Mousim Sidana is a chef with a plan; the acreage of his Sainik Farms plot and his preference for slow-cooking and barbecue don't hurt either. Slow BBQ, the brand launched by the chef last month, under his umbrella company Foodstories, boasts of many things. "We deliver a complete individualised experience from our chefs smoking, cooking, and carving our meats on your lawns so everything is made on premises," beams Sidana.
In case, you were wondering how legitimate an Indian BBQ company is, Sidana's infrastructure includes a smokehouse, and Made-In-India handcrafted grills, customised over months of research and trials, as well as a khad pit for a specific Rajasthani dish.
32-year-old Sidana graduated from culinary school in Aurangabad (under the aegis of the Taj Group of hotels and the University of Huddersfield) in 2010, going on to be inducted into the prestigious Starwood management training program, before going on to work in Hong Kong, as well as under chef Ritu Dalmia.
"After being exposed to so many cooking styles, and having worked under the best chefs of various cuisines, roughly six years ago, I started my own (at the time) catering service, Foodstories," says the chef, who went on to cater to some high-profile private events even as he distilled his own craft.
"Ultimately, it’s the barbecue that called to me the most, and even as Foodstories pivoted more and more towards BBQ, I learned, practiced on and fine-tuned our offerings of the same," says Sidana, who subsequently launched Slow BBQ, built on that premise.
Given his long years in the industry, he has all the contacts in place to source the best meat and produce, be it international or local. "We customise to a T, so everything the guests want is catered to, no matter how many dishes you want or how many people you are calling over," elaborates Sidana, noting he is open to catering to a single guest who wants to celebrate their divorce with a bang, to a wedding party of 300 with sit-down dinners with a gradual explosion of flavours.
Slow BBQ is happy to supply the food or provide full table service, from crockery and cutlery to dessert, with the meats literally betwixt start and finish. "There are five other chefs under me, and we all are living in the same farm compound, where I host pop-ups and chef tables, as well as grow some of our produce. Of course, people worry about where their food is coming from when they order out or even have caterers in their homes, so we ensure every hygiene protocol is implemented," says Sidana, adding that he instituted this format just as COVID was coming into the country.
Slow BBQ also offers meal boxes, comprising rotisserie poultry and meats, and carefully curated accompaniments, which can be delivered in portions ranging from for one person to 50. Sidana is particularly proud of his exclusive collection of three finishing sauces (Truffle-d Hot Mess, Korean Smoke, and Alabama White), which accompany every order.
Aside the food, Sidana prides himself on sustainable cuisine practices, and so ensures a no-plastic, recyclable packaging philosophy, which includes recycled glass bottles for condiments to containers underlined with a saal leaf base hand-stitched by rural women of Jabalpur.
"Barbecuing is a universal art, and we want our customers to be the pilots of their own palate, whether they prefer Asian heat or an umami-drenched truffle finish," finishes Sidana.