Antonio Tardi, is an Italian, who loves India, cooks any “kind of food” and says he’s from Vasanth Nagar. His job as Executive Chef with a new hotel – Shangri-La (which opens on September 24, 2015), right next to Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru, is what brought him here.
The man, who “knows nothing but cooking” talks about his job and journey. “Food is all about innovation and creation. We have created an ambience where the chefs will be in a stage-like space. Your experience starts as soon as you enter the lobby. Your eyes will first feast on the Western pastries, shooters to Indian sweets twisted with different ingredients. We offer no fusion food because I’m a traditional man. I would rather mix food cultures. Fusion has no tradition or innovation it is just a mixture,” says the man, who has travelled across continents as a chef.
He does not believe in “importing ingredients” but prefers to work with “local produce”. Antonio, explains that he has an “emotional connect with food. Back home we are discussing dinner even when we are having lunch! I come from a family of farmers, where we picked up tomatoes and potatoes to cook. Our lawn was our market. I have that mindset and want to create authentic Italian cuisine with ingredients from here.” According to him food trends don’t last long. “I incorporate trends only in my plating and serving style, not in the cooking. If I serve you stew in a pot upside down, it is a trend!”
Antonio became a chef because of his father who is “the family chef and my guru. He encouraged me to go to a culinary school. I rebelled. He said, I could travel the world being a chef and I got hooked to cooking.”
About cooking for Indians, the chef says, “You should understand what they need. You are used to strong flavours. I can tweak a few dishes to suit the Indian palate. For me cooking is dramatic. A chef is a craftsman and not a scientist. We don’t carry syringes, mix powders to see what turns out. But, we think out of the box, to create food artistically.”
Source: the Hindu