05 March 2009

Being Heston Blumenthal

Not John Malkovich, Heston Blumenthal.

Even though I have never been to the Fat Duck, I admire Heston Blumenthal's search for perfection and his ability to question things. I vividly remember watching the "Chilli Con Carne" episode of the series In Search of Perfection - he made a chili blend of 7 different chillies from across the world and used MRI scans to look at how the brain responds to chillies and found that they activate the limbic structures, which are the part of the brain that process emotions (chillies activate both pain and pleasure responses at the same time). How I would have enjoyed that.

The astonishing thing about Heston Blumenthal is that he is self-taught. That gives us hope.

Yesterday was my first attempt at Olathi Erachi (Mathew had made one on Sunday). Mathew made a really tasty prawn and crab meat dish in mustard sauce which was divine with spinach and fresh coriander (definitely more mustard next time though!) The beef was very tasty (Vrinda really liked the beef even though she is not much of a meat-eater) but we're not there yet. We've got to play with the numerous recipes we have, understand and then break the process down. Initial thoughts are that the beef mooli will come with freshly chopped tomatoes and possibly a lightly marinated mooli (kimchi style - but think very mild). Fran preferred the version which Tom (our resident Mallu food consultant) made in Geneva and I think she is right to do so. The beef mooli was washed down with a fantastic guava, coconut and lime drink (inspired by cha cha moon).

Some pictures from last night.

* Just had a beef mooli again with tomatoes and mooli for early lunch and it is much better the next day! Yummy. Hungry Mathew? *

Process is incredibly important in any food business, but I suspect even more so when it comes to fast food. When I shadowed the head chef at a dim sum chain in London I realised why Alan Yau's one course idea at wagamama was operationally such genius (no more "I need the prawn toast!"). Even though Indian food can be complicated (for example, the Olathi Erachi), we can and will break the process down so well that maybe, just maybe, even Heston Blumenthal would approve.

A couple of pictures from the kitchens of a dim sum chain in London.


Anonymous said...

Heston Blumenthal can suck on a Mooli.

tbaloch said...

Welcome back to proper capitalisation, which I think reads much better. I know other companies try and stick with lower case as a trendy, casual way of communication, I am not so sure about this. I think we all have a slight responsibility not to perpetuate the wrong kind of grammar/presentation.

I must say sitting here away from it all it is wonderful to see the pics. No doubt it takes ages to upload, but please do not stop. And if you can start a mooli's twitter, that would be great (of course used sparingly).

tbaloch said...

ps no doubt with the current scare faced by HB, you would at this minute rather be JM

vrinda said...

the beef+tomato combination was just delish, and went down really well with the guava/coconut drink!
more tastings soon pleas!
v x

mathew said...


Vivek said...

I did go through all the other posts carefully and I still can't find it!

...I mean, any attention for the veggie ones!

basho said...

My only thought was, "Damn. You can't eat a website." Off for lunch! Btw, was that fresh guava? Also, from reading your descriptions, I like the idea of a chilli mooli!! :)

sameer said...

indeed anonymous, he can eat a mooli too. :D

t man, we love small case. sorry. you should try it at freshfields, who knows maybe it will catch on? ;)
however, twitter and word press coming very soon! and we shall always post pictures. it's great to hear that the effort is being appreciated.

vrinda, next beef attempt coming up very soon! with a nice chutney to match this time. 110%.

vivek, we hadn't forgotten the veggie ones, just saving the best for last! check out mathew's post - i'm also playing with a crisp bhindi.

basho, only guava pulp but tasted yum. lol. and chili mooli sounds great - with habanero sauce maybe my new favourite.

SM said...

Well, one can't eat the blog but it is doing perfectly well as an appetiser. Does that make it a meal? Hmmm...deep. ha ha

tbaloch said...

I think Anon (I know her) said suck not eat a mooli. And I think people should be free to do what they want with a mooli, suck or otherwise. Some years ago there was a great cadbury's cream egg ad about how do you eat yours. Perhaps one can do that with mooli's too: you can eat it, suck it, devour it in one go, use it as an aerial for your car stereo, as a canvas to get amitabh bachchan's signature (sharabi was a great movie), whether or not you have just fallen into a pile of shit, and best of all you can just sniff the wonderful flavours. I'll start applying to M & A Saatchi right now.

mathew said...

i like it very much