Chef Celio Ceolin on British pub food and UK royal couple's Mumbai visit

As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge woo Mumbai, an ongoing food festival is whipping up British pub classics. Excerpts from an interview with visiting chef, Celio Ceolin

Q. What are some of the common misconceptions that people have about British pub food?
A. The biggest misconception that people have about such fare is that it is run-of-the-mill fried food. While that was true a few years ago, it is no longer so. Big brewing houses have hired celebrity chefs and Michelin Star chefs to spike up the menus. So, now more and more of the finer pubs offer upmarket menus with some of the finest ingredients available, and with the use modern cooking techniques.

Mini Fish Pies are made from fresh fish, cream and white wine. To try out this recipe log on to
Mini Fish Pies are made from fresh fish, cream and white wine. To try out this recipe log on to

Q. What is the hallmark of well-done fish and chips? What are the strict no-nos while preparing it?
A. The hallmark of good fish and chips and this applies to fish and fries equally is a super-crispy exterior and a custard-like interior. The inside of the fish should be flaky tender flesh, all encased in a perfect honey-coloured batter. The fish should be super fresh.

Q. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are in Mumbai; are you whipping up a special something to celebrate British royalty?
A.The timing of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s maiden trip to India, and Mumbai specifically, makes this one big celebration of the best of British — its great pubs and its royalty. The royals certainly enjoy as much refinement as they appreciate classic pub flavours, much like any Briton would. The wedding cake of the Duke and Duchess has been a great inspiration to all of us in the culinary world because as indulgent as it was, it was also remarkably understated. It was a work of art.

Chefs Celio Ceolin along with visiting chef Neelam Bajwa will create British pub favourites like Big Ben Burger and Fish and Chips for Mumbaikars.  Pics/Atul Kamble
Chefs Celio Ceolin along with visiting chef Neelam Bajwa will create British pub favourites like Big Ben Burger and Fish and Chips for Mumbaikars.  Pics/Atul Kamble

Q. Do you have plans to savour Mumbai food or do you have any other culinary adventures lined up in the city?
A. I am here in Mumbai to learn about Indian food. It is quite different from the Indian food that we get served in the UK. I am also travelling all around to taste all kinds of food. My spice levels are not so high but my tolerance to them is getting better every day.

Till: April 23, lunch and dinner
At: Long & Short — The Gastrobar, InterContinental Marine Drive.
Call: 39879999

Millionaire Cheesecake

>> Chocolate brownie 50 gm
>> Mascarpone 50 gm
>> Sugar 30 ml
>> Milk 50 ml
>> Egg 1
>> Corn flour 4 gm
>> Vanilla ice cream 55 gm

Preheat oven at 180°C. Make cheesecake base out of chocolate brownie in a small round mould. For the cake, mix egg yolk and sugar in a bowl. Add cheese, milk and corn flour to this mixture. Pour the mixture in a mould bake it for 30 to 40 minutes. Once baked, serve chilled with vanilla ice cream.

Mini Fish Pie
>> Fish Cubes: 400 gm
>> Cream Sauce: 100 ml
>> White Wine: 60 ml
>> Chopped parsley: 3 gm
>> Salt and pepper to taste
>> Puff Pastry dough: 500 gm

Pre-heat oven @ 180C, Prepare puff shell & puff cover. For stuffing make creamy wine sauce keep it a side, sweat onion & leeks in pan & deglaze with white wine add Chopped parsley, fish cube add creamy wine sauce, you get dropping consistency mixture but little thick. Put mixture in puff shell & cover with puff bake for 15to20min till golden brown color served with piccalilli.

Piccalilli Relish
>> 1/2 large cauliflower, cut into small florets
>> 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
>> 2 bulbs fennel, cut into small chunks
>> 4 red chillies, seeds still in, finely sliced
>> 2 green chillies, seeds still in, finely sliced
>> 200g fine green beans, chopped into short lengths
>> 150g runner beans, cut into short lengths
>> 300g shallots, cut into eighths
>> 1 red onion, roughly chopped
>> 2 handfuls fine sea salt
>> 2 tablespoons mustard oil
>> 2 heaped tablespoons mustard seeds
>> 2 tablespoons ground cumin
>> 2 tablespoons turmeric
>> 1 nutmeg, grated
>> 2 tablespoons English mustard powder
>> 4 tablespoons flour
>> 500ml white wine vinegar
>> 2 apples, grated
>> 2 mangoes, peeled, stoned and roughly chopped
>> 6 tablespoons sugar
>> 3 cloves garlic, crushed
>> 2 tablespoons dried oregano
>> 4 bay leaves

Let it mellow in a dark cool cupboard for 1 month before eating. Put all the vegetables in a bowl, add the salt & enough water to cover. Leave in a cool place for about 1 hour. Heat a saucepan big enough to hold all the vegetables. Add the mustard oil to the pan, then fry the mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric & nutmeg for a moment. Lower the heat, add mustard powder, flour & a splash of vinegar. Stir well to make a thick paste. Gradually add the remaining vinegar and 100ml water, stirring all the time to make a smooth paste. Add the apples, mangoes, sugar, garlic, oregano and bay leaves. Cook for 2–3 minutes. Drain the salted vegetables and add them to the pan, stirring well to coat with the spicy paste. Cook for 10–15 minutes until the vegetables have just softened and started to release some juice. Spoon into sterilized jars and close the lids tightly.

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