Specialty Food Magazine

Winter 2020

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1194330

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Page 58 of 115

56 SPECIALTY FOOD SPECIALTYFOOD.COM GLOBAL EATS Nashville concepts let us know they were ready to try something beyond chicken tikka masala." In developing the menu, Chauhan says she sought to "cover the major [protein] categories," while giving customers an authentic Indian street-food experience. "At the end of the day we stayed authentic and true to traditional Indian street food because we knew it's what customers wanted," she says. The menu pulls flavors and ingredients from various Indian regions and is as fun and whimsical as the decor. Dishes include O.M. Ghee (ghee toasted cashews, curry leaves, and chaat masala) and Frankie Goes to Bollywood—a malai chicken or paneer parantha frankie (a type of wrap common in Mumbai), served with onion, tomato, and mint chutney. The best sellers on the menu have been the Build-a-Bhel (a puffed rice dish with choice of ingredients), Butter Chicken, and Samosas, says Chauhan. Some Indian street foods were deemed a little too eccentric for U.S. palates, however. Chauhan opted not to include bheja fry, for example, which is made with sautéed goat's brain. "We thought that would be pushing the envelope a bit too much," she says. Saucy and Spicy At Curry Up Now, which operates three food trucks and six company-owned restaurants (and recently began franchising as well), Kapoor seeks to infuse the menu with spice in more ways than one. "We didn't want to do it the way it's always been done," he says. "We wanted to be sexy, naughty, and risqué while keeping the food authentic." Menu items include Sexy Fries, which feature Curry Up Now's own Indian-inspired poutine with cross-cut sweet potato fries, cheese, and paneer or chicken tikka masala; and The Naughty Naan, which is similar to a flatbread pizza, topped with caramelized onions, jalapeño, cheese, and paneer or chicken tikka masala. Chaat has its strongest presence on fine-dining menus, but has potential to grow, according to Cassandra Kaul, digital strategist at Datassential. "There's an inherent flexibility to chaat that allows for creative takes and safe experimentation," she says. Emerging Concepts Restaurant operators seeking to experiment with chaat or other Indian street foods will find no shortage of ideas emerging from the concepts dedicated to these foods that are appearing around the country. One such concept is Chaatable, a Memphis, Tenn., restaurant opened last year by acclaimed chef Maneet Chauhan under her Morph Hospitality operating company. Chauhan, who is also known as a judge on the culinary TV show Chopped, says Chaatable strives to offer authentic Indian street foods in a vibrant environment that recalls the colorful street stalls of her home country. "The U.S. dining market as a whole is becoming very sophisticated and global," she says. "Our guests at our other Maneet Chauhan "We wanted to be sexy, naughty, and risqué while keeping the food authentic." PHOTO: JESSICA SLOAN PHOTO: AMELIA J MOORE PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO: CURRY UP NOW

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