MasterChef Australia Finalist Simon Toohey Fires Up Zolocrust Menu

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Back in November 2015, Zolocrust made a mark in the Pink City by being the first-of-its-kind bakery that runs 24×7.  What also made this restaurant unique was its idea of having chefs as the frontrunners of the eatery. In addition to whipping up food for the customers, they also take proactive interest in other operations of the restaurant such as taking orders as well as serving the dishes to the customers. When veganism had not even made proper inroads in the dietary regulations of people, Zolocrust was serving its desserts and savouries in dairy free as well as gluten free variants.

Plant based barbecue menu

Australian Chef Simon Toohey at Zolocrust
Chef Simon Toohey

Now that increasingly more and more people are turning towards vegetarianism and veganism, an all-new plant-based barbecue menu is being introduced at the eatery. It is difficult to think of barbecue sans any meat or the quintessential paneer if you are a vegetarian. But only if you have not watched the Masterchef Australia finalist, Simon Toohey cook up a storm with only vegetables in the popular cookery reality show. It was this skill of Toohey’s coupled with his ethos of high food quality, sustainability and using local ingredients that inspired Arjun Kumar, the man behind Zolocrust, to invite Toohey to the Pink City and collaborate with him on designing a new barbecue menu for city’s foodies as well as hotel guests and train and support the staff at the eatery.

Australian Chef Simon Toohey at Zolocrust

“I am a big fan of Masterchef Australia and while watching the show, I was highly impressed with Toohey’s skill of cooking with vegetables. It is easy to bring flavour with meat but pleasing palates with vegetables is where the challenge lies. The idea of collaborating with Chef Toohey is to give a fresh perspective to our culinary team and make vegetables a hero in our menu and enhance their flavours by using the elements of fire and smoke”, shares Arjun Kumar, while shedding light on the objective of this culinary collaboration.

Australian Chef Simon Toohey at Zolocrust

Chef Toohey has been trying to stick to a plant-based diet for the last six years now. Ask him what challenges he faces in trying to cook sans animal and dairy products and he says: “It has been difficult to cook and especially bake without eggs and butter. Also, people generally think of a vegetarian dish as mushy and boring. But by using fire and smoke one can really enhance their flavours and elevate the dining experience”. Elaborating his experience of working with the team at Zolocrust, Chef Toohey, who is on a 10-day visit to the Pink City, says: “The ethos of the hotel which focuses on sustainability, minimal plastic usage and using ingredients that are grown locally is what attracted me to this collaboration. There is also a fully equipped poly house and kitchen garden in the hotel premises where most of the vegetables are grown .In these 10 days, I am trying to understand the local spices and ingredients, how they grow and change with seasons and how best to work with them to introduce new dishes.”

An array of vegan offerings

The Simon specials in the barbecue menu will include a plethora of interesting options for vegans. Some of these include Zucchini with Roasted Yeast Cream Chilli Oil, Char grilled beans with garlic and lemon, Barbecue red cabbage steak with cabbage cream and apple mustard, roasted beetroot with beetroot molasses and labney,  Roasted Pumpkin with black rice salad and pickled onion, among others.

Where: Zolocrust, Lobby Level, Hotel Clarks Amer, Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, Jaipur
When: Open all day

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Tusharika Singh

Long texts over calls | Food, music and books over people | Chai over everything else | Statutory Warning: Allergic to morons

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