After a long quest of grabbing ingredients from across the world, chefs are now returning to the roots preferring to stay local for the locally-grown ingredients. Chef Prateek Sadhu from Mahalaxmi restaurant travelled all the way to a distant village in Leh to capture Sea Buckthorns which are commonly available in Central Europe and China.
Well, when the ingredients are commonly available abroad, why is he travelling across the country to find such rare stuffs? Since most of the locally grown ingredients are sourced by the small scale farmers, they are available with “organic” tag. Also, the farm-fresh ingredients are loaded with nutrients. Not merely it involves less of flying, driving and fuel consumption but less of sprayed chemicals which are used to keep it preserved for longer duration as well.
Meal served on a communal table with seating capacity of around 10 to 16 people at A.R. Valentien’s Artisan Table dinner depicts why Chef Jeff Jackson prefers local ingredients which he can get from nearby farms. The best local suppliers provide seasonal stuffs to this place where menu changes every week, clarified the chef.
With empowering local growers to experiment, this step has valued their hard-work too. But a lot more logistic challenges are yet involved in it – explains Sadhu. A fruit named Persimmon from Uttarakhand, he wants to procure in Mumbai but no one is ready to ship it.
So,it was quite easy for him to pick it up himself. And as the menu gets changed after every 10 days, the availability of the season-depended ingredients possesses challenge for chefs to innovate.
5 Dishes and Their Ingredients Sourced Locally, in Mumbai:
Bean to Jar: Sourced from Ananmalai Hills in Tamil Nadu, these local chocolates adds a new and fresh flavour to ice-cream
Kingfish Burger and Tenderlion Carpaccio: With Moringa Leaves sourced from Karnataka, this dish is prepared from the fresh pesto made of Tulsi leaves and Moringa leaves.
Salad with Burrata and Heirloom Tomatoes with Sorrel Vinegar: Fresh farm tomatoes obtained from Nashik and Sorrel from Vrindavan Farm are used to craft this exceptional delicacy.
Burrata Salad : A Mumbai-based Cheese-maker sources Fresh Burrata which is tossed with Pesto, Olive Oi, Balsamic and Organic heirloom tomatoes are added.
Gluten-free Aocado Benedict: Avocados are procured from farms near Pune which makes this delicacy an all-time brunch favourite.
Many renowned restaurants like Churchgate’s Mockingbird Café procure their Black Rice Risotto from a local grower near Guwahati, Assam and Bombay Canteen procures their Black Kavuni Rice from Tamil Nadu. Partner at Mockingbird Cafe, Deepak Purohit added when one of his friends traveled to Assam, he made him aware about variety of rice available there. Black rice there is grown with sustainable methods and are organic.
With more and more inclination of diners towards clean and healthy food, they prefer a food that has least damage to the environment. With the enhanced awareness of food miles and carbon footprint, Diners feel local grown ingredients safer compared to the products coming-in from abroad segments.