Mumbai Food: A 10-course vegetarian meal celebrating Mother Earth
Vegan chef Scott Winegard flies down from LA to present an elaborate 10-course vegetarian meal that celebrates Mother Earth at his friend’s fine dine
Chefs Prateek Sadhu and Scott Winegard test a plating with black king oyster mushrooms sourced from Haryana. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Masque is 213 days old, and a white board in the squeaky clean kitchen reads: Meals and memories are made here. Headed by chef Prateek Sadhu, its concept of indigenous ingredients will be at the heart of the fine dine’s Earth Day themed 10-course vegetarian meal. It is going to be held in collaboration with Los Angeles-based vegan chef, Scott Winegard, whose friendship with Sadhu goes back to their Noma days. Sadhu will also set up three plant installations that will become their playground for fresh ingredients such as liquorice basil, chocolate basil, dill and chilli flowers.
Seated on a high chair, Scott cuts a towering figure. Dressed in a casual striped tee and arms flaunting a colourful tattoo sleeve, he tells us he turned vegan in the early ’90s, soon after high school. "This is the food I like the most; how beautiful vegetables can taste without mashing them with things. Vegan food has a reputation of being bland and boring, but the first step to break the myth is to walk through my door," says culinary operations director for celebrity chef Matthew Kenney, who specialises in plant-based cuisine.
Pre-dessert of black rice and jaggery ice cream coated with Pondicherry chocolate and black rice crispies
On the menu is a raw kimchi dumpling he is excited to serve. "The wrapper is made with a mixture of coconut, cilantro and coriander mash, spread smooth and dehydrated. This is filled with cashew nut, tahini and kimchi," says Winegard, who is also a bass guitarist back home. We move to the kitchen where Sadhu and Winegard are prepping two dishes. While Winegard is busy with a mixture to make macadamia nut yoghurt, Sadhu inspects two containers of black king oyster mushrooms from Haryana, discussing plating with his staff. In a pot, the pre-desserts arrive. We bite into what looks like a chocolate candy; crunchy black rice-coated Pondicherry chocolate holds a black rice and jaggery ice cream. The duo is deciding how many nasturtiums to place on white, compressed watermelon. Sadhu drizzles it with turmeric and pepper oil, as Winegard places strips of pickled turmeric. Zesty, sweet and salty, we polish it off in seconds.
"We are pairing it with a curated cocktail collection, and each of the four pours will have a plant-based element — think turmeric, hibiscus and the likes," Sadhu informs us, sealing the deal for our weekend plan.
ON: April 22 and 23
AT: Laxmi Woollen Mill, Shakti Mills Lane, Mahalaxmi.
COST: Rs 7,000