How are city's expat chefs cheering their home teams at the ongoing World Cup?
Here are their yummy memories of match-time madness
'Beer-battered fish and chips for the Brits'
Fan: Chef and consultant Shaun Kenworthy
Cheering For: England
England in this FIFA World Cup seem to be in top form, with Harry Kane among this year's leading scorer (five goals in two matches). Chef and consultant Shaun Kenworthy hails from Manchester, which turns into a ghost town during any football match. "Though I grew up playing rugby, I don't mind hanging out with my friends to watch a match," recalls Kenworthy, adding, "We usually team it with barbeque and beer." Add an option of Pimm's if you like. It's the monsoon in India, too, so why not serve some beer-battered fish and chips to your guests? "It is another Englishman pick!" he quips.
If you really do want to play the generous host, you can add a main course of beef Wellington with the classic Indian-inspired HP sauce or the good ol' British roast chicken. "I wouldn't mind some chicken tikka, too!" he signs off.
'Bruschetta and barbecues are a must'
Fan: Chef, owner Jose Guto Souza, Boteco
Cheering For: Brazil
Brazilians like to sip on caipirinha, their national drink made with cachaça (sugarcane hard liquor), sugar and lime during matches, says Chef Jose Guto Souza, owner of Boteco. If you are rooting for Brazil, your platter should have barbecues, grilled sausages, cassava chips, pork ribs, bruschetta, coxinha (chicken croquettes), and battered prawns.
"I was never a huge fan, but the World Cup takes me back to my teenage years in Brazil. I never miss my country's match," he shares. We are not surprised that Philippe Coutinho, Brazil's attacking midfielder, is his favourite player. "The country comes to a standstill during the matches. The only thing on our mind is football."
'Can't do without empanadas'
Fan: Head chef Pablo Naranjo Agular, Le 15 Cafe
Cheering For: Colombia
"Football is a religion for us Colombians!" chef Pablo Naranjo Agular tells us. During the last match between Colombia and Senegal, he couldn't stop laughing because his Indian friends couldn't understand his obsession with the World Cup. "Back home, my cousin blocked the conference room, ordered some food and locked everyone's schedule for the match and marked a 'meeting' on their calendars," he tells us, listing the foods they eat back home.
"Our food table is packed with empanadas, which we love with lime, aji (chutney) and guacamole. The picada is another dish stuffed with meat — chorizo, blood sausage, fried pork belly, fried plantain and some 'arepa' or chapati made out of corn and then roasted in the fire. Pair this with lots of beer. Picture this: a big party around the television, salsa music in the background and everyone weraing their team jersey! We dance, we scream, we yell, we laugh and sometimes, we also cry." For tonight's knockout match against England, he is rooting for Juan Cuadrado.
'We cheer with crackers and beer'
Fan: Yugo Tokuchi of Yugo Sushi
Cheering For: Japan
The Samurai Blue, as they are known, have quite a following across the world. "My father would sit with a bottle of beer and rice crackers while watching the matches," Yugo Tokuchi of Yugo Sushi tells us. Kari Kari, the same company of rice crackers recently launched in India, too, so you know where to get them. "Usually, we have sushi and barbecues too. While we have beef back home, you can use any meat and marinate it with garlic paste and serve it with soya sauce and miso."
'We love our cheese and sausage'
In France, things shift a notch higher when the Les Blues are playing as they ditch the beer for classy aperitifs and champagne cocktails. Chef Alexis Gielbaum, of Slink and Bardot, suggests charcuterie (fried pork sausage), adding.
"Of course, there has to be a cheese platter. Instead of a heavy meal, the French prefer light nibbles to last us through the game," says Gielbaum. "If you must know, I am rooting for Oliver Giroud."
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