Sunday, September 29, 2013

Meeting the MasterChef, Gary Mehigan

 Last one year has been really exciting for me as a professional food writer and blogger. One of the reasons is that I got to meet some of the great Chefs, all of International repute. I met Chef Sanjeev Kapoor last year at a food bloggers' meet hosted at his office in Andheri. Had a chance to meet the Executive Chef of Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Chef Hemant Oberoi during the burger festival at Shamiana. Recently, I interviewed Chef Gagan Anand, owner and Chef at Gaggan restaurant in Bangkok. The most recent one and the one that sent me in a fangirl mode was meeting Chef Gary Mehigan, the host of MasterChef Australia. 

Gary Mehigan was in Mumbai last week promoting Tourism Victoria. He held a masterclass for media at Celini in Grand Hyatt where he demonstrated some of his signature dishes. I wouldn't be lying if I say that I was concentrating more on the charming chef than the dishes. The masterclass was followed by a lunch where we got to taste these dishes that Gary had just demonstrated.

Chef Gary Mehigan at work
 The four course menu was comprised of canapes, entree, mains and dessert paired with Yering Station Chardonnay and Yering Station Shiraz Viognier.


Crispy French baguette topped with smoked and fresh salmon mixed with sour cream was light and delicious and I could've easily filled my stomach with these bite sized snacks.

Rillettes of smoked and fresh salmon, rosemary and olive biscuit
I was blown away by the display of colours on this plate; a mix of greens, yellow, red made the salad really appetizing. The ingredients were fresh and that goat's curd absolutely creamy and divine.

Salad of new season asparagus, slow cooked egg, goat's curd and green olive tapenade

The main course was one of Gary's favourite dishes - roasted chicken with crispy skin. The carrot custard was wonderful with the perfectly roasted chicken breast.

Roasted breast of free range chicken, truffled boudin blanc, carrot and cardamom custard, baby carrots, hazelnut crumble, jus gras

This was the best part of the meal - dessert. Gary gave a quick demonstration of the chocolate mousse. Anisha (@TheBlackSakura) was the first one to raise her hand when Gary offered this dessert to the guests. Lucky to eat a dessert coming straight from Gary :D. The mousse was creamy, chocolaty with just right amount of sweetness. The Tuscan cake was Matt Preston's recipe and trust me, this was one of the most amazing cakes I've ever had. The olive oil chocolate was a surprise with just a hint of olive oil and cinnamon.

Warm Tuscan chocolate cake with milk chocolate mousse, salty caramel, oat biscuits and olive oil ice cream 

And finally, this was the moment I will remember all my life, standing next to one of the best chefs in the world.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chef talk with Chef Gagan Anand

I recently met Chef Gagan Anand who owns the famous Indian restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok known for Molecular Gastronomy. I interviewed him for's features section Know Your City. We discussed food, culture and things in general over a cup of coffee at Four Seasons.
Within barely a year and a half of its inception, Gaggan in Bangkok became one of the most sought after Indian restaurants in the world. It now is a staple on Thailand’s ‘must try’ itenerary. We caught up with Chef Gagan Anand, the man behind the radical take on Indian cuisine while he was in Mumbai hosting a private dinner at Four Seasons.

Just back from lunch at Britannia and Co, he raved about the famous Parsi restaurant, though he still prefers his Kolkata style biryani to the berry pulao. We chatted at length with him about our common love, food. Here are the excerpts from the interview. Read more...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mom's special bread samosas - A mix of fried and healthy

Sometimes I love indulging in some seriously unhealthy breakfasts. Most of them are my Mom's recipes. These bread rolls or like Mom calls them, bread samosas are one of them. The dish tastes the best during winters when there are a lot of fresh vegetables in the market. The digestive system also works better in winters so it's best to make it then.

Potatoes - 4 medium
Carrot - 1 medium (grated)
Cabbage - 1 cup (grated)
Capsicum - 1 medium (chopped)
Green chilies - 2 (chopped)
Green coriander - 1/4 cup (chopped)
Dry mango powder (amchoor powder) - 1 tbsp
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Bread - 8 slices
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying


  1. Boil, peel and mash the potatoes.
  2. Add carrot, cabbage, capsicum, green chilies, green coriander, amchoor powder, red chili powder and salt to potatoes and mix well.
  3. lightly soak a bread slice in abowl of water. Squeeze out the excess water, take a little potato filling and place it in the centre of the bread slice.
  4. Carefully wrap the bread around the potato mix to make a round ball.
  5. Repeat the process with rest of the bread slices.
  6. Heat oil in a wok and fry the samosas till they turn brown.
  7. Serve with sauce, green chutney or any other dip of your choice.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Baby potato and bacon salad + Happy Birthday blog

The blog turns two today, it has been a very delicious ride so far. I started this food blog in 2011 after I started food writing for burrp's features section Know Your City. Initially, the idea was to write restaurant reviews but the blog kept growing and I started posting recipes that I was trying at home. The blog inspired me to bake more often and try out ingredients that I had never used before. Thanks blog and Happy Birthday.

To celebrate the blog's birthday I thought of making something with bacon, my new found love :). I decided to go with this simple Roasted baby potatoes and bacon salad topped with caramelized onions. The dish tastes wonderful with different sort of flavours and textures; the crunchy bacon, sweet onions and pepper roasted potatoes, what's not to like about it. I got the inspiration for the recipe from Here's the recipe with a slight twist.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves: 2

Baby potatoes - 250 gms
Onion - 1 large
Bacon - 3-4 strips (depends on how much bacon heavu you want it to be)
Black pepper - 8 (lightly crushed)
Maple syrup - 1 tbsp
Parsley - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Kosher Salt - 1 tsp
Olive oil - 2 tsp for potatoes, 2 tsp for caramelizing onions, 1 tsp for frying bacon

  • Preheat the oven at 180 degree celcius.
  • Peel and half the potatoes. Take them in baking dish, add salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well.
  • Roast the potatoes in oven for about 30 minutes or till they are brown and crisp.
  • Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a pan for caramelized onions, throw in onions and sugar and fry till they turn brown. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
  • Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pan, chop the bacon strips and fry them in the oil. Add maple syrup. Remove from pan and keep aside.
  • Once potatoes are roasted move them in the serving bowl. Top them with maple bacon, caramelized onions and chopped parsley. Serve.
Grab a chilled beer too.

My Doodle recipe is a part of Easy Doodle Recipe contest at in association with

Monday, September 2, 2013

Greek Food Festival @ Renaissance Convention Centre Hotel

It won't be an exaggeration if i say that Renaissance, Powai is my favourite hotel in Mumbai. The location is just perfect; in the midst of greenery, by the lake it's a great place to unwind. Their Italian restaurant is undoubtedly the best in the city and their Executive Chef Jolly probably one of the most charming Chefs. 

I have attended quite a few food festivals, media dinners and bloggers' meets here. After a long gap I visited Renaissance again to try out their Greek Food Festival at the Lake View Cafe. Chef Douskos George from Ledra Marriott, Athens has flown down to share his recipes for this festival. Here's what I liked (and didn't like) from the spread.

Apart from the traditional Greek salad there was one with prunes, bacon and zucchini and a pickled fish salad. Loved both but Greek salad won because of feta, of course. 

Out of hummus, babaghanoush and yogurt dip I liked the yogurt dip best. For some reason I prefer the Lebanese hummus over the Greek one.

Greek version of shawarma or gyro were good. Still, shawarma wins for me. The roast lamb leg in mustard sauce was the dish of the day for me, also the moussaka. Sorry for not taking pictures, I was a little too busy eating.

The dessert section was somewhat generic and the famous baklava was missing. But these Greek yogurt tarts made up for it. The yogurt was mildly sweet and the tart perfectly baked.

Loukoumades or honey puffs were specially recommended by the Chef. The deep fried dough balls were flavoured with cinnamon and topped with honey and crushed dryfruits. The dessert had a crispy and mildly sweet crust but was too dry from the inside. It didn't hit the right note with us sweet loving Indians. However, the Chef served it again topped with a little Nutella which made it taste almost like a doughnut.

And yes, we did break a plate.

The Greek Food Festival at The Lake View Cafe, Renaissance Conventions Centre Hotel is on till Sunday, September 8; 7.30pm onwards.
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