foodies

India Shines in NYC

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Please take a look at the photograph shot under the beautiful ceiling mural of the Rotunda. For over eighty years, it has been New York’s iconic meeting place. And aptly enough, I’m breakfasting with icons of the culinary world. And India is the focus. America’s most brilliant award winning Food TV producer Geoffrey Drummond (renowned for his shows with Julia Child and Eric Ripert) is working on the ultimate food show on nourishment and India is magnetising him. Putting India firmly on America’s gourmet map, Vikas Khanna, the award-winning Michelin-starred chef, cookbook writer, filmmaker, humanitarian and judge of MasterChef India sparkles the morning. Interestingly though Escoffier, the King of French chefs (and codifier of French cuisine), did all the initial menus at this magnificent stately Pierre. It was here that America’s first Indian fine dine restaurant was located. Today, the brilliant young Keralite chef Ashfer Biju is making history again. He is reimagining classics with a fresh modern seasonal perspective and has NYC eating out of his hands. The joint-degree holder from the finest in America and France, the dynamic Francois Olivier Luiggi who helms this exquisite icon not only ensures that it retains its historic grandeur (hand-painted murals et al) but also rocks ahead youthfully. Jai Ho!

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Review: Lemon Leaf

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Lemon Leaf keeps Pan-Asia as its compass but blurs boundaries to please Indian palates and does that well. It’s a pleasing, relaxed neighbourhood eatery with plenty of comforting tasty food at very comforting prices.

Read my complete review on: https://www.whatshot.in/mumbai

Review: Stables

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Whoa! This brand new equestrian themed British gastropub has just galloped into Marol from Dubai.

Read my detailed review on https://whatshot.in/mumbai/critics-review-does-this-dubai-stable-has-hit-the-jackpot-r-9754

From Paradise Island

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DIVING AND DINING… EMILIO FORTINI AND CHEF MARK JENSON ON ANCHOR BAY IN LIZARD ISLAND.

Found. Paradise island. Its so exclusive and remote that the only way to get here is by a private chartered plane.

Its one of the few islands in the world that is located on a shimmering coral reef. It has it’s very own 24 powdery white beaches and only 40 luxury suites. So not only do I picnic on a secluded, sun-drenched beach but do so on world class gourmet food. I revel in a seven course tasting menu under the stars on the beach. And just as much as the world class cuisine hits stratospheric heights, the breathtakingly beautiful depths of the ocean’s silent and magnificent treasures reveal themselves to me as I learn to snorkel and dive from the experienced instructors here. Named Lizard island by explorer James Cook over two centuries ago, this sensationally beautiful island shimmers in the sun in the turquoise blue seas on the Northern most tip of Australias  awesome Queensland.

DIVING INTO GOURMET FOOD

Please take a look at the photograph I shot on one of their secluded most beautiful beaches. Chef Mark Jenson has cooked up the most delicious fish, which is not only found in the waters around here but is also the most prized and most in demand Coral Trout ( Recipe follows). Joining us right after his deep sea scuba dive is Emilio Fortini the sporting and sunbronzed Chief of the island resort. The dynamic and charming Italian ensures that there is perfection in every detail of the  understated luxury here. A wine afficianado and gourmet himself he epitomizes the spirit of the island. As does Chef Mark who having traveled the world and taken a year’s sabbatical only to eat around in Asia infuses his cooking with  many a vibrant Asia flavor. He changes  the menu daily and his dishes are influenced by the unique environment in which the island is located.

I love the culinary offering here which  reflects the tropical climate here and draws influence from South East Asia and the Mediterranean.  Not limiting  to these Chef Mark  also  interprets modern Australia and portray through food the many cultures that embody this magnificent country. Over 90% of the produce that he uses is  locally sourced from Far North Queenslands fertile soil and the Great Barrier Reef. I trip out on his premium produce coral trout, red emperor, tropical lobster, red claw yabbies and fantastic rare tropical fruits and vegetables. Succulent meats from the Atherton Tablelands where their volcanic soils and high rainfall allow the animal to graze on prime pastures.

Its not just about the superb food here. Ive yet to come across a  resort which has it’s own Research centre. A mindblowing trip to the internationally acknowledged research centre reveals all the path breaking studies done here on marine life and the coral reef.

It’s a heady feeling to be connected to nature in every way and yet to be coddled in luxury, from the spa to the beachfront villas. To be massaged under the sky on a beach with the local macademia nut oils and the premium French beauty products. If this is not paradise, what is?

P.S. while it’s blissful most of the time, the only “downside” to this paradise is the lack of phone connectivity. There is only satellite wifi and Im crossing my fingers that this mail goes through now.

Crisp Coral Trout

On my request Chef Mark Jenson shares his superb and easy to make recipe. You can substitute the coral trout with any other fish.

First step is to make the sahn rhot paste.  The next step is to make the sauce from the paste.  The third step is to cook the fish and plate up.

Sahn Rhot Paste

30 gr              red chilli

10 gr              garlic cloves

10 gr              coriander root

Rough chop and blitz in blender.

Tamarind Sauce

40 gr              sahn rhot paste

60 gr              light palm sugar

30 ml             fish sauce

80 ml             tamarind concentrate

As needed                      Oil

Gently fry paste in oil.  Add sugar and lightly caramelise.  Add fish sauce, tamarind water, bring to boil and simmer for 2 minutes.

Coral trout (or any pan size fish, gilled, gutted and scaled)

Score fish 2 cm deep to resemble diamond shapes on both sides.  Use a small skewer to separate the fish wings.  Dust the fish with cornflour to absorb the excess skin moisture.  Fry in vegetable oil at 170C for 8 minutes till fish is cooked translucent at the bone in the thickest section of the fish.

Pour the tamarind sauce on the plate.  Remove the skewer and stand the fish up resting on the fish wings.  Garnish with coriander leaves and chilli julienne. Enjoy!

Review: Bombay Havelli

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Here it is: my latest foodie find…a brand new pure vegetarian restaurant (with social responsibility)that opened quietly in Charni Road.

Read my detailed review on https://whatshot.in/mumbai

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When and How to Eat

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Dr Benedetto Reisch and Eva Maria Hasenauer at Lanserhof showing the way.

It may sound very rudimentary and basic but most of us have no idea of how to and when to eat for our optimum health and (yes! its true) enjoyment.  Here, in Germany, coddled by forests, meadows, mountains  Im being re-educated. It’s Dr Benedetto Reisch   the brilliant and knowledgabble  medical director  of Lanserhof, Europe’s well-known and award winning oasis of preventive medicine who shows me the way forward, while the dynamic Eva Maria Hansnauer ensures perfection in every detail of the stay. 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:  Due to space constraint Im unable to fit in the principles of eating right. Should you need them please email rashmiudyaingh2016@gmail.com

My Cup of Hollywood Tea

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(sitting) Ben Trodd, Kabir Bedi, Chef Chris Ford, Lauren Dutton Breen (standing) Adam and Melissa Bedi at the Pretty woman hotel.

Excuse me but I’m getting high on this high tea and exquisite patisserie. Over eight decades of Hollywood history is  distilling itself in this “Pretty woman” hotel in Los Angeles. Superstars such as Elvis Presley, Warren Beatty, Priyanka Chopra, Anil Kapoor have all lived in Beverly Wilshire (where Pretty woman was shot) Each one of my companions are interlinked to it too. This is the very first hotel that  Our very own Bollywood and Hollywood star Kabir Bedi  made Beverly Wilshire his “Home away from home” in 1977 ( when he moved to Hollywood and shot for james Bond et al) He is In LA as part of his whirlwind nine city concert tour (he plays sutradhar). Along with him is his talented son Adam Bedi who is an expert on special effects for Hollywood films and his lovely wife Melissa,  an expert on makeup for Hollywood. We feast on patisseur extraordinaire Chris Ford’s sweet creations which dazzle and delight.The charming and dynamic  Ben Trodd, helms nine luxury hotels, spearheads this Hollywood landmark. Also with us is the  highly efficient and forever helpful “pretty woman” Lauren Dutton-Breen.

Kabir is the first Indian on the Oscar Academy jury. Loves desserts (like I do).  He is crystal clear about the fact that  Calories “must be worth having” I couldn’t agree with him more. Chef Fords desserts are “Oscar worthy”

Review: Verandah 11

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Vegetarians khush hue!  Now a new wave is upon us, Verandah 11 in Fort serves up a mixed experience.

Read my detailed review on https://whatshot.in/mumbai

Sweet Magic in Hollywood

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OSCAR WORTHY DREAMTEAM: CHRIS FORD. BEN TRODD AND LAUREN DUTTON BREEN AT THE PRETTY WOMAN HOTEL.

I admit. I don’t have a sweet tooth. I have sweet teeth. And I travel the world  looking for the best of the best. For me,  desserts represent divinity and patisseurs are my passion. Here, in the land of eternal summer, in Hollywood I taste sweet magic. For many fabulous reasons. First of all, the most creative of desserts are being conjured and served up here in this iconic “Pretty woman” hotel which has distilled decades of Hollywood glamour! Beverly Wilshire is not only a legendary landmark but also officially on the  National Register of Historic Places of the United States. Superstars such as Elvis Presley, Warren Beatty and Steve McQueen have all lived in this luxurious landmark.. And then of course the  Hotel shot into global fame when 25 years ago it was the  movie Pretty Woman starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere was shot here. And located on the glamour and fashion drenched Rodeo drive this Pretty woman continues to charm.

And it is here overlooking the Rodeo drive in it’s award winning The BLVD that their patisseur Chris Ford’s creations dazzle and delight. Over decades the Beverly Wilshire’s iconic restaurant The BLVD has been the hot spot for the crème de la crème of Los Angeles. And has recently  reopened with a brand new Art Deco makeover, dramatic lighting, bold blacks and whites and contemporary gloss.

Chef Chris Ford continues to reinvent himself and each of his magical creations seduce with their beauty, taste and textures. The charming and dynamic  Ben Trodd,  has led many a hotel to win awards. He helms nine luxury hotels, spearheads this Hollywood landmark and is has transformed it into  it’s cutting edge modern avatar, while still retaining it’s historic splendour. The   highly efficient and forever helpful “pretty woman” Lauren Dutton-Breen, just moved in from NYC is already making waves in LA. And over high tea we taste Chef Ford’s sweet magic.

RECIPE

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PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE

Looking every bit like a glamorous chef in Hollywood shoutd, Chef Ford is a powerhouse of talent and hardwork. You can watch him demonstrating his recipes (including this one) on butterloveandhardwork.com under vimeo. He shares his  Peanut butter mousse  recipe with us.

PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE

Ingredients: 200 gms milk/200gms cream/ 120 gms egg yolks/ 80 gms sugar/ 200 gms peanut butter. 5 gelatin sheets/ 300 gms cream
Method:
Prepare gelatin (as directed on the pack)  Whip 2nd amount of cream to medium peaks Make anglaise  Whisk in peanut butter.  Whisk in gelatin . Cool over ice bath to body temp  Incorporate whipped cream  Pipe into medium sized dome molds Enjoy

BOLLYWOOD TO HOLLYWOOD HIGH TEA

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HOLLYWOOD CONNECTION : KABIR , ADAM AND MELISSA BEDI

It is serendipity at work. We are luxuriating over high-tea and patisserie in this iconic Hollywood landmark. Not only is over eight decades of Hollywood history distilling itself in this “Prettywoman” hotel but each one of my companions are interlinked to it. This is the very first hotel that  Our very own Bollywood and Hollywood star Kabir Bedi  made Beverly Wilshire his “Home away from home”. He  stayed here  when he moved to Hollywood in 1977. He not only won over audiences as Sandokan in his Italian TV series but also wowed Hollywood by his roles in James Bond’s Octopussy, The Bold and the Beautiful  and shot many more films in Hollywood. He is In LA as part of his whirlwind nine city concert tour (he plays sutradhar). Along with him is his talented son Adam Bedi who is an expert on special effects for Hollywood films and his lovely wife Melissa,  an expert on makeup for Hollywood. As though all these Hollywood connections are not enough, Kabir is also the very first Indian on the Oscar Academy jury and he applies his discerning taste this evening too. Like me he has many a sweet teeth. But what about calories? I ask him. “Oh! Calories must be worth having and  Chef Ford’s are more than worth having. They are Oscar worthy” he concludes. I couldn’t  agree with him more.