Alinea: Sanjeev Kapoor’s favourite!Smriti Saxena
Our first meeting with Chef Sanjeev Kapoor was a very special one. I had really looked forward to this moment when my mom would meet her ‘kitchen superstar’. Dressed in utmost simplicity and elegance, he possessed extreme warmth and poise. I saw him indulged into an attentive conversation with mom as they spoke of some interesting food techniques.
Days, months and years passed until I met him again. After I launched Travel Samosa, my discussions with people’s understanding of food and food related innovation grew bigger. For once I thought it’s high time to get the buzz word ‘molecular gastronomy’ decoded for many of us who use it without much understanding.
So, here’s some of it simplified! India’s favourite Sanjeev Kapoor, Founder, Director, FOODFOOD talks about his approach to molecular cuisine.
- How would you define molecular cuisine to layman? How has the perception of traditional Indian dishes changed in the era of molecular cuisine?
Molecular Cuisine, popularly known as Molecular Gastronomy refers to cooking and presentation of traditional or novel food and beverages with the assistance of an array of scientific tools, techniques and ingredients. The experimentation in taste and texture is done by varying the temperature, pressure and cooking environments. Today, people are excited to go out to try their favourite foods (traditionally prepared by mothers/grandmothers) being presented in a new format by modern chefs with the help of Molecular Gastronomy.
- How long did it take you to experiment with contemporary techniques before you actually introduced the dishes in your restaurant?
Nearly a year was spent in trials as Molecular Gastronomy for Indian food was still in its infant stages when I introduced these dishes in my restaurants.
- When did your restaurant introduce the concept of molecular cuisine?
About four years back at Signature, Dubai.
- What are the absolute ‘must have’ dishes that your restaurant offers under the modernist cuisine?
My picks would be Sous-vide Gharha Raan and Molecular Aamras Puri.
- Do you have a favourite ingredient, which you think plays a key role in the molecular cuisine?Not ingredient per se, but I think a very important piece of equipment would be the ‘immersion circulator.’With this the scopes are endless, especially as far as Indian cuisine is concerned.
- Which is your favourite restaurant in the world for molecular cuisine?
Many, but if I were to choose one it definitely would be Alinea, Chicago.