Foodie adventures On Invitation

Pizza Hut - Chef's Table

Wednesday, October 13, 2010Me! In words

Ruth had gone to Mangalore with Anoushka and I was left home alone. The silence in the house was deafening. If there is one thing I hate to do alone- it is eating. So when Ruth told me about the invitation to the Chef's Table at Pizza Hut at Forum Mall, Koramangala I felt helpless and happy at the same time. I was happy I was getting to eat and helpless coz I hate to do this without Ruth. So I tagged along my cousin, Reshma as partner in crime.

The Chef's Table is a series of get togethers by Pizza Hut to showcase, share and celebrate some recipes using fresh, flavorful and natural ingredients. Chef Arjyo Banerjee gave a live demo on how to prepare the perfect pasta, the different kinds of pastas, tips on prep, cuts and marination, etc. It was interactive and informative. As soon as we entered we were shown to our table (which luckily was right in the front!!) and the Chef came and introduced himself. After a brief introduction on his journey as a Chef and Pizza Hut we got down to business. As welcome drinks we were given Frozen Mojito and Lime and Ginger Cooler and an entree of Nachos made of thin crust pizza base and sour cream dip.

Frozen Mojito

Lime and Ginger Cooler

Pizza base Nachos and Sour Cream dip

The menu for the day was laid in front of us. Starters was HUT Potato Shells, Chicken'n' Cheese Tortillas, Jamaican Jerk Spiced Chicken Skewers and Cheese 'n' Jalapeno Poppers. The chef did a demo on how simple it was to prepare the Potato Shells and Tortillas. The recipe is for the HUT potato shells is way too simple to be kept a secret!! Power boil potatoes, scoop out the insides a little, bake it for 5 mins at about 200 degrees, stuff it with... just about anything, top it with some cheddar, bake it again for about 6-8 minutes at 200 degrees. IT IS THAT SIMPLE!!! The skewered chicken was tender. The tortillas almost tasted like another thin crust pizza. The drink served with this course was Very Berry Daiquiri, a strawberry based drink. The drink was sweet and the strawberry flavor was quiet evident. I wouldn't put this drink along with starters though as the flavor tends to linger.

HUT Potato Shells and
Jamaican Jerk Spiced Chicken Skewered

Cheese'n'Jalapeno Poppers and
Chicken'n'Cheese Tortillas

Very Berry Daiquiri

After this came the main event- The Main Course. Chef Banerjee demonstrated two types of pastas. One was the Aglio Olio with seasonal vegetables and penne and the other was Basil cream with herbed chicken and fettuccine. These pastas were made in the Tuscan style of cooking. It uses fresh ingredients and simple style of cooking. Apart from showing us how these were prepared he also gave a lot of important tips on the proper way to treat a pasta. I will share a few here-
  • DO NOT use oil while boiling pastas. It prevents the sauce from clinging to the pasta. They have to be constantly stirred while boiling so that the starch released does not stick to the pasta. This makes it gooey.
  • DO NOT Throw away bones of chicken or any other meat being used in pastas. Use it to make the stock which can be used later in the sauce.
  • DO NOT add salt to the meat while marinating it.
  • Vegetable must be cut to compliment the shape of the pasta.
  • Plain pastas like the spaghetti and fettuccine should be made with lighter and thinner sauce and pastas like the ridged penne and Fusillii must be used in creamier sauce as it sticks to these pastas better.
  • DO NOT chop the basil fine as it might get fried in the oil and loose its flavor
The Aglio Olio was light and colorful. It had all the three bell peppers. It was a riot of colors and taste. The basil cream pasta had chicken marinated in herbs and lime juice. A little sugar was added to the marinade so that the meat caramelizes while grilling. The sauce consisted of the juices from the aubergine and tomatoes, fresh cream and white wine. The chicken was double cooked- once alone and the second time with the sauce. But the clincher in the taste was the chicken stock made from the chicken bones prepared earlier. In spite of the fresh cream the sauce was light and not thick and gooey or cheese as you would expect. Cheese was a common factor in both the pastas.  Grape Sangria cooler was the drink served with this course and blended perfectly well.

Aglio Olio with seasonal vegetables and penne

Basil cream pasta with herbed chicken and fettuccine

Grape Sangria Cooler

The session finally rounded off with the dessert which was Choco Chip Cookie Sundae. This was not the run of the mill choco chip cookies you get. Here the dough is baked along with chocolate chips and the result is a soft and fluffy cake like dessert served in a hot pan with vanilla ice cream and chocolate cigar. It stays soft and fluffy as long as it is hot and as it cools down it gets harder and feels like the cookie you originally thought it was. A perfect drink that came with it was the Hazelenut Coffee Shake. It can't go wrong here!!

Choco Chip Cookie

Hazelnut Coffee Shake

Pizza Hut has most of the coolers on offer right now and is working on introducing more pastas soon. I left with a full stomach and eyes wide open. The restaurant remained closed to other customers through out the session. Staff was attentive and polite and were very much a part of the show as was the chef and his assistant. Can't wait for another one of these sessions soon!!

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