Spring menus: World of kitchens

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Related tags: Indian cuisine, Cooking

New Year, new flavours? Pubs are increasingly a focal point for the latest in fusion flavours, as exotic spices, seasonings and cooking styles blend...

New Year, new flavours? Pubs are increasingly a focal point for the latest in fusion flavours, as exotic spices, seasonings and cooking styles blend with the best in pub grub to create new and interesting dishes.

Visitors to the World Kitchen Live feature at the World Food Market, held at the end of last year at ExCel London, saw some talented chefs bring ethnic cuisines to life and fill the hall with a fusion of different flavours and aromas. Many went away with some great ideas for a spring menu makeover.

Organised and run in association with the Craft Guild of Chefs, the two-day event was action packed. Eight of the Guild¹s leading chefs demonstrated how easy it is to use authentic ingredients in a variety of cuisines ­ from contemporary Caribbean through East African with a twist, to the pungent and earthy flavours of Polish cooking, plus Indian, Afro-Caribbean, Eastern European, Marseillaise, Lebanese and Chinese.

Visiting chefs were able to pick up a host of new hints and tips as well as taste the creations made before their eyes.

Cyrus Todiwala stole the show in a unique session in which he used ingredients from the exhibition floor to create a range of Indian dishes. His choices included squid tentacles courtesy of Kim Son, chilli pepper purée and ginger garlic purée from Sunshine Foods, grated paneer from Ukay Khoa Man, and wasabi paste, soy sauce and teriyaki sauce from Harro Foods.

Adding a few essential ingredients of his own, Cyrus cooked up a range of dishes, including squid tentacles peri-peri, vindalho de frango and paneer bhurjee. He says: ³I see Indian cuisine in the UK going more regionalised and more specalised. By Indian cuisine I mean the sub-continent of India and not just India alone. It is still in its infancy here and has scope to grow and progress further.

³For this we need more cuisine-focused exhibitions and events, more first-class competitions, a platform such as the World Food Market to help raise its profile and market value, and for chefs to become more involved with associations such as the Craft Guild of Chefs.²

Ian Nottage and Frederique De Vaux gave a new twist to French cooking by focusing on Marseillaise cuisine. Ian says: ³Marseillaise is quite different from typical French cuisine. It¹s not fussy or messy and it¹s quick and easy to prepare. Being in the south, Marseille has a lot of Spanish and Italian influences, so it¹s not your typical French cuisine. It makes the most of the fresh fruit and vegetables, the great quality meat and things such as olive oil, that are readily available.²

The duo created a range of dishes, including pissaladiere, a well-known Marseillaise-style pizza, and sun-blushed tomato and goat¹s cheese terrine. Demonstrating new developments in Chinese cuisine was Ricky Idris, who put together an impressive menu including ikan panggang, roast mackerel wrapped in banana leaf, Ayam Goreng Pandan, fried chicken wrapped in pandan leaf, and Paceri Nenas, a pineapple chutney.

Ricky says: ³Chinese cuisine is well established in the UK but with consumers becoming more discerning, chefs need to innovate with new styles of cooking. The inspiration for my dishes came from South East Asian cuisine, which all chefs can learn to cook. However, the keys are quality ingredients and authenticity.²

Doreen Murphy, Ryan Matheson, Dennis Mwakulua, George Redway, Samir McHeik and Michal Magiel also took to the stage to showcase the best dishes and techniques from Oriental through to Lebanese cuisine.

Related topics: Menu Ideas

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