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The truth about Chettinad

One of the few south Indian cuisines to be really exposed to us all over the country is, of course, Chettinad — or more correctly, the cuisine of the Nattukotai Chettiar community of Tamil Nadu. Speak of south Indian non-vegetarian food (at least outside the four peninsular states) and nine out of 10 people are [...]

Duck Confit Musallam

Look closely at the menu. It’s the boys from Bihar and Bhopal, Amritsar and Asansol who are playing around with memory and flavours at India’s most stylish diners. A hush descends on the table as the chef brings out the dessert. It’s been a meal of some distinction. Beginning with a flavourful broccoli cappuccino, thick [...]

India’s Top Chefs rate their Peers

We asked the country’s top chefs to rate their top chefs (excluding themselves). Manjit Gill, Corporate Chef, ITC 1. Rahul Akerkar, Indigo, Mumbai 2. Ananda Solomon 3. Imtiaz Quereshi Criteria: A chef’s primary job is to cook. He should be able to put a meal together himself. He should be a good human being, not [...]

India’s most promising young chef – Manu Chandra

Chef Manu Chandra, Executive Chef, Olive, Bangalore, Mumbai Unlike a decade or two ago, when being a chef was no career option for a young man, it is today seen as a glamorous profession with even popular film stars like Saif Ali Khan playing cool-dude chefs in films. The result is a new generation of [...]

Who is India’s best chef?

(A shorter version of the article was published in Business Standard on July 4, 2009) Monsoon Raga Malhar and a tangy mint chutney, with crisp fritters, on a rainy day. Jaijaiwanti, with its sweet notes, and a delicate phirni, fragrant with rose. Malkaus, Indian Classical music’s somber, mystical raga, and, well, a complex Bordeaux wine [...]

Asian Fusion Cooking

One of the most abused terms in the world of fine dining has to be “fusion”. It may now be acceptable to cook your pasta with a dash of cumin at home— and admit as much. Or to raid your refrigerator at midnight to come up with your own fanciful versions of sandwiches, hummous with [...]

Manish Mehrotra: Head Chef of Tamarai Restaurant in London

Chef Manish Mehrotra is a graduate from the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition, Mumbai (1996). He joined Thai Pavilion restaurant at Taj President, Mumbai and trained under the expert guidance of master chefs from Thailand. During his tenure of 5 years with the Taj group, Manish organised various Thai Food Festivals [...]

India’s Top Chefs: The Qureshi Brothers

Bukhara is India’s most famous restaurant, launched by chef Imtiaz Qureshi almost 30 years ago. As a boy in Lucknow, famous for its Mughal culture and etiquette, Qureshi trained as a young boy under his uncle in one of the small kebabs and curry restaurants, found in crowded markets and by the roads. But soon [...]

Meet Manju Malhi: The celebrity TV chef in London

You know Madhur Jaffrey, goddess of spice and spicy Indian food, who has done a fair job of selling Indian cuisine to the West. Now, meet Manju Malhi, a star chef in her own right with shows on TV in UK. Malhi’s forte is “Indi-Brit” cooking, easy-to-do Indian food using ingredients available in the supermarkets [...]