Award-winning Chef Prateek Sadhu comes to Chennai as part of a five-city tour
Expect an inspired 10-course menu at ITC Grand Chola on August 27 and 28
After leading Mumbai’s popular Masque to Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants earlier this year — chef Prateek Sadhu is hot property. Inspired ingredient-driven menus, a zero-waste kitchen philosophy and most recently, an R&D lab to learn and record more about indigenous ingredients — are some of the impressive bits we’ve been hearing. And now, the award-winning chef is on a five-city tour to celebrate five years of Masque. Next stop: Chennai.
The two-day pop-up this weekend is a collaborative dinner with ITC Hotels called Culinary Stories. Over a phone call with chef Prateek, we find out that we can expect a 10-course meal including an experimental ‘sausage course’ and an ode to the gongura that (from visuals making the social media rounds), looks as lovely as a watercolour painting. “It’s been five months of intensive planning and no sleep,” says the chef, who just wrapped up the Bengaluru leg of the tour. And anxieties have been high given the uncertainties around the pandemic. He adds, “I’m really glad that we can do this as we planned it.”
Returning to Chennai after a long time is also something we discover that chef Prateek is excited about. This reflects in his food as well, when we come across an unexpected rasam element via a posted Instagram review of his last dinner. “You’re spoiling the surprise!” he responds with a laugh. With his roots in Kashmir and having tasted not-so-authentic versions of staple dishes from the region over the years, he is particular about getting the flavour just right. “For instance, I know that the rasam in Karnataka is different from the one in Chennai — food is... personal,” he shares. On that sentiment, much of his research post the final stop of his tour in Ladakh will be to explore nuances of flavour across communities, “starting in the North East and then Kerala,” we’re told. Incidentally, there will be some culinary research squeezed in on this Chennai trip as well. Once done with his kitchen duties, chef Prateek tells us, “I’m headed to some fishing docks in search of rare varieties of seafood.”
Dinner at Pan Asian, ITC Grand Chola. On August 27 and 28. INR 5,500++ per person.