Atul Kochhar: the British palate is changing
When Indian food first invaded the British Isles it took a long time for the nation’s palate to develop, distinguish and welcome the exotic blend of spices offered throughout Indian cuisine. The British now consume curry as part of their average diet and with over 15,000 Indian restaurants across Britain and over one billion pounds a year spent on Indian food, it’s simple to see why many joke that curry is now the national dish.
Far from consuming the watered down Anglisized versions of Indian food that first invaded the country, restaurants now offer a wide range of authentic dishes from all over India. Food presented to discerning palates that are finally starting understand and appreciate the vast difference on offer when it comes to Indian cuisine.
As the Indian born chef Atul Kochhar who owns the Benares restaurant in London says, “Attitude towards Indian food have changed quite a lot – the last ten years or so British people have travelled a lot more to India…people are recognising there is really is nothing called Indian food and that it’s very very tribal, a very region orientated cuisine. British people have slowly started to understand this and people are now constantly questioning whether they’re eating Punjabi food, Gujarati, Kerala food or Tamil food.”
Kochhar is known for his part in elevating Indian cuisine to a Michelin standard and bringing the food of his homeland to new heights. He was one of the first Indian chefs in London to get a Michelin star and he’s has flown the flag for authentic Indian cuisine throughout his career, vocally disagreeing with restaurants who toned down authentic tradition to please British palates. The chef now spends much of his time in London and India and says he has slowly noticed a shift in how the British appreciate foods from different parts of his country.
Continue reading the article by Ryan King at http://www.finedininglovers.com/stories/interview-with-atul-kochhar/