Indian food is more philosophical than just being recipes: Chef Marco Pierre White
Meet chef Marco Pierre White, popularly known as 'God the Father of modern cuisine'. Marco, the youngest chef to earn three Michelin stars at the age of 33 in 1994, Marco is in Delhi to be part of the fifth edition of Gold Rush's World On A Plate, the largest gourmet festival in India. The 58-year-old chef believes that Indian food is more philosophical than just being recipes. He has tried the food of the 25 best restaurants in Mumbai and some of Delhi as well, and is impressed by the versatility of the cuisine. He loves the technique of balancing flavors and the use of spices. No one, in his opinion, uses spices as much as the Indians. It was only after his first trip to Mumbai that he could understand why French, American and Australian chefs come to India to learn the art of using spices. In an exclusive conversation with Times Food over Espresso, the legendary chef talks about his spiritual connection to Indian food, his favorite dish and why he loves to savor the food here with his fingers.
Indian food and spices
I am in love with the Indian pulses. If there is anything I can eat any day here it is ... Sambar. I feel it is a magical portion that has the perfect combination of spicy, flavor and sweetness too. From the moment I arrived here at the hotel, I have eaten lamb curry twice because it was cooked with bones and I personally loved it because it helps balance the flavors. When it comes to Indian spices, they are the gems of Indian cuisine. From cinnamon to turmeric, the wide variety is very tempting for me and over time I have realized that these fresh natural spices behave differently in each preparation and that is what makes them different from the spices we use In England.
Food and spirituality The way that spirituality helps you connect inside, food in India does the same. Here, cooking is a little more philosophical than simply following the recipe technically. In addition, each Indian dish has a connected history, which further strengthens the link with food, when eaten with your fingers. My trip to India helps me get rid of the fork and knife and use my fingers, since I love to eat with my fingers! It gives me a different level of satisfaction.
Indian food in Great Britain
Indian butter chicken has some connection with the food culture in England and I'm surprised to see how people taste it in restaurants and even at home. Thanks to the technology that is easy to understand the process, but I feel that the magic offered by this land is still lacking in the flavors. I experienced that magic during my first trip when I landed in Mumbai.
Street food and Marco
I love street food because it gives me a reason to observe how spices behave outside the thin walls of restaurants. In addition, it is the easiest way to experience the nuances of culture. While I haven't explored much in terms of street food in India, I hope to do so and expand my knowledge about the land of food that knows the art of using spices.
World on a plate
Food is a means of communication. Break the language barrier and help people connect based on the flavors and I guess World On A Plate is doing the same for the past 5 years. In my opinion, it is the Michelin of India, as it brings together like-minded people, who breathe, dream and live food, and WOAP as a platform recognizes and rewards them. Recognition works as the fuel of satisfaction and also charges them for bringing more to the table.
Plating versus flavors
I have seen both phases. There was a time when it was all about quantity, but today, customers are more concerned with the visual appeal and portion size, as they want to explore more and more flavors at once. I think chefs do not get lost in beautifying the dish, but they have become more functional as they serve the dishes from the perspective of making them easier to eat and this is what I like most about them.
Mantra of success
It often happens that aspiring chefs and people from the hospitality world ask me for advice and my only mantra or gyan is to be honest. I think that if you cook and serve honestly, your work is done. In addition, it is important to be a generous human being and learn something new every day to move forward in life.