Mumbai Food: Two Canadian chefts to rustle up a surprise menu at Prateek Sadhu's restaurant

Jan 11, 2018, 13:47 IST | Phorum Dalal

Prateek Sadhu invites two world-famous Canadian chefs to rustle up a surprise menu at his restaurant this weekend

Chef Tam's poached trout, crispy leaves and ramson
Chef Tam's poached trout, crispy leaves and ramson

Last year, we saw vegan chef Scott Winegard fly down from LA for a cook- off, and Bangkok-based Garima Arora take over the kitchen with her nostalgia menu at Masque. To begin the year on a collaborative note, two Canadian chefs, one a gelato expert and another a serial forager, will join hands with executive chef Prateek Sadhu in his Mahalaxmi kitchen for a "6-Hand" dinner experience this weekend.

Onion cooked in water from a birch tree and pine
Onion cooked in water from a birch tree and pine

The best part is that it's going to be spontaneous. No one is coming in with fixed ideas. The chefs want to take in the time and place, and then get cooking. The two international chefs, Daniel Burns and Jonathon Tam, give us a whiff of what's in store at the special cookout.'

We bring a small part of our restaurant with us
Jonathan Tam, head chef at Restaurant Relæ in Alberta, Canada, specialises in cooking with seasonal produce and vegetable-focussed dishes. The 31-year-old, who has previously worked at Noma, says, "Everyone benefits from collaborations. As guests, we bring a small part of our own restaurant." He adds that the plan this time is to not have a plan.

Jonathan Tam
Jonathan Tam

"All three of us strongly believe in seasonal and local produce. So Prateek will take us around to visit his purveyors and see what ingredients are available. However, I am going to carry dried potatoes that give a great texture when slow-cooked," says Tam. Apart from the potatoes, he will bring some pickled hiprose and pickled noble pine cone. "Both are wild foraged ingredients from Denmark. I just wanted to have these on hand and see if they can work well with any of the local ingredients."

Back home, Tam works to highlight the ingredient in his dishes. "The dishes at Relæ feature two to three flavours, so we work very hard to find a balance between these flavours and textures. We've recently started our own farm that's only 45km away from the restaurant. We have chefs going there every day harvesting early in the morning and the goods arrive in the afternoon. We then decide the menu for the evening," he says. Just like Sadhu, Tam too has been working on different fermentation techniques. "The most recent development is to ferment different fruits like in Japanese cuisine [that has something called Umebushi or fermented unripe plums]. Another one that is a work in progress is making a miso out of all of our bread scraps!"

'Will interpret local produce in interesting ways'
Daniel Burns, chef and gelato maker from Halifax, Canada, last worked at Luksus in Brooklyn, which shut in December 2016. The chef, whose résumé reads like a list of the world's best restaurants, is currently working on opening Burns Gelato.

Daniel Burns
Daniel Burns

"I love to forage and use seasonal produce. "I am looking forward to interpreting local products in interesting ways — by focusing on what is freshest, most local and wild.

Chef Burns' cranberry
Chef Burns' cranberry

The three of us chefs will work together to create a menu that reflects our individual styles; while at the same time considering the whole of the menu," says Burns, who believes that dishes that emit childhood memories are most often the best dishes because they connect you to an exact time and place. "Any dish or flavour that can do that has really done a wonderful job of ensuring the food experience is something that has been elevated in some way."

Sunchoke desserts
Sunchoke desserts

Black carrots
Black carrots

Kashmiri turnips
Kashmiri turnips

Chef Prateek Sadhu, head chef, Masque
Chef Prateek Sadhu, head chef, Masque

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