I’m on a foodie pilgrimage… from Lima (the rocking capital of Peruvian cuisine) to Machu Picchu (citadel of the ancient Incas) to Mexico city (Latin Americas restaurant awards as jury) and now in Los Angeles (the glamour and film capital of the world). Here I dine in three landmark symbols of Hollywood. Wolfgang Pucks Spago (superb) Chateau Marmont (pedestrian food) and the crowning glory is the dinner at the all new art-deco BLVD, the ultimate winner of a symbol of Hollywood dining, which bristles with starpower and the brilliant French chef Thomas Bellec’s Mediterranean magic with Californian produce. Voted top “Power Tables” … Wall Street Journal, ironically enough it is in BLVD that I’ve had salad with Priyanka Chopra, muesli with Anil Kapoor and steak with Javed Akhtar. Today I dine with Super achiever Sunil Perkash ( producer of Hollywood Blockbusters, including SALT with Angelina Jolie and Enchanted with Amy Adams.) This Stanford graduate, gourmet at large also cooks up delicious biryani. Also a Stanford alumni, the talented Scriptwriter Anjali Vithayathil’s is currently working on another western with Sunil. Joining us, is well-traveled gourmet, the dapper Ben Trodd, who has led many a hotel to win awards and spearheads, Beverly Wilshire, the “pretty woman hotel” and iconic Hollywood landmark.
P.S My starpower dining continues,thanks to Michalene my foodeditor friend of Robb Report, we’ve just got a table at the mega-celebrity chef Curtis Stone’s three month old “Gwen” . Should you need information about LA restaurants, please instagram, tweet or mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was a fan. Im not anymore. Not after I dined at TV chef, author and serial restaurateur Jamie Oliver’s new pizzeria in Phoenix Mills.
Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/jamies-pizzeria-by-jamie-oliver-r-9421
Here’s to the power of Food and restaurants. Did you think Food is only about nourishment, taste, excitement, great cooking, expression of love? It’s much more. It’s a global force. I write from the most prestigious Oscar of food awards being held in Mexico. Not only did the Minister of Tourism Enrique De la Madrid, grace the awards but even the President of Mexico tweeted and congratulated the chefs.
Building this all-powerful global platform to promote gastronomy is Charles Reed and his dream team of the Worlds 50 best restaurant academy (also Asia’s 50 best, Latin America’s 50 best). I am all admiration for this dynamo dream team from London who even in as far away as Latin America not only encourage and award the finest 50 best restaurants, give diners an accurate compass to find the best but also ensure positive benefits to flow to local communities from greater awareness and international visitors and even promote tourism. May this uniting global power of food and restaurants grow and magnify!
Note: Latin America’s top two restaurants, Central (Virgilio and Pia Martinez) and Maido (Mitsuharu) are both in Lima and I had the most amazing meals there…including 15 course, pure vegetarian ones.
“Eat-Play-Booze” seems to be the mantra of this new, high-octane, Lower Parel lounge. Im a dedicated foodie, but I’m not fit enough to review this young, rocking space where food is not the prime mover. So, I invite my young friends who are fit (in every meaning of the term) to do so.
Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/play-the-lounge-r-9412
BAD Café.., that name was enough to whip up our curiosity and magnetize us to Bandra.
Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/bad-cafe-r-9406
Am I in a glamorous 1920s Hollywood movie train? Or an Agatha Christie thriller? Dining on gourmet food in this plush, gleaming dining car in the uber luxurious Belmond Hiram Bingham train by Orient Express, is a dream come true. Its speeding me through breathtakingly beautiful everchanging Peruvian Andean landscapes to the mystical Machu Picchu. Im sure you’ll agree with me, that food gets infused with a magical quality when we dine on a moving train. Add to that gourmet food (cooked in the state of the art kitchens in the train, vegetarian options too),finest of wines, immaculate service, white linen, petit fours, freshly brewed espresso and Im in heaven. A well-stocked bar, live music and Pisco sour lesson complete my joy. Almost. Meeting the gallant Andy Montufar Oquendo and Orozco the chef on board who conjures chef William Paniagua recipes magnifies my joy. A fittingly memorable, delicious, journey to one of the new seven wonders of the world. It’s a wonder in itself too.
P.S. The train is named after Hiram Bingham, the American explorer who discovered Machu Picchu in 1911.
I write from foodie Paradise. And what a magnificent gigantic one. From the frozen peaks of the Andes to the roaring Pacific ocean, the deepest jungles of the Amazon, sand dunes, ancient Inca civilizations, Machu Picchu and the bustling gastronomic capital of Lima. Each region produces a staggering wealth of produce, vegetables, fruit, herbs, grains…you name it. And this great geographic and cultural diversity has brought ingredients ranging from highland tubers to tropical jungle fruits to a complex cuisine of Spanish, indigenous, African and Asian influence. For sure this vast country translates to paradise for us foodies. Ceviche with slivers of fiery chili and corn, slow-simmered stews, velvety Amazonian chocolate. I explore the bounty of food markets, sample grilled anticuchos (beef skewers) on the street corners and (thanks to my co-chairperson of the Worlds 50 Best Restaurant Academy, Diego Salazar) dine at the finest restaurants of Lima. But most excitingly, I check out Peru for Vegetarians (ably guided by Maria Jose, Sabrina Chaves, Elda Cantu) It’s a deliciously gourmet Vegetarian paradise too.
FROM LIMA TO THE SACRED VALLEY
Please take a look at the accompanying photograph shot in the globally awarded “Most Romantic resort of South America”. Im feasting not just on the superb Peruvian food but also on the stunning views. Dining on this luxurious rooftop with the glorious coastline of the Pacific ocean below, is one of the many memorable experiences that Belmond Miraflores Park serves up. Helming it is the dynamic Thomas Moons with global experience and training as a chef too. Lima born Tula Castaneda delights with her knowledge of Peruvian cuisine. I lunch with them at their renowned Tragaluz restaurant, chef Jean Paul Barbier’s quinoa tabouleh with beetroot, mushrooms, watercress, makes a masterpiece out of potatoes with the Peruvian Yellow chilli,porcon mushrooms with truffle sauce and more. August Baert’s Tragaluz delights. Not only is the finest Peruvian chocolate used here, but their superb spa gives me a Chocolate massage too. This is definitely my idea of having my chocolate and eating it too.
In the Sacred valley ( an hour’s flight away from the bustling city of Lima) nature preens in all her magnificence. And it is here in the Belmond Rio Segredo, that I lunch by the shimmering River Urubamba with the brilliant chef Cesar Landau. In the mellow sunshine of the Sacred valley, Chef Cesar’s creative cuisine with Peruvian ingredients delights, be it the tomato tree with water melon gazpacho, vegetarian ceviche with asparagus, mushroom and seaweed from the lake or the quinoa risotto.
I also get a superb Pisco tasting session from the knowledgable Cesar Chiara.
This award winning national drink is the purest brandy, and from the 8 grapes, two types of Piscos (aromatic and non aromatic)are made. I learn all about that famous lemon, sugar and white of egg based cocktail Pisco sour. All this in the beautiful glassed in bar and restaurant overlooking the stunning gardens of the Rio Segredo. Close by the salt mines of Maras produce the delicious Maras salt from the ancient times of the Incas. I can taste this vibrant salt in all my food and when it is used as a scrub in the Willka spa, it revitalizes me and Im ready to feast on Rio Segredo’s banquet again.
Here’s Chef Cesar Landau’s recipe . A delicious creamy way to cook the healthy, protein rich, gluten free quinoa. You can add or omit the vegetables.
70 gr quinoa/40 gr mushrooms/20 gr zucchini
50 gr cream of milk/30 ml broth of vegetables/ 30 gr parmesan cheese/
2 gr chopped garlic/3 spears of asparagus/ 1 cherry tomato/
20 ml olive oil/5 ml truffle oil/Salt
Boil water with rosemary in a pan. When the water is boiling add the quinoa. Cook for 20 minutes. Rinse the quinoa and let cool
In a frying pan, add olive oil, garlic and let cook till garlic turns golden. Then add the mushrooms, the zucchini and sauté. Then add the quinoa and the cream and let it reduce.
At the end check the salt and the parmesan cheese.Before serving, drizzle with truffle oil.Grill the asparagus and served on top.
Whoa ! What talent! What creativity and what a variety! Each time I conduct our “whats hot tasting session” for home chefs, caterers and bakers in Chennai I get delighted …and impressed. We conduct this just before the iconic grand dame, The Connemara went under revamp to emerge more beautiful than ever. Today, I serve up three yummy options…from eggless desserts and cakes to ready to cook chapattis and a culinary recreation school too.
Looking for eggless (strictly) cakes and desserts? Cake pop bouquets, dessert cups, cupcakes, brownies and more? 100%veg mousse cups and dessert cups
The forever helpful Afzal Khan not only organises everything but also helps me with the tastings. He points out that their themed cake pops and cupcakes are delicious and sure-fire kiddie favourites.
Call the talented Ayushi & Akshita Agarwal of Sprinkles. Both are student entrepreneurs, use only the finest ingredients and take great pains to take ensure that their patisserie delights their clients. They take a minimum Order: for mini cupcakes and cake pops minimum order is 10 pieces while for brownies its 6 pcs
Aminjikarai, near Ampa Skywalk
How about celebrating and learning and eating…all at the same time? Unique and interesting food classes? Mom/Dad& Me, Couples Date Night, Kids Parties, Mom & me, Dad& me etc. Go check out this creative recreational culinary studio.
A great way to have kiddie parties and spend quality time with your kids. Entertaining and Educational Cooking Experience for Toddlers to Teens.
A delicious way to celebrate! Couples that cook together, stay together! Create a meal that will be memorable and romantic!
Take a look the fun group photograph of the founder Shree Periakaruppan as well as a few of her culinary team. From Bee Bee Martinet’s Malaysian fare to, Tasneem Ayub’s Moghlai to Neelima Sriram’s vegan and vegetarian offerings.
Damayanthi Paul, teaches Sri Lankan cuisine. Kamalika Krishmy. Winner of Superfchef is sought after for desserts, baking and Indian Food!Sumi Shroff specialises in punjabi, fusion and kids menuPreethi Venkatramani ,Baker Shyamala Sivaraman and ChefNaren specialises in Arabic and international cuisine. The founder Shree Periakaruppan a dynamic IT professional having lived for over a decade in Washington (and honed her cooking skills) set up Foodology two years ago. Since then, she has had Chennai eating out of her hands.
3A, Second Main Road, Kasturibai Nagar, Adyar. Landline: +91 24454885 and 900 305 4885. email@example.com
Here’s an amazing success story built around ready to eat chapattis. S. Srinivasan left his successful corporate career and his wife Uma also quit her job to take care of the production where two other women help her knead, roll out and seal chapattis. She continues to be a foodblogger. Giving me his expert palatte opinion, is The Conemmara’s brilliant executive chef Jaffer Ali. We conducted this Whatshottasting session The couple began by supplying 350 ready-to-eat chappatis a day. Today, on an average, the unit at Madipakkam rolls out 3,000 every day.
Ofcourse, they did not stop there. Snacks, healthy options and more. Chapatis, Pooris, Methi Chapatis and Ragi Chapatis, made with hygienic manufacturing and packing process ensures that the freshness of the Chapati is retained. High quality whole wheat flour, oil, salt and mineral water are used. Organic food including samosa, ragi rolls and short eats and podis. Bulk orders, snacks for Events are all part of their repertoire.
Plot No 3032, 1st Floor, 6th Main Road, Ramnagar South, Madipakkam, Chennai 600091
Phone: 9500021540 / 9962530871 / 044-22580049
AN OPEN INVITATION
Are you a home chef? Conduct any foodie services out of home? Would you like to be part of our next “Whatshottasting session’? Please mail your details of work and contact to firstname.lastname@example.org, instagram, twitter @rashmiudaysingh Please put “Chennai whatshottasting in the subject line.
I cant stop smiling. Thrice as nice. That’s how I feel as I write this review. “The Village shop” (TVS) is a charming family run café (I have a big fat soft corner for family-runs and the home spun quality of their food).
Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/the-village-shop-r-9397