Indefatigable passion

Indefatigable passion

Down foodpath

With immense passion for food and its technical nuances, my journey began as an intern at restaurants that served local and European cuisines in Australia. I turned my passion into profession by completing my diploma de cuisine from Le Cordon Bleu, London. I identify my expertise in modern French as well as British cuisine. I have trained under Michelin star chefs. Later, I started in India with Olive Bar & Kitchen.

My signature dish, slow braised pork belly with figs and grain mustard is inspired by my idol Marco Pierre White and his famous pig trotters. Subsequently, I moved on to Le Bistro du Parc and A Ta Maison (ATM) to set up open and run kitchens. Now, I run Hollybellywhich is a food boutique that provides gourmet catering services for any event with my co-founder and childhood friend Janeya (Khanna). We have a ‘Food by Mood’ concept wherein the menu is not pre-decided and gives the freedom to customise one’s menu according to the occasion and mood. Particularly, we concentrate on French-European inspired meals for a bellyful experience.

Here is a recipe from my kitchen. Pan-seared Mackerel, which is served with pea and mint sauce along with tartare of cucumber, green zucchini, green apple and fresh shaved fennel.


Pan-seared Mackerel

Mackerel 2 filet
Fresh green peas 100 gms 
Mint springs 2
Green apple 1/4th part
Small green zucchini 1
Small Lebanese
cucumber 1
Small bulb of fennel 1
Salt to taste
Double cream 90 ml
Water 50 ml
Olive oil
Butter 1 tbsp


For pea and mint sauce

Put 1/2 tea spoon of butter in a sauté pan. Heat the pan till butter starts boiling. Add peas at this stage and cook them
Add mint sprigs followed by salt and pepper.
Give it a toss and add
Once water has evaporated, add double cream and reduce it down till there is two table spoon worth of cream left.
Blitz this in a blender and cool the puree down. If it is too thick, you can add a splash of water.

For cucumber, apple and zucchini tartare:
Dice the apple, zucchini and cucumber.
Keep them in cold water.
For cooking and assembling the dish:
Heat up a pan with olive oil.
Cook the fish skin side down.
Don’t turn the fish in flesh side.
Put salt and pepper on the skin.
Cook it on low heat.
Heat the sauce in sauce pan.
Pour sauce to cover up the base of a deep plate.
Place the two fillets on top of one another.
Shave fresh fennel on fish for garnish.
Drain tarter of apple, cucumber and zucchini and add salt and pepper as per tartare and place them around the fish.
Bon appetite!

Prep time- 25 mins
Cooking time - 5 mins

Rishi Bhardwaj

As told to Jayashree Narayanan

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