Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Le Thuet at Taj Bengal's The HUb

When Food is Sublime 

An afternoon of sublime dishes. Now I have personally heard of music being referred to as sublime but food which is sublime is a rare treat indeed.

With Taj Bengal hosting Le Thuet,  a special gastronomical indulgence at their restaurant The Hub, I was fortunate enough to have been invited as part of Kolkata Food Bloggers to attend a very special lunch.

The culinary magician and his lovely better half

Chef Marc Thuet and his lovely wife and business partner Biana Zorich had flown in all the way from Canada to share sublime dishes with Kolkata. What one feels after meeting this lovely couple is  that they are warm and friendly and keep you engaged in a delightful conversation and then slowly you learn that Chef Thuet has catered to some of the biggest celebrities in the world from Bill Clinton to Tom Cruise but he believes  'every customer of mine is a celebrity' and he indeed treats every customer of his like a celebrity and if you have the good fortune of tasting what comes out of his kitchen you would feel like a star indeed.

With his roots in Alsace in France and having gained experience in the kitchen from a tender age of 12 this friendly gentleman does have magical culinary  tricks up his sleeves to make every dish taste exquisite.

On a hot summer's day he had arrived in Kolkata with a menu which he had prepared in Canada  and was so surprised and fascinated with the range of ingredients available in Kolkata that he changed his menu upon arrival and believes he could have saved a lot of time had he known about Calcutta's availability of ingredients.

Cold Cucumber Soup

In keeping with the sultry weather we begun our lunch with a cold cucumber soup which was the perfect choice for a tropical summer day. The beautiful flavours of olive oil and sun dried tomatoes infused with the freshness of cucumbers and cooling effect of yogurt made it a delightful start for guests and the goat cheese is the surprise element which makes you squeal in delight if you are a cheese lover as I am.

The Quebec duck magret

Now if you are allergic to seafood like I am you would really miss out on the opportunity to have the lovely Cured Cuebec Duck Magret  served with sweet water prawns and black cumin caramel and mango but with Biana as the lovely hostess it was  made sure that I  get to taste what I am  not allergic to. She insisted  that I be served the Cured Quebec duck magret by itself and I have to say that the taste was delicious all the way and why wouldn't it be when it is made from ducks with plump breasts which is cured for for 7 days in a secret rub especially mixed  by our lovely chef.

The Lamb 

Now let me talk about the dishes which made me feel Chef Thuet serves sublime food. From the main course the Gremolata crusted lamb rack served with basil and goat cheese mashed potato with a baby carrot , mushroom and asparagus was what caught my attention and a forkful of the perfectly medium done lamb chop made me realize that the Chef does have a magical affair with his kitchen. The sauce which took my breathe away was a reduction which was made with the bones and vegetables alone and cooked thrice. I have to recommend this dish to anyone who loves lamb chops.

If we are in the company of the Chef and his better half  who supply bread to the Ritz Carlton then of course you are in for a treat when it comes to bread. The baguette was one of the finest bread I have had which my taste buds fell in love with. Cotton soft inside with a nice crust I was intrigued by it and on asking Biana I found out that the culture used to make the bread had been carried back from Canada and that was the reason for the perfect sourdough bread. Chef Thuet shared a tiny bit of historical fact about these baguettes , how in the old days in Paris people had to work without machines and these would be allowed to rise 6 times and after each rise of the dough it would  be punched down and then allowed to rise again and ultimately it resulted in this magnificent classic bread.

I was served a dish made with asparagus and Parmesan cheese which was a very elegant dish and this was because I was allergic to sea food and I have to say I was amazed again.

Ending things on a sweet note

A chef who breaks away from tradition yet keeping the full flavours of tradition intermixed with the creative side of a brilliant magician of the kitchen presented two delightful desserts out of which one is again sublime. The saffron tartlet with golden peach and Alphonso  had the perfect buttery base which does not overpower your palate yet leaves it satisfied and it has the one variant of mango which is Chef Thuet's favourite, the alphonso mango,  but the Chocolate Caramel Mousse Verrine with sea salt crumble is magic for the palate again. The smoothness, richness with the unique hint of salty delicacy will surely linger in your mouth for a long time and the taste will linger in your mind. I was in for a surprise when I was told that the chocolate used was the one which Taj Bengal's Hub normally uses. You can alwways blindly trust Taj Bengal indeed.

Hurry because the food festival Le Thuet will be open for lunch and dinner till the 18th of April at Taj Bengal's The Hub  and if you are a culinary enthusiast you cannot miss this amazing opportunity

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