The ever-expanding Bangalore restaurant scene has its fair share of celebrity chefs. People who design and define the city’s gastronomic-scape. They often hold forth on exotic dishes or conjure up a simple maa ki daal with a magical twist as we watch in wonder. Ever wondered what these Chefs eat? Which are their favourite restaurants? Bhumika K. tries to get you a peek at this and what they do cook in their home kitchens…
Manu Chandra, Executive Chef and Partner, Olive Beach, Bangalore, Monkey Bar and LikeThatOnly
Favourite restaurants and what you usually order there: Fujiya in Delhi. I grew up eating their food even though it’s unabashedly Chindian. I always have the Talumein soup. It’s a hearty bowl of all of last night’s leftovers I reckon, and hugely tasty. It made me appreciate food of all kind.
Everyday food: I don’t really eat breakfast; but lunch starts from freshly-baked bread at the restaurant, and then is a complex menu of all things that need to be tasted that have been prepared for the day. Dinner is always the staff food from our staff kitchen, which is invariably daal or rajmaa, rice, a vegetable or two, and a chicken or egg curry on occasion. This is at 6.30 pm, so I do get a snack towards 11.30 pm too, which is when we close. This is a simple affair and can be lemon rice, or noodles.
When I cook at home... : It’s a simple salad and a one-pot meal. The latter could be a pulao, a curry, biryani, stew, or just a mish mash that has deep flavour but overall hearty.
Power food: Chocolate or chips.
Naren Thimmaiah, Executive Chef, The Gateway Hotel, Bangalore
Favourite restaurants and what you usually order there: MTR for their yummy masala dosas and bisibelebath, Olive Beach for their grilled fish and the pizzas, Egg Factory for their Manipal bread masala.
Everyday food: Since breakfast’s the only meal at home most of the times it’s a wholesome breakfast of akki otti (rice roti of Coorg) with curry and chutney or dosa, upma, or muesli with milk, and a strong dose of Coorg coffee. Since my wife is a teacher there is an invisible time table and dishes for the days marked as well! Sometimes there are also tasting portions of the yummy dinner dishes which I missed, waiting for me at breakfast table! By lunch time, you are always half full tasting the dishes around the kitchens. Yes it’s a good job to be in. Then it gets a formal completion at our associate dining room lunch spread. For dinner, there is always a new dish being tried for which I’m a willing Guinea pig. Otherwise I go on this favourite dish non-stop for weeks together and then change it and go on that for weeks! Recent list has large bowl of Hot & Sour soup with crisp noodles, Penne aglio e olio, avial & red rice and now I’m on whole wheat rotis and dry subzi.
When I cook at home...: It’s a rare occasion. Give me onion and tomato and that can work wonders with anything. I like the versatility of these two basic ingredients. They lend themselves so well to whatever you cook. So the dishes that I cook can be any time-tested recipe or at times just about something with available ingredients. I have been an apprentice under my daughter when she tries her omelet with smiley face, pastas and finger sandwiches. Now she has moved on to smoothies and salsas. But since she has been watching Master Chef Australia, cooking skills have improved moderately but what has improved greatly is her judging skills of mom’s cooking!
Power food: A bowlful of curd and a fruit.
Abhijit Saha, Founder, Director and Executive Chef of Caperberry and Fava
Your favourite restaurants and what you usually order there: It’s idly at Brahmin’s Cafe, Karimeen polichattu at Ente Keralam, pepper crab at Karavalli, sushi at Harina, dim sum at Zen, biryani at Samarkhand, meals at MTR, kebabs at Terracotta, Thai curries at Rim Naam.
Everyday food: Breakfast is usually eggs & toast, cornflakes, muesli, idly sambar, aloo or egg parantha. Lunch, is often one-dish meals on week days — salad, pasta, mixed noodles, risotto, dosa etc. On Sundays it’s either an elaborate Indian meal cooked by my wife or Sunday brunch in a hotel. Dinner is a home-cooked Indian meal, or wine-paired multi course dinners in restaurants.
When I cook at home... It’s grills, pastas, risottos, Thai food, or biryani.
Power food: Fresh fruits, chocolate and indulgent tasting menu at Caperberry
Amit Wadhawan, Executive Chef, The Oberoi, Bangalore
Your favourite restaurants and what you usually order there: As I am a Chef attached with the world of five-star hospitality, I have travelled a fair bit and I have made many cities across the globe my home. Bangalore has been home for a few years now and I feel its culinary landscape is very exciting. My current favourite is Like That Only and I relish their pork ribs.
Everyday food: I prefer a wholesome breakfast, which will sustain me through the larger part of the day. I have eggs (mostly egg white omelets or a water poach) with brown toast and a cup of English breakfast tea. Some days I switch to good old Indian stuffed paranthas with natural yoghurt. Lunch is mostly on the go as I am busy looking after my guests. Usually tastings in the kitchens or a light salad. I eat dinner early. A habit I picked up whilst working in UK and Ireland and a good one I have kept alive. I have dinner with the team in our staff dining hall called the Rain Tree. It is mostly an Indian fare. This window is more about bonding with my team over food, sharing our thoughts and de-stressing. On occasions I switch to pasta or a light sandwich if I don’t get time to eat at Rain Tree.
When I cook at home... Although the opportunity to cook at home comes rarely, when I do, I love doing grills or roast. I prefer chicken or fish with Oriental marinades accompanied with a healthy salad. I also love to cook lamb biryani with kebabs for friends and family for get-togethers.
Power food: Carrot, apple and beetroot juice. Egg white omelet sandwich made with whole wheat bread.