Gourmands' meet at this culinary festival in Worli
A festival brings together some of the world's best chefs for a riveting culinary experience
What can one do with an onion? Ask a humble Mumbaikar and their response is likely to include sirke wala kaanda or the vinegary variants served at desi restaurants along with a sprightly green chilli.
But it's 2019, and kitchens are replete with dishes being created by talented chefs who are seeking innovation with as much rigour as flavour. If one is foraging in the wilderness as part of their endeavour to make seasonal produce great again, others are donning a scientist's hat, conducting crazy experiments and championing the molecular gastronomy movement. Food is no longer just about eating. It's understandable then, that this global culinary renaissance is trickling down to the Indian subcontinent.
"Till a couple of years ago, celebrity chefs largely ignored India; they would head to neighbouring countries like Singapore, Thailand and Dubai, but felt the market for gastronomy in India wasn't mature enough. This, plus red tapism when it comes to sourcing ingredients made it difficult for chefs to come and cook here. This perplexed me. How could India, which has given the world so many great cuisines, not have its own gourmet festival?" shares Raaj Sanghvi, co-founder of Sanguine, the organising partner of the World Gourmet Festival that will commence this Thursday. It will see the coming together of seminary chefs like Singapore-based Corner House's Jason Tan and Indian Accent's Manish Mehrotra who will be kicking off the festival.
And that brings us back to onions. At the 10-day long event, chef Tan will be preparing his signature oignon doux des cevennes - onion done in four ways: sweet onion purée with sous-vide egg topped with grated Manjumup black truffle; wafer-thin onion tart crowned with onion confit and Parmesan; crisp onion chip; and onion tea with an emulsion of onion confit. So, you see, along with the culinary industry, the humble vegetable has evolved, too.
Expect riveting spreads at sit-down dinners curated by Tan, Mehrotra, Rohit Ghai of London's famed Gymkhana, Thitid Tassanakajohn Bangkok's Le Du and Kirk Westaway of
Speaking about the festival, chef Mehrotra says, "I am thrilled to be a part of it because I believe it is a great concept. It has been attempted internationally several times. However, it's a notion we have not really tried in our country. So, it will be amazing to get a platform where chefs from different walks of life can come together and present their expertise."
AT: Four Seasons Hotel, 1/136, Doctor E Moses Road, Worli.
ON: March 14 to 24 (check the website for timings)
LOG ON TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
COST: Rs 8,500 to Rs 9,000 (for sit-down dinners)
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