Gary Mehigan, Hospitality News, ET HospitalityWorld

Chef Gary Mehigan feels his travels across the Indian subcontinent has made him realise how rich and varied the culinary tapestry of the country is.

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Gary Mehigan can now consider himself an old India hand. His last big visit was to shoot a series on India’s biggest festival which also got him up close and personal with the culinary heartbeat of the country. “When we spoke before, a lot of my impressions of India even though I’ve travelled around, had always been around work— but filming for Nat Geo has been about digging your fingers into India’s festivals. What I have loved is how my ideas have changed. If you asked me 10 years ago, I loved India because it was colourful, it was chaotic; the food was delicious. Now it’s more because it’s enchanting, and kind of beguiling and interesting,” Mehigan said speaking to ET HospitalityWorld on a recent visit to Bengaluru for a series of pop-ups at the Ritz Carlton in association with Conosh.

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Speaking on how his impression on what Indian food was has evolved over his visits, Mehigan began by saying the more he travelled across the sub-continent the more he realised how impossible it was to bundle Indian food into a homogenous thing. The vastness of the canvas covered by various regional cuisines meant that other than being labelled Indian, it was an incredibly varied collection of tastes and flavours.

On how the country has changed the way he cooks and what he served up at his pop ups across India, Mehigan said, “Travel and food for me is addictive. And India has been the greatest obsession. It’s changed how I cook, not for dinners like I’m doing now—I’m not going to feed 150 Indians, no matter where they’re from, any kind of Indian flavours that they might criticise me for. So even when I want to do something spicy, I’ll pull in flavours from Korea or Vietnam or some umami from Japan. What I am doing though, is digging into local suppliers and artisans that are often reaching out to me.”

  • Published On Apr 15, 2024 at 07:03 PM IST

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