The concept of “Farm to Table” isn’t something that is new to the industry. A lot of restaurants in the city tout themselves as using fresh produce and we simply have to take that at face value. But who knows?
However, there is one restaurant, that truly mastered, with finesse, the art of presenting the concept of “Farm to Table” in the most surreal way possible, by actually acquainting us and showing around, how the produce is grown au natural.
And that restaurant is La Piazza, the award-winning Italian fine-dining restaurant at Hyatt Regency, Delhi.
Two weeks back, the sojourn commenced at Mr Shiv Jatia’s farm in Chhattarpur, which has at its disposal, over 100 fruits and vegetables, catering to the restaurants at Hyatt Regency. Mr Rohila, the expert horticulturist was kind enough to give us a round of the farm where he helped us understand the process of growing and nurturing the vegetables and fruits. It was truly inspiring to see how bountiful the farm was and how off-season produces and produce that isn’t available in Delhi, can be grown in an economical manner, without hampering the ecological aspect. There were tomatoes: red, green, yellow and baby ones, chillies: red, green, bhut jholakia(aka ghost peppers), birds eye, lettuce: iceberg, lollo rosso, arugula and what not.
Post our little expedition, it was time to demolish salads that were made from the fresh produce that was plucked during our tour. A melange of ingredients tossed with our choice of dressing to make a light salad along with a glass of freshly made juice is how the lunch commenced. While this was great, the piece de resistance of the day turned out to be the authentic Napoli pizzas prepared by Chef Ciro Sorrentino, a Neapolitan pizza maker from Naples. Authenticity reigned supreme, with Chef strictly abiding by the rules of preparing the perfect Napoli pizza. Using 00 flour, not overcrowding the flatbread with toppings, cooking in a wood-fired oven et al.
Each and every pizza that Chef Ciro skilfully prepared marked testimony of his proficiency in the art of pizza making and of course, tasted so good, that a slice or two seemed inadequate. While all of them were equally enjoyed, the burrata pizza is what I’d bet my money on. Thin crust pizza topped with parma ham, arugula, parmesan, olive oil and some drool-worthy burrata cheese. Words cannot describe how good it was but perhaps me devouring 4 slices of this, after having multiple of others, might just do the trick!
All’s well that ends well is no cliche. To conclude an afternoon filled with such good food necessitated the requirement of having equally good desserts to stamp success. The counter was extravagantly equipped with a wide assortment of desserts, perfect to ignite my sweet tooth. Celebrating the fruit of the season, strawberry, the desserts consisted of strawberry profiteroles, strawberry tiramisu, strawberry and chocolate cake and hot strawberry crumble.
But in the desserts bit, too, it was the pizza that took the cake.
Well, there was Nu CiuCiu’, a sweet pizza. I’d be honest, I wasn’t very keen on trying a sweet pizza but post hearing a lot of praises, I did try it and I am so glad that I did. Unlike any other pizza, it was topped with brown sugar, custard cream, dark chocolate, strawberries and Nutella. The pizza turned out to be sublimely magnificent and I really hope that La Piazza would jostle it in their menu somehow!