Someone rightly said, “Gather at your table for this is where we eat, listen, teach, share, laugh, plan, learn, play, work, pray, love and make memories.” Extensive traveling is one of the salient features of most of the executives working in million dollar companies. After a long flight and by the end of every board meetings, a good meal is what they all need. Given this scenario, a deep thought, the CEO series and a prominent New York-based luxury brand consultancy firm, Evolve put their heads up to present their first ever concept of exceptional social dinners for the Indian corporate in three different cities in India, viz, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi. This event was the first edition of CEO series which had been presented by Amex in the association of BMW and Etihad Airways.
The legendary Ritz-Carlton had hosted celebrity Chef Gary Mehigan’s travel inspired dinner event for the C-Suite guests of the city. A sit down dinner curated by Chef Gary themed after Seven Wonders of the World where he presented culinary masterpieces inspired by Peru, Brazil, Jordan, India, China, Egypt, and Italy with his careful usage of premium ingredients like fresh daikon, fennel pollen, hibiscus jelly and salted fish roe called bottarga signed off by his expert masterstroke. The menu was inspired by the marvelous beauty of world’s acclaimed wonders which Gary translated through his culinary creations. The event was hosted by noted journalist and epicure Vir Sanghvi.
Chef Gary Mehigan needs no introduction, I suppose. A celebrity chef and restaurateur who rose to fame as Master Chef judge is an avid biker, traveler, and a passionate foodie. Gary won his followers’ hearts when he came up with his own show “Far-flung with Gary Mehigan” where he travelled to various countries in Asia as India, Vietnam, Laos, Hong Kong and South Korea to learn local cooking techniques and recipes, which he uses as inspiration for a recipe he demonstrates at the end of each episode.
On 15th September 2016, I was invited to the launch of the CEO series in Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore and was attended by over 100 top notch executives. The menu was outlandish and served the purpose by appeasing the hunger of the invitees.
Scorched Salmon defining the place of World’s foodies-Peru was one of the finest dishes I was served that evening. Peru being culturally influenced by Japan gave birth to the combination of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine “Nekkei”. The dish is typically prepared from raw fish (Salmon) and is not cooked with heat hence it has to be prepared fresh to minimize food poisoning. The fine texture of the salmon, lightness of the dish played with umami brought the flavors of ceviche. The roasted sesame seeds were crème de la crème of the dish.
I took a tour of Brazil through the Mediterranean delicacy- the Bottarga (fish/ladies finger) placed on a plate of sweet onion puree and served with young coconut, lime and pea veloute and Brazilian nuts.
Compressed watermelon was presented with raw and uncooked curds, hibiscus syrup and green almonds serving our taste buds the flavours of Jordan which is next followed by the butter roasted cauliflower drizzled over by fennel pollen, green fennel seed and golden raisins- all busted into the mouth together delivering a combination of sweet and spicy flavours of India.
China was at its best- Nothing could beat the texture of the white chicken surmounted on the slice of black sesame served with ginger jelly, black sesame, celery and spring onion. Charred Paneer was served to the vegetarians.
Finally came the Tajine covered inside the slow cooked lamb shoulder, felt heavenly with the crunchy bite of toasted grains, dhal, pine nuts and kohlrabi.
As Julia Child quoted, “A party without cake is just a meeting” so the event wouldn’t be completed without the taste of the dessert straight from Italy- Conco d’ Oro lemon curd and Olive oil semi freddo, golden meringue, orange syrup, candied & fresh citrus delivered a note of successful completion of this grand travel inspired event.