After almost two decades of working as a professional chef in different dignified brands across the land, walking up the ladder of success and taking a coup d`oeil at the industry and the trends, i was impelled to comprehend that simplicity is the substantial and the most quintessential criterion to pure success when we are in a discourse with food.
As I widen my ocular elucidation to exculpate my assertion, all of us may go to the best of the restaurants for an undying experience and memories to reminiscence, yet our hearts long to have our favorite food that is being dispensed by the street vendors across the road. The psychology behind this exertion is very simple. We believe in eating something to our hearts s content and that is definitely not in any restaurant or hotel. The exultation of these little morsels that gratifies our heart and makes us feel superlunary is either at home ( of course from our mother hand ) or from the stall of our favorite street side vendor.
This is the substantial reason if you have observed closely that even the hotels and restaurants nowadays are trying to uncomplicate their efforts and are preparing simple flavorful food that soothes every taste bud. There was a time when molecular gastronomy was flushed in to the industry as the new modernization of experiencing good pure food but have eventually made its way to the graveyard because its sustenance is limited as it proves to be a contrivance rather than the veracity of a nibble.We might go to a molecular restaurant once to explore and tickle our belly but food for our nutriment will only come with its simplicity.
Fusion food is also dying its death because again the clamour of the discomfort is rising. India as a whole is a country of rich mesmerizing food with history that dotes ages and we have been prevalent because of the many complexities of spices and techniques of the preparation yet making the dish look so simple and divine. It may be molecular cooking or fusion food, it all commenced and was conceptualized here in India ( right from a basic gol gappa to the intricate gulab jamun ).If we see dishes prepared in India, right from Kashmir to Kerala and below, there is a lot of science and technique involved in their cooking which is formidably impressive and definitely deserves an applause. However, the food is still presented in its best simplest form that will hypnotize and make your knees go weak, from the visual feel to the intake of the celestial glory.
Nevertheless, the reason for desolation is very obvious. In order to wear a mask of westernization, quarreling a struggle to impress others and making an envious remark of one`s presence resonating a hypothetical stanza proving unjust to be supreme, one has distracted oneself from true happiness that lies in the simplicity of food.
As chefs, I still remember we used to prepare the best of the food for our guest which an amazing and extra ordinary presentation, but when it was time for chefs to assemble and have their meal, we used to have the basic steamed rice/ roti, dal makhani/ yellow dal, chicken bits, yogurt, pickle and papad. Simple food to our heart`s content.
This is my perception about food and its current trends, not to humiliate or embarrass any form of cooking because I always say that no procedure or technique is wrong when it comes to cooking unless if it affects the process hygienically or leads to contamination of food.
As a chef I can only say – Eat What Your Heart Desires Not What Others Do.