And some thoughts on real food and simple pleasures of home cooking. Being a true foodie, discussing techniques of playing with the ingredients. Respecting food.
Master-chef Australia has been a phenomenal food show that has captured imaginations of millions across the globe. The imaginations and aspirations of the foodie kind. We have all seen the finest of gadgets, the widest range of ingredients and the most passionate people cooking on our TV screens. We have prayed for them with bated breath so they win a particular challenge. And then there were those affable judges who would encourage the participants and often help them to get across a particular challenge. The show has been something that would make you go straight to the kitchen after your eyes peel off from the TV screen. A show that inspires people to cook their own food, as I wrote in the post sometime ago when I was invited to write an article for Masterchef Australia. I was amazed, wide eyed and glad in my heart that the food philosophy that we follow at healthfood desivideshi is the mantra of the people who influence millions of viewers around the world. We want more and more people going for real food isn't it?
I had little idea that was to witness how the philosophy of growing food in your backyard and real home cooked food is actually being propagated through the makers of the show when Astha Mittal called me one day asking if I can come to a relaxed breakfast with George Colambaris and Gary Mihigan at Olive Beach. It is a breakfast starting sharp and 9 AM and the venue is Olive beach and not Olive Bar and Kitchen she repeated. I took some time to register as my mind was being clouded with the thoughts of a relaxed breakfast with the MCA judges. Was it for real? A relaxed breakfast sounded too dreamy considering the ambiance of Olive. I sad yes and then realised the duo had already taken India by storm. They were in all major newspapers and our countrymen were going all mad about an English language food show. Such is the magic of a show that connects people.
Unfortunately, Gary couldn't make it to the breakfast at Olive beach but George didn't let it dampen the spirits of all of us present there. He talked about how creating food is an act of instant gratification, how it makes happiness tangible when you see the person eating the food burst into a happy smile. We found everyone nodding. All the Chefs of Delhi were there listening to him keenly, including Kunal Kapoor of Masterchef India who had come with his wife. It is wonderful to see people who have become icons and still are so grounded in reality.
George answered one of the questions on how he handles the celebrity status by saying he wants to break this celebrity mold as cooking food is a real passion and it should not be diluted by a larger than life image. So true. He talked about his family, how he grew up and how we should show our kids that food comes from the Earth and not from cartons and packets. I know you all are not listening it for the first time over here :-)
He accepted a few small gifts that people had brought for him. Kept us all in splits by telling funny stories about Matt and others. How being a Chef and food critique is different. And how food is a personal choice. How Matt loves his mashed potatoes with Duck fat while others might like it with cream or butter. It was nice to hear him say that he loved the Indian breakfast dish Jalebi and was amazed to know that Lacto fermentation was a traditional technique in India which the west is recognizing and adapting now as a source of probiotic food. He said he is keen to create something similar to Jalebi when back to his own kitchen. I got thinking of a Jalebi pancake myself. Arvind will get a surprise very soon.
And then there was the orthodox tea as well served in china. I could see and taste Tea blends from Manjhi valley there. Though I caught the orthodox tea girl sipping the masala tea as well. The charm of a terracotta kulhad I would say.
And then there was this Chef Sumit Jasuja who kept on frying Churros lovingly till the very end. The yummiest of them, coated with cinnamon sugar and dipped in dark chocolate sauce.
The food as usual is always great at Olive. See the beautiful desserts. A chocolate fudge cake topped with a paan candy crown, a mixed nut tart, Almond financiers and Baklava apart form the unending supply of Churros and an exotic fruits platter. The desserts are visual treat, I can'r have much of these but the sweetest or Mangosteens and Rambutans were enjoyed to the fullest.
There was more food which I didn't photograph as I was eating that. Elaborate cheese platters, Bruchettas of different types, spinach and ricotta puffs and many more. The desserts were clicked when I was finished with my breakfast.
The day started well, some food for thought, some thoughts on food and all things good. Meeting blogger friends, talking about the things that are most fascinating for us and then saying good bye to meet again..