Yes, you heard it right!! BY CHEF VICKY RATNANI..what else could you ask for!!
The SCS Group which is an agribbusiness consulting firm specialising in marketing, international trade and communications related to food, beverage and agricultural products invited us for a cooking demo on Washington Apples. Washington Apples Commision is a self-governing body made up of apple growers and packers from Washington, hence the name. The SCS group had also organised a cooking demo with USA Pears earlier and I had missed that event. All my fellow bloggers raved about it and this time I really didn’t want to miss it at all..especially after I got to know that Vicky will be presenting the demo.
Earlier, whenever I used to pick up apples, I knew them as red apples and green apples. After attending this event I realised there are actually seven types of washington apples. They are Granny Smith, Gala, Cripps Pink, Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Fuji and Red Delicious. This was quite an eye opener and each family has its own speciality.
I’m a huge fan of Vicky Ratnani, watch all his programmes on TV. I love the way he cooks and makes cooking look so simple and easy, that is so motivating to cook, isn’t it??..So here, we the bloggers from Bangalore had this opportunity and we grabbed every bit of it. By ‘we’ I meant Madhuri, Suma, Irin, Deepthi, Shweta pai, Ally and moi. Every bloggers meet has been a lovely experience, especially meeting new fellow bloggers. Madhuri ,Suma, Ally and I had attended a bloggers meet earlier. Irin, Deepthi and Shweta were new to me, but once we got introduced, we hit it off instantly and started jabbering on our favourite topic-’ food’:).
The event was organised at 100 ft. Boutique Restaurant, Indiranagar. Lovely place with small boutiques. A perfect rendezvous with Vicky Ratnani. We were greeted by Nidhi and Rachna Sharma, Manager-Communications, The SCS group. Vicky was already there and he welcomed us too. It was a nice gesture.
The whole event was about introducing Washington Apples and how we can add these apples to our daily cooking. We would generally have an apple as a fruit or in a russian salad or in a conventional apple pie. This whole new thing of adding apples in a risotto and soup was new to me. This was very intriguing. The enthusiasm with which Vicky was cooking was contagious and he kept involving all of us present there by showing the preparation of each dish at every stage.
For the welcome drink, we were presented with Apple and martini cocktail which really looked very inviting. We also tasted a plate of pieces of apples of all variety. The presentation was lovely.
He cooked us a lovely soup -Colonial Apple and Pumpkin Bisque, which was so delicious that we all emptied our soup bowls in no time. Madhuri has some lovely pics of how greedily we relished the soup:)..this soup was cooked with Granny Smith variety and pumpkin, he added a dash of curry powder to it to suit our South Indian palette and I guess that made the difference.
For the Salad, he presented us with Apple and jackfruit Salad, now let me tell you one thing, I don’t relish jackfruit at all and I don’t remember the last time I had it. He used Granny Smith, red delicious and gala apples in this salad. Vicky while chopping the veggies for salad mentioned, that any vegetable or fruit chopped finely will taste better and after having this salad I totally agreed with him. I actually emptied the whole plate of salad with jackfruit in it!!.. He also gave us some useful tips about salad dressings and vinaigrette. He actually took time to answer our queries and help us understand the various nuances of restaurant cooking, which I felt was very informative and very sweet of him to let out a few of his trade secrets:).. It was a delight watching him cook, present, use his famous ‘ hathoda’- pepper grinder, his ‘Purrrfect’ for every presentation..wow, this was an experience.
For the main course, we had Green Apple risotto with hazel nuts and the non veggies had pork chops stuffed with apricots and apples. I don’t particularly relish risotto as I find it a little bland and it has a lot of butter and cheese in it. I tasted the risotto which was beautifully presented with lovely buttered hazel nuts.
I was expecting him to cook some dessert for us as I love all the desserts he presents in his show, but that was not planned, so we had apple crumble with ice-cream for dessert. The fact that he hadn’t planned on a dessert was quite a let down for me, especially after watching him churn out those lovely desserts on TV.. nevertheless, meeting him and watching him cook itself was an experience. We all had a wonderful celebrity moment taking photographs with Vicky and not to forget personalised autographs too. Vicky very sweetly obliged and made time to sign a personalised autograph for everyone. Top it all, we also received a basket of apples as a take away gift. I would like to thank Chef Vicky Ratnani, The SCS group and all my fellow bloggers for the wonderful lunch meet.