Chef Tanuj Bahuguna is bringing to the table all the best flavours the country can offer
Uttarakhand-native Chef Tanuj Bahuguna, the new executive chef of Kochi Marriott Hotel is bringing to the table all the best flavours the country can offer
The Kochi Marriott Hotel and its restaurants have always held a special place in the hearts of Kochiites. Everything from fine pastries to authentic Kerala cuisine came out best in their hands. The newly-appointed executive chef of the hotel, Chef Tanuj Bahuguna, knows quite well about this. During his previous tenure with the hotel, after which he moved abroad, he received a good idea about what makes the Malayali palate tick.
Chef Tanuj, who hails from Uttrakhand, a land known for its natural beauty in the Himalayas. Chef Tanuj is an alumnus of IHM Guwahati, started his Voyage from The Oberoi, and since then has been closely associated with prestigious organizations like Hyatt Regency and Le Meridian Paro Riverfront. “But being a North Indian chef, I always wanted to explore the South Indian spices and dishes. They hold a big place in India’s flavours all over the world. Coming to Kerala and working in Kochi, I have fallen in love with the culinary ways of this state,” he says.
For him, food is about taste. What tastes good together, even if it is simple, makes for a great treat, he believes. For our tasting, the chef brought out a line-up of dishes that I had rarely tasted tasted before. Though the flavours were familiar, the concoction of these ingredients was surprising to my tastebuds. We started with an apple and goat cheese salad, paired with crunchy walnuts and brioche croutons.
It was a perfect start for the Sunday brunch. A salad and the feeling of eating healthy is the best way to start a meal. Next up, when the staff brought a cup of cappuccino, I was a bit taken aback. What is coffee doing in the middle of a meal? But as soon as I took the first sip, the creamy, flavourful mid-layer of the Green Pea broth revealed itself, to my utmost surprise. An excellent option for vegans and vegetarians, the warm soup sets the mood for the spicy meal that would follow.
Next up, came the Spaghetti Aglio olio with Chicken Tikka - a combination unheard of, but you will be glad you tried. “This recipe occurred to me casually one while experimenting with what was available at home. My friends and peers ended up loving it, and that is how the dish came about,” he quips. The meal was topped off with a perfect piece of Tiramisu, and a cup of Marriott-special cappuchino.
Chef Tanuj has many plans with Marriott and its each and every themed restaurant. “Kerala is a state with plenty of tastes to its credits. Once the pandemic clears, we are thinking of holding a festival that features selected authentic dishes from all 14 districts of Kerala,” he says.