Chef's corner: Taste of Italy
In her long career spanning 30 years, Chef Odette Fada has worked for some of the highest-rated restaurants across Italy and America such as Ristorante Castello Malvezzi in Brescia, Ristorante Vissani in Baschi and Convivio Vissani in Rome, Rex Il Ristorante in Los Angeles, San Domenico in New York and SD26 at Madison Square Park North and Rana, USA. “It’s always a new experience. Everywhere I go, I have to adjust to a different culture, different products and different traditions,” says Fada.
Chef Odette Fada
Now, as the Global Chef Consultant of Serafina, New York’s Italian eatery with an outlet in Mumbai among other cities in India, she believes that as more and more Indians travel to Italy, they have become accustomed to the Italian taste. “In time, the pastas and risotto will be accepted as we cook them in Italy — al dente,” she says, adding that already, there’s a growing interest in sourcing products locally.
The chef, who was in Mumbai recently, shares the recipe of Beet Carpaccio and Rosemary Baked Onion, as she feels that it’s very Indian in taste. “The seasoning is Italian — extra virgin olive oil with no extra spices. The two main ingredients’ sweetness is cut by arugula’s spiciness and mustard dressing while caramelised pistachio nuts, an Indian ingredient, lend the dish crunchiness,” she adds.
Beet Carpaccio and Rosemary Baked Onion
>> 1 baked beetroot
>> 1 white onion peeled
>> 1 sprig rosemary
>> 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
>> Sea salt
>> Black pepper
>> 5-6 pieces candied pistachio
>> A few leaves of arugula
>> Vinegar/mustard dressing (olive oil, vinegar, black pepper, salt, mustard)
>> Season the onion and coat it with oil. Put the rosemary on top and wrap it in aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes at 170°C.
>> Peel and thinly slice the baked beet and lay on the plate like a carpaccio. Incide the top of the onion in a cross and then again another cross so to have 8 segments attached at the bottom. Gently separate the segment to get a star.
>> Save the cooking juice.
>> Dress the arugula with vinegar/mustard dressing and place it in the middle of the beet carpaccio. Top it with the onion.
>> Pour the cooking juice on the onion and garnish with pistachio and minced chives