The ingredient forward Mumbai-based eatery bids farewell to Chef and Co-Founder Prateek Sadhu.
The story of Masque has always centred around modern Indian food in sync with indigenous produce. Since its inception in 2016, the restaurant has established itself as an exciting culinary experience for Mumbaikars.
However, the time is ripe for change, with Executive Chef and Co-Founder of Masque, Chef Prateek Sadhu all set to move on from the restaurant. While owner Aditi Dugar bids adieu to her friend and chef, she clarifies that the ethos of the restaurant will still stand. And this time, not on the shoulders of any one chef, but on the backs of many bringing their unique additions to the table.
An alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America with stints at Noma and The French Laundry, Chef Prateek has shown promise and evolution. Already renowned on the restaurant scene, his ability to bring together familiar flavours with complex cooking techniques sets him apart. As part of the Masque food philosophy, much of his R&D has involved foraging trips to the corners of India to source and understand the use of hyperlocal ingredients.
Best known for their experiments with regional ingredients, the team at Masque has several signature dishes to their name including the Ladakhi sea buckthorn. Here, they’ve managed to create a sea buckthorn sorbet that uses the frozen juice of the Himalayan fruit. Adding to Masque’s inventive menu is their take on the flavourful yakhni pulao.
Additionally, everyone from Aditi Dugar to the diners is raving about the latest Nolen Gur soufflé and Gondhoraj lime. Nolen Gur, which means new jaggery in Bengali, is extracted from wild date palm trees during the winter months. Procured all the way from Santhal forest villages, near Bankura, West Bengal, this is one golden dessert that’s going to linger on your palate and in your memories long after the last bite. The sugary sap, extracted using incisions made just below the leaves, is boiled and turned into this rich, earthy gur.
Chef Prateek’s experience and desire for an unconventional restaurant reflects immediately across the menu. In that the restaurant doesn’t have a fixed one. Instead, it offers a multiple-course, tasting menu-only concept with a focus on local Indian ingredients. The menu keeps changing as per the season and availability of produce.
Last year, for the first time, Masque’s innovative dining experience placed the restaurant at #32 among Asia’s top restaurants on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants List. Since 2017, Masque has ranked among the top 15 restaurants in India, at Condé Nast Traveller’s Top Restaurant Awards.
When Masque’s experimental dining space opened in early 2020, it had to quickly adjust to the new normal. The space doubled as an extension of the restaurant to allow for social distancing. Now, with dining restrictions lifted, there’s finally room for the space to come into its own and showcase its kitchen experiments. Aditi is also excited about the new collaborations and pop-ups with chefs from across the globe, that the restaurant was known for, before the pandemic.