Chefs

The CHEW - ABC 7

'THE CHEW' the much anticipated life style show,kicked off to a flying start today with our own Carla Hall from Washington DC and other celbs like Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. The show is broadcast live from NY city and promises cooking from home to food trends, home entertaining, restaurants and more...

All of the co-hosts did a cooking demonstration. Carla demonstrated how to make a fried apple pancake ring. Carla's sister, mother and husaband Mathew were among the audience cheering Carla. On behalf of all the Washingtonians and the Chefs/Restaurateurs, we would like to wish Carla and her co-hosts all the very best!

Here are some pictures of the show, along with a recipe for Pizza Margherita demonstrated by chef Mario Batali.

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PIZZA MARGHERITA ANYONE?

Here is a recipe for Pizza Margherita as demonstrated by chef Mario Batali on Chew.

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 Chef Mario Batali demonstrating making of pizza..
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To read more click on the story written by Tim Carman of the Washington Post - Click here


"Chefs go Fresh" - chefs go to farms on bikes

 Local chefs recently got together at the Brasserie Beck restaurant in downtown, Washington DC to revive a very popular event "chefs on bikes". The event was organized by one of the co- founders of "Chefs on BIkes" Chef/Restaurateur Robert Wiedmaier,the publishers of Georgetowner, and Loudoun county,Virginia dept of economic development. 

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The chefs got together at the Brasserie Beck,1101 K street, N.W., Washington DC at around 8 AM. We were treated to a big breakfast which included scrambled eggs, home made sausage, bacon, potatoes, belgian waffles and more...

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While breakfast was being set up, I could not resist taking a picture of the shining copper pots and pans!

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Above : Chef/Restaurateur Robert Wiedmaier, leading the chefs to the farms.

 First Stop : Endless Summer Harvest, located in Purcellville, Va. 

We were greeted very warmly by the owner Mary Ellen Taylor, who gave us a tour of her farm. 

IMG_6938      Ms. Mary Ellen Taylor,owner of the farm,greeting  Mrs.Sonia Bernhardt publisher of the Georgetowner.

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NEXT STOP : CATOCTIN CREEK - DISTILLING COMPANY - LOUDOUN COUNTY - VIRGINIA 

Here we were greeted by a young husband and wife team - Scott and Becky, who own this company and produce award winning, high quality organic rye whiskey and gin. Apart from the Rye whiskey and gin, they also produce brandy from virginia wines and specialty liqueurs. Scott explained to us the process of making Rye Whisky and Becky poured the whiskey for us to taste. Apparently they are the first distillery in Loudon county, Va, operating since before prohibition.  

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 After this we went to STONEYBROOK FARM, a 45 acre certified organic farm in the histroric town of Hillsboro, Va. This farm grows several quality crops, including heirloom varieties.

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   Here again we were received with refreshments and canapes.

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  Final stop : NOTAVIVA VINEYARD , where we got to taste several wines and had lunch. Notaviva Vineyard hosts several small concerts, and is a great location for weddings and private parties.

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This was a fun day, very educational and did not realize that the neighboring Loudoun county was home to over 1,400 farms that produce variety of produce and livestock, from apples and squash to beef and poulty. 

Thanks to Sonya Bernhardt, publisher of the Georgetowner, Steven R. Delonga,for the fine champagne and limousine ride, and my friend Chef Robert Wiedmaier, for inviting me to attend. 

 


Junoon - Indian Cuisine - New York

A PASSION OF RESTAURATEUR RAJESH BHARDWAJ

I was recently in New York to attend the Varli food festival and spend time with my good friend Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. My wife Nisha, my friend & business partner Surfy, his wife Madhavi and I decided to drive from Washington DC to New York. Normally on all our trips, as foodies and restaurant owners know, everything revolves around food, food and food. So this trip was no different.  

For some time now, Rajesh Bhardhwaj, another dear friend of ours from our days in New Delhi had invited us to check out his latest venture -Junoon. So this was an opportune time to take up him on his offer and spend some quality time with good old friends.

Junoon, a restaurant located very close to the Madison Park on  27 West 24th St., btwn 6th & broadway, is stunningly beautiful. Junoon means passion and Rajesh's passion is clearly visible from the time you step in. The restaurant is opulent, built beautifully, the walls made with stones hand- carved into a basket weave, with an inviting reflecting pool in the front, beautiful hand-carved swings, antique wood palace doors, an open kitchen, a lovely bar with majestic drinks, and a beautiful spice room downstairs.

We left the ordering to our friend and host Rajesh. Nisha, Madhavi and Sanjeev Kapoor were all vegetarian for the day as this was the time of Navrathri - during which time most folks either adhere to a strictly vegetarian meal or have a very restricted diet. Nisha and Madhavi had ordered a vegetarian thali - a beautiful array of fresh seasonal vegetables, dal,rice,yogurt, bread etc brought out on a copper platter. Rajesh, knowing my preference for seafood, ordered a konkan fish curry, which had a smooth and silky gravy with coconut milk and the right spiciness from the chilies balanced by the tartness of the kokum. I ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre Champault,Loire, France - which complemented well with my konkan fish curry.  Surfy had a spicy bloody mary and the rest of the group stuck to water. 

An amuse bouche of a cauliflower was brought at the beginning. It was beautifully plated and it had the right combination of the heat from the chilies, tartness and sweetness from the tomato and garlic. I also was able to taste all the vegetarian dishes from Nisha's platter which consisted of an assortment of fresh seasonal vegetables, dal, raita, rice and breads; thali was exquisite. Sanjeev ordered a Kadi Pakodi ( a vegetable dumpling in a flavorful yogurt based sauce) - this is comfort food at its best.

We finished off with some lovely desserts including a trio of Kulfi, with three flavors - cardamom, Mango and Paan.

After lunch we went next door to Hotel Wyndham where we were all staying, relaxed a bit, changed into Indian outfits and went to the Varli food festival. It was indeed a delight to see do many Indian restaurants and restaurateurs under one roof showcasing the cuisine of India.

After the Varli event, we got back to Rajesh's Junoon again, where first we had some drinks in the gorgeous lounge and then moved into a private dining room with some more friends joining in. We went in for another feast. Some of the highlights of the evening were Chicken Awadh Korma, cooked with almond, onions, yogurt and saffron, Goat Matke Wala, very tender goat pieces cooked with garlic, tomato, bay leaf and pomegranate, Amristari Aloo Wadi, sundried lentil dumplings and potatoes cooked with spices - this is a peasant dish,  rarely seen in restaurant menus. This was followed by more desserts, masala chai,& coffee. 

By this time, it was 1.30 AM and we were in no mood to drive back to DC; but we had already checked out from the Hotel; our wives had to report for duty the next day and we ourselves also wanted to get back to our own restaurants for a busy Friday. So we had no choice but to drive back at this unearthly hour - slowly but surely, with the help of a few hot cups of coffee on the way and some nice hindi music I decided to take over the driver’s seat and by the time the sun was rising we reached home, sweet home! a memorable trip indeed! 

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  Left to Right : Surfy Rahman, Rajesh Bhardwaj, Sanjeev Kapoor and yours truly at Junoon, NY

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Rajesh, narrating to us as to how he went about sourcing materials for the interiors!

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The service here is impeccable, attentive without being obtrusive!

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The layout of the dining room is very good with a nice wine cellar at the back and chic lighting.

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Nisha is happy that I brought her here !
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Chef Walter Rozario is a very dear friend. Chefs Vikas Khanna and Walter Rozario are the two masters in the kitchen.

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This is the Amuse Bouche! Crispy Cauliflower, garlic tomato chutney. Exquisite!

Vegetarian Thali - served in beautiful copper utensils with cute small wooden spoons! 

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Service here is immaculate! It reminded me of our days at "Hyderabad House" where the Prime Ministers and Presidents were served in India. Well synchronized and executed with a panache.IMG_9874

These curries are served from striking small copper pans.

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 Nadru Kofte - These were croquettes made with lotus root, home made cheese"Paneer" and cashew nuts in a rich sauce garnished with lotus root chips. 

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Seated at the private dining room during Dinner

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 The expansive lounge and Bar at Junoon serves innovative cocktails

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An array of desserts included a seasonal trio of Kulfi - cardamom, mango and paan- Date Pudding Cake - with a cranberry reduction, orange buttermilk ice cream, Passion fruit bomb, and spiced chocolate ice cream with chai ice cream! 

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Friandises -  the grand finale! 

UPDATE : OCTOBER 4, 2011

JUNOON IS FEATURED AMONG THE PRESTIGEOUS MICHELIN STAR RESTAURANTS OF NEW YORK -2012

 HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS - RAJESH BHARDWAJ, VIKAS KHANNA AND WALTER D'ROZARIO

 


Dosa and Idli - Questions Answered

Thanks to my dear friend Sala Kannan, Vegetarian / Vegan food blogger and food photographer, for featuring me as a guest on her amazing blog - www.Veggiebelly.com.Sala's readers asked a lot of questions about Dosa/Idli and I tried to answer the questions to the best of my ability and at times when it got too technical/scientific; I used the help of a very dear friend Dr. Danny Chawan, who is a food scientist, based in Buffalo, New York. 

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Above : Masala Dosa with coconut chutney and Sambar. 

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Above : Mini Tadka Idli - tempered with mustard seeds, urad dal, turmeric, curry leaves and whole red chili.

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In the picture above, an  oothapam being served with assorted chutneys. We also serve a version topped with ground chicken at Indique and Indique Heights.

To read the questions and answers about Dosa and Idli batters, please click here :  The Perfect Dosa 

 


An evening with Chef Sanjeev Kapoor at Indique Heights.

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's book launch at Indique Heights was a grand success. My sincere thanks to our executive chefs, managers and the and the whole team who worked very hard. Here are some pictures from the event :

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Photos: courtesey of Rachel Naft.

While in Washington DC, Chef Sanjeev Kapoor was inundated with TV/Media appearances and interviews.  Washington Post food deputy food editor Bonnie Benwick spent some time with Chef Sanjeev Kapoor at Indique Heights kitchen  and here is the interview she had with him...

Click here : Sanjeev Kapoor's DC Connections

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Photo : ( Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post )


 


Sanjeev Kapoor's Book Launch at Indique Heights

SANJEEV KAPOOR -"THE RACHEL RAY OF INDIA" at INDIQUE HEIGHTS

Please join us for a special evening with Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor. Chef Kapoor will be at Indique Heights on April 1st 2011. Our own executive chefs Abraham Varghese and Sivaraman Balamurugan are  going to be featuring some of the dishes from Sanjeev's latest book -"How to cook Indian" - more than 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Kitchen. Our speciality cocktails such as Tamarind Margarita and Hot Passion will be served. Good Earth Winery's Ann Skillman is also going to be around pouring some elegant wines to taste from Nashik Valley of India.

DATE :APRIL 1, 2011

VENUE :INDIQUE HEIGHTS, 2 WISCONSIN CIRCLE, CHEVY CHASE, MD -20815

TIME :7 PM

         PRICE: $79.00 PER HEAD (INCLUDES FEATURED COCKTAILS, DINNER,

                            TALK BY SANJEEV KAPOOR AND SIGNED BOOK)

COUPLES :    $145.00 -( INCLUDES ONE BOOK ONLY)

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        Tickets : http://sanjeevkapoor-indiqueheights.eventbrite.com/



Saturday Night Sips

Indique Heights is honored to be participating at the SIPS - a cocktail reception with JOSE ANDRES, ALICE WATERS AND JOAN NATHAN, all of whom I adore. The proceeds of this goes to Martha's table and DC Central Kitchen.

Join your community in celebrating health and nutrition while combating hunger and poverty in DC. Saturday Night Sips will be located at 1609 16th street, NW, Washington DC 20009. 

 

                                                               For more details

 

                                                              for more details

 

 

 


Farmers Market by the White House

Chef Jose Andres at the Farmers Market by the White House

I have always been a big fan of the farmers markets and today when I heard that the farmer’s market by the White house was going to be open from 3 – 7 pm, thought would go and check it out. This is the second season for the market to open here near the white house on Vermont Avenue. It was a gorgeous day today in the Washington metropolitan area with temperatures in the mid 70’s.

By the time I finished lunch and got to the location, found parking etc it was about 5 PM. Celebrity Chef / Restaurateur Jose Andres was in attendance to kick off the opening of the market with free Paella for everyone. It was such a joy to see Jose Andres and catch up with him. He is a chef we all admire, full of energy, vigor, liveliness and a great sense of humor. One always gets energized after you spend some time with him. For those of you who missed watching Jose Andres on CBS’s 60 minutes – watch the one and only Jose Andres here…

Jose Andres on CBS's 60 minutes

Here are some pictures from today’s market:

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 Chef Jose Andres's Crew dishing out the Paella in the market.
  
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 Chef Jose Andres purchased some fresh vegetables and fruits on his way home.
  
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Read more on : Obamafoodorama  

For more information about Farmers's Markets in the DC metropolitan area check out : freshfarmmarkets.org