Chef Raphael Szurek
Chef Raphael Szurek

Riddhi Doshi

Chef Szurek impressed his diners from the word go. His simple, yet delicious fare is every bit worth the trip to Mezzo Mezzo, at JW Marriott, Juhu, where he will serve King Crab with Avocado and Grapefruit, Red Snapper with Chorizo, Capsicum and Squid, Miso Roasted Seabass with Ginger and Mushroom Dashi and Leek), Confit Salmon Fillet with Aerated Hollandaise and Celeriac Crumbs, Pumpkin Gnocchi with Red Miso and Toasted Sesame, Carrot and Coconut Velouté with Passion Fruit Sorbet, Organic Farm Beets with Dessert Lime and Davidson Plum Sorbet, Conflict Lamb Shoulder with Eggplant and Romaine, “Surf & Turf” Slow Roasted Chicken with Scampi and Morels amongst many others. Satiate your sweet tooth with handcrafted desserts like Tofu Orange Sanguine, Chocolate and Cherry with milk foam, Pavlova with Passion Fruit and Raspberries until September 28.

Beets

Chatting about his food philosophy, the chef says that he likes to keep it simple. “Simple, good-looking, creative food always wins diners’ hearts,” says the graduate from Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon, Chef Raphael’s cooking style is deeply rooted in his French culture and largely influenced by the ten years he spent in Southeast Asia, working at the three-Michelin-starred Le Grande Vefour under one of the most accomplishes chefs in Paris today, Guy Martin. Szurek also likes to use local ingredients in his food. For the ongoing French food festival, he sourced most ingredients including potato, beetroot, pumpkin, tofu, etc from Mumbai, a city he had never visited earlier. But vouches that the experience – the creativity, the taste, the recipe – is just the same as in Australia. “I don’t change my recipes,” says Szurek. “All the diners from across the world get the same quality of food wherever I go.” He, however, does tend to people’s likes and consideration. For instance, his menu in Mumbai has limited red meat and, of course, no beef. “I think diners all over are always sensitive to good looking dishes and taste. At the end of the day, everyone knows whether a fish is fresh or not.”

What differs though is the service experience. Szurek was surprised to see guests being served at their tables even during breakfast buffets. “In Australia, four chefs cater to 600 rooms and there aren’t too many waiters as the labour is very expensive.” In that sense, Asia is a bit more formal than Australia and Europe. “Back home, the guests will have to wait at the counter and take their food if they have ordered something.”
But that in no way means that the luxury experience is compromised. “I think that when a place gives you something before you ask for it, its luxury,” says Szurek. “They don’t have to overdo it but just be attentive and give you that extra something.”

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