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June 23, 2024

A Scottish degustation with Gary Maclean

Arushi Sakhuja 
The culinary scene in Delhi is ever-evolving. Chefs from overseas often visit India to showcase their exemplary gastronomic skills that pay homage to the cuisine of their country of origin. Gary Maclean, Scotlands national chef Gary Maclean is holding an exclusive dinner pop-up at Roseate House New Delhi over two days 17 and 18 March. The lavish menu features his signature dishes and the rendezvous with the Scottish Masterchef Gary Maclean will be unforgettable.
Chef Gary Maclean
Photo Courtesy: The Roseate House
Chef Gary Maclean, has been at the heart of the Scottish hospitality industry for 35 years. He is the Executive Chef at the City of Glasgow College for over 25 years and is also a fellow of the Master Chefs of Great Britain and the International Institute of Hospitality Management, India. However, his sustainable seafood restaurant called Creel Caught and a Scottish Deli called Soup & Caboodle in Edinburgh are worth a visit.
For the upcoming special dinner at Roseate House, a lot of thought has gone into curating the five-course meal menu that would appeal to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian guests. The non-vegetarian menu consists of a ‘Trio of Salmon with hot smoked, poached and cured Celeriac Apple Slaw and Tikka Masala Dressing as the starter, ‘Cullen Skink, which is one of Scotlands most famous dishes, as the Intermediate and ‘Roast Saddle of Lamb with mini Bridie, green vegetables, lamb fat potatoes, mushrooms and Arran Mustard Sauce as the main course. The vegetarian menu features ‘Spiced Baby Carrot, Coriander Tart Carrot and Apricot Puree as the starter, ‘Mushroom, Potato and Lentil Salad as the Intermediate and ‘Roast Celeriac Pearl Barley with Root Vegetables, Pickled Shallots and Dill Vinaigrette Scottish Pakora as the main course.
To end the meal, the chef has chosen a dish close to his heart, from his MasterChef back catalogue – the iconic  ‘Shortbread with apple, vanilla and heather honey dome with compressed and pureed apples, apple sorbet and crème fraiche.’ Being one of his best-known dishes, it has been served all over the world, including Number 10 Downing Street for the Prime Ministers Burns Supper celebrations. The specially curated dinner, paired tastes best when paired with a fine selection of wine.
Ahead Luxebook spoke to Chef Gary Maclean to know more about his food journey and the collaboration.
You’ve been helmed for your work on Masterchef and 10 downing street, what brought you to India?
The thing is, I have visited India a lot. I have been involved in the Young Chef Olympiad for a number of years, firstly being Coach of Scotland, and latterly, the last couple of years being a Senior Judge. On this occasion, I am here doing pop-up dinners and sharing Scottish food and culture.
What’s so unique about the menu prepared for Roseate, House New Delhi?
What I wanted to do with the menu was I wanted to give people a little taste of Scotland. I have brought a number of ingredients from Scotland with us. We’re using Scottish gin, and Scottish salmon. I’m smoking local fish in a Scottish style with whiskey barrel chips. I’ve got lamb on the menu, which is really well-known in Scotland. I’m also marrying that with Aaron mustard sauce. And I’ve got a dessert on the menu that is really special. It’s a dessert that I actually did on Master Chef. It helped me get to the final, and helped me win Master Chef. And it’s a dish that I’ve done all over the world. Two weeks ago, did it in Chicago. I’ve done it at Number Ten Downing Street. I’ve done it for loads and loads and loads of different events around the world. I’m finishing that with a Scottish macaroon and tablet. These are two little sweeties that are really famous in Scotland. The vegetarian options are the same. I’m using things like pearl barley. We’re pickling shallots. We’re using loads of mushrooms. So there’s loads and loads of things on there that really sort of showcase Scotland.
In the menu you have combined Indian flavours with global ingredients, name some of the unique dishes created.  
That’s, in fact, very, very true. I have married a lot of different Indian flavours and spices. I have a real love for Indian food. It’s an incredible, historic and mind-bogglingly cuisine and I just love experimenting with it. I’ve got things like tika masala dressing with a trio of salmon. Tika masala was actually invented by an Indian chef in Glasgow in the 1960s, so it’s fun to bring that back. I’m also bringing seaweed from Scotland. And again, that’s quite a unique ingredient and really makes things different. It changes the flavour. I’m using loads of spice, coriander, chili, and masala. I’ve actually got Pacora on the menu as well as part of a garnish for the vegetarian minkos as well. So it’s fun and I think people are going to.
Chef Gary Maclean, tell us about the inspiration behind the new menu.
The actual inspiration behind the menu comes from lots of different ways. I’m very, very conscious of where I am in the world, so I am making a classic Scottish soup called Cullen skink. Cullen skink is normally made with smoked haddock. It’s a really famous soup and comes from the village of the fishing village of Cullen. We’re going to make a deli skink. I’ve smoked some river so with whiskey barrel chips. And again, the inspiration has really been Scotland. But bearing in mind that we have an Indian audience, we have the opportunity to play with the base and some of the memories of ending food from my childhood.
What are some of the signature dishes and cooking techniques we can expect to find on the menu?
There are a number of dishes here that I have done for a long time. I mentioned the dessert shortbread, a shortbread with an apple dome. And we’re having that with apple sore, bee and pureed apples. And again, this is one from the back catalogue that I’ve used for a number of years. I’m particularly pleased with the vegetarian menu that I’ve written. That combination of flavour and texture, and it’s really just celebrating the amazing edge that’s available at this time of year. So we’re really working hard on that and making sure we’ve got lots of flavour techniques. We’re using a lot of whole spices. We’re using vinegar. We’re using honey. So we’re using lots of different flavours that really, really enhance some beautiful vegetables.
It is imperative to tie together visual appeal and flavour when it comes to a dining experience. And for you, a lot of emphasis is on the plating. How do you do this and why is plating so important for you?
When people dine out, I think presentation probably comes thud in the list. I think you’ve got to first and foremost, you’ve got to look at flavour and texture and temperature as well, is in there. Things should be at the correct temperature. And food, I think, for the most part, it should just look natural on a plate. I don’t think you should be messing about it too much. And maybe with the exception of desserts, I think you’ve got the option to show off and really entice people, to get them over that line to have a dessert. I think a lot of people when they’re out, want to maybe learn something when they have a dessert or have something that is quite unique and balanced to the rest of the menu.
Chef Gary Maclean
Photo Courtesy: The Roseate House
When did you discover your love for cooking chef Gary Maclean?
I actually discovered my love for food and cookery at a very, very young age. I was about twelve. I used to mess about at home with no idea at all what I was doing. And I’ve got a very typical story of a lot of chefs. I was absolutely rubbish at school. I didn’t really apply myself too well, but I loved home economics. I had a very, very good home economics teacher, and she said to me one day, why don’t you become a chef? And that was me. As soon as I found the word chef, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. So I started cooking at the age of 15 and I’ve literally never looked back. And I’ve now been cooking for 35 years.
How difficult/easy it is for you to cater to Indian taste buds?
I think from what I’ve heard on my travels over the many, many times have been tender. I hear a lot of people who’ve travelled to the UK or the US. And the term bland comes in quite a lot. And I think cooking in India, you get that opportunity to really up the ante on flavour. And that’s the way, the way I’m going to do it. But I’m also going to tell the story of food. For the guests that are attending the dinners, I want them to know the sort of story and the philosophy behind the food. And for me, it’s family, it’s history, it’s memories and things like that. So hopefully we can try and get that across as well as people enjoying the food.
Chef Gary Maclean, what excites you about cooking in India?
I just love India. I’ve been lucky to have been to India six times. And each and every time I’ve been here, I’ve been involved in food. India, as I’ve described it to my friends that haven’t been here, India is an assault on every single sense in your body, the smell, the taste, the feel. And everywhere you look in India, there’s something going on. There’s something to see. There’s something exciting that is happening. It’s a really different culture from where I grew up, and I love coming here. I learn a lot, and I think that the biggest excitement for me here is the people. People are amazing human beings, and I love spending time and India speaking to people and learning from people.
Date: 17 and 18 March
Timings: 7:30 PM onwards
Venue: The Ballroom, Roseate House, Aerocity, Hospitality District, Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi
Price: INR 12,000 AI per couple
For reservations: 9990769558, 9910748050
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Arushi Sakhuja

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