Not many times does one get an opportunity to be part of the celebrity Chef’s demo (Chef Vicky Ratnani in this case) on incorporating Apples in various recipes to enhance the flavour and colour of dishes. I was looking forward to be a part of the event promoted by Washington Apples and pick up a few traits of cooking techniques that mandated apple varieties to be part of main ingredients.
Chef Vicky Ratnani began with a statement that Apples offer a variety both in terms of colour and flavour. Each of these varieties provides with a different crunch, crispiness, sweetness or tartness and could be used in array of dishes according to individuals’ taste preference.
Nutritionist Geetu detailed on the health benefits of apples stating the applicable gains on brain, weight loss, vitality for the fibre, minerals, low calories, sodium and vitamins contained by them.
However, as the event progressed, my excitement started turning into concern and eventually I was perturbed at the way the whole show was organized. There was a sever space crunch since the number of participants were far more than the hall could accommodate and a feeling of claustrophobe settled in.
While the cosmopolitan Indians are now quite experimental and try host of international cuisines along with fusion, my expectation was to see amalgamation of apples with Indian dishes. However, the dishes churned out were international that in any ways are widely available on internet. The organizers of events in India perhaps should keep that in cognizance. The ingredients suggested are not easily available in all the markets of Delhi. One might be required to travel to specific areas to be able to have access to likes of Sushi Ginger, fresh Parsley and Basil, Chives, Apple Cider Vinegar, Parma Ham, Gorgonzola Cheese etc.
However, the foodie in me could not wait to lay my hands on the dishes prepared by the Chef. In the end of the show participants were invited to taste the dishes and it led to utter chaos due to lack of space and non availability of spoons to taste. I patiently waited for my turn but got perplexed since small portions prepared were over in no time without even my getting any close to dishes.
There after I turned to the food and to my dismay, the food laid was regular north India menu with Dal, Paneer etc on offer. I had expected the food to be in line with the theme but rather than tasting the sweetness of wide variety of apples being imported by Washington Apples, Gulab Jamun and Kheer was being served.
Any event or promotion, in my personal opinion, can be called a success only if it does not bargain on the basic essence that it is publicised on and vital hygiene factors are kept in mind. This event miserably failed on both these important aspects and it seemed to be a complete waste of my time and energy.
Inspite of a boring afternoon, there were some interesting take away shared by Chef Vicky Ratnani, though remotely pertaining to cooking with apple:
- Unlike India where Wheat is predominantly consumed in North and Rice In South, in Italy Rice is consumed in North and wheat in South. Risotto comes from North of Italy and pasta from South.
- Flat pasta also contains eggs
- Food from North Italy is richer and use of butter, cheese, mild is generous in preparations
- Chives are from onion family
- Salt is difficult to dissolve in oil
- Thai basil is more peppery while Italian basil is sweater and has a larger leaf
- Dressings in salad should be put in last
- Mix of butter, garlic and thyme makes a good sauce for fish and chicken.
– Aman Kapoor