Chef Manish Mehrotra is on a mission to put modern Indian cuisine at the forefront of the global food scene. After becoming the head chef of Indian Accent in New Delhi in 2009, he quickly rose to worldwide fame for his self-proclaimed Indian food for the 21st century. Unifying the unique flavors of international cuisines with that of India’s, Indian Accent is routinely touted as India’s top restaurant.
Last week, Mehrotra took his passion for contemporary Indian cuisine to New York City, a global food destination which currently has few Michelin-starred Indian restaurants, opening his restaurant in the Le Parker Meridien hotel. Unlike the Curry Hill-style eateries New Yorkers are used to, Mehrotra aims for his New York Indian Accent location to be revolutionary in showcasing an imaginative and rarely seen cuisine: Indian fusion. Marrying classic, home-cooked Indian recipes with the flavors, ingredients, and techniques native to places like Thailand or France, Mehrotra opens a new door for both budding chefs and food-lovers to experience Indian food like they never have before.
So what does this mean for the future of upscale Indian dining abroad? India Today’s food journalist, Vritti Bansal, said that “Indian Accent's New York opening will impact modern Indian cuisine.” Prior to Mehrotra, Chef Vikas Khanna was the only Indian celebrity chef rooting for modern Indian food in NY. Bansal continues, “Chefs who've been in the spotlight are likely to influence people more easily… every country has stereotypes about the cuisine of a foreign nation and Indian Accent might help break those stereotypes in America, too.” With elements not found in traditional Indian kitchens commonplace on Mehrotra’s menu — think kulchas stuffed with pastrami and ingredients such as quinoa and foie gras — it is clear that he seeks to break the confines of what the general public thinks when they envision Indian cuisine.