Marhaba, welcome Mumbai’s newest restaurant Bayroute! Bye bye Moshe, we’re sad you closed your restaurant and sailed off to Alibag to set up your cooking school. In the very same Moshe Cuffe parade location Bayroute has opened.
Read my full review in today’s Bombay Times.
MY FLAVORITE KING & QUEEN
I write from the homes of my favorite and flavorite King and Queen. It is in these two exquisite Royal destinations that I get my first ever taste of two most delicious flavors. That King Alfonso XIII was Queen Maria Cristina’s son, that both set up almost a century old hotels named after themselves is fabulous enough. That both these palaces retain that gracious, royal touch and food to match is what makes the magic happen. They serve only the best of the best.
Its the best of the best. I’m excited to do a hands-on cooking session at the award winning globally acclaimed Mimo cooking school.
Today, I serve you the finest, most rare, little gems of green peas. They’re tiny, seriously tiny and explode with sweetness in my mouth. Rightfully called “green caviar” these peas are also called “tear peas” “guisante lágrima”. Highly prized that, once it is shelled, its value reaches around 200 euros a kilogram. Covered with a thin and fibrous delicate skin, which creates the sensation of an “explosion” in the mouth when I bite into the pea, it’s skin bursts and the sap and sugars are released. It grows in Spain only for a couple of months a year and I’m blessed to be here just at that right time.It’s delicious even raw, but gains flavor when it is slightly steamed or grilled.
I learn how to cook it in the Mimo cooking school is located in the gourmet capital city of Spain San Sebastian. Attached to over a century old iconic palace Maria Cristina beloved of the Royalty Hollywood superstars et al. Here, Chef Jesus Cabellaro and chef Daniel Luque cook up amazing versions of the same “tear peas”
This super glamorous palace hotel combines luxury and high-tech and this outstanding cooking school too. At the handsome, gleaming, well-equipped cooking school, Chef Patricio Fuentes helps me wear my chefs coat and voila it’s time for a hands on cooking session. Sportingly, joining us is the dapper dynamo Ned Capeleris who helms Maria Cristina. From the freshest of tear peas we conjure up many an amazing dish. I devour invaluable information about ingredients and cooking techniques from both.
The award winning Mimo, set up by Jon Warren is truly unique, It’s a food travel company whose culinary tours pintxo tours wine tastings are legendary. And now it has added on a private jet tour to explore the deliciousness of Spain and to take cooking classes too. Talk of taking gourmet to new heights!!
FIRST TIME EVER…
What do flamenco, the cold vegetable soups, gazpacho and salmorejo have in common? I am in the birthplace region of all three, Please take a look at the accompanying photograph. I invited the graceful flamenco dancer to be part of the photograph because we are in the beautiful, historic city of Seville. The birthplace of the flamenco.
We re in the historic landmark of Seville built by the Uber stylish king Alfonso XIII this stunning palace was built as a hotel owned by the City of Seville has a beautiful museum meticulously put together by the dynamic Carlo Suffredini. I love the Moorish Renaissance Baroque styles of architecture. The list of regulars is endless… OmarShariff, TomCruise, Sophia Loren.Im as excited to learn the recipe of Salmorejo, to do the Mimo tapas tasting tour with the knowledgable Aldaras as I am to take my first lesson in flamenco (in a flamenco dress from Lina, Spain’s finest flamenco dress designer ). I had no idea that it originated in the 7th to the 9th centuries here in Spain or that UNESCO declared flamenco one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Or that the beautiful
Gothic Seville Cathedral is the site of Christopher Columbus’s tomb.
King Alfonso XIII ‘s recipe for “salmorejo” :
Ingredients for 6 persons:
1 kilo ripe tomatoes
200 grms rustic white bread
100 ml extra virgin olive oil.
1 clove garlic.
Salt to taste.
Grated hard boiled egg.
Finley diced a corn fed Iberian cured ham.
Extra virgin olive oil.
Method: Wash well the tomatoes, it is important that the tomatoes are at room temperature before you blitz them.
Blitz the tomatoes in a kitchen blender.
In a bowl break up the bread to walnut sized pieces.
Cover with the blitzed tomato, and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
Add the clove of garlic and blitz again.
Lastly we add the olive oil, it is important that the olive oil is good quality as this will help to achieve a proper emulsion.And the end result will be a creamy and thick.
Spoon the salmorejo into previously chilled bowls and garnish with grated hard boiled egg, diced acorn fed Iberian cured ham, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
When Gourmet tangoes with healthy and Tradition with contemporary, then magic happens. I’m getting a taste of it here in London’s over a century old reborn landmark. Learning not just “Model Pilates” (renowned science based holistic method by fitness expert and author Hollie Grant) but also healthy recipes from her. Like the black bean poached egg dish she is holding. Not only do I kickstart my healthy day with it but also feast on the deliciously luxurious traditional high tea in The Mandarin Oriental on Hyde Park with the dapper Frenchman Gerard Sintes who helms it. In fact it is here too that the gastronomique legend, Michelin starred “Dinner with Heston” is located. It’s unique menu is inspired by British culinary history. And after revelling in the Tipsy cake and Meat fruit (from the 14th century) for dinner I balance it with the black bean poached egg and cashew oat pancakes at breakfast. Hollie has shared the recipes, Should you need them please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please take a look at our very own dosa lovingly held by the Worlds best chef. I last met this brilliant and down to earth charmer, Michelin starred Daniel Humm at the prestigious Worlds 50 best restaurant awards ceremony in Melbourne. His NYC restaurant Eleven Madison park (which I’ve dined in three times) was justifiably crowned “The world’s best restaurant 2017” As the jury chairperson of the Indian subcontinent (Worlds 50 best) I was thrilled he came to India and made seismic waves, cooking for The World series in Mumbai and Delhi and taking in the spices, cultures, sounds, sights, tastes of India. Since Im still in Spain on research, I could not meet him, but he sent me this email about his “tremendously inspirational” time here. Due to space constraint I can’t reproduce all he wrote. What about the dosa? “my experience with dosas in India was like nothing I’ve ever tasted” wrote the maestro “It was light, complex, almost crepe like, but with a sourness, and delicate nature to it. Of the two types I tried I tend to like the more chewy, less smooth option, but both were incredible”. The dosas themselves made him think…”to push our boundaries further, and look to other cultures for inspiration”. Forever learning and evolving. That’s what keeps him on the top. Looking forward to meeting you Daniel Humm in Bilbao, this June at The world’s 50 best awards 2018. India wishes you all the best!
I’ve done it again and again. Over the years, studied Italy by traveling on my belly through all it’s twenty regions with their varying cuisines . I call it “the butter equator” ( it divides Italy in two) one half uses more fat and butter and the other more olive oil. And I love both halves. So when I heard that Cin Cin is serving up food from all parts of Italy, I was excited and landed up with discerning gourmets.
Read my full review in today’s Bombay Times.
SUPERFOODS & SUPERSTARS
It’s a dream come true. Contradictions are getting reconciled,What invaluable combinations!!! Gourmet food with health. Luxury with medical facilities. I’ve been there, done that, but very rarely found these amazing pairings. But, here they are: in the throbbing heart of Europe’s fashion capital of Dusseldorf ( rivalling Paris & Milan ). And that too in it’s iconic two century old landmark , Breidenbacherhof . No! it’s not a medical spa, but one of Europe’s oldest most beautiful heritage landmark hotels, beloved of royalty and superstars from Prince Albert to George Clooney and it has it’s very own state of the art medical “Preventicum” and Pearl of the Aesthetic too
CHEF AND DOCTOR
No! it’s not a health restaurant.. It’s a landmark gourmet destination. My discovery begins with The “Superfoods” menu and a chat with the dapper dynamo Cyrus Heydarian (who helms Breidenbacherhof, ever since it reopened ten years ago.) I learn at a rapid pace as I eat slowly, relishing every morsel. The committed Chef Philipp Ferber who apprenticed in the Black Forest area (known for it’s gourmet cuisine) works in tandem for many of his dishes with the brilliant Dr Baumgart of the medical Preventicum (also housed in the stately Breidenbacherhof). He creates dishes which are good forthe heart, for etox, for diabetes et al and general well-being too.. And in the gourmet restaurant he offers 20 dishes made out of superfoods.
Ofcourse, we all know what superfoods are: well-tried natural products with a high content of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which have a positive health effect due to their nutrient density. But, did you know that? Pomegranate good for detox, can also keep blood sugar levels stable?
Or that watercress in combination with jogging or physical exercise causes the sweet hunger to diminish? Chia seeds Goji berries Honey Mulberries and many other superfoods are used in many of the dishes here.
Please take a look at the photo of the accompanying dish. It is a miracle package for detox (pomegranate) , for the kidney (beetroot) , and heart (watercress) and the chickpea has excellent protein. And ofcourse the starcast of vegetables has invaluable vitamins and nutrients. Not only do all these work together but taste good too. I request Chef Ferber for the recipe here it is…
Recipe for 4 people
- 250g chickpeas • 80g sesame paste (Tahini) • 60ml lemon juice • 60ml olive oil • 2 garlic cloves, pressed • 2 liters of water • 1⁄2EL salt • 3EL beetroot granules
- 8 baby carrots • 8 small white turnips • 2 pcs. beetroot boiled and diced • 50g pistachio kernels • 25g dried pomegranate seeds • 1 bunch of watercress • sea salt • smoked oil
Soak chickpeas, in water. Overnight. Then simmer chickpeas in a pot of fresh water for an hour. When soft, put into food processor with the sesame paste, lemon juice, olive oil, water, beetroot granules, salt and the two pressed garlic cloves. Until a smooth puree is produced. Rest puree in fridge. For the topping baby carrots and turnips (cleaned and boiled in salt water) and tossed in smoked oil. Arrange as shown in photo.
STATE OF THE ART AND HEART
Not only are the dishes state of the art, the service state of the heart, but their medical Preventicum, is both and is presided over by the highly respected and internationally recognized cardiologist Dr Dietrich Baumgart. Cyrus Heydarian not only hails from a doctors family but was brought up on the finest gourmet food. And to top it all, he also worked for more than a decade with the owner of the largest most prestigious chain of medical clinics.. and once again my learning continues.
At Preventicum you can have cardio check-ups, medical examinations, Performance Diagnostics to measure the overall endurance and performance, energy metabolism during physical stress et al.
And the highly experienced Dr Baumgart advises that while nutrition is very individual, as one grows older, one should not snack thru the day, but should drink lots of water, reduce animal protein, eat more vegetables and look after the mind and soul too. .
Not only has Dr Baumgart been to an Ayurvedic retreat in Kerala but recommends it along with all his high tech state of the art metabolic balance and blood and body composition analysis. Cyrus Heydarian makes time to do his regular checks at Preventicum in the midst of his high-profile job and travel. He not only always insists on biological ingredients being used in his hotel and home but also seasonal ones. Skiing, swimming jogging and most importantly eating right help keep this superstar hotelier and doctor stay ahead of the curve. Superfoods make superstars.
It is a heady combination. Gourmet food, natural beauty and palaces. The air is kissed with the fragrance of orange blossoms growing all over this picturesque ancient city in Spain. Round shiny cheeked oranges are not only in the foreground of the photo I’ve shot but we’re also under orange trees. I’m not only addicted to the Orange torta acciete (crisp unleavened, orange biscuit created in this city of Seville hundreds of years ago) but also the ninety year old magnificent palace built by King Alfonso xiii. His gourmet and aesthetic sensibilities infuse this stunning Moorish and Renaissance palace with magic. Chef Bryan Deegan continues the legacy of creating sublime regional and local dishes. Carlo Suffredini who helms this historic landmark ensures that every detail is flawless. Any wonder Tom Cruise, David Rockerfeller, Gwyneth Paltrow and others continue to be regulars here?
I’m excited. I’m delighted. It’s rare to find a place which ticks all the boxes. It rocks. Has a fun vibe, music, drinks and (yes!) good food, reasonably priced too. And warms the heart ( is socially committed and has speech and hearing impaired staff.) Smiling service too.
Read my full review in today’s Bombay Times!
Foodie travellers, your attention please! This is it. This beautiful seaside San Sebastian is Spain’s gourmet capital. It has more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere else in the world and moreover you just cannot have a bad meal here.I write from this sunny cool and stunningly beautiful, Belle Époque architecture studded city. For sure San Sebastian is just the perfect destination for taking a cooking lesson and that too in the best of the best… Mimo cooking school. Attached to over a century old iconic palace Maria Cristna hotel, beloved of the Royalty (named after Queen Maria Cristina) Hollywood superstars this super glamorous palace hotel combines luxury and high-tech and this outstanding cooking school too. At the handsome, gleaming, well-equipped cooking school, Chef Patricio Fuentes helps me wear my chef’s coat and voila it’s time for a hands on cooking session. Sportingly, joining us is the dapper dynamo Ned Capelaris who helms Maria Cristina. From the freshest of ingredients, we conjure up many an amazing dish. I devour invaluable information about ingredients and cooking techniques from both. After all I’m not only attending the most iconic cooking school but also cooking with the icons.