We catch up with Ajay Athawale, the new fusion chef at the Gulf Hotel’s award-winning restaurant, Fusions
Time Out Bahrain staff
What is fusion cooking? The meaningful marriage of cuisines.
What’s a good fusion dish, then? For me the best example is cod, which is a mild and delicate fish, with teriyaki sauce. And you can serve this with either Asian noodles or pasta.
What’s the main difference between Western and Asian cuisine? When a westerner orders salmon, they want to taste the salmon. When an Asian person orders something, the meat or fish is just another ingredient – it is the entire dish they focus on, not the individual ingredients.
The menu in Fusions is pretty extensive. It must be difficult to enter a restaurant like this and become a master of every dish. It is all about confidence. Without that, you can’t walk into any restaurant as a chef. This confidence comes from experience; I have spent nearly 14 years in the culinary industry.
What food is fashionable in Bahrain right now? Thanks to people becoming increasingly health conscious, seafood is becoming ever more popular here.
Yikes! That’s not a good thing! There are no fish left in the sea! You’re in a position of responsibility here. Do you encourage people to eat fish? Well, I’m a big fan of green cooking, but fish is very healthy. What we try to do is get our fish from sustainable sources. If someone requests, say, blue fin tuna, then it is my responsibility to suggest an alternative.
What should people be eating more of? People should be eating more game, rabbits for example.
No! They’re so cute! That’s what they all say, but rabbit meat is very mild and they grow so easily and so fast, you can grow rabbits anywhere in world. People should be more dependent upon them. They should be the new chicken.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten? Crocodile, snake, but my favourite’s coconut worm.
When will you be putting coconut worms on the menu? Sadly, they’re difficult to get here.
What’s your top tip for those in the kitchen? Cooking is all about temperature. Get the temperature right and the dish will be a success. Make a reservation on 17 746 427