In today’s time, we rarely get to witness the “brothers in arms” scenario in reality. But, you can very well observe it at Alto Vino, JW Marriott Hotel Pune, located at Senapati Bapat Road where in-house Italian chefs, Chef DeCuisine Christian Huber and his twin brother Chef Andreas Huber will be doling out their speciality dishes. The unique food event, The Twin Festival, is aptly tagged ‘Similar Food with Two Distinct Individualities’ and has the twins creating the same dishes and drinks but, lending their own twists in two distinct styles.
The twin chefs belong to Italy’s Alpine region. Upon asking them about this whole concept, Christian says, “In the twin dishes, the key ingredients will be the same but we will give two flavours.” Andreas gives example from the fact that despite being twins, they have never worn the same kind of clothes. So, this is their way of seeing how the difference comes out in terms of food. “We cook what is available to us and not something which has to be brought from some place else. For example, we use a lot of Kiwi fruit as that grows abundantly across the Italian mountains. I need to know what we can find and use here, during this fest. For example, the asparagus we use back home is the white one. But, it’s very expensive when exported. So, we use the green one, available here”, he adds. Having said that, Christian gave the Green Asparagus dish a twist by adding pear and chilli salsa while Andreas gave the same a touch of fontina and walnut cream. Isn’t that amazing?
When one travels to Italy, it would be great to eat at a place where the locals eat, rather than the touristy joints. According to Christian, the tourist joints will have food catered to their tastes. “Eat as it comes and experiment” is what he suggests.
With the mention of their Alpine background, we really wanted to know what kind of dishes, products and spices are the mainstay of this region. Andreas mentioned that the region has a rich kitchen. “To survive the colds in winter, you need something rich or you won’t be strong to work. You have pork, potatoes, meats which give power, sausages, cottage cheese and speck which is a specially cured ham and even cabbages which are fermented. In spices, you have juniper, rosemary, bay leaf and thyme”, he says. Christian adds that dishes with cabbage, especially the red variety, star aniseed and oranges are also found.
Needless to sat, Italian cuisine is a favourite among Indians. Christian, who is based in Pune for the last three and a half years, feels that slowly and gradually, people here are getting used to authentic Italian food. Andreas corroborates this and adds that people coming to attend this festival can come and ask things. They are willing to explain.
Christian has made a lot of observations about the Indian travellers going to Italy and coming back with knowledge about food. He feels, they come back with a load of information and have ordered all the wrong stuff. He suggests that when one travels to Italy, it would be great to eat at a place where the locals eat, rather than the touristy joints. According to him, the tourist joints will have food catered to their tastes. “Eat as it comes and experiment” is what he suggests.
Food cooked at home is everybody’s favourite but Christian admits to being a big fan of Tuscan food as he has also lived there. “I love the rabbit dish, cheeses and cold cuts. The pork is amazing there, especially the salamis. I also like wild boar”, he says. Andreas too loves the plain simple pasta from back home, apart from dumplings and speck. “I love Pasta Bolognaise. That’s my favourite”, he says.
Try the food at the Twin Festival at Alto Vino, JW Marriott Hotel Pune, on Senapati Bapat Road till February 22. The price ranges from Rs 550 to Rs 2750 plus taxes and the special meals will be available at dinner timings, between 7pm to 11.30pm. For reservations, call 91-20-66833333.