Think gourmet and you are bound to picture a plethora of French delicacies. The French have contributed enormously to the F&B industry, and renowned for the way they keep reinventing the cuisine. The modern or ‘nouvelle' French cuisine lays enough emphasis on presentation and natural flavours of ingredients. We got a chance to interact with Michelin Star Chef Nicolas Durif, who had come down to Delhi to enthrall patrons with his culinary finesse while sharing some trivia about modern French cuisine. He curated the ‘All Things Nice' menu at the Pluck in collaboration with Chef Neeraj Tyagi, Director of Culinary, Pullman & Novotel New Delhi Aerocity. Here are the snippets from the interview.
1. What brings you here?
I was invited by Nikhil Agarwal and All Things Nice to host dinners for promoting French cuisine in India.
2. What inspired you to cook?
My grandmother inspired me to cook. When I was small, I remember she used to spend hours in the kitchen preparing family meals and I used to be around her tasting everything. In my daily life, my environment inspired me to cook. I did many trials runs in the afternoons in my kitchen. Some dishes took weeks to elaborate before I decided to add them to my menu.
3. An Indian dish you swear by?
I love dal and the cooking of lamb in India but my favourite dish is Garlic Naan.
4. A kitchen tool you cannot live without? Remember the first dish you ever prepared successfully?
My oven is an essential tool for me. Nowadays, ovens are perfected and allow the Chef to create many different dishes.
The first dish I ever prepared successfully when I was an apprentice was a traditional Veal Stew. As a matter of fact, it has become a reference dish for the cooks that worked for me.
5. 3 Worst things to say to a chef
It's too cooked or not cooked enough. Second, I would have rather done it this way or done this differently. Another one,there are no layers to your dish.
6. A dish you like to prepare on your off-day
When I am at work, my wife cooks at home, but when the weather allows, I enjoy cooking on the barbecue.
7.An overrated food trend
What I find overrated at the moment is the will to reproduce a non-vegetarian dish when we are vegan, for example, the vegetable sausage.
8. A word of advice for budding chefs
Live your passion to the fullest