Chef Tony Howell gives Delhiites a taste of why he's among Australia's feted masters. JW Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity and All Things Nice moved calendars around to get him to India. And he didn't disappoint. There's a reason he's Tourism Australia’s Culinary Brand Ambassador and the face of ‘Restaurant Australia'.
It was kinda nice when Heston Blumenthal and Rene Redzepi ate at my restaurant.
His roster is impressive: he's worked with the grandees in the profession like Heston Blumenthal and Rene Redzepi. “It's kinda nice when they ate at my restaurant.” He holds out his arm and rubs it, awed and a little incoherent even now when he relates his experience with them. “My hair just stood up. Very nice to cook for them. It's little bit of pressure. I did a kangaroo tile and I did a stew in a pot like you do in the bush. Traditionally you have a pot and a fire you put the lid on. When they had it they said 'what is it?' It's kangaroo stew I said. And it grabbed them, it really grabbed them.”
With accolades and several awards under his belt, his success lies in giving equal importance to a dinner for his friends and a fine dining experience for the city's connoisseurs. Like all chefs, he's particular about fresh and seasonal produce. “For a dinner with intimates,” he says. “I'd go all the way the get fresh catch and source the best ingredients just as I would for a contingent of delegates. The difference would only be in the scale.”
Australian cuisine is mostly gamy
Modern Western Australian it is. But the menu is cosmopolitan. Australia is home to numerous nationalities and its cuisine is understandably inspired by the flavours of many. Hard pushed to respond to what is typical Australian and especially Western Australian, Chef Tone as he's called affectionately, says, “Australian cuisine is mostly gamy, but there are all those influences.” So of course there's Australian lamb loin on the menu.” He carried special ingredients all the way for his quick trip to Mumbai and Delhi but was reluctant to share special tricks, finally hinting there's a marin cracker on the tortellini.
The dessert has chocolate – of course. But the red wine ice cream is the winner of the evening. With no dairy in it, that could be a misnomer. A rose by any other name.... whatever you'd like to call it...it slides down. with mellow hints of wine in its make up.