Italian food holds a special place in my heart. Our family loves Italian and for two Childhood friends love blossomed over Chicken Piccata Milanese , Penne Arrabiata and countless Tiramisus. With each passing year there on , our love for Italian food only grew by leaps and bounds standing by our side as the only constant which we happily pass on to our daughter who loves Spaghetti and can have it every single day. When the Chef At Large , Blogger’s Table extended an invitation to the Chef’s Table organized by Pizza Hut , it tingled the right senses and awakened the Italian food memories. When I read the description , it was a ” Must Go ” event for me. On a normal day , I would just hate to drive to get to a place as far as this venue , but meeting Pizza Hut’s Head Chef Arjyo Banerjee and Luca Ciano, Executive Chef, Barilla Pasta was not a very ” Normal day ” event and who better than the pioneers of Affordable Fine dining and the people who made Italian food a common thing in most households to give tips on how to make your ” Pasta ” taste better and also display their signature dishes at the Live counter. I HAD TO GO!
The event was hosted by the Pizza Hut at the Gopalan Signature Mall at C.V.Raman Nagar. It essentially showcased some of the Signature dishes of Pizza Hut and the Chef’s camaraderie over cooking made the event enjoyable and a lot of fun for us at the table!
Here is a snap shot of the Menu for the day. At the first look , you will notice how well prepared the Menu was to offer a combination of both Veg and Non-veg menus. The interesting part , the Pastas were alternated with a Pizza Hut recipe , tweaked for the Indian Palate and a Classic Italian Pasta , the way the Italians cook.The evening was jam-packed with enthusiastic foodies and happy faces and the whiff of fresh basil and garlic filled the air with beautiful aromas taking us to an Italian heaven. Combine all this with two fantastic chefs who not only dish out beautiful food , but also dish out a funny bone , the day couldn’t get any better than that.The staff was extremely courteous and made sure the drinks were always refilled and every need was taken care of.The only odd thing through the day was the countless power cuts ( Err )
The Chefs of the hour –Head Chef of Pizza Hut – Arjyo Banerjee and Exectuive Chef of Barilla Pasta , Luca Cucino
The event started off with the Beverages. I must admit that I was not a big fan of any of the beverages served for the day. They were way too sweet and the taste lingered on.
The Appetizers had an option for the Vegetarians with Onion Rings , Veg Patty, Potato wedges and the Non vegetarian platter had the Jerk chicken , Chicken Kibbeh with Yogurt and Salsa. I personally preferred the Vegetarian Platter over the Non vegetarian Platter.
Assorted Veg Platter – Crispy Veg Patty with Parmesan and Garlic , Potato Wedges and Onion Rings
Assorted Non-Veg Platter – Jerk Chicken , Chicken Kibbeh with Yogurt Dip and Salsa
We were served the Tuscan Thin crust Pizzas with fresh Basil. In terms of the Pizzas in itself , I would have to give it to Pizza hut to be close to the authentic Thin crust pizzas than the other Pizza giants in the country. Pizza Hut is extremely proud of their Pan Pizzas due to the various options and the size and price makes sure the Pizza lover has a bit of it all.
Traditional Hand Tossed Pizza
While we were being fed well to our stomach and heart’s content , the “ Jugalbandi ” had begun. It was a fantastic sight to watch how easy the chefs made cooking pasta look.
Two of the Signature Pasta dishes were demonstrated by Chef Arjyo and the remaining two were demonstrated by Chef Luca.
I’ve managed to take some recipes down , so , here’s passing it on:
Fusilli tossed in a Tangy Tomato sauce
Fusilli tossed in Tangy Tomato Sauce
1 ) Cook the Pasta ( Follow the instructions on the box )
2 ) For the Sauce , take some Extra Virgin Olive Oil(*EVOO) , add finely chopped garlic , Onion and fry them until the onions turn pink , then add fresh Thyme , Zucchini , blanched Baby corn and saute them in some Tomato Paste. Add the cooked Pasta , Cream and top it with blanched tomatoes , salt , pepper , chili flakes , combine them and let them simmer for a minute. Serve hot with some fresh Basil and Parmesan Cheese.
Warm Spaghetti Salad with marinated prawns
Warm Spaghetti salad with marinated prawns
1 ) Cook the Pasta ( Follow the instructions on the box )
2 ) Clean the prawns and thinly slice them to compliment the Spaghetti, Marinate them with EVOO , Lime , Oregano , Pepper ( Note: Lemon and EVOO in 1:3 Proportion )
3 ) Prepare the toasted breadcrumbs in the meantime this way – in a hot Pan , add some EVOO , Breadcrumbs and fry them until the crumbs turn golden brown add Garlic , Oregano , Chili Flakes and Salt and fry them until the garlic is cooked.
4 ) In a salad bowl , take some Sicilian Dried Olives , sun-dried tomatoes , Capers , Basil and mix the cooked Spaghetti. Mix the Prawn at this point. The heat of the Spaghetti should be sufficient to cook the Prawns. Garnish with some Toasted breadcrumbs for the Crunch.
Penne with Sicilian Vegetable Caponata
We were shown the Chicken Lasgna as well as the Vegetable Caponata. The Veg Caponata was a personal favourite. It had beautiful vegetables , cooked in wine ,Olive Oil and sauce with Penne and garnsihed with julienned Eggplants. I could mop up the entire dish myself. Pity , this dish is not in the Pizza Hut Menu.
The Chefs giving out the Recipes !
Here are some Tips on how to ” Cook ” and ” Not Cook ” your pa
1 ) Never add Oil while cooking the Pasta. The oil on the Pasta will not allow the Sauce to stick well on to the Pasta leaving a very bland taste.
2 ) Make sure the water is Boiling before adding in the Pasta for cooking.
3 ) Cook the Pasta with some Salt. Ratio for 1 ltr Water : Use 8 gms Salt.
4 ) Use a Big pot to Boil your pasta always allowing the Pasta to cook evenly.
5 ) Stir the Pasta regularly while boiling.
5 ) Once cooked , never rinse the Pasta with cold water , this takes away the Starch
6 ) Use Chunky sauces for ridged pastas such as Penne, Fusili. They stick better due to the ridges
7 ) Heavier sauces are best suited for Flat Pastas such as Fettucini
8 ) Thin sauces are best suited for thin Pastas such as Spaghetti
9 ) Do not use Cream while cooking with Sea food.
If you’d like to know the different kinds of Pastas , this
makes for a good reading.
Every great meal ends with a beautiful desert and the Chocolate Trio was sinful and indulgent
With so much happening , I left the place with a feeling of satiety only to be pleasantly surprised with an amazing goodie bag to mark a perfect closure to an eventful day. The day was a perfect and I certainly look forward to this event the coming year as well.