Chef Sharad Dewan delectably pairs wine with Bengali cuisine
The proposition of having Bengali cuisine with wine in company seemed forced until we tasted the divine four-course spread curated by Chef Sharad Dewan of The Park Hotel who has been clubbing the two worlds for the last decade.
We usually tend to have Cola or Gondhoraj Ghol or Aam Panna with our meals which are a delectable bonhomie of different spices, but today’s gastronomy was experimental and to state the obvious-delicious. The chef paired three different wines from Australia’s Jacob’s Creek with recipes from the Bengali kitchen and gave them his own spin. We started off with something bitter –a bitter gourd stuffed with Ilish, which was slow-cooked in Ilish Tel for around 45 minutes. To our surprise, the gourd was less bitter on our palate thanks to the hint of fig in the appetizer. Smoothening our palate further was the classic Chardonnay with its citrus and melony notes. This pair set the mood strong for the next instalment that landed on our plate. And this was the real test of the harmony between wine and Bangla khabar.
Neatly packed in a banana leaf was the much loved Paturi, high in tang and strong on the taste buds. And quite intelligently the chef kept the wine static. The beautiful fruity notes of Chardonnay enhanced the overpowering flavour of the steamed fish further. It made us realise that Paturi is no longer single as it just chanced upon its better half.
We soon switched to the low tannin wine - Shiraz Cabernet as we moved on to entree. The dish was a cross between classic Italian Risotto Rice with the regional favourite Kosha Mangsho and the red wine complemented the creamy rice preparation well, that was topped with complex shredded meat.
We ended our sojourn on a celebratory note with mishti doi that was tempered with blueberry and a crisp and bubbly Sparkling Wine. Divine, we say.