I still remember my college days when I first visited La Piazza with my parents. Back in the days, I was neither into writing about food nor did I know much about the restaurants that existed in Delhi. But there was something about this Trattoria styled fine diner at Hyatt Regency Delhi that in the first visit itself I knew that this place undeniably served the best Italian in town.
Ingredients play a pivotal role in cooking good food. Thanks to La Piazza, that living in Delhi, we were introduced to such fine quality of meats, Mozarella cheese, Parmesan Cheese, Balsamic Vinegar etc. I had been to Italy during my school days and probably that’s the reason why I understood that the ingredients used here are legit.
Chef Hermann Grossbichler, though an Austrian, is a genius in Italian cuisine. He was in charge of La Piazza’s kitchen when this award winning restaurant opened its doors for the first time in 1994. He has worked in Hyatt kitchens at Auckland (New Zealand), Pusan (Korea), Kota kinabalu (Malaysia) as well as in Manila (Philippines), Guam, Nongbo (China), Mumbai and now Kochi. I really could not have missed the opportunity of attending his Masterclass that was happening on 16th Feb’ 19 so the inner child in me was jumping with joy when I received an invitation for the same. At this workshop at Hyatt Regency Delhi, I learnt that the beauty Italian cooking lies in simplicity. Most of the Italian cooking (except Pizza) is still done using pots and pans, and they have minimal dependency on modern equipments. Chef Grossbichler could not point out even a single thing that has changed in La Piazza’s kitchen since the last 25 years.
Assisting Chef Grossbichler was Chef Alessandro Sandroloni who is the Executive Sous Chef at La Piazza. The dishes that we learnt to cook were:
Grilled Pear and Fig Salad which derived la ot of flavours from arugula, baby lettuce, cherry tomatoes, walnuts, pine nuts, gorgonzola crumble and white balsamic.
Spaghetti Puttanesca, my favourite, which consists of a very simple tomato sauce but prepared with intense ingredients like anchovies, capers and garlic.
Aqua Pazza Seabass, where the fish is pan fried at 90 degrees Centigrade with cherry tomatoes, white wine, fish stock, parsley, capers, garlic, red chilli and parsley.
Dolci, the Vanilla Bean Balsamic Ice Cream served with fresh strawberries, Italian liquor Limoncello and fresh mint leaves.
Hyatt is among the very few 5 star hotels in the capital that take their food very seriously. Apart from learning, we had some crackling fun at the workshop. All our curious questions were answered by the Chefs and since I love to cook Italian food I enjoyed it to the core.