Masters at work

Chefs in armsVikram Khatri of Olive Bar and Kitchen with Ian Curley and Mark Best  

Ian Curley and Mark Best don’t need introduction in any part of the world. Especially when it comes to India which has a huge following of Master Chef Australia these two chefs are quite popular. Ian Curley will be seen in the Heaven and Hell episode of the season 5. This is the second consecutive year when Ian has travelled to India as part of the Creative Services Support Group (CCSG) summit 2013: Food+Art Edition while Mark Best has come for the very first time.

Meeting them at the lunch hosted by the Australian High Commission at Olive Bar & Kitchen, Mehrauli was a delight. Both the chefs were simple and humorous having interesting backgrounds to share.

In 2011, Ian starred in Channel 7’s top rated Conviction Kitchen where he worked with convicted criminals and helped them to transform into chefs. Mark worked as a read electrician in a gold mine but always dreamed of setting up a small cafe.

Mark said he got encouraged by a friend and enrolled for an apprenticeship to get familiar to the tricks of the trade which made him realise the importance and satisfaction a chef gets after feeding people.

Imagining the kind of satisfaction which people might have after eating food prepared by the two Master Chefs, I awaited my three course lunch which was about to be served. Going through the menu placed on my table disappointed me a bit as the menu was very selective and I struggled to find what was so Australian in it.

Skipping the signature cheese soufflé which was anyway made by Chef Vikram Khatri of Olive Bar & Kitchen, I opted for Ian’s lamb shank soup to start with.

Slow braised lamb shank soup had thick texture due to shredded lamb in it which instigated my fellow critic to term it as a haleem-ish texture. It was more of a stew than a soup. For my main course I had sage gnocchi which was a very well balanced dish. Buffalo mozzarella with mint gave the gnocchi a nice flavour.

But for me Mark saved his best till the end. Saving grace of the three course meal was the coconut sorbet. It had master touches of Mark with a dash of pepper powder and crisp curry leaves going well with the coconut sorbet on a fresh mango base.