Foodies Rejoice

Published: Jun 05, 2009, 10:12 IST | Philippe Mercure

With three new food shows starting this week on Discovery Travel & Living channel, this is truly the beginning of the cooking season. But how's the food proposed by the TV star chefs? We got to taste it. Verdict? Our taste buds were happily surprised

With three new food shows starting this week on Discovery Travel & Living channel, this is truly the beginning of the cooking season. But how's the food proposed by the TV star chefs? We got to taste it. Verdict? Our taste buds were happily surprised

Nigella Lawson, Kylie Kwong and Rachel Allen. These three star chefs are known around the world. And they all start this week their show on Indian TV for the very first time. 

Nigella Lawson has been described as the "Queen of food porn" for her flirtatious ways of presenting her recipes. Unfortunately, we couldn't see that live. But we got to taste her food, prepared by the chefs of The Oberoi hotel in Bangalore according to her instructions.

Cooking up a storm: Deep Mohan Singh Bajaj Pics/Vinod Kumar T

The Fusilli with Spring Vegetables and Pesto was nothing to write to your mom about. Pasta, vegetables and pesto: we could have thought about it without seeing it on TV. A whole different story for the amazing Green Pea, Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna a tasty combination enhanced by a great béchamel sauce and a mix of parmesan and mozzarella. Yum.

The Mirin Fish also got our taste buds excited.  A simple mix of soya sauce and rice wine gave this dish a very tasty twist. In general, beautiful Nigella promises to give simple but original and tasty recipes, easy to prepare at home.

Smoky delights

The second star featured was Kylie Kwong, an Australian chef with Chinese origins, who explores the cuisine of her ancestors' country. In short, this seems to be authentic, simple and good Chinese cuisine a blessing for all of us who have no clue how to prepare these lovely dishes at home. The Lamb in Szechwan Sauce was spicy and excellent, just as the Chicken with Black Pepper Sauce. Nothing very special with the Vegetable Fried Rice, but the Lohan Vegetables seemed to come straight from China (and unless you were born in Beijing, good luck if you try to cook this at home without a chef telling you how).

A word about the vegetable noodles: they really looked simple and ordinary. But there was a slight smoky taste in there that recalled a hot wok and made you think you were somewhere in Shanghai enjoying real street food. We had to take a second portion.

Sin on a platter

Last but the least were the desserts of Rachel Allen, a baking specialist. The sweet treats she bakes are so professional looking that you could impress you guests before they even take their first bite.

The good news is that they also taste really good.

The undisputed highlight was the Orange Crepe a folded pancake warmed in a pan full of a very tasty orange sauce. Zesty, refreshing and different. The Chocolate Nougative

Cake was spongy and moist, the Cashew Caramel Pie is simply a brilliant idea and the brownies had a real, good taste of nuts. The hardcore sugar aficionados might complain, but the rest of us will finally applaud: Rachel Allen bakes desserts that are not over-sweet.

After tasting the desserts, we had doubts though: can you really bake these things at home without tearing all your hair out? Deep Mohan Singh Bajaj, the pastry chef of The Oberoi, who prepared them according to Rachel Allen's recipes, is positive. "These recipes are very simple", he told us. "There is no fuss, no extravaganza. They use surprisingly few ingredients, and only ingredients that are easy to find."
Good news for all the wannabe chefs in town.

The food podium
Gold medal: The Szechwan Lamb of Kylie Kwong. Spicy, tasty and exotic.
Silver medal: The Orange Crepe of Rachel Allen. Zesty, refreshing and different.
Bronze medal: The Mirin Fish of Nigella Lawson. Surprising, lightly sweet and succulent. 

Food, food and food
Three new shows, three star chefs, three new ways to learn to cook. Discovery Travel & Living is betting on food this summer with three TV shows featuring international cuisine celebrities.

"Lifestyle is not only about fashion or travelling. Food is very important. We want to present world cuisine to India", said Rajiv Bakshi, director (marketing), India, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific. 

Every Saturday at 10 pm, starting this week, Rachel Allen will give baking lessons to her audience. The Irish chef is into breads, pies, exotic cakes and tarts. Rachel Allen: Bake promises to make baking simple, easy and fun.

"So many people are intimidated by baking. But it's much easier and quicker than you think", explained Rajiv.
Tuesdays, 10 pm, it's Kylie Kwong who'll steal the show. The Australian chef of Chinese origins will host a show entitled Kylie Kwong: Simply Magic. The chef will travel to China for cooking inspiration, visiting places like Shanghai and Hong Kong. On the menu: authentic homemade Chinese food cooked with simple, easy-to-find ingredients. 

Fridays, 10 pm, the English star Nigella Lawson takes the lead with Forever Summer with Nigella: a show that's all about cooking simple, tasty recipes that you can enjoy all year long. Nigella as been called the Queen of Food Porn for her teasing manners while presenting her recipes, and the Domestic Goddess after the book she published in 2000.

Form Italian pasta to Middle Eastern breads, from Vietnamese-style prawns to Moroccan Roast Lamb, Nigella looks everywhere around the world to find recipes that you can cook at home without tearing your hair out.

DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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