Bombay Showcase

American cuisine spiced with Bambaiya flavour

On a quest:Chef Tim Dornon hopes to discover new flavours and a new way of thinking about cooking and food in Mumbai.  

Build it and they will come — or something like that. A phrase that applies to Magazine Street Kitchen, the new space that allows the folks behind The Table to invite chefs to the city without having to worry about displacing head chef Alex Sanchez and Table regulars.

Next week, chef Tim Dornon, most recently from New York’s three Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park (also crowned number three on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list), will be in the city to cook two dinners and conduct a class for those who would like to learn how to make sauces.

Dornon, whose career has taken him across the United States, from Chicago to Austin to New York, has worked under celebrated chefs like Daniel Boulud and Laurent Gras before his time as sous chef at Eleven Madison Park. Besides working with giants of French food, he’s also been in the kitchen at Qui, from James Beard Foundation award-winning chef and Top Chef- winner Paul Qui.

It was at Eleven Madison Park (where Alex Sanchez spent a year, back in 2013-14) that Dornon was first invited to India, but it’s only now that he’s finally been able to make the trip. In an email interview with The Hindu , Dornon says, “I worked with chef Alex Sanchez at Eleven Madison Park, and when he left we said that I should come visit him in India. When he started doing the guest chef series, a good friend [Alex Leonard] visited [in July 2015] and told me what an amazing time he had. I became jealous and reached out to Chef Sanchez and asked if I could participate. When the opening time aligned, we took advantage.”

On the trip, Dornon says he’s, “hoping to discover new flavours and a new way of thinking about cooking and food,” and then there’s the “mind blowing” food to look forward to.

When asked about his personal food philosophy Dornon says, “I like to focus on an ingredient and figure a way to represent the flavour in its most pure form.” His time working under different titans of the industry has made Dornon realise his own guiding food principles. He has also imbibed a lot from the kitchens that he has cooked in.

On his experience of cooking under Lauret Gras, whose restaurant, L2O in Chicago won three Michelin stars in 2011, before Gras shuttered the venture, Dornon said, “Working for Laurent was an experience of a lifetime. He is a very hands-on chef who thinks everything through. Working for him changed the way I viewed being a chef. He taught me the importance of focus, organisation, knowledge of kitchen, and knowledge of your team. Laurent has been a mentor and an example that I will follow for the rest of my life.”

For those wondering what to expect from the two meals that he will design, Dornon says, “The meal at Magazine [Street Kitchen] will be a playful take on the local/seasonal ingredients of Mumbai, while still representing American cuisine.”

There will be two dinners prepared by Tim Dornon at Magazine Street Kitchen on July 8 and 9. They will comprise a seven-course tasting menu and is priced at Rs. 5,500. Bookings for the sauce-making class and the meals may be made at Prices range from Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 5,500.

The author is a freelance writer

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 10:55:47 PM |

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