review

Review: Farzi Cafe

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We’re rejoicing! Is Fun getting Farzi-fied? Or Farzi getting fun-fied? Is Indian food getting a global makeover or is it the other way round? Whichever way you look at it Farzi, Zorawar Kalra’s high-energy Modern Indian bistro is magnetising a huge number of fans…Gurgaon, Dubai, Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai.

Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/mumbai

 

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!

Luxury and Fitness Food

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In the iconic Cristallo with Health coach Claudia Mandaliti,Andrea Ronchetti, Gianluca Irrera, Chef Anna Marcato

Can a century of glamourous history and wellness go together? Can healthy food be in focus in an iconic hotel, where luxury and extravagance and La Dolce Vita reigned, supreme? Yes! It can, in Cristallo Hotel Spa & Golf, studded in this picturesque Italian town of Cortina, the pearl of the Dolomites. This is where La Dolce Vita of the 60s and 70s took place, the 60s and 70s took place, the global jet set’s swinging parties, skiing, dancing and banqueting, spa-ing. These still continue, I feast on the beauty of the Alpine landscapes, on the sprawling suites of the glam regulars who stayed here (Frank Sinatra to Peter Sellers) as I do on Chef Fabrizio Albini’s luxurious food.

Then comes the surprise… the white hot focus on healthy food and lifestyle. Not only does the health coach Claudia Mandaliti take me cycling, swimming, but also oversees all the guests’ food. The dynamic chief Giampaolo Padula explains this brilliant concept. My learning continues…

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

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