19th March 2015: GourmetItUp Launch, Shiro, UB City
GourmetItUp is now in Bengaluru! This should make every Bangalorean happy as it brings us closer to exclusive fine dining experiences. For those who missed out on my previous article, here’s a gist of what the brand brings to us. GourmetItUp is an online portal that offers online reservation for niche culinary experiences like the chef’s table,off-the-menu set meals, masterclasses or even mixology with the top restaurants in the city.
The launch event was held at Shiro, one of GourmetItUp’s restaurant partners, over a selection of the best sparkling wine from Chandon India. Mirroring the brand’s unique offerings, the event also showcased a masterclass from the much celebrated Chef Vu Dinh Hung, a master in Vietnamese cuisine, to promote Shiro’s Viet Pop-up Experience. The dinner menu was an ensemble of the chef’s signature dishes.
The engaging masterclass began with the unveiling of the fresh ingredients with a few inspiring stories from the chef’s past to help us remember better. Vietnamese food is quite special in its making as it uses a lot of herbs and fragrant ingredients in addition to seafood, rice and noodles. While any other Asian cuisine showcases balance between sweet and sour, Vietnamese plays around every flavor and sense with heat, herbs, bitterness, sourness, sweetness, saltiness and the pungent flavor of the fish sauce. It bears influences from China, Cambodia, Thailand and France due to its geography and colonization.
The Maki Roll is one of the most popular and healthiest dishes from Vietnam bearing foreign influences. The masterclass began with unveiling of the simple ingredients behind making of this dish. Chef Jageshwar took us through the recipe and method.
All you need is some avocado, shitake mushrooms, cucumber, sesame seeds, vinegared rice, nori sheets, wasabi powder, kikoman soy sauce and pickled ginger. Grab a Nori sheet and place it on a sushi rolling mat. Spread the rice evenly, sprinkle some sesame seeds.Fill it with layers of avocado, cucumber and shitake mushrooms. Roll and cut in 8 pieces. Serve with the pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.
We also had a bite of Gỏi cuốn / spring rolls. This dish is made of layers of crunchy vegetables (like in the Maki Roll) placed on rice paper and rolled up tight. It is served with a peanut sauce that has a sweet edge to it. It is one of the most popular entrees served up in any Vietnamese restaurants.
The chef also took us through the method to cook Grilled Aubergine with Soy Sauce, topped with Nuoc Mam (fish sauce).
The whole session was lively and mouthwatering as we watched the chef effortlessly create the beautiful dishes in minutes and place it on the table for us to taste. It was an honor to meet him, and we are truly gracious to Shiro as well as GourmetItUp for the enlightening session.
GourmetItUp has in its future plans many such masterclasses for the city. Deepa Jain, founder of GourmetItUp said, “Masterclasses are one of our most popular and enjoyed properties. They are very engaging and help give the diner an actual feel and taste of restaurant quality experiences hands on.”
To know more about their exclusive offerings, visit GourmetItUp.com