Chef Vineet Bhatia
Michelin star chef Vineet Bhatia talks to TNS online about his genius TV show on Fox Traveller, Twist of Taste. What is Twist of Taste all about and what drove you towards creating a full fledged food show?
What is Twist of Taste all about and what drove you towards creating a full fledged food show?
The entire idea behind Twist of Taste was to make an educational programme that revolved around travel, creativity and most importantly food. But the spin that we took was to visit the different states of India, pick a classic dish that represents the area and put an out of this world, Vineet-spin to it. This translated into the fact that people on the show, who tasted the dish, instantly recognised the flavours, but were completely surprised by the presentation.
Was ideation involved in the making of every episode or did you just go with the flow?
The first of the 13 episodes were scripted, but soon after we realised that we can’t plan what to cook. Of course, preliminary research about the place was conducted so we knew what the place had to offer more or less but what we cooked was a completely spontaneous decision depending on the inspiration we found when we were there.
Where all does the show take you in terms of travelling?
Last year we travelled extensively for Twist of Taste. We covered 30 cities all over India, and each place was so different from the next. North, South, East and West, all the states have a food culture that is immense. There’s so much depth in the cuisine of each state that it is very difficult to pick a favourite. The best part of doing this show is that you realise how much Indians truly love their food. As a chef, you tend to bring back all the flavours and techniques into your cooking and try and incorporate the things you’ve learnt into your style, to make it your own.
Which is the one episode that is particularly memorable to you, and why?
When we went to Guwhati, Rashima, and my wife brought back some chai in the form of dust-like fine powder, from a tea-tasting of over 200 teas. I wondered what to do with it, or how I could possibly incorporate it into a dish. It was very soft-flavoured, not bitter like most teas, so we made a chai mousse with elaichi cream in a glass and topped it off with chocolate and chai laddoos with a sprinkle of saunf. We shot this episode on a lake in a remote part of Guwhati, with the mountains as a backdrop. A food episode normally takes 7 to 8 hours, but we actually finished it off in 4 hours! It was beautiful and lots of fun!
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