I am a British born Punjabi (Punjabi’s originate from Northern India) and for us life is all about indulgences, living large, ‘go on, have one more bite’. So for the first 20 years of my life, that is exactly what we did. Families coming together around our dining table in Hounslow (West London), feasting on foods where recipes have been carefully passed down from generation to generation.
Our family LIVES FOR FOOD. We ate in Dhabas in Southall (little India), numerous hole-in-the-wall Indian and Pakistani restaurants. Full to the brim with authenticity and laced with aroma’s of channa bhattura and jalebi’s, Southall brought every sense alive. We also did the ‘chi-chi’ thing once in a while, getting all dollied-up, we would go to the Bombay Brasserie and enjoy sophisticated fares whilst engaging in serious ‘people watching’. Food was always a real family affair. Many Saturday mornings, I would wake up to see a production line in my kitchen with my aunts marinating all kinds of meat for our tandoor, my mum making samosas from scratch and my nanima (maternal grandma) frying them whilst orchestrating the activities of everyone else.
And then it was time for me to grow up and off I went to study in Florence (Italy) and Poitiers (France). I showed up with a suitcase full of clothes and hope but devoid of any personal life experiences. I was excited and yet insecure but most of all I wanted my Mum. I had no idea that the most amazing culinary journey of my life would start to unravel. Tuscan, French, North African, my palate was expanding. But eating is ultimately a spectator’s sport. I realized, I wanted to be in the game!! I wanted to know what was behind the magic of these culinary delights.
This brings me to ‘Globetrotter’. Today we are all touched by food from all over the world and now there is no turning back. We know too much and rather than reserving that moment to a restaurant reservation, let’s keep it alive and bring it home. Come with me on this journey where we take French techniques to India, marry Thai flavors to flavors of Peru and other such wonderful combinations. Why separate them when the one common denominator around the world is people coming together with their shared love of great food.