How lucky are we to be living in Chennai? It is a question that I find myself asking over and over again. Excellent weather, amazing food, fantastic people, great connectivity with the rest of Asia and not to mention, so much history right on your doorstep.
Last Friday I was asking that same question to my wife. We were sat in the Hyatt Regency on Anna Salai and watching an Italian chef from Milan prepare pasta dishes like casoncelli and square spaghetti, especially for us. How lucky is that? I lived in London for six years, the closest I ever got to authentic Italian food was Pizza Hut on a Saturday night.
“You like gnocchi?” Chef Mauro asked my wife, “I will make gnocchi ravioli for you now.” And he did.
“Oh, we must go to Italy!” my wife exclaimed as she took a mouthful of gnocchi ravioli.
Since coming to Chennai last year, Chef Mauro has earned himself a reputation as being the Drama Chef in the kitchens. It’s in his Italian blood after all. We were invited to come and try out his new menu where the pasta would be freshly prepared in front of you by the Drama Chef himself.
We were trying out the tasting menu which consisted of eight dishes plus dessert. Eight dishes of pasta? There was no way I’d be able to finish it all, I thought. However, it turns out that when pasta is freshly made with the simplest of ingredients, it doesn’t leave you with a bloated feeling at all.
After plating up each dish, Chef Mauro shows off the square spaghetti and broccoli.
The crispy fried mozzarella balls were absolutely delicious. Also on the starter menu was mushrooms in a truffle oil – so good that my wife went back for seconds.
The pasta was unlike any type of pasta I had eaten before. If you watch the video at the start of the article, he shows how he makes the pasta below and what makes it so special. 200 spinach leaves go into the pasta as well as exact amounts of durum wheat and egg. It gives it a slightly harder texture when it’s al dente.
There was barely enough room for dessert after eight courses. “Please just bring us one dessert.” My wife pleaded. Chef Mauro gave her a look, I don’t know if it was disbelief or disappointment – but it added a touch of drama to the evening! I also had to jump in and insist that we could only finish one dessert between us. I’m so glad I did, because I don’t think I’d have been able to finish the meringue and frozen mango smoothie by myself!
And here’s the team of chefs led by Chef Mauro that will be preparing your dishes while you watch!
About the Drama Chef food Festival
The Drama Chef menu allows you to create your own pasta dishes and have them freshly prepared for you in front of you. Select your pasta, your sauce, meat and vegetables and watch the whole thing come together. The food festival is on for the remainder of the week until 30th July. Reservation is recommended because the Focaccia restaurant is very popular and fills up quickly even on week nights.
HYATT REGENCY CHENNAI
365 Anna Salai, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600018, India
Tel: +91 44 61001234
Mob: +91 9176633310