Vicky took sambar masala to Australia, and used it on abalone!
Vicky Ratnani has had one heck of a year. From meeting his culinary heroes — Heston Blumenthal and Massimo Bottura at an award ceremony in Melbourne earlier this year to whipping up Tasmanian abalone with sambar masala. Crazily enough, he caught it all (well most of it) on camera. And now, aspiring chefs and novices in the kitchen can catch glimpses of this celebrity chef’s whirlwind 2017 adventures as part of a 17-part webisode series titled Vicky — The Gastronaut Season 2 that kicked off earlier this month. Incidentally, this is a follow up to the last season of the same series where we saw him cooking up a storm in Peru.
What hooks us, apart from his six-hour fishing expedition to get that fresh abalone is when Vicky shares with us, “I am cooking with Austr-alian produce, but using Indian spices.” The chef and author was in South India before his mega Australia exploration earlier this year and decided on a whim during that time to pick up some freshly roasted spices. “Whenever I take a trip, I usually take something with me,” says the culinary guru based in Mumbai. This time, it turned out to be a suitcase full of fresh cardamom and pepper from Kerala, and another batch of roasted spices from Hubli in Karnataka.
“Don’t get me wrong, I am not making curries on the show,” he clarifies. Instead, he explains, “What I am doing is cooking withAustralian produce and using Indian spices in unexpected ways.” Like his much-awaited episode on Grilled lamb chops inspired by Laal maas from Rajasthan, for instance. Behind-the-scenes, the chef says that his social media handles are as organic as the fresh vegetables he likes to use. “I love taking pictures and handle all my accounts myself,” he tells us, which is not surprising given his famous fashion photographer brother, Dabboo Ratnani. In a digital age of not waiting for a specific time or date to consume content, Vicky says that his web series is an extension of his Facebook and Instagram pages that pour in with hundreds of questions from culinary hopefuls. “Some are professional, others personal and some downright weird!” he reveals. His one tip to young chefs is simple: “Get your basics right. Learn how to make a stock before you try a foam.”
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New episodes of Vicky — The Gastronaut Season 2 are uploaded every Monday at 7 pm.