Discovery of Taste with Chef Roberto Boggio, Le Meridien Pune

 

March has ushered a much awaited event for team Foodadda. For a long time, we had been planning to organize an Italian cuisine workshop for food enthusiasts across Pune, but what venue can compare to an award winning restaurant for Italian cuisine like Favola at Le Meridien Pune.

Meeting Chef Roberto Boggio opened a whole new dimension of cuisine knowledge. He brought charm, openness and passion to the day, making every food enthusiast at the event glad they came. I recall feeling just that, anticipating a cook-session with the man himself whose years of experience and love for food resonated throughout Favola and Le Meridien.

Le Meridien Cook Off

 

At a restaurant awarded by the Times Food awards for three consecutive years, I was ecstatic to begin learning. The list included one of my favorites like the dessert, Budino al Cioccolato (which is delicious chocolate Lava cake). An unknown dish came in the form of Ossobuco (essentially Lamb Shank with Gremolada, which is pith from peels of lemon. The lemon zest is cut into julienne strips and small cubes to get the gremolada). Another popular Italian creation (also being taught) is Risotto, which only certain people manage to perfect. I knew from a strong feeling that Chef Boggio was one of them.

It was quite a fabulous gathering of media personages and newspaper men and women mingling with bloggers, food enthusiasts and people who love all things Italian. The ambiance was stunning, the scents were superb and the excitement was palpable.

Le Meridien Cook Off

Le Meridien Cook Off

Meridien Cook Off

Lamb Shanks

Le Meridien Cook Off

Le Meridien Cook Off

Called ‘The Discovery of Taste’, the very name of the event set the standard.

Before I leap into the foodie side of things, I always share the sights I saw at the marvelous food-lover locations I head to. Let me begin with the thing that captured my interest as soon as I entered. Don’t be too surprised when I say it was the chandelier, of sorts.

With a beautiful design made of electric candles and an old fashioned frame for them to sit on, this piece of interior decoration added earthy charm to the air. That’s when I spotted the wine stand on the far wall, bottle after bottle aligned horizontally and shown off to best effect under some of the best mild lighting I’ve enjoyed at a posh restaurant.

Nothing says ‘I love to cook’ better than a gorgeous white-painted brick wall with Italian baking implements hung at all the right points. It was unexpected, but those are the kinds of things magic is made of. With outstanding furniture – the chairs with their flowery upholstery and the lamps with their warm yellow lighting, – few settings fit the mood of food-loving wonder like what I experienced at Favola that day.

Le Meridien Cook Off

Meridien Cook Off

Through teaching us some Italian dishes, Chef Roberto Boggio became part of the core purpose of ‘The Discovery of Taste’ event. It was intended to spread awareness of Italian cuisine and leave on us as good an impression as fine pizza, pasta or tiramisu will on the palate; and I’ve only just named a few of the vast range of Italian magnificence you can find in this type of cuisine.

Not only were we going to learn those dishes I mentioned near the start of this post, we were also going to have them for lunch later, made by the Chef himself. The meal was, to put it simply, a revelation. Each bite was packed with flavor and distinct passion. There was a level of deliciousness to the meal that I found hard to understand. It was simple yet profound. I don’t think I’ll be able to replicate that particular whiff of magic at home, but I’ll practice and learn to get there someday.

Le Meridien Cook Off

Le Meridien Cook Off

Chef Roberto Boggio’s tips on household cooking made it that much easier for me to feel confident I too can cook like a professional. It’s often the case that what we make at home is far more casual than what’s made at high-end restaurants like Favola. However, making something that grand even at home every now and again is a sign that we’re passionate about food and ready to face the challenege of cooking like a chef.

Boggio himself used an everyday stove to make his marvels that day. The sight of him doing so was what inspired me. It made me think ‘This isn’ some fancy cuisine gadget chefs alone are allowed to wield in the sanctity of their classy well-stocked hotel kitchens. No… This is a stove just like the one I have at home.’ The creations he made therefore became possible in the comfort of my own residence.

Sharing his know-how on the Italian food of his hometown region got everyone at Food Adda thinking ‘Hey, we should definitely blog about all the different types of cuisine at different Italain regions’. Hope we get the opportunity to do just that as the season rolls on.

Buongiorno!

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