board as a collaborative partner.

Kitchen Rave

Photos: Floodgate

What happens at the Kitchen Rave?

Co-founder and chef, Shetty is handling the kitchen in this partnership. With experience working at Nomad—a Michelin-star restaurant in New York—Chef Shetty can whip up desserts as well as savoury bar bites in the direction of each experience of the Kitchen Rave. “So far we are planning to keep it up to three hours with three DJs,” says Bangera. “You can see [Chef] Siddharth cook the entire night, right from the time the event starts and you can see him go up and down to the oven to bake and move around the space because everything is freshly made.” Currently, the duo is only focusing on finger food because that is easier for people to eat while they are grooving to the music. The three artists at Kitchen Rave’s first volume included Sage, KIBO, and Jas. Alongside these artists, Chef Shetty cooked seven different dishes such as mixed veg and mozzarella quiches, mushroom white truffle gougers, bao buns with paneer tandoori filling, chocolate sable, milk chocolate and hazelnut profiteroles, honey butter toast with toffee sauce, and Korean cream cheese buns.

How are they expanding?

Currently, the programming is once in 45-60 days with their second volume said to be slated in April. The first one was an invite-only event and Bangera mentions that’s how they want to keep it going forward as well. “However, we are going to open it up to people who can register and attend,” says Bangera. With the right kind of sponsorships and collaborations, they hope to keep it free where they can invite people to register and then shortlist from the list. Their first edition had meads from Moonshine Meadery and they hope for more partners for future volumes as well.

To maintain their intimate vibe and experience, they will be screening people on their love, respect, and understanding of food and music. The space currently holds around 25 people but going forward, Bangera hinted at expanding into different kitchens as well.

Kitchen rave

(from left to right) co-founders Harshith Bangera and Chef Siddharth Shetty. Photos: Floodgate

“We are also looking at other formats where can experiment with different food. We have chefs reaching out to cook alongside Siddharth and work at the Kitchen Rave. We also have many artists message us to be a part of this,” says Bangera. Their expansion would include looking at different kitchen formats, perhaps even a sundowner but always revolving around food and music.

“People of show up for the concept,” he says. “It is an intimate gig, you get freshly cooked food, alcohol, and music…what more do you want?” he concludes.