Of A Memorable Brunch and New Cookbooks

I had promised in my last post (read 5 Things you MUST do in Florence) that I’ll be writing about that Tuscan cooking class I took, but I have had such an exciting time last week, food-wise, that I had to tell you about it!

It started couple of weeks ago when I received a call from Rushina Ghildiyal, the owner of A Perfect Bite Cook Studio. I have written about this gorgeous culinary studio last year – read about it here. Rushina was calling to invite me to a brunch event with Matt Moran of MasterChef Australia fame. Of course I said ‘yes’! Who could pass up an opportunity to meet a celebrity chef, not to mention a super-hot one ;)

This post has been updated with telecast details of the event. Scroll down for details.

This was the first sit-down meal hosted by Rushina at the studio and it was perfectly arranged. We went around the table introducing ourselves and badgering Matt with questions – about his cooking, his restaurants and his new show Paddock to Plate. He answered all our questions and asked a few of his own – he was very keen to learn more about Mumbai and India, this being his first trip here. Matt regaled us with stories from his new show’s shoot, including a funny one about being prodded in the back by a cow while shooting on a dairy farm! It was lovely meeting him – no airs, no celebrity chip on the shoulder and a very charming man.

While we chatted, the studio staff served us some delicious food. A Spicy Prawn Cocktail was the appetiser.

This was followed by Chef Matt Moran’s Sauteed Chicken with Chorizo and Chickpeas. 

The meal was rounded off by his Chocolate Fondant with Raspberries and Vanilla Ice Cream

The vegetarian main course was Matt’s Pumpkin Tortellini and Spiced Lentils. The appetiser was fresh and tasty, not overwhelmed with the dressing. Both the mains were delicious, especially the tortellini that was accompanied by cardamom-scented lentils – a very unusual combination. The dessert was the piece de resistance – perfect texture and not overly sweet. We also sampled couple of nice Aussie wines. The Lindemans Premier Selection Brut Cuvee (white) was light and sparkling. Though I’m not a big fan of the reds, the Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabarnet was fruity and went well with the mains.

The event was filmed by Food Food Channel and shall hopefully be aired on the telly soon.  I'll keep you posted. 

Update - this episode will be aired on Food Food Channel on Saturday, September 7th at 1 p.m., with a repeat telecast at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, September 8th at 2 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. Tune in!!!

Earlier in the week, I attended another foodie event – the launch of a new cookbook The Married Man’s Guide to Creative Cooking by Samar Halarnkar

A former Managing Editor of Hindustan Times, Samar’s columns regularly appear in the newspaper and in Mint Lounge. I have been a fan of his food stories and easy recipes and I was really excited about meeting him in person. The launch took place at 36 Oak & Barley at Kemps Corner, Mumbai. First there was a free-wheeling chat on men and their kitchen (mis)adventures where Samar bantered with Naresh Fernandes (journalist and can’t cook to save his life!) and Harsh Man Rai (Managing Ed Rolling Stone India, avid biker and a good cook). Gul Panag moderated the discussion. This was followed by Samar demonstrating two of his recipes – a simple fish curry and a vegetable stir-fry. 
Image courtesy Mumbai Boss
Creative Cooking is filled with food anecdotes, some travel stories and of course recipes – some adapted family recipes and other experiments in the kitchen. I’ll do a detailed review shortly. I got my copy of the book signed by Samar & got him to inscribe a message to the husband – “get in the kitchen!” I’ll let you know how that endeavour goes!

And last but not the least, one of my most-awaited books arrived from London – Chocolat by Eric Lanlard. I had posted my adaptation of one of his recipes earlier (read Eric Lanlard’s Spiced Orange upside down Cake) and this has become one of the most popular posts on the blog. Chocolat is a veritable chocolate bible filled with baked goodies and tantalising photographs – I can’t decide whether the front or the back cover is yummier! 

I cannot wait to try one of his recipes. He recommends the Salted Butter Caramel Cake and I would have to agree. 

Disclosure: I was invited by APB Cook Studio to attend the event. 

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