‘DRAMATIC PRESENTATION DOESN’T MEAN GREAT FOOD’
The uniqueness and authenticity of taste is more important than quirky presentation, believes food historian Pushpesh Pant
The scorching heat has given way to the monsoon showers. Did you know that as the seasons change, so does our palate? “While summer saps your energy, monsoon rejuvenates it. Your appetite goes up. You yearn for forgotten delicacies. Piquant and pungent, fried and spicy, anything that tickles the palate is welcome,” says Pushpesh Pant, food critic and food historian.
The Padma Shri awardee has collaborated with Davinder Kumar, executive chef, Le Meridien, New Delhi and after serious brainstorming, curated an appetising menu for monsoon festival, that begins today at Eau De Monsoon restaurant in the hotel. “The menu showcases coastal Indian cuisines, with emphasis on Goan, Malabari and Bengali. The idea is to promote fresh and healthy seasonal ingredients. Most restaurants don’t serve food as per the seasons, which can be unhealthy and lead to stomach infections,” says Pant. You can enjoy Kankrhar Jhal (a classic crab curry) from Bengal; Kayaaattira Chikary (mutton cooked with raw banana slices) from Malabar; Beringelas Fritas (sliced, crisply fried aubergines) and Chicken Xacuti (an IndoPortuguese specialty) from Goa and more at this fest.
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT GREAT LOOKS
Pant believes that with many Indian restaurants riding on molecular gastronomy, traditional Indian cuisine has taken a back seat. “Dramatic presentation doesn’t mean the quality of food is good. What matters is the authenticity and uniqueness of taste. Consumers seem enamoured with Michelin restaurants. But what does the Michelin star award jury know about Indian food? It’s a traveller’s guide; we are too hung up on it. I would take something that Manish Mehrotra does at Indian Accent or Davinder Kumar’s traditional Indian food more seriously,” he says.
Consumers seem enamoured with Michelin starred restaurants. But what does the Michelin star award jury know about Indian food? PUSHPESH PANT, FOOD HISTORIAN Traditional coastal cuisines of India team well with the monsoon season DAVINDER KUMAR, EXECUTIVE CHEF, LE MERIDIEN, NEW DELHI
Kayaattira Chikary (a mutton cooked with raw banana), Picante De Jaca Verda (jackfruit curry) and Chemmen Manga Charu (prawns curry with mango slices)
Mutta Chutney Kabab, an egg kebab delicacy