Mind Over Matter Explained at Connoisseurs New Year’s Gala

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The Connoisseurs Club held its first ever black-tie affair New Year’s Gala at the Nirvana Restaurant on Memorial.

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON:  In what must be the opposite of most other galas held within the Indian community, the Connoisseurs Club held its first ever New Year’s Gala with the usual flair for gusto and panache that has marked its previous meetings. The mini-Gala attracted about 15 couples to a black-tie dinner at the Nirvana restaurant on Memorial and Diary Ashford, a place which saw the beginnings of the four year old group.

The Connoisseurs creed is to share the wealth of information that each member has with others – whether in travel, watches, fountain pens, musical instruments or other entertainment and recreational pursuits – on a rotational basis, with no formal requirements of dues, organizing events or the like. It originally started in 2012 (see IAN dated August 17, 2012) as the Whisky Enthusiasts Club with the intention to share exceptional bottles of Scotch from across the world, but has morphed into the CC to herald the finer things in life. Members can be invited in, and over the past 18 months the list has grown, besides the founding members.

The Gala this past week on December 30, 2015 once again included samples from some of the fine whiskies and spirits that each member couple brought to sip from, one of the few requirements of the Club. After dinner and over some fine single malts like an 18 year-old Glenlivet, the members retired to the outdoor covered patio under the warmth of a tall gas heater to smoke cigars and converse.

The Gala was informative too, per CC’s own rules, as founding member Dr. Vashisht Patel, an eminent neurologist in practice in Humble, explained his theory of the relationship between single malts, relaxation of the mind and reliving tension in a PowerPoint presentation entitled “Mind, Medicine, Meditation and Malts”. In addition, his daughter Anjali and her husband Andrew Marok shared their experiences from their recent trip to Scotland, which has many CC members planning a trip to the land of Malts next year!