Thursday, November 1, 2012

Emerging Cuisines

 This is a simple and self-evident trend but it is worth unpacking; cooking matters more than ever. The best restaurants in the country demand that new cooks demonstrate excellent culinary technique before a permanent job offer is made. This has been the case for years but outside the fine-dining segment of the market the demand for culinary skill depended on the restaurant segment and ownership philosophy. This has changed as high-end chefs enter the full-service and fast-casual markets where culinary skill was often secondary to efficiency. These chefs have brought culinary talent and scratch cooking with them and flipped the regional and national chains, business that for years have selected centralized manufacturing and efficiency on their head. In turn, this has put pressure on local operators and regional and national chains to invest more in on premise cooking and culinary talent. Social networking is old news but the use of web-based networking continues to gain ground in food service.

 Those that promote local onsite scratch cooking benefit from an expanded web of cooks who bring broader perspectives and potential innovation to the organization while meeting the needs of customers. Operators large and small, fine and fast recognize and are investing in the latest cooking trends. Few things are as inherently social as food, we love eating it, cooking it, and learning about where to best get it from and experience it with others. Brands and startups have been fast to mobilize around this opportunity – from 
Jamie Oliver‘s Food Revolution, to Foodspotting, to the oftentimes polarizing Whole Foods. The instinctive opportunity for collaboration, innovation and creativity resulting from the intersection of food and technology have us particularly interested in the organization Food+Tech Connect, which identifies, connects & elevates opportunities specifically at this intersection.
From the very basic of all the cooking comes the "Ayurvedic " cuisine. Ayu is life and Veda means knowledge. Knowledge of Life is Ayurveda. Having right food is the initial step towards achieving healthy life. But just having right food is not enough. Right combination and proportion of food is also important for an individual. Most of the diseases are a result of inadequate foods or not having food in a proper manner. Specific food's nutritive value and its effect are decided, depending on its taste and attributes.


Ayurveda has three main focuses: healing, prevention and health care. This medical science is a method of personalizing food for each person's healing process. Ayurvedic style cooking is a rational way to prepare food keeping in mind the dietary need of an individual based on different body types.Ayurveda categorizes food in to three categories: Satvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. 

 Sattva:-Sattva is a quality of mind which induces clarity, harmony and balance.
Sattavic:- 
The following food promotes Sattva.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, fresh fruit juices, cereals(red rice), herbal tea, fresh cow milk, dry fruits, nuts, honey,jaggery,
all spices and freshly cooked Food .

Rajas:-
A quality of mind which induces energy and action. The need to create.
Rajasic:- 
The following food promotes Rajas.
Read to eat canned food, basmati rice, sour cream, paneer, ice-cream, yeast, sugar, pickle, vinegar, garlic, onion and salted food.

Tamas:-
Tamas is a quality of mind which evokes darkness, inertia, resistance and grounding.The need to stop.

Tamsic:-

The following food promotes Tamas .
Alcohol, Beef, Chicken, Fish, Pork, Eggs, Frozen food, Microwaved food, Mushroom, Drugs, Tea, Coffee, Fried food, Fried nuts.

Another in trend cuisine is "Vegan" cuisine which makes you go vegetarian. Vegan cuisine uses no animal products, such as meat, dairy, or eggs. This is more restrictive than 
vegetarian cuisine, which allows non-meat animal products. All vegan recipes are therefore vegetarian, though not all vegetarian meals are vegan. Many vegans choose to avoid specialty substitute ingredients, as these products are often highly processed and high in sodium and allergen ingredients. Cooking with wholefoods such as unprocessed legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables can be a healthier approach to veganism. Many non-vegans will also enjoy these foods. Vegans often find that cooking 'real' foods rather than substitutes result in higher quality, better tasting meals that appeal to vegans and non-vegans alike.
As the above mentioned cuisine "Spa" cuisine also promotes healthy cooking Spa cuisine is essentially taking our food preparation and cooking methods back to the simpler and less refined ways of the past.

As we have evolved things have become more and more refined; the natural processes of storage and cooking have been replaced with chemicals and microwaves etc. with spa cuisine we try to use the natural elements in food to assist the body in its day to day processes without placing unnecessary strain on it.



Science cannot stay away from the emerging trends in food technology and thus introduces "Molecular" cuisine or commonly known as "Molecular Gastronomy".It is the
 science of cooking but it is commonly used to describe a new style of cuisine in which chefs explore new culinary possibilities in the kitchen by embracing sensory and food science, borrowing tools from the science lab and ingredients from the food industry and concocting surprise after surprise for their diners. Many of these modern chefs do not accept the term molecular gastronomy to describe their style of cooking and prefer other terms like "modern cuisine", "modernist cuisine", "experimental cuisine" or "avant-garde cuisine".It includes new innovative dishes like hot gelatins, airs, faux caviar, spherical ravioli, crab ice cream and olive oil spiral. If you are passionate about cooking, have a creative mind and at the same time you are analytical and logical, molecular gastronomy is most likely going to become your passion. 
Taking everything into consideration the new era of the food industry is getting to witness all sorts of taste buds from being completely vegetarian to being a follower of ethnic food.Whatever people do science will keep on emerging day by day and would evolving the food industry all over.Chefs being artist, scientists & nutritionist will keep on providing the world whatever it requires.

By
Ritik Mathur
Tech Demonstrator
Food Sclupture
Artistic Food Displays

Changing trends in Indian cuisine




Close your eyes and imagine Indian cuisine - sinful desserts laden in oversized kadais, rich lentils simmered with spices served with a dollop of cream and butter.  The portions are large, the focus is on quantity, and are served with a rustic touch. Talking in present day scenario this is a story of past. The last two decades have brought in tremendous change in the gastronomic world of Indian cuisine.
The enterprising chefs and restaurants are weaning the Indian palate away from fusion food to the delights of modern Indian cuisine. Innovative Indian cuisine is evolving in taste, texture and presentation. Now it’s about - Passion, Presentation, Pairing and a hint of GLAMOUR! Speaking truly the cooking method is still the same, but the presentation and flavours have gone global.

The world is witnessing the success of modern Indian chefs.
Less than a year ago, Vineet Bhatia, owner of Rasoi, which has a Michelin star in London and Geneva, launched Ziya, which is now arguably the leading contemporary restaurant in Bombay. The top three Modern Indian restaurants in India are considered to be Varq and Indian Accent in Delhi, and Ziya in Bombay. All three serve their dishes fully plated in the European style, rather than the traditional Indian way of communal dishes in the centre of the table.
A number of factors have made it possible for Indian food to get the look which it has today.

The changing dynamics of the country has made the availability of ingredients easier. At the same time the knowledge and interest level of people has increased in terms of what they eat. We also cannot ignore the influence of foreigners residing in India and the NRI section.
The eighties and the early nineties saw the introduction of Indian cuisine to the western palate. Indian flatbreads, curry and tandoori soon became the buzz words for restaurants abroad serving Indian cuisine. Soon there were global adaptations moderating the spice, lessening the fiery flavours and taming them to suit the western food aficionados. A decade later, Indian cuisine is reinventing itself once again.

Gone are the days of the usual red and yellow curries, bevy of chutneys and an overdose of strong flavours. The emphasis today is pairing and presentation. It’s about bringing two diverse food elements to create a harmonious blend which tempts the palate of the guest. The pesto dosa is an Indian take on classical Italian pesto sauce and the sinful hazelnut kulfi puts the two ends of the world together on a plate.



Today, Indian cuisine has moved beyond the realms of quantity and over dose of spices, making its way to further never ending innovations!
By

Nihit Chandra
Asst Lecturer
Food Production

Thursday, October 18, 2012

ORGANIC CUISINE


Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
Although organic food is considered as a healthy food but scientific research has never shown a proof that food grown organically and food grown conventionally has much difference when is comes to nutritive value or health aspect of food item.
What is organic food?
Though organic food can be produced with certain synthetic ingredients, it must adhere to specific standards regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture. Crops are generally grown without synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, irradiation, or biotechnology. Animals on organic farms eat organically grown feed, aren't confined 100 percent of the time (as they sometimes are on conventional farms), and are raised without antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones.

Organic farming reduces pollutants in groundwater and creates richer soil that aids plant growth while reducing erosion, according to the Organic Trade Association. It also decreases pesticides that can end up in your drinking glass.

  • Organic food doesn't contain pesticides. More than 400 chemical pesticides are routinely used in conventional farming and residues remain on non-organic food even after washing. Children are especially vulnerable to pesticide exposure. One class of pesticides, endocrine disruptors, are likely responsible for early puberty and breast cancer. Pesticides are linked to asthma and cancer.
  • Organic food isn't genetically modified. Under organic standards, genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are prohibited.
  • Organic animals aren't given drugs. Organic farming standards prohibit the use of antibiotics, growth hormones and genetically modified vaccines in farm animals. Hormone-laced beef and dairy consumption is correlated with increased rates of breast, testis and prostate cancers.
  • Organic animals aren't fed animal remains or slaughterhouse waste, blood, or manure. Eating organic reduces the risks of CJD, the human version of mad cow disease, as well as Alzheimer's.
  • Organic animals aren't fed arsenic.
  • Organic animals aren't fed byproducts of corn ethanol production (which increases the rate of E. coli contamination).
  • Organic crops aren't fertilized with toxic sewage sludge or coal waste, or irrigated with E. coli contaminated sewage water.
  • Organic food isn't irradiated. Cats fed a diet of irradiated food got multiple sclerosis within 3-4 months.
  • Organic food contains less illness-inducing bacteria. Organic chicken is free of salmonella and has a reduced incidence of campylobacter.
 Surprising fact about organic food
The surprising fact is that this mass migration to organic food has not been on the back of scientific evidence. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find comprehensive evidence that organic food is healthier – either for us or the planet.

Restaurants turning organic in their food.
Jason’s Deli.
Noodle’s and Company.
Chipotle.
Atlanta Bread.
Sublime.
These restaurants are nothing but the finest exponents of organic cuisine which by virtue of organic food are making it loud and big in catering.
Organic cuisine making marry with the myth that it is more nutritive and healthier then the food grown conventionally and creating a buzz loud and clear.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What does it take for a student to be a good chef?


You love food. You love to cook. You have a fantastic set of knives and you know how to use them. And you’re looking to turn your passion into a satisfying career as a professional chef. While you decide which culinary school best matches your career goals, you might also want to consider that it takes more to make a great chef than passion and training. The perfect recipe for success as a chef also includes some intangible personality traits.
  • Desire to Learn: All professionals who are truly passionate about their jobs never lose the desire to keep learning, and this is especially true of creative professionals like chefs. Great chefs know they have to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in their field, and they also are interested in learning more about specific cuisines to an expert level. Testing new equipment, trying new ingredients, eating at new restaurants—these learning experiences are part of the joy of being a chef that happens outside the kitchen, but can enrich and improve your performance in it. Finally, a good chef is never afraid to go back to the classroom now and then to brush up on old skills or master new ones.
So, do you think you have what it takes to be a great chef? You’ll need help along the way. Find a culinary program that suits your interests and career goals via your local university or a focused culinary school, such as the Culinary Academy of India, which offers programs that touch every aspect of professional cooking. With the right personality traits and the right training, you’re well on your way to a rewarding career in the culinary arts.
  • Organization: Good chefs are organized. This goes beyond mise en place—making sure our ingredients are ready, our ovens are hot, and that we know where the pots and knives are in the kitchen. As students we need to incorporate subtle organizational nuances that will set us apart from say ten thousand people applying for the same job. Mise en place works alongside Mise en scene.
  • Stamina: A great professional chef has stamina, or the ability to keep going for long periods under high pressure. Cooking in a professional setting is different from cooking at home: we’ll be working odd hours with long stretches of high demand, and we need stamina to stay focused and productive during that time. Good chefs need to stamina cope with tedium: we’ll find ourselves making the same cuts over and over again as we prep dishes for big crowds. Over a long shift, our backs will ache and our feet will hurt. We’ll cut ourselves, we’ll burn ourselves, and we will get greasy and sweaty. But if we have stamina, we’ll push through the physical discomfort day after day.
And, looking at the bigger picture, we’ll need stamina to pay our dues in the foodservice industry. It can take years of work before we secure a primary role in the kitchen. Meanwhile, we may have to put up with lower pay and less creative work than we were hoping for, along with the knowledge that your hard work will often go uncredited. Being able to go the distance, physically and mentally, will serve you well in your career.
  • Flexibility: In addition to organization, a top chef is flexible. There will be times when you’re short of staff, so it’s important to have a broad array of fundamental cooking and preparation skills mastered so that all food preparation stations can be covered (it also doesn’t hurt to know how to operate the restaurant’s dishwasher or mix a drink!). For the best chefs, no job is too mundane or lowly—if it’s got to be done in your kitchen, you should know how to do it, and be willing to do it well.
  • Creativity: We all already know that top chefs need to be creative, the creative aspect of cooking is what attracts many people to a culinary career in the first place. Good chefs take what they’ve learned studying cuisines in culinary school and apply it in unexpectedly delicious ways. Creativity, when it’s grounded by excellent cooking skills, also allows chefs to cope with difficult situations—a shortage of key ingredients, for example, can be treated as a challenge rather than a tragedy when a creative chef is in the kitchen.
  • Teamwork: Producing great meals on a commercial scale is a collaborative effort, so every successful chef needs to be a team player. While the stereotype of the head chef as furious dictator gets played out so often on television, in most restaurants and commercial kitchens the reality isn’t so dramatic. Yes, real kitchens have a hierarchy—an efficient business of any kind needs clear lines of authority for work to flow smoothly. Customers in restaurants expect delicious, well-presented food that arrives in a timely fashion, and a chef who doesn’t play his part as necessary risks hurting the restaurant’s reputation. Head chefs need to guide, coach, and monitor the staff members who report to them, while everyone else needs to know his job and perform it flawlessly.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

THE FINE ART OF CHOCOLATE

One of the greatest treasures ever discovered was the bean form the tree ‘Theobroma Caco’, the original source of chocolate. Smooth in texture, intense in taste, perfumed & elegant to behold, chocolate is rich source of sensory pleasure, adored by every one.

“We can notice a smile on the face of an individual when chocolate is offered to him/her”. Just imagine how it will be if that delightful chocolate is molded into a beautiful, artistic sculpture or a show piece. Chocolate has never failed to make an impact, initiating comment from church, the medical profession, scientists, social reforms and royalty. Caco bean has transformed from bean to beverage and fro beverage to today’s confectionary.

A sculpture is a 3D art. The same techniques of making a wood or stone sculpture are used to even make a chocolate showpiece.

Types Of Chocolate Sculpture

Chocolate sculptures break down into basically three types. I have mentioned them here for sake of completeness, but will only be showing one type in this article.

Clay Style Sculptures - This is the simplest type and is what this article is about. The materials needed are easily obtained, and the skills are easily learned.

Molded Style Sculptures - This is basically just adhering molded chocolate parts together to make something larger, so I will not go into it here as most chocolate makers know how to do this.

Carved Style Sculptures - This form of sculpture can be spectacular if done well. This is basically using carving tools to carve blocks of chocolate - much like wood carving. It requires a big investment in tools and a fair amount of carving skill so I won't go into details about this style.

Colors

For best results, use colored chocolate. If you need a different color, a custom color blending chart is available here if needed. Sometimes powdered food color is handy for intensifying the colors

“ I LOVE TO MAKE BEAUTIFUL SCULPTURES OF CHOCOLATE AND TO WORK WITH THIS GREAT TREASURE, WHICH IS DELIGHTFUL, SWEET IN TASTE AND LIKED BY ALL CHOCOLATE”