food

My shamiana love affair

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MY HANDSOME NEW LOVE…SHAMIANA

I fell in love with Shamiana,  the colorful rockstar, and I vividly remember that evening. It was my very first day in  romantic rainy, beautiful Bombay, 14th July 1974. And on that day itself, Shamiana was the very first restaurant I dined in.  Having majored in Literature honors in Delhi university, I had come to Bombay to study journalism and train under Patanjali Sethi in The Times of India. I ate at Shamiana regularly. I returned to Delhi. Only to come back in 1980 ( as Income tax commissioner) and once again thanks to my mother in law Mohini Bhullar, editorial director of the only city magazine, sipped and supped here regularly.. Celebrated many a sentimental occasion here. From 2000 onwards, moaned and criticized  it’s decor and food and relocating to the pool side location. But now, Shamiana  is back to where my love affair started….and  I am rejoicing!

Review: Shamiana

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Whoa! It’s the reincarnation of nostalgia. Its no mere revamp of menu, decor and relocation of The Taj Mahal Palace hotel’s 24 hour dining restaurant. Shamiana, India’s first ever coffee shop opened it’s doors in 1973 and was fiercely beloved and constantly mobbed.

Read my detailed Review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/shamiana-r-6182

Healing Holidays

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A masterpiece in healing

Serendipity at its magical best.  When I was in this world-famous medical spa, Lanserhof on an amazing diet of Gluten-free, sugarfree wholesome food that I saw Renu Chainani’s instagram  post of Sequel and made a long distance date request to her to take me here (and thus the review of Sequel.) The powerful benefits of eating right were immediately felt ofcourse. But I  also learnt plenty more from Doctor Benedetto Reisch the dynamic  medical director and Chef Karsten Wolf. All this in Lanserhof, based on a symbiosis of traditional naturopathy and state-of-the-art medicine treating both mind and body. It truly was a  Healing holiday in every sense of the term.  And it  was all thanks to “Healing holidays”, UK’s leading independent Spa specialist, with their unrivalled experience of world-wide spas that I got to experience this life changing healing holiday.

Review: Sequel Bistro & Juice Bar

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Would you like to ‘Recharge’? Get an ‘Unbeatable Glow’? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ and are a believer in healthy, gluten-free, sugar-free high-quality organic food (cold pressed juices et al) then head to Mumbai’s first ever bistro solely dedicated to this.

Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/sequel-bistro-and-juice-bar-r-9374

Cook the mountain

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MOUNTAIN MAGIC AT ROSA ALPINA: CHEF NORBERT NIEDERKOFLER WITH HUGO AND URSULA PIZZININI

Delicious surprises! The most amazing Michelin starred cuisine restaurant in a tiny, picturesque Italian village with a population of 750! That it is located in the worlds most dramatic and dazzling Dolomite mountains in Italy which are bathed in brilliant summer sunshine and sparkled with wild flowers magnifies the deliciousness. I shot this fun photograph in the unique chalet-within-the-hotel Rosa Alpina terrace garden where the brilliant Two Michelin starred and highly awarded Chef Norbert Niederkofler full of fun and genius kneels down to Hugo and Ursula Pizzinini who redefine the art of hospitality. In their family owned over seven decade old Rosa Alpina they make all guests feel like family.  Here comfort, luxury and high-tech meld together  in every exquisite detail. From the super-stylish  Zeno chalet within the hotel, the bio hamam, yoga studio to movie theatre and ofcourse St Hubertus, the two Michelin-starred restaurant.

It is here that their two Michelin starred restaurant (the only one in the region) St Hubertus has been magnetizing global gourmets.

MICHELIN MOUNTAIN MAGIC

There is magic in Chef Norberts hands. “The best things are the simple things but at the same time also the hardest things to do” he says as he drives me to meet the producers from whom he directly sources milk, cheese, yoghurt, vegetables and more. “Cook the mountain” is his philosophy and local sourcing is the foundation. Having honed his skills and style under maestros around the world, it was 1993 that Chef Norbert set up St Hubertus in Hotel Rosa Alpina where he continues to dedicate  his cuisine to the local mountain range, using ingredients produced in the Dolomites.

News spread of this ‘Cook the Mountain’ philosophy, as it came to be known, and in 2000 the restaurant won its first Michelin star. ‘We use twenty-five different kinds of carrots throughout the year and an almost endless variety of herbs including amaranth leaves, sorrel, wild onion and celeriac,’ he explains. ‘The most natural ingredients are the most important.’ He tells me this as we drive to meet these producers, I am fascinated and charmed and can fully comprehend the huge number of accolades Chef Norbert and his restaurant have been showered with.

Indeed, his philosophy of “cook the mountain” shines through in his  “simple, clear and clean” cooking, where he skillfully combines only a maximum of 3 or 4 Flavours. His brilliant beetroot gnocchi plump with the surprising horseradish cream, barley risotto with black garlic are some of the vegetarian dishes   that dazzle. I have many of his recipes and happy to share them with you. Please instagram, tweet@rashmiudaysingh  email rashmiudaysingh2016@gmail.com

CARE’s – THE ETHICAL CHEF DAYS

Making a global mark is Chef Norberts forte… Other than writing bestselling books, being the only Italian chef invited to the World Gourmet summit, organising the Chef’s Cup in San Cassiano,  cooking for Lufthansa Sky Gourmet (LSG)

It is now  CARE, Ethical chefs which in it’s very first edition (in January this year) already has already magnetised the worlds greatest chefs. CARE, set up by Chef Norbert with Paolo Ferretti and Michelin starred chef Giancarolo Morelli,  brought together , 5 continents, 20 nations, 30 chefs for 4 unforgettable days.

The goal of the “CARE’s – The ethical Chef Days“ project is to bring together chefs and people from around the world who all share a common vision: a new, innovative, sustainable and ethical approach to food.

It is a new way to teach adults and children, to raise awareness and encourage respect for nature, to promote environmentally friendly attitudes, and to show how to experience our environment without misusing it. From round table discussions on  the future of food and nutrition and discussions on sustainability, ethics and development, to cooking masterclasses, and lunches in Cook the Mountain style, guided food tastings, wine tastings, wine and infusion tastings and more. The gourmet Gala dinner marks the highlight where the brilliant chefs prepare a gourmet dinner using ingredients that are usually considered “waste”, turning them into culinary delicacies.

Proof that (almost) all parts of raw ingredients can be used and that haute cuisine is not made only with expensive and exotic ingredients, but it can and must be sustainable and educational. The next edition of CARE is scheduled to be in January 2017 in the very same charming San Cassiano village with it’s population of 750 inhabitants which will magnetise the world here with Chef Norbert’s “cook the mountain” philosophy. Whoa! Mountain magic at it’s best!

Review: Bastian

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No two ways about it. We’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for this two month old seafood “Bastian”.

Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/bastian-r-9368

Energy Cuisine

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MAKE FOOD YOUR MEDICINE: DR BENEDETTO REISCH & CHEF KARSTEN WOLF TELL US HOW.

A request. Please take a look at the photograph I’ve shot in the kitchen of this state of the art, medical spa. What you see being extruded from the machine is zucchini and it will be used to make “spaghetti”. And here’s the most crucial part, along with the brilliant chef Karsten Wolf  is the highly qualified and experienced Doctor Benedetto Reisch the dynamic medical Director of the world famous Lanserhof. And this is exactly how the food and the recipes have evolved here…70 chefs and as many doctors did scientific research  together and created the recipes. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that, nowadays, there are as many theories about which foods to eat as there are foods. Confusion, confounded. Whats good one day is declared to be a villain the next day.

Finally, here’s the final word and it is born out of hard core research. This comes from Germany, from the leading Lanserhof medical institution, which has been at the forefront of cutting edge research and most interestingly is based on a symbiosis of traditional naturopathy and state-of-the-art medicine treating both mind and body.

Having blazed trails for thirty years, Lanserhof is Europe‘s leading centre for regeneration and preventive medicine. Lanserhof medical spa, the oasis of regeneration  is perched on the mountainside overlooking meadows, forest and Lake Tegernsee.

It is based on the Classical Mayr Medicine, genetic diagnostics, energy and information medicine and quantum physics with the age-old wisdom of healers, As the dynamic and charming Dr Benedetto explains, “Dr. Franz Xavier Mayr was an Austrian naturophathy physician and researcher, who developed early recognition diagnostics and therapy to cure what we call today chronic lifestyle illnesses”. Here’s the important point,   …The focus is on the digestive system and food.

LANS MED CONCEPT

What we eat, how we eat and what time we eat is a very crucial part of the  LANS Med Concept which consists of four stages of therapy developed by Dr. F. X. Mayr:

1. Rest: Recovery and regeneration of the digestive system

2. Cleansing: Detoxifying and de-acidification of the body

3. Training: Training to achieve a change in lifestyle

4. Substitution: Individual supplementation with vital substances

The therapy activates each person’s basic healing process especially for nutrition-related health problems and brings the metabolism back to balance.
WHAT ? WHY ENERGY CUISINE?

It’s high energy,  it’s easily digested, good health and pleasures of the palate are not mutually exclusive. Energy Cuisine reflects the state-of-the-art research findings of nutritional science, yet still places great emphasis on regional, organic and fresh produce cooked in gentle, product protecting ways.

Energy cuisine results in a strong immune system. Plenty of energy, since there are no heavy hard-to-digest foods that make you sluggish and tired. It provides an ideal balance in the acid/alkaline foods. Through nutrition along Energy Cuisine guidelines, great care is taken to distribute mealtimes correctly over the course of the day.

Burdening the system in the evening is avoided, so it results in sound sleep. Reduced allergies, since fresh produce is used. It results in Healthy blood pressure and of course Enjoyment – without a guilty conscience.

WHEN?
Optimum nutrition at the right time reinforces natural metabolism phases,  turning food to energy. The upshot: better digestion, higher energy quotients, which in turn stokes up the combustion process.A heavy breakfast in the morning? Why?

Our enzymes (protein molecules that control metabolism) are very active Cortisone, adrenaline and thyroid hormones all attain their highest levels during these hours. So what you eat during this period is assimilated really well. Breakfast is the only meal at which heightened carbohydrate consumption does not cause you to put on weight. Give your body high value protein, vitamins and minerals from fresh fruit and vegetables in the morning. Lunch between 12 and 1,30 pm and dinner before 6,30pm is recommended.

The importance of drinking plenty of water underpins the concept of Energy cuisine. It aids in regulating body warmth, further digestion and cardio-vascular functions and remove toxic and damaging substances from the body cells.

It is advisable to drink about 2 liters of water daily.  However for thirty minutes before and after eating, one should not drink. Water dilutes the stomach’s digestive juices and can lead to chronic digestive problems.

HOW?

You’ll be amazed at the difference eating slowly and mindfully can make. This is one of the most important principles. Not only  do you taste each and every ingredient and enjoy it but you digest it all and have a good digestion and great energy.

ENERGY CUISINE RECIPES

The chef has very generously shared some of his amazing energy cuisine recipes. Last fortnight, I was flooded with requests for the Agar agar and detox biryani recipe. Sorry for the delay in sending them to you will do so in the next few days. Should you need Energy cuisine recipes, please instagram, tweet @rashmiudaysingh email rashmiudaysingh2016@gmail.com

Recipe for energy

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Energy cuisine: Chef Karsten Wolf with Dr Benedetto Reisch.

I’m on a quest. As a food critic I not only research (read eat) and write about whats delicious and assess the worlds best restaurants as regional jury chairperson of international academies but am on a mission  to find out whats the final word on what to eat. How to eat and when to eat. And here in the spectacularly beautiful Bavarian mountainside overlooking meadows and forests I find my answers. Its at the world famous Lanserhof medical institution,  which has been at the forefront of cutting edge research and is based on a symbiosis of traditional naturopathy and state-of-the-art medicine treating both . It is based on the classical Mayr medicine and the digestive system and food plays a very important part in it.

The photograph I shot just outside the dining room says it all… Along with the brilliant chef Karsten Wolf who specializes in “Energy Cuisine” is the highly qualified and experienced Doctor Benedetto Reisch the dynamic  medical Director. And this is exactly how the food and the recipes have evolved here…on the basis of research of 70 chefs and as many doctors.
Here I am learning not only the basic principles of what, how, when to eat but also meditation, hypnotherapy…you name it. Attending superb cooking and  baking classes and collecting “Energy cuisine” recipes too. should you need them please email rashmiudaysingh2016@gmail.com

Review: Gustoso

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When “Pizza Metro Pizza” rebranded itself as “Gustoso” we went with a great deal of apprehension and cynicism. And came away delighted. Having just returned from Napoli a few days before eating here I was happily surprised to find sunny Italy on my plate.

Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/gustoso-r-8715