Chef Graeme Gilchrist’s innovative menu sees traditional Indian offerings reimagined with new twists to appeal to a wider gamut of palates.
While spice traders centuries ago put India on the world culinary map, Indian cuisine has only grown in popularity all over the globe across the last few decades. Of course, it’s not just the Indian expat communities across countries that enjoy this food, there are plenty of new takers too. For instance, the Taj Gloucester from the Serenitee Restaurant Group in Massachusetts, the USA. The restaurant opened up last year, and the man behind the Indian menu served here is award-winning corporate chef of the group, Chef Graeme Gilchrist.
While the menu has many a traditional Indian dish, Chef Graeme has added in his own creative innovations to make it more appealing to international palates. Several of them use fusion flavours to capture the diner’s imagination. Such as the bhel puri, in which Chef Graeme has used typical Indian ingredients such as chaat masala and chutney but substituted puffed rice with puffed faro and used popped amaranth for garnishing. Then there are the curries, in which the chef blends in Thai flavours with Indian ones.
Of course, the trademark Indian dishes such as aloo gobi, cauliflower pakodas, chicken tikka masala, saag paneer, biryanis, samosas, naans and pickles ensure no aspersions are cast on authenticity. The desserts, be it a sorbet, gelato or cheesecake uses flavours such as mango, coconut and passion fruit. Cocktails are a veritable display of desi flavours as well, with Masala Negroni, Vanilla Chai Espresso Martini and Ginger Turmeric Martini among the prime offerings.
Clearly, in a year that has seen innumerable innovations from the F&B industry, exploration of global flavours is an encouraging trend. “Indian food is kind of difficult because there is no one consistent recipe for everything. Everyone from different regions of India or different chefs have their own idea of what something should taste like. … I was able to put my own stamp on it and use techniques and use ingredients from both northern and southern India and make it my own,” chef Gilchrist told a local newspaper.
Naturally, with the spirit of innovation running strong across the sector, the space in which the Taj Gloucester is located is being used to the best of its capabilities, with a coffee shop taking over during the restaurant’s non-operational hours to serve locally roasted coffees, teas and other beverages.
As we move on to a whole new kind of globalisation, it’s these kind of initiatives that will really encourage diners to explore more cuisines while still maintaining a strong local connect.