Tuesday 15 April 2014

French Culinary experience with Chef Marc Thuet at Taj Bengal

Chef Marc Thuet with his wife Biana Zorich

I had a glimpse of the man in action, his arm and forearm full of various tattoos and black shades on his blonde hair, at the International Vine and Food festival held at Taj Bengal and immediately recognized him as the famous gourmet chef Marc Thuet who has flown in from Toronto to treat the people of Kolkata to an unforgettable French culinary experience. Kolkata Food Bloggers had the fortuity to be invited by Taj Bengal to sample the Chef's creations. 
Chef Marc Thuet, born in Alsace, France,  is a fourth generation chef and started his stint with food at the young age of 12. Along with his beautiful and charismatic wife Biana Zorich who is also his business partner,  they are called Toronto's Culinary Power couple. With a growing chain of gourmet bakeries called Petite Thuets serving the likes of Ritz Carlton and running an empire of critically acclaimed food with a clientele of the likes of Musician Prince and Actor Sylvester Stallone, Marc Thuet believes in steadfast styling and use of organic produce. He has also appeared in reality television series called 'Conviction Kitchen' where he trains ex-conmans to run a restaurant and  has completed two seasons.

We started our culinary journey with Chef Marc with a 'Cold Cucumber soup with Goat cheese and sun dried tomato'. Chef tells us that once he reached Kolkata he had to make changes to his menu to suit the climate and food preferences. This cold cucumber soup is just perfect for our humid weather and is blended with curd and mint and served with chunks of salty Goat cheese and slices of sun dried tomatoes. It comes with a generous drizzle of olive oil.

We were served Baguette which is a sourdough bread with a bowl of olive oil and were told by Biana that the bread is supposed to be dipped in the oil and eaten. The yeast for Baguette is cultured by them and was brought all the way from Canada. The bread was crisp from outside and soft like cotton from inside. A treat for our taste buds to devour an authentic Baguette.

For main course we had 'Cured Quebec Duck magret, sweet water prawns, black cumin caramel and mango'. The duck magret is a special variety fed to plump and its breast is then cured for 3-4 days with sea salt and a special rub made with 14 ground spices. The meat is then hung for a week. The cured duck was brought all the way from Canada by the chef. 
The duck was served with prawns in a creamy sauce with pickled ginger and fresh slices of mango. The chef informs us that he loves to pair seafood with fresh mango. 

For my prawn allergic friends, Biana was very sweet to ask for a plate of cured duck which came with Parmesan shavings and fresh rocket leaves.

Our next dish for main course was Gremolata crusted lamb rack, basil and goat cheese mashed potatoes
The meat was cooked medium and came with a lovely reduction which the chef tell us is reduced three times and has fragrant herbs like rosemary and thyme. The goat cheese and mashed potatoes were an excellent pair with the lamb rack along with baby carrot, mushroom, asparagus and sun dried tomato. 

Next came 'Wild Mushroom risotto with Parmesan shavings'. The rice was al-dente and had generous bits of Shitake mushrooms which gave it the smoky flavour and chopped truffles. The creamy risotto was a dish that was loved by all and was over in no time.

My favourite course, desserts, was served with two very stunning dishes. 
'Saffron tartlet with golden peach and alphonso compote, maple syrup and walnut crumble' had an amazingly crisp and buttery tart shell. I love fresh fruit desserts and this was such a winner with peaches and alphonso chunks in it. 
'Chocolate caramel mousse verrine with sea salt crumble' was the most amazing and delicious mousse I have had for a long time. Biana tells us that they have used chocolates available locally and we were blown away with the richness, smoothness and silkiness texture of the mousse. The sea salt crumble on top added a wonderful salty touch to the bittersweet chocolate mousse.

The French culinary experience 'Le Thuet' at The Hub, Taj Bengal, Kolkata is on till the 18th April, 2014 and is open for both Lunch and Dinner priced at INR 2500 +taxes for two.


Disclaimer : The opinions shared here are my own and have not been influenced monetarily or otherwise.

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