Yesterday, I attended the Chef's Table hosted by Pizza Hut with their partner Barilla at the Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj. Chef Arjyo Banerjee from Pizza Hut and Chef Luca Ciano from Barilla, together, led an interactive, live cook out session for a group of food enthusiasts and connoisseurs. It was a lively session with lots of conversation, discussion and tastings and we literally spent the time, seeing, breathing and tasting pastas.
The Chefs had planned a Menu of the Day, including Beverages, Appetizers, Pizzas (of course!), Pastas (the high note of the day) and Dessert. The invitees were welcomed with some nice coolers and the session started with Chef Arjyo preparing the Red O White pasta, fusilli tossed in a creamy and tangy sauce with baby corns and zucchini. During all this, the Appetizers - Assorted Veg and Non-Veg Platters were served at the table during this time and the participants were welcome to go up close and see the cooking session in progress. Chef Luca's warm Prawn and Pasta Salad with lemon and oregano followed this. The prawns was marinated in olive oil and seasonings and then tossed in warm spaghetti and although the prawns were not directly cooked it seemed so and had firmed up by the time the dish was served. Next, was a Lasagna Bolognese from Chef Arjyo and lastly, Chef Luca prepared a Penne Rigate with Sicilian Vegetable Caponata. This dish was a visual treat with aubergine peel juliennes, dusted with corn flour and fried and used to top off the penne.
After each cooking session by the Chef's, we were served a portion of their creations and then followed a healthy discussion on herbs, sauce - meat pairings, food presentation, plating, unique touches and several tips from the Chefs'. I will be sharing the tips in another post separately. Through all the work that the chefs put in, we invitees were plied with beverages, appetizers and traditional hand tossed pizza, all of which were yum.
The session was enlivened with the Chefs relating personal incidents like - Chef Arjyo relating how as a student he discarded the stalks of celery and retained the leaves like we do in the case of Coriander. And yes, some of the jokes were on us as well. Every time, we participants were asked if we treated our pastas in what Chef Luca called a criminal manner, my hand shot up. If we had a contest on who botched the Pasta Best, I would win, with, most probably, an eye-opening, personal cooking tutorial from the Chef himself and the Chef's Bag of goodies!!!
The evening ended on a sweet note with Warm Chocolate trio and an open forum where we could address our questions to the Chefs and Sunay Bhasin, the Director Marketing, Pizza Hut Dine In India.
The good news is that some of the dishes we tasted in there, will be introduced in the regular menu of Pizza Hut soon.
(Images from the event)
The Non-Veg Appetizer Platter
The Sipping Cheese Cake
The Chefs @ Work
Chef Arjyo personally serving the Red O White pasta
Prawns marinating in olive oil, herbs and seasonings
Warm Prawn and Pasta Salad with lemon and oregano topped with seasoned bread crumbs
Traditional hand tossed pizza with roasted bell pepper, arugula and parmesan
Penne Rigate with Sicilian Vegetable Caponata
Chef Luca serving the Penne Rigate with Sicilian Vegetable Caponata, the right way
Warm chocolate trio