The first one was recommended by the local grocer's Bong helper (Dada, He haz worked in a hotel). It took us ten minutes to realise that there are probably lots of jobs in hotels, not necessarily all in the kitchen.
The second was from my home state's neighbour. All reputed to be great cooks and this one did that reputation no harm. He was a lifesaver. He had the speed of a Ronaldo and the artistry of a Giggs all rolled into one. Stuffed baingan and aloo (even the aloo was stuffed), followed delectable dals, interspersed with stuffed bhindi(not a drop of stuffing spilling) and methi chicken. Life was good. The day he earned the tag "Maharaj" was when we asked him if he could cook Biryani. His usually non-attentive eyes blazed with anger. After an hour, the kitchen door opened and he said he was done. After a few beers when we entered the kitchen, we were awestruck. We had a dekchi with its lid sealed with atta, emitting the most amazing aroma, staring at us.
Then he had to go on his annual leave. My parents were arriving in mid-Dec and on hearing that he brought his leave forward and promised to be back by the 20th. And even provided us with a substitute. The sub couldn't do stuffed bhindi but was allright for 20 days, we thought. Well, as of date, Maharaj No 1 hasn't returned. And his sub has found another job.
Two days of ordering in and mish-mash at home and we went back to cook hunting. An old pal obliged and Maharaj No 2 came to meet us. He specialises in veg! The vision of my parents, who think Rui maach is veg, eating daal chapati day in-day out swam in front of me. But beggars can't be choosers.
M2 hits us from this evening.
Will keep you posted.