Well cooked!

Sharmila Chand | Updated on February 10, 2011 Published on February 10, 2011

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Chef Mahesh Kini, Executive Sous Chef - Hyatt Regency, Mumbai   -  Business Line

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Will healthy cuisine become a reality this year? Diners have reason to cheer as top chefs steam ahead with ideas for healthy cuisine. Whether it's Continental, Albanian, Iberian, Tahitian, or new-age cuisines, health-friendly ‘ingredients' are in focus with an emphasis on fresh and preferably organic foodstuff. Leading food experts share their insights on the food trends this year.

Mahesh Kini

Executive Sous Chef, Hyatt Regency, Mumbai

Cuisine trend: Vietnamese cuisine, which is known for its fresh ingredients and healthy-eating style, will be in the spotlight this year.

Favourite cuisine: Latin American, because of its vibrant and robust flavours, and traditional cooking methods. My favourites are Cuban Ceviche (marinated and pickled raw fish), Mexican Pambazo (a street food), Piquant Chicken (cheese stuffed in bread roll, dipped in chipotle chilli salsa and shallow fried), and Brazilian churrasco (rustic spit-oven roasted meats).

Tips for eating healthy: Do not mix carbohydrates and proteins in any meal, and keep dinner cereal-free.

Avoid transfats — rice bran oil is a good cooking medium.

Start your day with a good balance of carbohydrates and antioxidants such as berries or yoghurt shakes.

Devraj Haldar

Head – Food and Beverages, The Suryaa, New Delhi

Cuisine trend: Multicuisine is more or less out, multi-speciality is in. Today's discerning customers want to savour a range of specialised world cuisines in the same meal. Restaurants will need to hire multicultural chefs to keep their cuisines alive. Menus that boast customised global ingredients have an edge. Indian food is set to forge new alliances with global wines. As far as presentation goes, simple is in. Tacky, cluttered, multicoloured mish-mash is definitely out. Ingredients are visible now rather than smothered by layers of marinations, accompaniments, sauces and gravies. The visible ingredients are fresh, natural, subtle, appetising and bold!

Favourite cuisine: Tuscan, Albanian, Iberian, Tahitian; the new-age diners have developed an insatiable and versatile palate for more.

Tips for eating healthy:

Wash ingredients really well.

Look out for any signs of discoloration, bitterness or even allergic reactions.

Learn more about genetically modified (GM) foods. They always look the most attractive in the supermarket, but look for valid accreditations.

Always buy food which can be traced back — such as branded flour, cereals, milk and even sweets. Food adulteration is rampant, so be careful when buying from the open market.

Hitesh Gupta

Executive Chef, L'Angoor, Gurgaon

Cuisine trend: Innovative and new world cuisine with unique flavours.

Favourite cuisine: Nouvelle cuisine (French cooking that uses minimum fat and starch) marked by freshness, lightness and clarity of flavour.

Tips for eating healthy:

Include lots of salads.

Switch from butter to olive oil for cooking.

Eat smaller portions at regular intervals.

Eat naturally sweet food.

Ravi Saxena

Corporate Chef, The Claridges Hotels & Resorts

Cuisine trend: Japanese cuisine is making its way into the Indian market, but still caters only to a niche segment. Italian cuisine will remain popular with fine-dining and trattoria concepts. West Asian cuisines including Turkish and Moroccan will make a mark. South-East Asian and Chinese food will continue to do well as they are widely popular here. French Brasserie cuisine may see a revival. Many forgotten regional cuisines are also returning to the table.

Favourite cuisine: Italian always, closely followed by North Indian food.

Tips for eating healthy:

Eat in moderation and frequently.

Limit salt and sugar.

Go for healthy carbohydrates and whole grains.

Dirk Holscher

Executive Chef, Hyatt Regency, Delhi

Cuisine trend: Artisan has become almost synonymous with high-quality products and produce.

Back-to-basics food that caters to a generation keen on local food and comforting dining experiences.

Favourite cuisine: International cuisine for its variety. Tips for eating healthy:

Eat naturally grown products with no additives.

Use light-preparation sauces and dressings.

Include whole wheat and grain breads.

Opt for organic milk products.


Chef, MoMo Café, Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai International Airport

Cuisine trend: Nouvelle cuisine with simplified flavours incorporating international tastes, such as Cannelloni Aloo Gobi.

Favourite cuisine: Italian

Tips for eating healthy:

Opt for natural and organic products

Include more healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables

Eat smaller portions at regular intervals.

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Published on February 10, 2011
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