Heaven’s Kitchen: WHEN FOOD… IS FASHIONABLE

Like a garment of clothing, a music genre or a literary movement, so do international cuisines dance, at a rhythmic pace, around the carousel of what is contemporary and glamorous. In a cyclical rhythm, cuisine returns to the spotlight, with its disparate traditions, smells, customs and curious combinations: today food has many manifestations, from the words in adverts to the highlight around our social occasions. If you exclude the Japanese trend, declining in popularity even in its most integral version consisting of ramen and sake; and the Lebanese trend, which some Italian chefs deem the most varied and mysterious cuisine of all; three main diffusions in the last few years have entered popular gastronomy: Peruvian cuisine, Khmer food (Cambodian cuisine), and finally a modernization of traditional Indian cuisine, done in minimal and luxury interpretations.

Just head over to London- the cost of flights these days allows for a nice weekend break, even just to try these novelties- and discover Andina, a bistro located in the heart of Soho, that has caught the public’s and media’s attention with good reason: the fusion of Peruvian cuisine mixed with more western influence flavours and aromas (and an entire menu section devoted just to ceviche). Andina offers brunch, as well as a selection of high calibre cocktails and liquors, all presented with utmost design sense and appealing visual aesthetic, since, after all, food is tasted first by the eyes. And there is nothing more satisfying than an extravagant mix-and-match of colour and adornment to please the palate’s first glance.

Khmer cuisine, often overlooked due to its similarity to Thai cuisine, is rich with a variety of very unique spices, flowers and roots that are expertly paired with fresh ingredients. The New York chain Num Pang Sandwich Shop, which boasts locations on six of the most strategic corners of the city, adds that fresh touch of glamour and sober minimalism to the culinary art of an antique gastronomic tradition. If offers tempting sandwiches paired with teas, ginger juices and other fruit infusions, all served with a front row view of the marvellous frenetic comings and goings of the city that never sleeps. A true expert model in take-away and quick eat-in dining, Num Pang combines courage, fusion and a great atmosphere. Stop in and try it the next time you’re in New York.

For those who worship by the philosophy of high taste expression and the fervent hunt for fascinating flavours- those mouthfuls from the East capable of turning any moment on its head- we return to the British capital talk about Gymkhana, the exclusive club in Mayfair based on traditional Indian colonial clubs. Here, dishes pass under the extraordinary expert eye of Karam Sethi, the Michelin starred chef well-known both in his home country and abroad, who even the strictest food critics agree breaks the mould with his knowledge of culinary arts. Gymkhana, a luxury restaurant whose fine taste also extends to the aesthetic elements, both in its decor and menu selection, presents conceptual reinterpretations of Indian cuisine, experimenting with adaptations and sauces that challenge classicism, in addition to offering a selection of prized wines from their cellar.

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