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Chef Anirban Dasgupta, Executive Chef, Hyatt Regency Pune & Residences

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Chef Anirban Dasgupta, executive chef, Hyatt Regency Pune & Residences feels that local ingredients are diverse with respect to seasonality, which makes them a dream to work with

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I have always been a staunch promoter of local ingredients – not just grains and nuts but also fruits and vegetables. They are readily available and are diverse with respect to seasonality, which makes them a dream to work with. With the unfortunate pandemic going on, I believe the local supply chain has also realised its lost value and the farmers are getting their due credit after a long wait.

Curating menus at Hyatt Regency Pune & Residences using local ingredients

There are multiple examples where we use local ingredients in our all day dining, The Café as well as our award-winning one year old Bistro, Zeta. The noteworthy dishes that can make it up to a list are ‘Ambe Mohar’ rice risotto, which is a local variety of rice being used to make risotto. Fresh berries are pickled for use for 2-3 month in Zeta to make Bengali style chutneys, which further adds depth to our world cuisine restaurant.

Another peculiar fact (to many it’s peculiar, to me it’s the way forward) is use of only kadaknath eggs for any egg preparation in Zeta. Fresh local turmeric forms a part of the salad, and the use of local greens for salads are a few examples of how we use indigenous local ingredients at the hotel.

The one local ingredient your kitchen cannot do without

I love greens; it is something that I just cannot live without – be it the microgreens that we grow in our backyard, which adds not only nutrition but also depth to our plates and greens in every form. Salads are a personal weakness and a great addition to any menu, which are forward thinking today. Greens across Pune is abundant due to being blessed with a great weather and we, at the hotel, take complete advantage of the same by putting the finest produce both in terms of quality and varieties – be it the humble spinach to the more niche red spinach to fenugreek to kale to arugula, mizuna, wild rockets and as many varieties of microgreens as possible.

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