By Joy Chakravarty
Dubai, Aug 3 | Rohit Ghai, one of the hottest Indian chefs on the planet, is all set to tickle the palate of millions at the Expo 2020 Dubai later this year when he brings his signature creations like Truffle Mushroom Khichudi, Masala Malabar Prawns and a whole lot more from ‘Kutir’, his acclaimed restaurant in Chelsea, London.
An alumnus of the Institute of Hotel Management, Gwalior, Ghai became one of the fastest Indian chefs to win a Michelin star – awarded in 2016 within 10 months of the opening of Leela Groups’s Jamavar in London.
He will be part of more than 20 award-winning chefs representing Michelin star restaurants, who have been invited to Dubai’s much-anticipated six-month extravaganza, to be held from October 1 to March 31, 2022.
In less than three years of its opening, Ghai’s ‘Kutir’ has become a standout in the crowded London food scene, lauded for its bursting flavours, creativity and presentation. The authentic, yet experimental, menu of the restaurant is inspired by the royal tradition of hunting expeditions in the forests and jungles of the Indian countryside.
After stints at the Taj and Oberoi properties, Ghai moved to London in 2008 and was the sous chef at Atul Kochhar’s ‘Benares’. He is now on the verge of opening his new restaurant in London called ‘Manthan’ in Mayfair area.
In an interview to the Great Btirish Chef, Ghai revealed the inspiration behind Kutir.
“The restaurant is based on the hunting lodges of India. I’ve done a few projects in London before, but I always look to bring something new and refreshing to the city as people are so open to trying foods they haven’t had before,” said Ghai.
“When I was part of the team at Oberoi Hotels in India I helped to launch a luxury lodge in the heart of the forest, and that’s what inspired me to do something similar in London. It was perfect – we didn’t want to open a big restaurant so we could really focus on the food and have staff talk customers through some of the more unknown dishes.”
Foodism magazine said Ghai’s “Kutir proves he’s still very much at the forefront of contemporary Indian dining in London”.
Among other chefs and restaurants who have been invited are African-Japanese fusion specialist Mory Sacko, whose Mosuke restaurant was awarded a Michelin star after only two months, and ‘Gypsy Chef’ David Myers, who will combine classic American fast food with an international influence at Adrift Burger Bar.
Armenian-American chef, Geoffrey Zakarian brings The National Bar & Dining Rooms – his vision of a grand cafe, while Matthew Kenney will present his renditions of American, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours as he brings three plant-based restaurant concepts from the US.
Apart from the many well-known Dubai restaurants, visitors can experience internationally-acclaimed restaurants, including Italian Scarpetta, which will launch its first-ever Burrata Bar at the Expo, and David Thompson’s renowned Thai street food chain Long Chim, which means ‘come and taste’ in Thai.
Marjan Faraidooni, Chief Visitor Experience Officer, Expo 2020, said: “It’s universally agreed that one of the best ways to discover a country is by sampling its cuisine, and at Expo 2020, visitors are able to eat their way around the world without leaving the United Ara Emirates.
“Expo 2020 will be a dining destination in its own right, featuring some of the world’s most celebrated chefs, as well as up-and-coming homegrown concepts seeking to make their mark on the international food scene.”
The Expo 2020 Dubai will feature more than 200 food and beverage outlets.