Food files: Five minutes with award-winning chef Sunil Ghai
The award-winning chef, whose restaurant Pickle opened on Dublin's Camden Street earlier this year, on his hero ingredients and his wife's cooking.
There are plenty of myths and misconceptions about Indian food
It's hot, spicy, oily, rich, and fatty - it is nothing like that. Indian food is not hot but it has loads of spices, not only chilli. What I am doing is trying to break the wall of misconceptions about my food. When it comes to lunch people don't like to go for Indian because they think it's heavy and oily, but in Pickle we do a good trade for lunch and people are very happy - they love the concept.
Spices and Irish lamb are my hero ingredients
My mum has always used the mortar and pestle for grinding the spices and making different chutneys and rubs. That's why I like using it all the time, to get the best flavours from the spices. As they say, without the spices, there is no life. I love using lamb, there is so much to it - the flavours, texture and quality.
I rarely cook at home
Maybe once a month because Leena, my wife, is wonderful at cooking and I always crave it. She makes the best lentils and vegetable pulao.
Awareness in Ireland of regional Indian cooking is getting there
After the opening of Pickle, where our focus is on North Indian cuisine, it has been received very well by locals and they love it. It's a bit of a change for everyone from their usual curry.
Chef Sunil Ghai will appear at the Electrolux Chef's Secrets and Electrolux Taste Theatre at Taste of Dublin, dublin.tastefestivals.com
This month we're...
...Feasting on fish
Afternoon tea gets quite the makeover at The Cliff Townhouse, Dublin, this summer. The usual cake and sandwich offerings are swapped for potted monkfish and poached lobster for the 'Afternoon Sea', which finishes off with lobster bisque instead of tea or coffee. Available June and July, €38pp. theclifftownhouse.com
...Getting coffee-d up
As part of the World of Coffee festival in the RDS, June 23-25, the 16th World Barista Championships are taking place. There will be plenty of competitions, demos and entertainment, all catering for people who love their roasted beans.
Delphi Resort's summer food series continues on June 12 with a seafood evening in conjunction with The Connemara Smokehouse. Taking place at the resort's restaurant, The Chef's Table by Stefan Matz, the evening includes a demo, drinks reception, plus a five-course tasting menu with accompanying wines. It costs €95 per person. delphiresort.com