It’s been a while! Now that I’m back from my vacation, it’s time to get back to blogging! There was some excitement the weekend before my vacation as well, and I must share it now, as it is already late enough!
So I got a chance two weekends ago to watch and learn, from a cooking pro. One of my favourite websites, Mumbai Boss, had a little contest earlier in April where 10 lucky readers got a chance to attend a cooking demo with Chef Kelvin Cheung of Ellipsis in Colaba.
Fingers crossed, I entered and was absolutely thrilled when I got a spot.
So on April 28th, Sunday afternoon, off I went.
Chef Cheung is a third-generation culinary professional from Chicago, and has been working in the kitchen since he was about 12 or 13, in his family restaurant. After culinary school, he worked at restaurants in Chicago and Belgium before making the move to Bombay. (Interestingly enough, he enrolled in medical school first, but opted out once he realized that his real love was food!)
The cooking demo was amazing! There was a cozy group of 6 of us and we got to watch Chef Cheung cook and talk technique at the open kitchen, and taste as well! It was a pleasure to watch- art, intuition and science all coming together to create a wonderful meal. What I loved was Chef Cheung’s approach to food- clean, simple, honest food using the freshest and best ingredients available. The menu, in fact, changes everyday to accommodate the fresh produce of the day.
The food was delicious- as per Chef Cheung’s philosophy, the ingredients are the heroes and all the dishes were subtly flavoured; not overpowering, not drowning in sauce or buried under strange garnishes. Fresh and elegant.
I’m not going to wax eloquent about the decor or the plating- because you could read that in any review. But here some things I learnt, and find useful for home cooks like myself.
- Always wait for the pan to get hot before you add oil. Don’t be in a hurry. A hot pan needs less oil and your food will not stick. Chef Cheung used just a spoon of oil to sear the fish fillets!
- A simple pan sauce tastes wonderful and is so very easy to make! (The market fish on a bed of greens is dressed with a pan sauce.)
- Making your own stock at home is actually pretty easy- and tastes better than using cubes or stock-in-a-box.
- The fresher an egg is, the stronger it is. Inferior eggs are often the reason why some desserts do not bake in time. While it may be difficult to get farm-fresh eggs in Mumbai all the time, if you can find a trusted supplier or andawaala, stick to it.
I took some pictures, unfortunately only with my smartphone.
Potato and leek soup
Chef Cheung preparing the creme brulee
Creme brulee with chocolate cookie soil
If you live in Mumbai, are here on vacation or plan to visit, make time for Ellipsis. It’s totally worth it- I’d go just for the rocky road!!
Thanks Mumbai Boss, Chef Cheung and Ellipsis for a wonderful experience!