Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Michelin Star - What is the difference?


What is so special about a Michelin star chef? The cook at the local restaurant can cook without being rated by a Michelin Star! Read on to know if they really need to be marked or the star is just a media bubble.

So what is so different? Is it about small quantity and high prices, names in European lingua? Is it about the ambience or the presentation of food? All these questions get answered when one has the privilege to taste the food created and I repeat ‘created’ by chef Igor Macchio.

Igor Macchio is a chef who runs an eatery in Italy called “La Credenza”. Chef Igor has been rated with a single Michelin Star which means that La Credenza is the best in its category of food creators of Italian food. This also means that Chef Igor caters to anonymous inspectors about 6 times a year and successfully assures them that his title of Michelin star is the basis of subjective and critical acclaim.

If not in Italy where can one taste the best Italian cuisine from a Michelin star chef?




VetroThe Oberoi (Left on the lobby) has a round door, which I thought was unique and confusing for a new visitor; because the glass and wooden door is completely spotless. Vetro means “glass” in Italian personifying its allegiance.

The restaurant is designed to exploit natural lighting using a curtain of coloured glass. The interior designer obviously made a killing on creating lines of glass holders and filled them with randomly coloured glass (probably left over from a previous job) which lacks imagination. I would not speak much of the décor, as it only reminds me of the lounges in an international airport. However, there is a little corner that contains a wine library and wine tasting table that is perfect for a group session adorned with some of the finest Italian wines.



I walked straight into the clean and organized kitchen where Chef Igor was in the process of creating a lamb marinated in Xanata coffee and served with sweet corn sauce garnished with cress. If you can digest the real name for the dish, “Agnello marinato al caffe’ con ragu’ di mais dolce e germogli lamb marinated in coffee, sweet corn ragout and aromatic cress.”

The Italians speak with their hands and work their mouth on every word rounding off the ends with precision and Chef Igor did the same with “scho-cho-laat’se” and “baat-saar”. It is quite a fresh breath listening and watching the chef make a complicated recipe sound like a tomato toast. While the presentation is a la 5 star complimenting the real test has always been the taste. So we sat in the Vetro over a glass of divine white wine while the chef explained the veg dish; pumpkin ravioli created in amaretti milk known in Italian as, “Ravioli di zucca con schiuma agli amaretti e pesto homemade pumpkin ravioli, pesto and amaretti milk foam.”

The taste of melting pumpkin ravioli is so different from the ingredients in solitary albeit precatory, cuts your interest in the world around you while you digest each sense on your face. Some of the recipes are more than 24 hours in preparation time to serve up quarter of a plate of mind watering taste, aroma and experience. For instance the fine risotto topped with a swirl of anchovies.



The staff at the Vetro comprehends Italian cuisine and aspire to learn more. They work in the background interacting with you in the most subtle manner to make sure that you need not lift hand or open mouth for service. The air-conditioning keeps you comfortable shielding the sun’s heat rays.

The Mumbai based Nariman Point restaurant has all the requirements that an Italian restaurant may require. A perfect destination for Chef Igor through his world tour promoting his piedmont style promising cuisine of exceptional quality. Chef Igor does not use garlic unlike most Italian chefs and yet has a clear understanding of why certain things are done the way they are. He explains, “We always puts the dra-ssing on the top and the sauce at the bot-tom as the garnish may lose frashn-ass as the sauce may bees hotz!” The whole process of cooking is about precise measurements and precise ingredients and combinations, to make sure that food is tasted in perspective of the right combination.




I believe that such hard work and precision can only come with substantial skill and experience and deserves a star rating which is done with equal diligence. Vetro is worth a visit not just by Michelin Star chefs but also Italian savouring audience. Are you one of them?

1 comment:

  1. Wow - that looks like a great experience, Megha! When you can cook so well at home, when you go out it better be wonderful, eh? :)

    ReplyDelete

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