Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Eating out, Food Festivals, Italian

Drama Chef, starring Mauro Ferrari

The stage was set. The curtains were raised. The hero was there with his tools. A rolling pin, a knife, an expression. No, it wasn’t the villain, it was the hero. The audience largely expats. I guess that is expected when the first day first show is with an Italian hero. A big burly hero. A people’s hero. You could ask for pasta. Any colour. Any stuffing. Any shape. Any size. Unlimited at about twelve hundred rupees. And you can watch him make it. The FDFS special though was a beautiful set dinner. Long before the pastas arrived, we were treated to some extra special dishes.

Drama Chef at Focaccia, Hyatt Regency is all about Mauro Ferrari. The no nonsense Italian chef who dishes out courses and courses of excellent food is now showing off the theatrics side of him. A crowd favourite, him rolling out pasta sheets, so smooth you could slide on them. And he tells you how to do it, to the minute details of milligrams.  For every 1 kg flour, you need to add…..well, go find out.

Priced at Rs. 2500 all inclusive, the opening night dinner had four appetisers, four pastas, a stunning dessert and the teetotaller version of Espresso Martini. What looked like mini profiteroles actually had mushrooms and truffle oil in them. What looked like Arancini was actually deep fried Bocconcini. What looked like Salmon was actually salmon. 🙂

Every pasta we had, had bite. It makes eating pasta outside so very difficult and, as Mauro explained, the bite comes from the slightly tweaked pasta recipe that you make with 1 kg flour and ……sorry, go find out. While the colours changed, the filling changed, the one thing that remained constant was the bite that every pasta had. Is this what is called the perfect al-dente?

The dessert served to us that night is probably the only thing that is not available a-la-carte and was an opening night special. A white chocolate puree stuffed in a merengue on a base of raspberry coulee and a frozen mango puree. Take the frozen mango stick and lick, while using the other hand to bite into the merengue. The dessert was stunning. We finished off with a shaken espresso martini sans alcohol. Chilled.

While the food was brilliant throughout, I love the fact that restaurants in Chennai are moving towards the opening night concept for food festivals. With drama, action, live cooking and special dishes. When theatres and operas can have opening nights, why not food? Mauro lived up to the expectation of being the drama queen and doled out dishes where every course was beautifully curated. If I had to nitpick, the broccoli pasta was a little underwhelming, but I am nitpicking.

On till the 31st of July, the Drama Chef is a great way to experience the best pastas in town, rolled, filled and cooked just right. Just right. Prices a-la-carte start at about Rs. 800, but the unlimited pastas at Rs. 1200 are a steal. A small bite of many pastas, all picked and chosen by you.

via Blogger http://ift.tt/2eJi6r1

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Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Eating out, Food Festivals, Italian

Drama Chef, starring Mauro Ferrari

The stage was set. The curtains were raised. The hero was there with his tools. A rolling pin, a knife, an expression. No, it wasn’t the villain, it was the hero. The audience largely expats. I guess that is expected when the first day first show is with an Italian hero. A big burly hero. A people’s hero. You could ask for pasta. Any colour. Any stuffing. Any shape. Any size. Unlimited at about twelve hundred rupees. And you can watch him make it. The FDFS special though was a beautiful set dinner. Long before the pastas arrived, we were treated to some extra special dishes.

Drama Chef at Focaccia, Hyatt Regency is all about Mauro Ferrari. The no nonsense Italian chef who dishes out courses and courses of excellent food is now showing off the theatrics side of him. A crowd favourite, him rolling out pasta sheets, so smooth you could slide on them. And he tells you how to do it, to the minute details of milligrams.  For every 1 kg flour, you need to add…..well, go find out.

Priced at Rs. 2500 all inclusive, the opening night dinner had four appetisers, four pastas, a stunning dessert and the teetotaller version of Espresso Martini. What looked like mini profiteroles actually had mushrooms and truffle oil in them. What looked like Arancini was actually deep fried Bocconcini. What looked like Salmon was actually salmon. 🙂

Every pasta we had, had bite. It makes eating pasta outside so very difficult and, as Mauro explained, the bite comes from the slightly tweaked pasta recipe that you make with 1 kg flour and ……sorry, go find out. While the colours changed, the filling changed, the one thing that remained constant was the bite that every pasta had. Is this what is called the perfect al-dente?

The dessert served to us that night is probably the only thing that is not available a-la-carte and was an opening night special. A white chocolate puree stuffed in a merengue on a base of raspberry coulee and a frozen mango puree. Take the frozen mango stick and lick, while using the other hand to bite into the merengue. The dessert was stunning. We finished off with a shaken espresso martini sans alcohol. Chilled.

While the food was brilliant throughout, I love the fact that restaurants in Chennai are moving towards the opening night concept for food festivals. With drama, action, live cooking and special dishes. When theatres and operas can have opening nights, why not food? Mauro lived up to the expectation of being the drama queen and doled out dishes where every course was beautifully curated. If I had to nitpick, the broccoli pasta was a little underwhelming, but I am nitpicking.

On till the 31st of July, the Drama Chef is a great way to experience the best pastas in town, rolled, filled and cooked just right. Just right. Prices a-la-carte start at about Rs. 800, but the unlimited pastas at Rs. 1200 are a steal. A small bite of many pastas, all picked and chosen by you.

via Blogger http://ift.tt/2eJi6r1

Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Eating out, Food Festivals, Italian

Drama Chef, starring Mauro Ferrari

The stage was set. The curtains were raised. The hero was there with his tools. A rolling pin, a knife, an expression. No, it wasn’t the villain, it was the hero. The audience largely expats. I guess that is expected when the first day first show is with an Italian hero. A big burly hero. A people’s hero. You could ask for pasta. Any colour. Any stuffing. Any shape. Any size. Unlimited at about twelve hundred rupees. And you can watch him make it. The FDFS special though was a beautiful set dinner. Long before the pastas arrived, we were treated to some extra special dishes.

Drama Chef at Focaccia, Hyatt Regency is all about Mauro Ferrari. The no nonsense Italian chef who dishes out courses and courses of excellent food is now showing off the theatrics side of him. A crowd favourite, him rolling out pasta sheets, so smooth you could slide on them. And he tells you how to do it, to the minute details of milligrams.  For every 1 kg flour, you need to add…..well, go find out.

Priced at Rs. 2500 all inclusive, the opening night dinner had four appetisers, four pastas, a stunning dessert and the teetotaller version of Espresso Martini. What looked like mini profiteroles actually had mushrooms and truffle oil in them. What looked like Arancini was actually deep fried Bocconcini. What looked like Salmon was actually salmon. 🙂

Every pasta we had, had bite. It makes eating pasta outside so very difficult and, as Mauro explained, the bite comes from the slightly tweaked pasta recipe that you make with 1 kg flour and ……sorry, go find out. While the colours changed, the filling changed, the one thing that remained constant was the bite that every pasta had. Is this what is called the perfect al-dente?

The dessert served to us that night is probably the only thing that is not available a-la-carte and was an opening night special. A white chocolate puree stuffed in a merengue on a base of raspberry coulee and a frozen mango puree. Take the frozen mango stick and lick, while using the other hand to bite into the merengue. The dessert was stunning. We finished off with a shaken espresso martini sans alcohol. Chilled.

While the food was brilliant throughout, I love the fact that restaurants in Chennai are moving towards the opening night concept for food festivals. With drama, action, live cooking and special dishes. When theatres and operas can have opening nights, why not food? Mauro lived up to the expectation of being the drama queen and doled out dishes where every course was beautifully curated. If I had to nitpick, the broccoli pasta was a little underwhelming, but I am nitpicking.

On till the 31st of July, the Drama Chef is a great way to experience the best pastas in town, rolled, filled and cooked just right. Just right. Prices a-la-carte start at about Rs. 800, but the unlimited pastas at Rs. 1200 are a steal. A small bite of many pastas, all picked and chosen by you.

via Blogger http://ift.tt/2eJi6r1

Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Eating out, Food Festivals, Italian

Drama Chef, starring Mauro Ferrari

The stage was set. The curtains were raised. The hero was there with his tools. A rolling pin, a knife, an expression. No, it wasn’t the villain, it was the hero. The audience largely expats. I guess that is expected when the first day first show is with an Italian hero. A big burly hero. A people’s hero. You could ask for pasta. Any colour. Any stuffing. Any shape. Any size. Unlimited at about twelve hundred rupees. And you can watch him make it. The FDFS special though was a beautiful set dinner. Long before the pastas arrived, we were treated to some extra special dishes.

Drama Chef at Focaccia, Hyatt Regency is all about Mauro Ferrari. The no nonsense Italian chef who dishes out courses and courses of excellent food is now showing off the theatrics side of him. A crowd favourite, him rolling out pasta sheets, so smooth you could slide on them. And he tells you how to do it, to the minute details of milligrams.  For every 1 kg flour, you need to add…..well, go find out.

Priced at Rs. 2500 all inclusive, the opening night dinner had four appetisers, four pastas, a stunning dessert and the teetotaller version of Espresso Martini. What looked like mini profiteroles actually had mushrooms and truffle oil in them. What looked like Arancini was actually deep fried Bocconcini. What looked like Salmon was actually salmon. 🙂

Every pasta we had, had bite. It makes eating pasta outside so very difficult and, as Mauro explained, the bite comes from the slightly tweaked pasta recipe that you make with 1 kg flour and ……sorry, go find out. While the colours changed, the filling changed, the one thing that remained constant was the bite that every pasta had. Is this what is called the perfect al-dente?

The dessert served to us that night is probably the only thing that is not available a-la-carte and was an opening night special. A white chocolate puree stuffed in a merengue on a base of raspberry coulee and a frozen mango puree. Take the frozen mango stick and lick, while using the other hand to bite into the merengue. The dessert was stunning. We finished off with a shaken espresso martini sans alcohol. Chilled.

While the food was brilliant throughout, I love the fact that restaurants in Chennai are moving towards the opening night concept for food festivals. With drama, action, live cooking and special dishes. When theatres and operas can have opening nights, why not food? Mauro lived up to the expectation of being the drama queen and doled out dishes where every course was beautifully curated. If I had to nitpick, the broccoli pasta was a little underwhelming, but I am nitpicking.

On till the 31st of July, the Drama Chef is a great way to experience the best pastas in town, rolled, filled and cooked just right. Just right. Prices a-la-carte start at about Rs. 800, but the unlimited pastas at Rs. 1200 are a steal. A small bite of many pastas, all picked and chosen by you.

via Blogger http://ift.tt/2eJi6r1

Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Eating out, Food Festivals, Italian

Drama Chef, starring Mauro Ferrari

The stage was set. The curtains were raised. The hero was there with his tools. A rolling pin, a knife, an expression. No, it wasn’t the villain, it was the hero. The audience largely expats. I guess that is expected when the first day first show is with an Italian hero. A big burly hero. A people’s hero. You could ask for pasta. Any colour. Any stuffing. Any shape. Any size. Unlimited at about twelve hundred rupees. And you can watch him make it. The FDFS special though was a beautiful set dinner. Long before the pastas arrived, we were treated to some extra special dishes.

Drama Chef at Focaccia, Hyatt Regency is all about Mauro Ferrari. The no nonsense Italian chef who dishes out courses and courses of excellent food is now showing off the theatrics side of him. A crowd favourite, him rolling out pasta sheets, so smooth you could slide on them. And he tells you how to do it, to the minute details of milligrams.  For every 1 kg flour, you need to add…..well, go find out.

Priced at Rs. 2500 all inclusive, the opening night dinner had four appetisers, four pastas, a stunning dessert and the teetotaller version of Espresso Martini. What looked like mini profiteroles actually had mushrooms and truffle oil in them. What looked like Arancini was actually deep fried Bocconcini. What looked like Salmon was actually salmon. 🙂

Every pasta we had, had bite. It makes eating pasta outside so very difficult and, as Mauro explained, the bite comes from the slightly tweaked pasta recipe that you make with 1 kg flour and ……sorry, go find out. While the colours changed, the filling changed, the one thing that remained constant was the bite that every pasta had. Is this what is called the perfect al-dente?

The dessert served to us that night is probably the only thing that is not available a-la-carte and was an opening night special. A white chocolate puree stuffed in a merengue on a base of raspberry coulee and a frozen mango puree. Take the frozen mango stick and lick, while using the other hand to bite into the merengue. The dessert was stunning. We finished off with a shaken espresso martini sans alcohol. Chilled.

While the food was brilliant throughout, I love the fact that restaurants in Chennai are moving towards the opening night concept for food festivals. With drama, action, live cooking and special dishes. When theatres and operas can have opening nights, why not food? Mauro lived up to the expectation of being the drama queen and doled out dishes where every course was beautifully curated. If I had to nitpick, the broccoli pasta was a little underwhelming, but I am nitpicking.

On till the 31st of July, the Drama Chef is a great way to experience the best pastas in town, rolled, filled and cooked just right. Just right. Prices a-la-carte start at about Rs. 800, but the unlimited pastas at Rs. 1200 are a steal. A small bite of many pastas, all picked and chosen by you.

via Blogger http://ift.tt/2eJi6r1

Chef, Chennai, Eating out, European, Food Festivals, Italian, Pasta

Japanese Thorn in an Italian Rose?

Festivals, like pasta, comes in all shapes and sizes. There are regional cuisine festivals, festival based festivals, street food based festivals, but besides biriyani, I don’t remember a festival based on one dish. No other dish seems to deserve that kind of respect, but the chefs at Leela Palace have conferred that honour upon the pasta.

I could talk about the thin Agilo Olio, the beautiful Lamb Ragout or the Boccocini Gnocchi, but that will be of grave injustice to two dishes that took the cake and the baker’s wife! The Duck Cappellacci, that turned a non-duck fan into one. Duck has never been my cup of, well, tea. I’ve tried some ‘fabulous’ ones in Paris, a carpaccio by Vikram and a few more, but nothing had me ever hooked to duck. In fact, I avoid it and if I have to choose a main course with duck as an option and a vegetarian dish, I normally go for the vegetarian. The chef’s table hosted for us had me regretting for not choosing the duck. A beautiful duck confit with a nice smoky flavoured pink duck meat to complement a set of four cappellacci which was stuffed with duck meat on a base of artichoke puree and sun dried grapes was the dish of the day. My co-diner was kind enough to share a piece, but I would have loved an entire plate for myself.

Because it got me loving a meat that I avoid, I called it the dish of the day, but make no mistake. There was a vegetarian dish that could have put most meat dishes to shame on any given day. A pyramidoli, stuffed with mushrooms and truffle oil on a base of porcini mushroom sauce, shimeji mushrooms and parmesan crisps was a stunner of a dish. The beautifully nutty flavour of the shimeji mushrooms and the creamy porcini mushroom sauce added so much of flavour depth to the dish that it was difficult to stop eating. What was a Japanese mushroom doing in an Italian dish? I have no idea, but a mushroom similar to Shimeji also grows in Northern Europe, but hey, Italy is way south! So either way, it is beautiful how an ingredient that is out of place has actually added something to the dish. In this case, the thorn has made the rose a little more beautiful.

Available till the end of May, the pasta festival is available as a-la-carte on top of the massive Spectra buffet. Without the buffet, a meal for two will set you back by about Rs. 2500. 

via Blogger http://ift.tt/2q0efpm

Chef, Chennai, Eating out, European, Food Festivals, Italian, Pasta

Japanese Thorn in an Italian Rose?

Festivals, like pasta, comes in all shapes and sizes. There are regional cuisine festivals, festival based festivals, street food based festivals, but besides biriyani, I don’t remember a festival based on one dish. No other dish seems to deserve that kind of respect, but the chefs at Leela Palace have conferred that honour upon the pasta.

I could talk about the thin Agilo Olio, the beautiful Lamb Ragout or the Boccocini Gnocchi, but that will be of grave injustice to two dishes that took the cake and the baker’s wife! The Duck Cappellacci, that turned a non-duck fan into one. Duck has never been my cup of, well, tea. I’ve tried some ‘fabulous’ ones in Paris, a carpaccio by Vikram and a few more, but nothing had me ever hooked to duck. In fact, I avoid it and if I have to choose a main course with duck as an option and a vegetarian dish, I normally go for the vegetarian. The chef’s table hosted for us had me regretting for not choosing the duck. A beautiful duck confit with a nice smoky flavoured pink duck meat to complement a set of four cappellacci which was stuffed with duck meat on a base of artichoke puree and sun dried grapes was the dish of the day. My co-diner was kind enough to share a piece, but I would have loved an entire plate for myself.

Because it got me loving a meat that I avoid, I called it the dish of the day, but make no mistake. There was a vegetarian dish that could have put most meat dishes to shame on any given day. A pyramidoli, stuffed with mushrooms and truffle oil on a base of porcini mushroom sauce, shimeji mushrooms and parmesan crisps was a stunner of a dish. The beautifully nutty flavour of the shimeji mushrooms and the creamy porcini mushroom sauce added so much of flavour depth to the dish that it was difficult to stop eating. What was a Japanese mushroom doing in an Italian dish? I have no idea, but a mushroom similar to Shimeji also grows in Northern Europe, but hey, Italy is way south! So either way, it is beautiful how an ingredient that is out of place has actually added something to the dish. In this case, the thorn has made the rose a little more beautiful.

Available till the end of May, the pasta festival is available as a-la-carte on top of the massive Spectra buffet. Without the buffet, a meal for two will set you back by about Rs. 2500. 

via Blogger http://ift.tt/2q0efpm

5 Star, Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Eating out, Italian, Restaurants in hotels, Specials

An Italian conquers Chennai.

“What’s the secret?” I asked the sous chef.

“He doesn’t measure anything. He takes a handful and puts them in. Everything. Cheese. Butter. Rice. Herb. Everything is a handful.”

“He does have a large hand,” I said.

“Yes. He does.”

We were talking about Chef Gustav from Ratatouille. Sorry, Chef Allesandro who has flown in from the Mumbai Grand Hyatt. The resemblance is uncanny, so……. If you remember, this chef’s food festival last year at Hyatt Regency was one of my best meals of the year. He came, he floored us, he left. Not this time. Now he came, he conquered and he left. Within the grand Flying Elephant, with his own menu and his own seating, he has truly conquered. A small piece of real estate, but he has conquered.

The brand new Italian menu at the Flying Elephant has chef Allesandro written all over it. He may have left, but I hope he has taught the rest enough to keep this menu going. We were then when the man himself was around. Smiling, pranking and of course throwing fistful of stuff into the stoves.

Green pizza. Thin crust, crisp and pesto instead of tomato! Beetroot salad was a treat to both the eyes and the palette. Then there was the gorgonzola balsamic risotto that made my friend cry last time. Nobody cried this time around, but that is because we are used to it. A duck ravioli with nice sauce made its appearance.

But there was one dish that was worthy of tears. If my crying friend was around, he would have cried for this too. The liver pate. I hate offal and am not a big fan of liver though I have had it at times. This particular one was brilliant to say the least. Sandwiched between two fried croutons, a stick sticking out from the pate placed on a bed of caramelised onions, some pomegranate and micro greens, this was a stunner of a dish. Yes, the fried croutons and the caramelised onions were dominant, but they beautifully over shadowed the liver pate, which played a good second fiddle. For me, I was perfectly happy with this arrangement.

Fried cheese cake and a cone inspired from the streets of Hyderabad made up dessert.

While I hope that one day Chef Allesandro moves to Chennai, this is a great first step in that direction!

The new menu is now available at Flying Elephant, Level 1 at Park Hyatt, Velachery. 

via Blogger http://ift.tt/2r7sSbN

5 Star, Chef, Chef's Special, Chennai, Eating out, Italian, Restaurants in hotels, Specials

An Italian conquers Chennai.

“What’s the secret?” I asked the sous chef.

“He doesn’t measure anything. He takes a handful and puts them in. Everything. Cheese. Butter. Rice. Herb. Everything is a handful.”

“He does have a large hand,” I said.

“Yes. He does.”

We were talking about Chef Gustav from Ratatouille. Sorry, Chef Allesandro who has flown in from the Mumbai Grand Hyatt. The resemblance is uncanny, so……. If you remember, this chef’s food festival last year at Hyatt Regency was one of my best meals of the year. He came, he floored us, he left. Not this time. Now he came, he conquered and he left. Within the grand Flying Elephant, with his own menu and his own seating, he has truly conquered. A small piece of real estate, but he has conquered.

The brand new Italian menu at the Flying Elephant has chef Allesandro written all over it. He may have left, but I hope he has taught the rest enough to keep this menu going. We were then when the man himself was around. Smiling, pranking and of course throwing fistful of stuff into the stoves.

Green pizza. Thin crust, crisp and pesto instead of tomato! Beetroot salad was a treat to both the eyes and the palette. Then there was the gorgonzola balsamic risotto that made my friend cry last time. Nobody cried this time around, but that is because we are used to it. A duck ravioli with nice sauce made its appearance.

But there was one dish that was worthy of tears. If my crying friend was around, he would have cried for this too. The liver pate. I hate offal and am not a big fan of liver though I have had it at times. This particular one was brilliant to say the least. Sandwiched between two fried croutons, a stick sticking out from the pate placed on a bed of caramelised onions, some pomegranate and micro greens, this was a stunner of a dish. Yes, the fried croutons and the caramelised onions were dominant, but they beautifully over shadowed the liver pate, which played a good second fiddle. For me, I was perfectly happy with this arrangement.

Fried cheese cake and a cone inspired from the streets of Hyderabad made up dessert.

While I hope that one day Chef Allesandro moves to Chennai, this is a great first step in that direction!

The new menu is now available at Flying Elephant, Level 1 at Park Hyatt, Velachery. 

via Blogger http://ift.tt/2r7sSbN