Expat chefs are introducing Bengalureans to new flavours
Expat chefs in the city are introducing local flavours from across the world to Bengalureans who are well-travelled and eager to experiment
For a city that loves to experiment with new cuisines and styles, expat chefs are finding Bengaluru to be a great place to set up shop. Which is why many of them are gently pushing their home cuisines in Bengaluru.
The latest entrant here is Boteco, a Brazilian restaurant in Ashok Nagar. Though it’s just been three weeks since the opening, Brazilian expats and locals have been frequenting the place on Magrath Road. Brazilian chef Guto Souza, who created the menu, always wanted to work in Bengaluru after he first came to India in 2004. “I thought I’d stay here for one or two years and learn the cuisine.
But I ended up staying for 11 and opened up a couple of restaurants in Goa,” says Souza. This is the third branch in the country after Pune and Mumbai. “Ninety per cent of the ingredients we use are locally sourced, but surprisingly, many of the items are available here. While we keep a majority of it to its original flavours, in some cases, we end up using Indian ingredients,” explains Souza.
If you’ve been browsing on Instagram, the chances of seeing the delicious French desserts offered at Cafe Plume are pretty high. In fact, in April, Consul-General of France in Bengaluru, Thierry Berthelot, visited the cafe and posted on social media saying: “Plume.delicacies brings you the best desserts & the feel of a French cafe in the heart of #Bengaluru - #Indiranagar, This dream turned reality also promotes sustainability through its procured local ingredients and eco-friendly packaging. Make it your next stop for sheer indulgence! (sic)”
Co-owned by Aurélie Lalande, she moved to Bengaluru in 2016 to pursue a fashion job. After some time, she wanted to do something on her own in the culinary world as she is also trained in it in France. She opened Cafe Plume where she serves authentic dishes from her country. “There’s a lot more freedom to run a business here than in Europe. Even when you tell someone back home that you’re planning to set up a business, they’ll always scare you with the procedures and paperwork. Compared to that, I felt it’s much easier here as things get done faster,” says Lalande, who is still contending with the frequent power cuts.
Chef Amiel Guerin of Amiel Gourmet started three years ago as a catering business. While they still primarily work as one, they have two dine-in places — Amiel Gourmet in Sahakarnagar and Yelahanka. Specialising in modern European cuisine, Guerin saw the potential to open his own business in Bengaluru after working at Cafe Noir for five years.
“The competition in my field is less compared to Europe. The risk is also lower here. Although it was tough in the beginning, I learnt patience and understood the mindset of people here. A difference in work culture is that there are fewer people working in the kitchen in Europe but more hands doing the same job in India,” he explains.
With Bengalureans being a well-travelled lot, he points out that introducing authentic food has been fairly easy. “Customers are no longer looking for masala in their food and neither do they want it Indianised,” he says.