September 12, 2011

Event Review: Chaine de Rotisseur dinner at Sheraton Hotel, Bangalore

When we entered the Sheraton Hotel for the first time, it was dramatically illuminated and for a second we was in awe of the beauty of the place. We were there to attend a Chaine de Rotisseur (Bangalore chapter) dinner, being the lucky two bloggers with access to experience some amazing culinary creations and meet extraordinary members that would otherwise considered to be too exclusive or insidery for most people to get into.

The event was happening at Bene, the signature Italian restaurant at Sheraton Hotel. There was wine, champagne and some mouth-watery little nibbles to munch on before the actual dinner started.

With some cool breeze, beautifully lit swimming pool, small fountains on the side and hanging lanterns through the trees, it was a perfect evening and best of all were the members of the Chaine de Rotisseur themselves who were wearing different colors of chains and ribbons around their neck, symbolizing various cadres within the organization.What attracts the most about them - is their cool professionalism and their zeal to promote the art of fine cuisine amongst both amateur and professional gastronomes. 

What is The Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs?

"The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international gastronomic society, founded in Paris in 1950, traces its origins back to 1248. At that time, the French King Louis IX (later canonized as Saint Louis) wishing to thank the trades which had contributed to the construction of Sainte Chapelle, ordered the establishment of several professional guilds, one of which was the "Oyeurs" or goose roasters. The vocation of this guild was to improve the technical knowledge of its members: apprentices, tradesmen and masters. Over the decades, the Chaîne has dedicated itself to bringing together those who share a mutual interest in cuisine, wine, and fine dining in a spirit of camaraderie.

Before we even arrived, the chefs at Sheraton hotel were ready with their starters and each of them for me were little pieces of perfection - bite sized, easy to grab, intricately flavored and one bite: just WOW!

Melon balls stuffed with herb cream cheese: The sweetness from the melon balls contrast so beautifully with the saltiness from herb cheese. Just one look and you know the chef gave equal emphasis to presentation as well.

Melon balls stuffed with herbed Philadelphia cream cheese
Artichoke palmheart with sundried tomato trian on multigrain crisps: To be really honest, I was stumped and suprised to see artichoke in Bangalore. Personally speaking, these just hammer home the point. I must have had at least 8-10 of these and before I knew they were all gone!

Artichoke palmheart with sundried tomato trian on multigrain crisps

Champagne anyone?

The dinner was about to begin and we were all seated at our respective tables with name plates displayed at each of our seats. One look at the fabulous 5 course meal featuring all Italian favorites, I knew it was going to be a night to remember..

Executive Chef Gustavo Maurelli, addressing the audience
A basket of fresh bread was placed on each of our tables and the one that tasted best of all was - Focaccia. We were served with dips on the side - herb butter and olive oil with balsamic vinegar. My personal favorite is olive oil with balsamic vinegar. Try it with any bread you have at home. The sweet & salty balsamic vinegar will become your instant favorite, I am sure of it. 

Focaccia bread
Then we moved on to the actual meal of the day. I like the fact that there were separate menus for  vegetarians and non-vegetarians, unlike at many occasions where the vegetarians are always sidelined and given a step-motherly treatment.

The Menu
First Course: Eggplant souffle with roasted capsicum gelato
Wine: Prosecco Ti Amo

Not a big fan of the eggplant souffle as the skin was a little too chewy to bite into, but the roasted capsicum gelato was indeed a luscious, silken delight.

Eggplant souffle with roasted capsicum gelato

Second Course: Roasted pumpkin (soup) with poppy seed mousse.
Wine: Mannara, Pinot Grigo

Sometimes, simplicity belies a truth about one's cooking. This dish is a perfect example of using simple ingredients and delicate cooking for the flavors to shine through. I think its a splendid idea to pour warm soup onto a mousse as that creates a whimsical play of flavors and elevates the dish to a new level. We literally attained food-nirvana after this dish. :-)

Roasted pumpkin soup with poppy seed mousse
Third Course: Ravioli filled with grilled artichokes served in a light lemon cream infused with fresh marjoram
Wine: Nederburg, Sauvignon Blanc

I am not great fan of too much cheese in a pasta dish, but I don't despise it either. The first two bites of ravioli were silky but after that I found it was a little too intense for my taste. Nevertheless, a lovely dish whose flavors play footsie with the back of your tongue.

Ravioli filled with grilled artichokes served in a light lemon cream infused with fresh marjoram
I had to miss the rest of the courses as it was a weekday and was getting late in the night. Here is how the rest of the dished looked like.

Photo Credits for below 3 images: Sheraton Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway

Fourth Course: Wild mushroom gratin served on white semolina Gnocchi
Wine: Three Peaks, Merlot

Wild mushroom gratin served on white semolina Gnocchi
Fifth Course: Smoked snow goat cheese garnished with candied fruits preserved in mustard oil

Smoked snow goat cheese garnished with candied fruits preserved in mustard oil
Dessert: Tiramisu

My overall feeling about the dinner:

This is food to give pause, to be enjoyed slowly savoring each morsel. The menu was ambitious and fascinating, each dish excelling the next. My only complaint was the timing. A good 45 minute to 1 hour wait between each of the courses seemed a little too much to me. By the time it was 10:30 pm, we were still in the third course. So, we had to leave without tasting the last two courses and dessert. Too bad, as I was really looking forward for Tiramisu.

On a final note, Bene is a pretty, cosy restaurant - pin-lighted room with marvelous views of Escon temple right behind of Sheraton. I highly recommend to visit the place atleast once. I am not sure whats the regular day-to-day menu of the restaurant, but the food they served us today was just spell-bounding. No doubt about that.
P.S - On a different note, here is presenting to you all a new look of Cooking With Siri. I hope you like it as much as I did. :-)

until next time,

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  1. Looks really nice Siri and my god, awesome food. Makes me grab them from the screen esp the artichoke crips and tiramasu and Yes, please pass me a glass of Champagne :-)

  2. Fabulous review and hoping to see many more:-)

  3. Siri, kotta look chala clean and crisp ga undi, looks like fab dinner

  4. I LOVE the new look Siri and I enjoyed the review.

  5. Wonderful post! I re-lived that evening. What a shame we had to leave without tasting the dessert. Tch! Tch! It sure was an honour to be there though.

    And no, I don't 'Like' the new look here. I 'LOVE' it :)

  6. Love the new look Siri. Sure, India has changed so much since I left. I think an exotic meal like this more affordable in our home country than in U.S. I won't be missing anything If I come back to India.

  7. Lovely new look Siri, and nice post..:)

  8. Fantastic review and nice dishes. Bengaluru is namma Bengaluru love my place. Thanks for taking me.

  9. Love the new design :) Photos are FAB!

  10. Hey siri,

    Ella unaaru meeru ? Happy to follow this cool space of yours. Seems you had an excellent time with awesome dinner with the menu. Photos are drool worthy, wondering artichokes are being served at bangalore. Gr8.

  11. love the new look siri, wonderful to know you had a lovely evening..


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