BENGALURU: According to me, curiosity and passion are the most important things a chef brings to the table. I have been an entrepreneur throughout my career, with startups in the food and manufacturing industries. After my stints in the corporate world, I decided to take a leap of faith and decided to pursue my passion for food and cooking.
I am a self-taught chef. I do not have any fancy cordon bleu training but I know that our kitchens are, in many ways, the most vital and important space for discourse of all sorts. We learn at the kitchen table. We argue, we affirm, we try to figure things out.
As a chef, it is important to know our ingredients, understand them and know how best to use them. One of the ingredients that has intrigued me the most is vinegar. Vinegar has been used is various cuisines for thousands of years. There are records of Egyptians using vinegar to preserve food. Vinegar in dishes improves the flavour, is often used in salad dressings, used in marinades. For me, I love the acidity that vinegar adds to a dish. It gives a complexity and new layer of flavour. No dish better illustrates the virtues of vinegar than a classic gazpacho.
To make this cold soup the traditional way, mash chopped tomatoes, red bell peppers with seeds, seedless cucumber, minced garlic and one-day old bread in an earthenware or glass bowl. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a separate bowl, then, working in batches, use a flexible spatula to push the mashed mixture, including its liquid, through the strainer. If you want to save time, use a hand-cranked food mill or a high-powered blender to make your puree. After extracting as much moisture as possible from the solids, discard them. Stir the oil into the strained gazpacho. Taste, add salt and/or vinegar, as needed. Transfer to an airtight container; refrigerate until ready to use. Garnish with diced tomatoes, red and green bell-pepper and white onions and small croutons.The journey from cooking as a hobby to passion and to a full-time profession has involved many such interesting experiments.
- Chef Kanishka
Chef will be curating a menu at the Chef Social Event at Little Green Café, Museum Road today.