Try ordering a regular pizza at your favourite neighbourhood restaurant and you just might be out of luck...
Yes, the humble Margherita has gone mod! With a greater understanding of cultures and foods today's diner craves for the exotic and extreme. This trend has found its way into the culinary world and we find an increasing number of restaurants and hotels relying on the use of expensive, exotic ingredients. So artichokes, truffles and escargots have been part of our foodie vocabulary.
And it's not just the non veggies who are discerning about choice cuts of Brazilian beef and Kobe steak not to mention the influx of Chilean sea bass and John Dory on most upscale restaurant menus.
Even vegetarian diners are spoilt for choice as exotic mushrooms, fruits and veggies get a mention in their culinary repast. A point that bears mention is the trend towards organically farmed ingredients that are costlier but safer to consume because of the lack of fertilizers and the like.
The traditional Indian housewife is barraged by celebrity chefs on various food channels who glibly suggest an asparagus subzi or avocado salad and its fashionable dishes like these that have caught the imagination of a new generation hungry to adapt to new trends - A sea change from the days of dal - roti. Can you imagine a Navratri Bento box? Yes, it exists and has many takers!
Even Indian cuisine has a contemporary twist with celebrity chefs like Vineet Bhatia adding a flavour of fusion to menus in his restaurants. Obviously this trend has many takers. Case in point? The resounding success of Ziya, the Indian restaurant at The Oberoi, Mumbai. Here Michelin -star chef Vineet Bhatia has created an eclectic menu by adding a modern twist to classic Indian dishes. So a Broccoli Khichdi or Paan flavoured white chocolate desert are delightful and well-accepted by the well-educated palette. The menu explores cuisine from several regions of the subcontinent reflecting Chef Bhatia's understanding and passion for fine food and intense flavours. From pungent spice-encrusted scallops with roasted lentil and shallot salsa to lemongrass encrusted foie gras served with sweet green apple chutney it's all a part of this chef's repertoire.
Pizzas, burgers, Indian cuisine the list of traditional fare going mod and gourmet is growing. Is it just a food fad or something more permanent and here to stay? Watch this space.