October 16, 2021
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Favourite Markets for Ingredients to Recipes, Expat Chefs Share Their Secrets

Meet three talented expat chefs who have made Delhi their home and helming some of the best restaurants. They have also shared a favourite recipe each so that you may try them at home.  

Chef Travis Loh, Asian Chef De Cuisine, K3 – New Delhi Food Theatre, JW Marriott 

Chef Travis heads the Asian kitchen at K3 – JW Marriott New Delhi’s Food Theatre.  It was at the ‘Palace of the Golden Horses Malaysia’ in 2001, his first job, he honed his skills to absorb the essentials of Asian cooking. Determined to pick up the nitty-gritty of Asian cuisines, he joined the award winning Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant where he designed the menu. He has also worked in the Sunway Putra Hotel’s prized restaurant, the Coffee House, as well as at The Emperor Restaurant at Dorsett Grand Subang; JinBei 2 Hotel & Casino, SihanoukVille Cambodia; and Sokha Hotel Residence Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 

Your specialty and how you incorporate it in the food

Cantonese cuisine is what I grew up learning day after day in my 23-year long career. Also built interest in other Asian and south Asian cuisines which shaped my culinary expertise. The Delhi crowd appreciates Chinese cuisine as well as south Asian food. Hence, I’m rediscovering old traditional Malaysian and Singaporean recipes in particular, and making our guests discover them.

Where you pick up your ingredients from

I particularly like INA Market and spice market.

Your favourite market for ingredients in Delhi

INA and Khari Baoli.

About life in Delhi

It is interesting and there is a lot to see and discover. My favourite areas so far are south and old Delhi, but I will explore more!

Favourite food hangouts in Delhi

Not in Delhi but in Gurgaon on Golf Road, there are plenty of great restaurants. Lajpat Nagar and its Afghani and Kashmiri restaurants are also great spots.

How to Make Chef Travis’ Special Home-Made Malay Chicken Curry

Chicken with skin: 220 gm; dry red chili: 2 pieces; garlic: 8 gm; onion: 10 gm; ginger: 4 gm; lemongrass: 6 gm; green chilli: 1 piece; curry leaves: 8 to 10; turmeric powder: a pinch; cumin powder: 1 tablespoon; coriander powder: 5 gm; oil: 10 ml; coconut milk: 50 ml; chili oil: 5 gms

Method

Make a paste with chilies, garlic, ginger, onion and lemon grass.

Cook it for twenty minutes on slow fire.

Now add turmeric, cumin and coriander powders, cook for a while.

Add coconut milk and let it cook for the next five minutes.

Add chicken cuts and cover the pot with lid, let it cook for next 20 to 30 minute.

Garnish with curry leaf and chili oil

 

Chef Adriano Baldassarre, Mentor Chef, Perbacco, The Lodhi

One of the youngest chefs to have won a Michelin star, Adriano Baldassarre has worked in partnership with Giorgio Locatelli in London, Antonello Colonna at Labico and three-Michelin starred Heinz Beck. Adriano Baldassarre spent two years in India, working at Vetro, The Oberoi, Mumbai.  His restaurant ‘Tordomatto’ is located in the centre of Rome.

Your speciality and how you incorporate it in the food

My sole focus is on great-tasting food, which is rooted in traditional cooking. I am open to invention but prominently esteem the ethnicities of the cuisine and the constituents that one must use. My trust is that when you’re taking your cuisine out into the world, you must translate it purely; you shouldn’t dilute it with experimentation. When you try to alter tradition too much, it doesn’t work in the long run as you are not being true to the source and validity of the cuisine. This philosophy is always highlighted in the food I create.

Where you pick up your ingredients from

Since we want to be authentic, we get most of our ingredients from Italy and also India. We reach out to many organic farms in India for procuring ingredients that we believe are of that same level and quality. Why to travel kilometres for an ingredient when you have the possibility of getting it from a local farm that grows a good quality one.

Your favourite market for ingredients in Delhi

Without any doubt, my favourite market here is Khari Baoli.

Life in Delhi

Working in Delhi has been very interesting. The city is so diverse in its culture and culinary repertoire. After my extensive learning experience here, I have developed a richer flavour portfolio with more ideas to creatively use and combine different ingredients.

Your favourite food hangouts in Delhi

Delhi offers many fantastic places to eat and one can also enjoy multiple styles of cuisines. When I am in town, if I get time to go out between operational hours at Perbacco, then some of my favourite places for having good food and catching up with my friends are Indian Accent, Leo’s Pizzeria, and Bo Tai.

How to Make Chef Adriano’s Tiramisu

Breakfast sugar: 200gm; mascarpone cheese: 500 gm; water: 60ml; egg yolk: 7; egg white: 5; Espresso: 15 shots; Savoiardi:7 pieces

Method

Heat sugar and water to 120 degrees Celsius. Take off from the heat and bring down the temperature to 118 degrees.

Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl. Now add the sugar mixture into the egg yolks and mix well.

Mix soft mascarpone cheese with egg yolk mixture very gently.

Take another bowl and whip egg whites to soft peaks. Now fold egg white mixture with mascarpone and egg yolk mixture.

Take Espresso shots in a large bowl.

Now arrange in a cup, one by one two times, mascarpone mixture and dipped Savoiardi; then chill for 2-3 hours.

Sprinkle some cocoa powder on top and serve.

 

Chef Krungthong, Thai Chef – The Leela Palace New Delhi

Chef Krungthong brings in close to 17+ years of experience and heads the Thai section at The Qube, The Leela Palace New Delhi.  He started as a Commis chef at The ACSA Restaurant, American Embassy, Bangkok and then worked at Four Seasons Resort, Chiangmai, and Four Seasons Hotel Amman Jordan. Chef Krungthong is adept in both old-style and contemporary Thai cuisine.  The inspiring gastronomic journey saw him move to India with The Leela Palace New Delhi.

Your specialty and how you incorporate it in the food

My specialty is home-style cooking, which comes from my heart and is reflected in the dish. When I was a kid, I used to spend all my time in the kitchen watching my mother cook the most delicious meals for us. She never complained and would cook each time with all her love, which inspired me. Her style of cooking would make a simple steamed fish with jasmine rice and gai krapow taste absolutely delicious. My specialty is always reflected in my menu at The Qube, The Leela Palace New Delhi. My cooking technique is home style and how the families in Isaan region would traditionally cook. I have maintained my style of cooking through all these years which our guests have appreciated, enjoyed and have come back for as well. 

Where you pick up your ingredients from 

The ingredients that we use are authentic and are procured from various source markets in Thailand.

Your favourite markets in Delhi 

Foodhall has various options and a variety of products and ingredients available. Apart from that, INA market in Delhi certainly is the hub that has all the ingredients available.

Life in Delhi

Like I mentioned, Delhi is my second home now. This city has given me the best years of my professional life. I love the vibrancy of the city, the people from various origins and cultures all in one city, the way some of the festivals are celebrated throughout the year, the love for food people have and so much more. 

Your favourite food hangouts in Delhi

I love to meet my friends every now and then over a good meal. My current favourite go-to places are Townhall, Jade restaurant, Tamra at Shangri La. 

How to Make Chef Krungthong’s Pla Neung Manao

Chilean sea bass steak: 200 gm; ginger: 2 pieces: kaffir lime: 2 pieces; lemongrass: 2 pieces; galangal: 1 stalk; castor sugar: 4 tablespoon; lemon juice: 4 tablespoon; fish sauce: 4 tablespoon; chopped Bird Eye chilli: 25gm; chopped coriander: 20 gm; garlic: 20 gm; Chinese cabbage: 100 gm

Method

Clean, wash and pat dry the fish steak properly.

Layer the fish with kaffir lime, galangal, crushed lemongrass and ginger on top of the fish.

Steam the fish for 15 minutes so that the fish absorbs all the Thai herbs.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce by adding an equal quantity of fish sauce, lemon juice and sugar; finish with chopped Bird Eye chili, chopped garlic and chopped coriander.

Take out the fish from the steamer and add the water of the fish to the sauce to enhance the flavour.

Blanch the Chinese cabbage

For platting, place the steamed fish on the bed of the blanched Chinese cabbage

Add the warm sauce on top of the fish and garnish with some lemon slices, juliennes of chili and fresh coriander.