It is helpful to view chefs from the lens of the art they create - food and its various cooking techniques. Ashirwad Moghe promises to be an experience.
Imagine an intimate setting on a Sunday morning for a few of your closest friends from work, some since childhood - a gentle private mixer for some of your universal favorites. Billy Joel tunes. There could be an aura of a celebration, one of the subtle kinds, a few fairy lights winking in the sun adding character to the plants in your backyard. A large wooden table sits right in the middle, bringing back memories of your summer trip to Nice. “French cuisine is no doubt the mother of all cuisines,” he makes it a point to stress.
His kitchen is resplendent, each element handpicked to be complementary to everything else by the “crazy self disciplined team builder” that he is. Ashirwad is razor sharp not unlike his knives - clean, polished, pristine - ably rising up to every occasion that demands their precision. His is a humble kitchen, modestly stocked with everything that you’d require to make a delicious, filling meal. Herbs sourced from all corners of the world, it is an ode to the rich diversity of flavours. Ever ready stock for the broths and sauces and curries that require it.
For a characteristic him - you would choose ‘braising’ amongst the French techniques, mix a style or two, keep your head down, gently cook the old school way for around 24 hours ensuring the meat that goes in is allowed to blend into what surrounds it. It is phenomenal, the skill required to pull this off right. Bold flavours have to exist with a hint of contrast, for Ashirwad has an assertive personality, that allows him to experiment, learn and communicate effectively. The Indian heritage in spices allow him a deeper perspective on how tastes may or not evolve.
A sprinkle of garnishing but one that never holds parallel to the taste itself, for the food speaks for itself, and the undue fanciness is unnecessary. Ashirwad is a man of integrity, with a firm belief in hard work and that anyone can cook. “Get the basics right and you have won half the battle,” says the man with little patience for frills.
And the results - a preparation that represents humility and is comfortable in its own expertise, handsome and deserving on the table, borrowing from the world’s legacy while staying rooted to one’s origins, having the courage to source the choicest from the mostest.
Written by Sushrut Munje
Photographed by Blake D'Silva