The modern menu and the men behind it: Goutham Balasubramanian

They’re known to transform the staid to the splendid, ordinary to the extraordinary and all this with complete panache and finesse. They can go to extraordinary lengths to serve that one perfect meal that will leave a lasting impression. Their offerings whipped from the freshest ingredients can make any diner sink in their teeth and go gaga over their epicurean delights. And it’s not just about the food memories they help create that tend to last a lifetime, but also the extreme reverence and warmth with which they handle their modus operandi. Meet these restaurateurs who are at the helm of culinary affairs in their kitchens serving a treasure trove of culinary treats and are clearly the talk of the town for all the right reasons.

Text: Namita Gupta.

Goutham Balasubramanian, Toscano (Red Apple Kitchen Consultancy Pvt Ltd) and Salt, Indian restaurant bar & grill

Entrepreneurial plunge: A student of Food Craft Institute, Trichy, Goutham specialised in seafood dishes in his earlier days. He worked at the Royal Club restaurant at The Leela & Pierchic restaurant at Jumeirah, Dubai. The young chef who loves to whip up a storm with his pots and pans recalls a great work experience at his earlier stints and soon knew that it was a kind of telling for the future. “Jean Michel Jasserand and I started Toscano at UB City as our dream venture after working together at The Leela and have now expanded to six locations across Bengaluru. We have crossed many milestones over the years with a huge fan following of all ages for our Italian cuisine. I started SALT with Balaji Balachander recently and we’re receiving rave reviews,” states Goutham.

Technovation: “The slow food movement is back in a big way and it is something that resonates with my philosophy too. Slow cooked foods are in vogue and I am in love with the concept as we have all grown up with it. I absolutely love slow cooking and traditional methods of cooking with new ingredients to give it a more contemporary feel that is rich in flavours. We also conduct cookery workshops that are extremely popular,” shares Goutham with a smile.

Culinary trails: There are many reasons to travel. Goutham states emphatically, “Food is obviously, one of them! Everytime I’m visiting a country, my hands are usually full with the exhaustive list of eateries that I must try. I like to sample dishes that are rich in essence, flavours, aromas and tell about the culture of the country. One of the most memorable aspects of travel for me is food. For me inspiration is from daily lifestyles and simple exhibits that we see all along. It keeps me going and when I travel I make sure to keep my taste buds simple and go completely local when I’m travelling.”

Toscano – UB City Collection, Vittal Mallya Road, Forum Value Mall, Whitefield, Forum Mall, Koramangala, Orion Mall, Brigade Gateway, VR Bengaluru and Jayanagar.

Salt – Jayanagar, Forum Mall, Koramangala, VR Bengaluru and Forum Vijaya Mall, Vadapalani, Chennai.