What do you do when you get invited to to meet Chef Sabyasachi Gorai, better known as Chef Saby and blogger friends from Chef at Large over a discussion about olive oil..... A happy monkey jig jig :) This meet was sponsored by Leonardo Olive Oil, hosted by Himani Dalmia and Chandana Paul at Olive Bar and Kitchens in Mehrauli.
Any place that I visit is judged not just on the FSA (Food, Service and Ambiance) but also on how the cloak room / washroom is done up aswell.... This was definitely going to be an afternoon well spent as the teaser to this campaign was lovely... naturally lit, aesthetically done up and importantly spic and span.
Chef Saby played to the gallery... His warm welcome and friendly banter while carrying on the serious business of cooking up a storm was endearing. He's among India’s top ten chefs and has recently been awarded Best Chef of India National Tourism Award, 2011-12 by President of India. WHoaaaa... Quite a celebrity he is... appears regularly on Page 3 too... for all the right reasons ;)
Not just talented, also a willing teacher, he runs an academy for young chefs. He comes from a family of artists, no wonder his food reflects his artistic side. Good news or Bad news.... He plans to retire next year to spend time with his lovely daughter and paint....
Rare captures.... Sid having fun with the camera, just that it's on the other side of the lens this time. About the food, we were served fish and asparagus done in a nitrogen batter.
Vaibhav, the Executive Sous Chef was frying up a frenzy with the Espuma technique, which is part of molecular gastronomy . It's basically done with a Nitrogen vial which is attached to a 'gun' that pumps the gas into the batter and makes it light fluffy and crisp in texture when fried. It was quite yummy n crispy fresh out of the pan.
Aastha, assisting Vaibhav and Saby through the afternoon and a really sweet host. She even gave us little prize hampers if we answered her quiz questions correctly. She's a crossover like me... studied at Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) and then working with Saby to train as a chef at all of 22. Cheers for Girl Power.... Hip Hip Hurray :)
Blogger paprazzi.... where Food is the star.... We descended on the food like a species which Himani's never seen.... Yes, we are a different species... were the 'Foodus Bloggerus'.... noone eats till we are done clicking ;)
Lovely plating of anti plasti platters, mushroom pate and yummy starters. They were a treat to our eyes and tasted delicious too.
We were joined by Mr Donato Pantaleo(from Leonardo oils Italy) and Mr VN Dalmia (president Dalmia International) for lunch. Yes, we had the gumption for a sit down lunch after being plied with all that yummy food throughout the afternoon. There was Black truffle porcini risotto (White Alba truffle paste, summer black truffle, truffle oil), Classic lasagna Bolognaise (Rustic hand ground tenderloin Bolognaise.) and a Mezze platter too. Each table had it's own mortar and pestle accompanied their unique handmade artisan skillet bread.
Mouth Wateringly delicious Apple and walnut crumble, Olive’s signature tiramisu, Praline mud cake
Chef Saby is truly special... at a mere cheeky mention of wanting to see his kitchen.... He walked us through and gave us demonstrations and let us into his pantry too... and YES... His BAKERY too... *Jumping up and down with GLEEEEEE....*
|Picture Credit - Sushmita of My Unfinished Life|
Ps: All these yummy goodies were cooked and drizzled with Leonardo Olive Oil....