Martin Farquhar Tupper, a 19th century English poet-logician, as soon as compared French cuisine to a “muse”. That was apt due to the fact French meals is regularly mysterious and layered (“with sauces so abnormal they cover the lean meat… That you seldom, or never, realize what you’re to consume’), and it leaves a lingering aftertaste. “Exquisite eatables,” Tupper is known as them.
In Europe, French delicacies is a big deal. “It is the mother of European meals. That is what we learned in culinary school,” a celebrated chef tells us.
But, down the years, French delicacies has misplaced its authenticity across the world, including in India, in which an almost corrupted, diffused version is served through a handful of eating places that do European cuisine. The popularity of French meals, but, is still intact, and the gastronome’s curiosity is unfettered.
So, while Mumbai’s iconic European joint – Out Of The Blue – celebrated the Eiffel Tower’s a hundred and thirtieth anniversary ultimate week, YS Weekender trekked to the venue to pattern its especially curated menu of artisanal French dishes that included crêpes, soufflés, croque monsieurs, charcuterie platters, vol-au-vents, petit fours, classic wines, draught beers, and more. “We had 22 dishes particularly made for the festival,” says Vivek Swamy, Executive Chef, Out Of The Blue.
Vivek, who curated the menu, had just one idea behind it. “I am trained in French and Italian cuisine overseas and was simply ready to get my culinary roots to India. So, this menu is not the modern French platter you will see in different restaurants. This is the conventional French food that is long forgotten. We attempted to convey it back by means of cooking it the traditional way,” he says.
Take soufflés, for instance.
The classic baked egg-primarily based dish that dates again to 18th-century France was at the start meant to be a savory aspect. But, in the post-modern international, maximum restaurateurs started out serving candy soufflés or dessert soufflés (particularly black currant or darkish chocolate). To recreate the bygone, glory days of the soufflé, the eating place featured savory variations (bacon-and-cheddar and the beet-and-asparagus) on the ten-day competition menu.
We tried the latter, and it was a piece of art.
And, like most artwork, soufflés too are born out of pain and perseverance.
Chef Vivek explains, “I’ve achieved soufflés for seven-8 years of my life. But I am still scared that it’d crack open any moment. It is a completely peculiar dish. It has to upward push from the field, and also you can not open the oven when a soufflé is an interior. It is a tough thing to make, and that is why restaurants do no longer have soufflés on their menu anymore. It is not viable to make it on busy days.”
Other artisanal dishes we ticked off the menu had been: Calamars Farci a Los Angeles Provencal (neighborhood squid stuffed with seafood and served with Pomodoro fresco sauce), Poulet Fume au Crepe de Mascarpone (smoked hen in a mascarpone cheese crepe), Agneau Bourguignon au Riz Sauvage (lamb shoulder served with wild rice pilaf), and Tarte au Chocolat (a crispy, buttery tart shell full of velvety easy darkish chocolate ganache).
The meal changed into crowned with Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc (a clean and flavourful wheat beer with a touch of citrus and coriander spice). If you’re someone who doesn’t savor the bitter flavor of beers that dominate the marketplace, Kronenbourg would depart you longing for extra. Muse, every person?
Chef Vivek is pleasantly amazed by means of the reception to the ten-day fest. Footfalls crossed 200 every day, and nearly 70-80 percent of the dishes ordered were of the unique competition menu.
He says, “The reaction has been exceptional. No one has come near doing the sort of big fest on any European cuisine in India because human beings here don’t like plenty of experimentation. They need to paste to secure options. But we wanted to convey center French meals that we recognize restaurants don’t do here in Mumbai. That changed into principal ambition.”
Out Of The Blue plans to preserve some items on their ordinary menu going ahead. If there’s one reason the fest has served, it is this that is controlled to show off the intricacies of French meals to customers that turned into, till now, disadvantaged of it. It established the fact that French meals go manner past simply wine and cheese.