A platter of delicacies and memories

A platter of delicacies and memories

It was a cold evening when Chef Gregor Pfaff, the Corporate Pastry Chef at The Lalit Ashok Bangalore, decided to present a delicious spread of dishes to a few food lovers at the Oko restaurant. 

The German chef has been working with The Lalit Group for the past three years and has been travelling around the country managing the hotels. Recently, he brought together the head chefs of the hotel and curated a menu where they paired some of the signature dishes with wine for the guests. The menu included everything from an amuse-bouche of ‘Water chestnut dry fruits and sweet soy caviar’ to a ‘Champagne ice cream, white chocolate, tomato passion fruit basil gazpacho’ dessert. 

Talking about the selection of menu, Gregor says, “The idea was to bring out something that each chef could showcase and also add them in the menu later on. We paired each dish with a wine to go along with it as well.” 

Before Gregor’s shift to India, he was living in different parts of Asia and working with some great restaurants. He says, “I’ve moved around Asia — to places like Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Maldives etc —  for the past 20 years as part of my job. Coming to India wasn’t such a big problem for me as I’ve been here in  1999 as well. However, things have definitely changed a lot since then.” 

He recalls how the country wasn’t as developed as now and  about the difficulty in finding ingredients here. He is happy that things have a better connectivity here as he can be more innovative with his recipes. However, he complains that he doesn’t get the same flavour for the game meat when he tries to cook them here. He says, “It tastes better in Germany.” 

Although Gregor says he was born and brought up in a small town called Triberg in Germany, he left to find a better career when he became an adult. And does he miss home? “Home for anyone is a place they like to go back to and remember what it was like. But in my case, it’s completely different. I left the country many years ago; I would associate with Asia a lot more than I do with my hometown,” he shares. 

He may travel around the world a lot for his work, but his heart stays back in Thailand as his wife and six-year-old son reside there.

“I go home every three months to meet them and go on a small vacation with them as well. It would be nice if they could travel with me but I don’t want to leave them in a hotel room while I go to work,” he says. 

When asked what he likes to do during his free time, he laughs and says, “I honestly don’t get any free time. It’s requires a lot of time to look after so many hotels around the country. But, if luck allows,  I like going to the mountains inSrinagar or go for a swim in Goa. But these are almost impossible to wish for.” 

With his years of experience in the country, he says that it’s beautiful place to be at as it has a lot of different cultures, buildings and rich heritage to share. When he goes back, he hopes to take a bag full of memories.

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