Dining at the New Palace – The New Indian Express

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Express news service

Classic, founding, fundamental are perhaps the adjectives that come to mind when we talk about French cuisine. Rich and delicious, rather than bold and aggressive, this is how the taste trajectory moves. Undoubtedly the backbone of Western culinary arts, for over two centuries France has been the ambitious training ground for chefs. But somewhere towards the end of the 20th century, the kitchen suffered a setback. As New World cuisine made its presence felt around the world and people adopted a myriad of tastes such as sushi, hummus, pho, bao and more, the love for French cuisine has passed. in the background. Plus, as foodies grappled with lifestyle-related illnesses, the motto of French cuisine – butter, butter and more butter – took a hit.

But how long can you stay away from the French? Especially when cooking techniques still form the basis of modern cooking practices. Needless to say, at the end of 2018, the chefs took the cudgels to innovate in this famous cuisine developed by 19th century chefs such as Auguste Escoffier and Marie-Antoine Carême, and this is how the new cuisine emerges, the simplicity as a vocation. card.
Michelin-starred chef Nicolas Durif was recently in Delhi with All Things Nice, in association with Pullman New Delhi Aerocity, to present an evening of modern French cuisine at the Pluck. He says: “French cuisine has many iconic dishes that are sacrosanct, created and put forward by renowned chefs. But in recent years, French gastronomy has been inspired by various influences. For example, many chefs incorporate Japanese or Asian products into their cooking. Indeed, Chef Nicolas himself served a very Asian mustard duck breast, in addition to gratinating the whole with his crispy Franco-Japanese maki with sauerkraut. In 2010, the French restaurant meal was inscribed on the UNESCO list of “world intangible cultural heritage”. While the French celebrated, there were those who made sarcastic comments about the kitchen’s now “museum extinction status”.

Chef Nicolas believes that even though French cuisine has lost its fame and may not be the favorite anymore, it still has a chance. “Maybe France hasn’t moved fast enough, but trends are changing. We can’t touch the icons or the masters who paved the way for us, but we are creating a more modern kitchen than before, ”he says. No wonder many French chefs offer amazing innovations. So you have the traditional choux pastry where instead of the praline mousseline stuffing, there is the tasty poultry liver mousse, a rich and creamy version cooked with Cognac, garlic, thyme and cream. .

The classic French dessert mille-feuille has also taken a flavorful turn in some cuisines with a garnish of charcoal-grilled mushrooms. Even new age Tex-Mex flavors are accepted in French cuisine with chicken wings served with truffle ranch and truffle honey. But even as they try to modernize the dishes, French chefs are reluctant to play with some things. Their cuisine is rooted in tradition. “In France, when you learn to cook, you have a kind of cooking ‘bible’, similar to a dictionary, which lists sauces, how to cut vegetables or even the ways of cooking certain products. The great cooking houses in France still cook using these techniques, ”explains the chef.

Even as French cuisine modernized to suit the ever-changing palates of its customers, cuisines around the world also borrowed liberally from the French. French cheeses such as Gruyère and Camembert, and desserts such as crème brûlée and chocolate mousse find their place in most gourmet restaurants. In fact, over the past year, India has seen a number of French pastry shops and restaurants open their doors to enthusiastic customers. Much like Chef Nicolas, who took a liking to garlic naan and dal, India has welcomed butter croissants (sometimes even with a chicken tikka stuffing), airy macaroons, sinful pancakes, and even rare meats with wine glaze. And why not? After all, French cuisine is hardly new to India. Goa with its various nationalities and Pondicherry, with its French colony, have always had the presence of French cuisine, which has now traveled to places such as Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi. In fact, cooking students in India can often be seen lugging copies of Escoffier’s Culinary Guide. So who’s afraid of the French?

“French cuisine has many iconic sacrosanct dishes, created and promoted by renowned chefs. »Nicolas Durif

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