All my senses are being pampered here. If there is paradise on earth, this is it. This is it. Not only is the sun-soaked, glamour drenched south of France, breathtakingly beautiful, the historic Chateau St Martin in the 35 acre park the pinnacle of luxury but even it’s chef conjures up food that is as wickedly delicious as it is wholesomely nutritious.. Like the original detox egg that maestro chef Jean-Luc Lefrançois (please see photo) has innovated and evolved over the years. Infact, as the ever-helpful Geraldine Maiale explains as she translate, he has a whole Detox menu that dazzles, be it Carrots flavoured with lemon balm or Carpaccio of pineapple and kiwi.
All this in the site dating back to Roman times and which a little later played host to the Bishop of Tours in the year 350 A.D. and kept his name from that time on.
In the stylish restaurant I trip out on delicious masterpieces while overlooking the stunning views of the South of France. Every square inch of Chateau St Martin bristles with style and comfort. And chef Jean-Luc Lefrançois’s exciting background, be it in gastronomy or in sport ( champion of triathlon, skiing and biking) has me thrilled. Even more, because he has shared the Recipe for his famous “Detox Egg” should you want it please instagram, tweet @rashmiudaysingh email firstname.lastname@example.org
I went to this sprawling Phoenix Mills “British Brewing company” expecting a raucous pub (which it is) a dimly lit bar (which it has) but here’s the surprise “it’s a family restaurant”. And children are not only allowed in “British Brewing company” but welcomed.
Read my detailed review on timescity.com
Stop press. Our very own Keralaites are making international headlines. They are being applauded and awarded. Celebrated and feted. I must confess that though I’m a North Indian, I’ve always had a big fat soft corner for South Indians and South India. It was during my tenure in the Indian Revenue Service (I resigned as commissioner of tax after working for 15 years) that I got to know South Indians closely. And since then have been a fan. So it is with great delight and pride that I write about the three superstars…
2 MICHELIN STARS IN SAN FRANCISCO
He’s the only Indian chef in the world to receive two Michelin stars. Soft spoken, brilliant Keralite Chef Srijith Gopinathan grew up being influenced by his grandmothers cooking and the exotic spices in his Kerala home’s backyard. From the perfumed kitchen of his family to culinary school and then working with Raymond Blanc, the genius of cuisine in London gave Srijith a huge headstart. For six years in a row, Chef Srijith earned a\Michelin star and it was just recently that he got the highly coveted two stars.
I had his most mindblowingoriginal Californian-Indian masterpieces in San Francisco’smost prominent century old, award-winning landmark hotel restaurant located in Campton Place, the throbbing heart of this beautiful city. Helmed by the dynamic and charming AshrafiMatcheswala who never ceases to amaze me with her prowess in hospitality but also as an award winning marathoner. It was with the two of them that I not only tripped out on an amazing dinner but also learnt more about the Dungness crabs, famous over here. Infact Chef Srijith has shared his fabulous recipes of “Crab and peaches” but space constraint prevents me from including it here. Should you need it please mail, tweet or instagam @rashmiudaysingh
COOKING UP HISTORY IN NEW YORK
Making waves in New york city and getting rave reviews for his brand new Perineis executive chef AshferBiju. This brilliant and friendly Keralite chef heads up NYC’s 85 year old iconic landmark which keeps reinventing itself. Escoffier, the King of French chefs (and codifier of French cuisine,) did all the initial menus at this magnificent stately Pierre. Today, AshferBiju is making history again. To bring back the era of celebration of food and dinind, he researched menus and recipes from 1930s 40s and 50s (when Pierre had opened its doors to public. He found dishes / recipes that are classic which fell into three categories – New York Classic, French Classic & Pierre Classic – with several overlaps. While some classics are retained with its original recipe, other dishes are made relevant using local produce from Upstate New York and Long Island.Interestingly there is a spice thread which runs through the menu and pays tribute to “The Pierre Grill” one of the first (or the first) fine dining Indian restaurant that existed at the hotel in 1950s. I not only taste history here but have many an amazing meal withJoint-degree holder from the finest in America and France, the great wit and dynamo Francois Olivier Luigi. He helms this exquisite icon andnot only ensures that it retains it’s historic grandeur (handpainted murals et al) but also rocks ahead youthfully. Chef AshferBiju and Michael Mignano share many a superb recipe with us, should you need it please mail, instagram or tweet @rashmiudaysingh
GOURMAND WORLD COOKBOOK AWARD WINNER
“Best Indian cookbook in the world” is her most recent award given by the numero uno Edourard Cointreau of the highly prestigious and coveted Gourmand World cookbook awards. These awards are the worlds most respected and sought after, global culinary awards. Nimi Sunil Kumar, Our very own Conoor resident, was given this honor in China recently. She is a highly accomplished author/culinary teacher/freelance writer / food photographer and a part time food blogger/ dietitian. It is for her third cookbook “4 o’clock temptations of kerala” that she won the title “Best Indian cookbook in the world ” (209 countries competed for it)
She has written three books on authentic Kerala cooking. “Lip smacking dishes of Kerala”.The book bagged the third place for the “Best Local Cuisine Book in the world” in Beijing in 2014. She started “Nimi’s Lip Smacking Classes” in Jan 2012 for foreigners and for these is listed on international websites and books and has received many a certificate of excellence.
Congratulations to all three. You do not just South India but also India proud! Jai ho.
I am tasting a historic sweet union …France’s favorite cookie (the macaron) is being married to America’s favorite Oreo. The result? A sublime Oreo macaron.And presiding over the nuptials is the brilliant patisseur chef Chris Ford. Pretty-in-pink is yet another masterpiece of his. He is creating sweet history in the magnificent Pretty woman hotel, which is the glamorous repository of Hollywood history. Beverly Wilshire opened in 1928 on the site of the deserted Beverly Auto Speedway ( and now it faces Rodeo Drive, the glamor drenched shopping boulevard to the world). As Audrey Slade, who combines beauty and brains, explains, the pool is modeled after Sophia Loren’s private villa in Italy, Elvis Presley, Warren Beatte lived here for long periods. And even now this is where not just Hollywood but even Bollywood (Anil Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra et al) lives and dines. Glamorous history keeps repeating itself!
Caution: do not get misled by the name. This brand new American Joint ain’t got no steaks or burgers et al. It is in fact, (hold your breath) pure vegetarian and focuses on Jain food.
Read my detailed review on timescity.com
I write from New York city, the scene of high octane excitement. The worlds most coveted Worlds 50 best awards are being announced in the historic Cipriani on Wall street. As chairperson of the Indian subcontinent it is thrilling to be amid the worlds largest and most powerful gathering of superstar chefs (restaurants from 23 countries spread across six continents make the list).
The worlds best restaurant Osteria Francescana’s (Italy) inspired, philosopher genius Massimo Bottura received a standing ovation. Our very own Gaggan Anand and Rajesh Kewalramani ‘s Gaggan Bangkok (Asia’s best restaurant) was honored at the 23 rd place. Whereas Rohit and Rishabh Khattar and Manish Mehrotra’s “Indian Accent”, crowned best restaurant of India, 9th best in Asia was placed 72nd Blazing the way, being the list maker and the taste maker,World’s 50 best is helmed by the dynamic and dapper Charles Reed dashing and efficient managing director Tim Brooke Web, the lovely and brilliant Helene Pietrini William Drew, the ever-helpful and equally brilliant Group Editor have recently been joined by Tiago Rastini. The dream team cooked up a fabulous Global gourmet Oscars.
Are you excited by food? By travel? Does the very name “Havana café” propel you to come rushing to it in Colaba, in the hope of being transported to Cuba? It had that effect on us, we rushed here but alas! The food was anything but Cuban. But boy! Was I transported? Not to Cuba but to the most undiscovered gems in India.
Read my detailed review on timescity.com
This is it. The pinnacle and epicenter of global gastronomy, the guiding star for gastronomes the world over. The prestigious and highly coveted Worlds 50 best restaurant awards is the definitive “list maker” of the greatest restaurants and it is also the “tastemaker” for the world.This is also the worlds largest and most powerful gathering of superstar chefs. I write from the scene of action, from the bustling, cacophonic New York city. In the historic, high-ceilinged Cipriani in Wall street, the awards are announced.. Featuring restaurants from 23 countries spread across six continents, the list provides an annual snapshot of the greatest gastronomic experiences across the globe. As chairperson of the Indian subcontinent, I have been attending these annual award ceremonies for over a decade. This year, the awards got even more magnificent, they were hosted in New York for the first time as 50 Best begins a global tour of gastronomic destinations. Here are some quick snapshots…
THE WORLDS BEST RESTAURANT
On being crowned worlds best, the tall, bespectacled passionate, inspired, philosopher genius Massimo Bottura received a standing ovation. Evocative, provocative and memorable! That was my 5 hour, 15 course mindblowing meal at his 50 seater restaurant which sits in a nondescript quiet back street of Modena, Italy. From the world-famous theatrical dessert called ‘Oops! A broken lemon tart’ to the “beautiful spin painted beet” to the “lentil better than beluga caviar” flavors explode and textures are balanced.. Renowned for challenging the traditions of cuisine, using parody and ironic interpretations of food, Bottura keeps evolving Italian food.
INDIANS MAKE THE CUT
In this rarefied gastronomic galaxy of superstars our very own Kolkatta boy Gaggan Anand (who is crowned Asias best) was given the 23 rd place. I am still not able to decide whether this pony tailed Gaggan is a mad scientist? A culinary rockstar? An impresario? Creative artist? Gaggan effortlessly reconciles contradictions.
He makes art and science copulate in his kitchen teases our mind caresses our intellect.
Our very own Delhi based Rohit and Rishabh Khattar and Manish Mehrotra’s “Indian Accent”, crowned best restaurant of India, 9th best in Asia was placed 72nd The brilliant and gifted Manish’s progressive Indian cuisine is inventive, adventurous and highly individual, yet respectful of India’s culinary legacy. The recently set up Indian Accent in New York, has been receiving rave reviews.
Eye-opening and riveting talks organized by The Worlds 50 Best, are an invaluable catalyst for all that is pioneering and path breaking in the gastronomic world. Brilliant French chef Yannick Alleno presented his fascinating talk on Cuisine Moderne, as well as fermentation and extraction. Chef Mingoo of Mingles in Korea and Andre Chiang of Singapore gave their take on fermentation as a cutting edge culinary tool. And blew our minds with all the path breaking culinary work.
THE DRIVING FORCES…
Powering this gigantic and magnificent global operation is an amazing dream team. Hailing from different parts of the world, each one is dynamic, creative, efficient and empathetic. Helmed by Charles Reed, Tim Brooke Webb, Helene Pietrini William Drew and Tiago Restani together with Laura Price, Maria Olite Stephanie Danvers, Vasu Read, Rikki Mudie and Emer Schlosser who keep the Worlds 50 best continuing be the Best of the best.
I write from Paradise. Why else would it be called “The Big Apple”? Here, in this adrenalin-fueled New York city, keeping tabs on all that is new is like jogging on quicksand. But here’s some brand new news from New york city’s 85 year old iconic landmark which keeps reinventing itself. Escoffier, the King of French chefs (and codifier of French cuisine,) did all the initial menus at this magnificent stately Pierre. Today, the brilliant young Keralite chef Ashfer Biju is making history again. He is reimagining classics with a fresh modern seasonal perspective. Can the American classic of Crab Imperial be immensely pleasurable on Naan? We re convinced it is as we do a preview lunch in The Perrine with America’s most brilliant award-winning Food TV producer Geoffrey Drummond ( renowned for his shows with Julia Child to Eric Ripert,). Joint-degree holder from finest in America and France, the dynamic Francois Olivier Luigi who helms this exquisite icon not only ensures that it retains it’s historic grandeur (hand painted murals et al) but also rocks ahead youthfully.