#SpeakGourmet is the tag line, and why not. It is indeed Masterchef Australia that brought gourmet into Indian homes like never before. Today, you can tell the difference between Italian food and French cuisine. You understand the cheeses, know your wine, and you enter fine dining restaurants with better confidence and order your food with élan. The show is so popular that the three judges Chef Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and food critic Matt Preston are well known in India too and the contestants have cult following.
For the first time Star World along with Food Talk India presented a unique experience at Olive Bar & Kitchen in Hyderabad. It was christened Masterchef Australia Season 8 inspired Gourmet Gala curated in such a way as to showcase various gourmet techniques.
Cocktails made of Chandon wines and Grant whisky were floating around, and the guests dressed in western formals waited for Chef Arun D’souza to bring in the magic of Gourmet. One end the restaurant was converted into stage area with the logo of Masterchef shining bright, and you just wished the three judges would somehow make an appearance there.
Chef Arun of Olive Bistro demystified the techniques of ‘Smoking’ and ‘Deconstructing’. He began his gourmet trip with a Ceviche made of Andaman Tuna, plantain chips and tiger milk. The idea of having raw fish is too fine a taste, yet the tuna was so well marinated that one actually understood the pleasure of having it with the right balance of crunch. And as the Chef said, the Ceviche had many flavours and he had used tequila, basil drop, roasted pepper, orange juice that not just made the tuna soft, but also flavourful and the Amuse Bouche was served with micro greens. Coincidentally, the micro greens are actually grown in a small garden in the Olive Bistro premises, just like the Masterchef kitchen.
Chef Arun then served the smoked root vegetables with salad of rhubarb made using some cheddar cheese, extra virgin oil and micro greens, orange and Himalayan cumin. It was an interesting sampling, however it was very lightly smoked using lavender and fresh herbs; the infusion could have been slightly better. (What is Masterchef with no criticism?)
However, the next couple of Amuse Bouche made it up – Confit made of chicken with butter beans, sun dried skin and Chamoile enhanced jus and Ratatouille Roulade Tarts with Crème Fraiche and Parmesan. Every new dish was quickly introduced followed by passing around of the samplers, and conversations over the dish. (The event was efficiently handled making it a lot of fun).
Finally, the Mango chessecake was amazingly deconstructed into Vanilla cheesecake, Mango & Passion fruit curd, Rhododendron compote, oat & puffed rice crumble – it was such a delicious profusion of sweet sour and crunch – making it a perfect end to the innovative fare.
First Published in The Hans India