CHEF OF THE WEEK
Chef Chanchal Datta is quietly winning the hearts of his guests with his remarkable talent, gentleness and smile.
Talking about his journey so far, he says, “My culinary career officially began after I completed my education from the Culinary Institute of India in West Bengal. I also accomplished special training with Certified Master Chef Mario Roti in Garde Manager, where I attained instruction in cold food and advanced Italian cuisine. To round off my culinary education, I interned under world-renowned Chef Curtis Stone at the Princes Cruises, USA.”
With intensive training from very talented chefs, Chanchal flew back to his own home city Kolkata, where he worked as an Executive Chef for the opening team at the famous, The Corner Courtyard. Within two years the restaurant opened another branch in Nairobi, Kenya and he was given the entire responsibility of setting it up.
Interestingly, he thinks the second phase of his life began with flexing his creative muscles and enhancing his culinary skills in contemporary Indian and Asian cuisine. Soon he found himself working at well-known restaurants in Kolkata and Delhi/NCR including names like Hakuna Matata (Kolkata), The Drunken Botanist (Cyber Hub, Gurgaon), and Chapter Twelve (Faridabad). He is part of upcoming projects by Alina Hospitality in Delhi/NCR. In addition, is also handling restaurant consultancy in Indore by the brand name ‘Pitcher’.
In a candid conversation, he talks about himself:
Your philosophy on food?
My philosophy includes original, honest, observant, emotional, sensory.
You really have no choice but to think about what you’re eating as you’re eating it. It’s not just because foodies go there and foodies analyse all their bites. A layperson, a mere civilian utterly uninterested in food criticism, can go to any Sutra or any other restaurant I am associated with and still joyfully relish my food philosophy.
Your fav cuisine?
Chef Gaggan Anand. He is the Sachin Tendulkar of Indian culinary history. And am very inspired by Chef Grant Achatz.
Your fav spice?
I have many as I love cooking or infuse with organic spices like asafoetida, bishop’s weed, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, hyssop, kokam, star anise, sweet flag and many more.
Lessons learnt in the kitchen?
Learn from your trials and failures. Each failure brings me closer to inventing a new dish.
How you de-stress
Meeting fellow working partners and chefs and sharing ideas.
How you define yourself
An individual who is curious to create something new and pushing the envelope for
What is your passion?
Creating ‘out of the ordinary’ dishes.
Last meal on earth, what would you choose?
Small river fish curry from my home-town.
Velvety Chocolate and Chestnut Ganache Ring
10g blanched almonds
10g blanched hazelnuts
10g butter, softened
10g all-purpose flour
1 egg white
1 drop vanilla extract
Preheat an oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Place the nuts into a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb. Add the sugar, butter and flour and blitz until fully incorporated. Add the egg white and vanilla extract and blitz once more – you should be left with a loose batter. Take a perforated ring mould and place the batter with the help of butter paper and cook in oven for 7-10 minutes.
150g chestnut purée
115g milk chocolate, chopped
Prepare the chestnut ganache. Soak the gelatine in a small bowl of cold water to soften. Place the cream and milk in a pan then mix in the glucose. Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring to create a smooth mixture. Remove from the heat and whisk in the chopped milk chocolate so that it melts into the hot cream. When thickened and smooth, squeeze out the excess moisture from the softened gelatine and mix into the chocolate cream until fully dissolved. Mix in the chestnut purée until fully combined. Set on a tray then place the tray in the freezer to set for at least an hour. Cut the ganache in the same size of crisp ring and put back to the freezer again.
Reserve the remaining ganache and before serving the plate mix with mojito concentrate and put few dollops on chocolate trunk with sponge crumb and do garnish as your wishes ingredients alike.