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CHEF OF THE WEEK

Chef Swaminandan has close to 15 years experience in India and the UK, where he worked with Michelin star restaurant Benares Rest-aurant and Bar, Mayfair at Berkeley Square, Vatika Restaurant, Wickham Vineyard at Southampton and Marcus Wareing at Hyde Park.

Having specialised in North West Frontier cuisine, classical French, modern French and Italian and Molecular Gastronomy, what sets him apart is his fondness for experimentation while his wealth of culinary experience keeps him grounded.

Over the years, he has understood that there is more to being a chef than just cooking – it is important to know each guest’s tastes and palates. His driving force is the smile on a guest’s face.
Being a semi-finalist at the MasterChef UK Professional 2011, his best recipes include the Pan Fried Sea Bass. His mentors include legendary French chef Paul Bocuse, Chef Marcus Wareing, Knights-bridge and Chef Atul Kochhar.

Coming from a closely knit family with no foodies, Swami loves cooking for them occasionally.

In a candid conversation, he talks more about himself and his work:

Your philosophy about food?
Keep it simple, keep it honest and be generous. Food is all about happiness and joy.

Your fav cuisine?
Regional Indian food.

Your idol?
Chef Paul Bocuse

Your favourite spice?
Cinnamon

Your favourite cookbook?
Modernist Cuisine

Your hot selling dish?
Dim Sum and Pizza

Lessons learnt in the kitchen?
Have patience and eye for detail

How do you like to de-stress?
Either by reading or clicking photos

What are you passionate about?
Food. I dream to elevate Indian food from $50 meals to the $200 meal club.

For your last meal on earth, what would you choose?
Pan Seared Sea Bass with saffron beurre blanc.

Recipe

Pan Seared Sea Bass with coconut reduction

Ingredients // Quantity
Sea bass steak 2 (200 g each with skin on)
Prawns 4
Blanched baby potato 80 g
Cherry tomato 30 g
Coconut cream 200 ml
Ginger crushed 15 g
Preserved lemon 1 no
Fennel leaves 30 g
Sliced onion 100 g
Water 50 ml
Asian greens 100 g
Salt 15 g
Black pepper powder 5 g
Olive oil 60 ml
Butter 50 g

Method :
1. Heat oil in a thick bottom pan; add ginger and garlic and sauté. Add sliced onion and cook slow heat till onion breaks down.
2. Blitz fennel leaves with 30 ml of coconut milk. Reserve
3. Add remaining coconut milk to onion mix along with preserved lemon. Let it simmer on very gentle heat for 20 mins. Add water if coconut milk thickens too early.
4. Strain the coconut sauce, adjust seasoning and reserve.
5. Pan fry sea bass and prawn along with baby potato.
6. Toss blanched Asian greens with garlic, finish with butter and serve.