Thursday, October 23, 2008

Does London Have the Best Indian Food ?

Better quality meat, fish and vegetables could very well put London ahead of any Indian city when it comes to high end Indian food. World renowned London-based Michelin star Indian chef, Atul Kochhar and the owner of the Benares Restaurant, a high-end Indian restaurant in the exclusive Mayfair area of central London said India needed to reform and reorganise its farming industry, so consumers and caterers had reliable access to fresh produce.

Watch out - be warned! Chefs in India could lose their cutting edge in preparing top quality Indian food to chefs in London.

Atul Kochhar is one of the few Michelin star Indian chefs. He warns that if India's farming industry is not reorganised - London will become the center of Indian cuisine in terms of quality.

It's not because of lack of good skill, or lack of good spices. It's purely because of lack of excellent ingredients. India doesn't have excellent ingredients in terms of fish, meat or vegetables, he says. Back in 2001 Kochhar became the first Indian chef to be awarded the highly coveted Michelin star. Kochhar is looking to return to India and open up restaurants. His biggest worry however is getting a regular supply fresh food.

The lamb farming has to be niche. The vegetable farming has to be amazingly good. All those things are there, but there is no organized effort in India he says

It wont be surprising that more Indian chefs will be awarded Michelin stars in the near future as the reputation of the Indian chefs in the city are growing.

There are more people conducting business with Indians. They are trying to understand the culture and cuisine better now and hence the recognition.

Kochhar says the corner curry house which churns unique English scorchers such as 'chicken tikka masala', or 'balti chicken' - are on the decline. It in fact, was never an authentic cuisine. I call that British Indian food - because that's how brutish people liked it. That's why they were cooking it and thats why it went on for so long. The curry house will always be part of the British landscape

Incredibly there are 1000 plus new restaurants that open every year in Britain, more than any other kind of business, unfortunately around 850 to 900 close within a year. It’s a dream that every couple has entertained. Why? Because secretly they all think that it’s so simple and that they could do it.

They think that as they know the mindset and what people like to eat, what they only wanted is the money and the opportunity.

Friday, October 3, 2008

'Shank town' brings in the cleaners to drive crime off the streets

A neighbourhood nicknamed "shank town" after a spate of stabbings is to adopt New York's approach to fighting crime.

Enfield council is using the "broken windows" theory in Edmonton in the hope it will halt killings, robberies and anti-social behaviour.

Scores of street cleaners, jet washers and environmental crime officers are carrying out a deep clean and fining litterers this week as part of the drive to make the area safer.

The thinking behind their strategy is that a problem ignored, even one as apparently minor as a broken window, sends out a signal that disorder is tolerated - encouraging more serious crime and vandalism.