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Prateek Sadhu

Masque, India
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The first Krug Ambassade Chef in India, Chef Prateek Sadhu’s zero-waste restaurant, Masque, in Mumbai is an inspiration in all senses of the word. Deeply influenced by Kashmiri culinary culture, as he grew up on a farm in the region, Chef Sadhu believes the fresher the ingredient, the better it tastes. Masque grows many of its own fruits and vegetables and utilises or composts everything, so there is no waste. Chef Sadhu also runs a test kitchen where he researches new cooking techniques.

A talk with Prateek Sadhu

Can you tell us about your journey as a Chef?
My family left home as refugees when I was quite young, and I think this really changed the way I look at food. When we arrived in India, times were difficult and my mother used to cook everything we ate from breakfast, lunch and dinner to snacks, every day. Seeing her love of Kashmiri cooking really inspired me to become a Chef – a vocation which has given meaning and direction to my life. In my kitchen, I often recreate her dishes from my childhood, which almost always involved fresh vegetables.
Growing up around my aunt’s farm in Kashmir, we used to pluck and cook them straight away, essentially eating within an hour of harvesting. This is why at Masque we also have a farm; I believe the fresher the ingredients are, the tastier the dish will be. To this day, my mother is still one of the biggest influences on my cooking. Whenever she is in Mumbai, she always visits my restaurant and never hesitates to give me advice.
How do you care for the planet from your kitchen?
Masque is a zero-waste establishment. Today, we talk about climate change and sustainability, both of which are heavily impacted by waste in the kitchen. I come from a country where there is poverty, which is part of the reason why I have made the conscious decision to go zero-waste. In my kitchen, we will use each and every part of our ingredients because I think that is the first step toward sustainability. To give you an example, all our vegetable trimmings are used to make stock, after which they become vegetable chips. Anything left over from that will be composted and returned to our farm. It is a full circle.
Can you tell us your favourite ways to cook the onion?
The onion is one of my favourite ingredients due to its versatility. At our research and development lab, we are constantly trying to understand how vegetables and fruits react to different cooking techniques, resulting in some unexpected flavours and textures. Recently, we tried cooking onions in water overnight, at a low temperature and found that their natural sugars caramelised and transferred into the water. After 26 or 27 hours, the onions were fully cooked, and the water had become black. We strained and reduced the liquid to obtain an onion syrup, which tasted more like toffee or dates. We added water and salt to create an onion ice cream. This revelation is a great example of how the way you treat an ingredient can have a tremendous impact on flavour.
Can you tell us about a memorable champagne pairing you have enjoyed?
The first time I tried Krug was back in New York in 2010 when I was a junior-level Chef. I was working – and nibbling – at a cooking station on a course of snails with puff pastry when my boss approached me and asked if I had ever tasted Krug. I told him I had not, and he gave me my first glass of Krug Rosé. I still recall the flavours; like a bowl of fruit with an elegant finish on my palate. It was a delicious pairing with the snails, and I have been a Krug Lover ever since.
For whom would you prepare your dream Krug pairing?
Auguste Escoffier. He is a legend and it would be a dream to cook for the godfather of the culinary revolution. Most cooks have followed a technique of his at some point in their lives and every Chef in the world has started cooking from the recipes of Auguste Escoffier. I, from India began with the basic sauces like béarnaise and hollandaise that he committed to the pages of his book. One of his most important teachings relates to the fundamentals: “Make sure your basics are right before you start jumping for the stars.”

Lamb tripe, braised madras onion

  • STARTER
    2 servings
  • timing
    7H30
  • preparation time
    4 HOURS
  • Cooking time
    3H30

INGREDIENTS

STEP 1.

300 g lamb tripe

5 g bay leaves, 3 g green cardamom

8 g salt, 6 g fennel seeds

STEP 2.

2 kg madras onions

500 g yoghurt

20 g ginger powder, 100 g fennel powder

20 g black pepper

2 l lamb stock

0,5 l mustard oil

STEP 3.

1 kg onion stalks2 g salt

STEP 4.

1 kg all-purpose flour

20 g salt, 40 g yeast

40 g unsalted butter

128 g castor sugar

194 ml milk, 377 g water

1 kg dehydrated onions

500 g butter for lamination

STEP 5.

1 kg red onions, 2 l oil

RECIPE DEVELOPMENT

STEP 1. BRAISED LAMB TRIPE

Clean the tripe in saltwater thoroughly. Repeat five times and then put it aside. Pressure cook the tripe with bay leaves, cardamom and fennel seeds until tender.

 

STEP 2. BRAISED MADRAS ONION SAUCE

Slowly sauté the madras onions in mustard oil. In a separate bowl, add yoghurt and the rest of the other ingredients. Add the yohgurt and lamb stock mix into the pot and start braising the sauce until the fat is separated from it.

 

STEP 3. FERMENTED ONION JUICE

Ferment onions for 5 days and then juice them.

 

STEP 4. ONION BREAD

Mix everything and make the dough. Make butter sheets for lamination and laminate the dough thrice using book folds. Dice onions and dehydrate overnight.

 

STEP 5. ONION OIL

Cook the onions slowly in the oil until translucent, then purée and let sit overnight. Strain the next day.

 

SERVING INSTRUCTIONS

Pour the onion bouillon into the dish. Position the bread at the centre of the dish. Place the tripe on top of the bread. Garnish with the chives and onemonth matured onions.

PAIRING NOTES
In Kashmir where I grew up, we have some of the best sheep in the area and I wanted to make something from my mother’s kitchen. The onions give the lamb a delightful sweetness and the subtle use of spice is just enough to accentuate the palate of Krug Rosé.
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