One has to be very careful when writing about food.
For starters, everyone is writing about food both online with digital media and offline via print publications. Needless to say, the limited vocabulary accompanying food descriptions is not at all helpful at times.
But a recent food tasting for the upcoming festive season makes one perplexed in finding the right words to rave about the chef behind the food. ‘A rare insightful talent, and breaking new ground with traditional norms’, sounds more like a book jacket on a MAN Booker prize contender, rather than describing food.
On another note, just like installation artists or sculptors who are commissioned to do art pieces, most chefs prefer to let the food speaks for itself. They are often shy, soft-spoken, but nevertheless perfectionistic, which one can see these traits just from food plating alone.
Somewhat the manner of a quiet evangelist would be best describe chef Satish Madaan from Zaffron Kitchen, whom in many ways have helped made Indian cuisine, becoming less and less misunderstood.
With a background made up of 5-star hotels, a prestigious international airline, an elite private equestrian club in Singapore, and culinary awards under his belt, chef Satish has cooked for the ultra high networth jetset crowd and political leaders alike.
Still recovering from the wonders of feeling indelibly inside, Eliteror.Com set out to humbly meditate on the following questions with chef Satish.
You come from a family of chefs, can you tell us how has your upbringing and culinary education influence your cooking style ?
Being from a family of chefs, basic knowledge I have for cooking was very strong, along with the day to day advice and guidance from my father (which was very valuable in the beginning of my professional career) and the subsequent education helped. Later on, I had exposure in the hospitality Industry and had many chances to work with many famous chefs, honed my skill and my technique.
Are there any meat restrictions cooking at home ? How did you overcome these restrictions when you have to use a variety of meats during your culinary training ?
There aren’t any issues, although outside my profession, I choose to be a vegetarian. As a chef, I have to taste everything & try everything.
Some people feel Indian cuisine is misunderstood. What do you think ?
I’ve never came across people who would outright reject Indian cuisine. Indian cuisine is well recognized in the world. Its kebabs and Tandoori Naans are well appreciated by everyone. Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is the most famous Indian cuisine dish in Singapore. Although I would say that they do not have a deep appreciation of the different dishes that come from the different parts of India, and would stick to the dishes that they are comfortable with.
Can you share how you manage to subtract the unhealthy ingredients and yet substitute it with the right spices to maintain the authentic Indian taste at Zaffron Kitchen ?
In Singapore, people prefer to have lighter types of food. So I would replace the use of butter and ghee with a small amount of vegetable oil & olive oil. In terms of getting the spices, I’m very picky and would rather pay more to get better quality spice rather than use sub-standard spices. I get most of my spices from India and when powdered spices are needed, we will have them blended daily. Fresh Ingredients are very important as well and like any good chef, short cuts are not allowed.
Is Zaffron Kitchen more street food style or home cooking style ? How do you create a personal identity on Zaffron Kitchen dishes for a cuisine as wide and diverse ?
Zaffron Kitchen offers wide varieties of Indian cuisine choices that can be found from the streets (simple naan breads) to home cooking like Tandoori cuisine to Chhat dishes and from Curries to authentic desserts like Moong Dal Halwa. The identity we have created is a truly authentically Indian yet with simplicity.
What were the personal preferences of the former President of Singapore, Mr SR Nathan ; and former Deputy Prime Minister Professor Jaya Kumar ?
Mr Jaya Kumar likes to have Prawn Vindalu and Mutton Masala (must be spicy and flavourful). Don’t know about Mr SR Nathan.
What do you eat on your days off ? Why ?
I like to start my day with simple breakfast fruits and milk. I like to try different cuisine food on my day off. Singapore is a good place to try various taste of different cuisines. Italian, Chinese, Japanese and many more. I love trying different cuisine.
About Zaffron Kitchen :
Zaffron Kitchen™ promises the finest of North and South Indian cuisine. Diners can expect favourites like classic butter chicken, old time tandoori grill to Dosai and Roti. Families can be assured that their young kids are entertained at the Children’s corner at Zaffron Kitchen’s™ East Coast outlet. Their latest outlet at Westgate is a full serviced restaurant with bar making it a great place to relax and feast on delicious Indian food. For those looking for a different kind of Christmas, look no further, our Oven Roasted Tandoori Masala Turkey is here! Order one now! Booking starts 15th November.
Christmas Festive Menu @ $70
Oven Roasted Tandoori Masala Turkey
With herbs potato, brussel sprouts and carrots
Accompanied with chestnut stuffing, masala cranberry sauce and caramelized onion and herbs sauce
Christmas Festive Menu @ $35 per person
Butternut Squash Soup
Shahi Turkey Biryani
Turkey breast cubes marinated with yoghurt and freshly ground spices and cooked together with flavourful basmati rice and saffron
Tandoori Turkey Set
Roasted Tandoori turkey served with herbs vegetable, chestnut filling and raisin pilaf
Blueberry chocolate sliced cake
Masala bread and butter pudding