Grazia|September 2021
Good food is about more than simply good cooking

If you’ve ever been to Masque – the ingredient-driven restaurant co-owned by Chef Prateek Sadhu and entrepreneur Aditi Dugar, in Mumbai’s Shakti Mills compound, you will have experienced its warmth and hospitality first-hand – both through the service and the food. Every bite is infused with care and purpose, thanks to the produce, which is used with thoughtful intention. At a recent sit-down lunch, Sadhu’s individual experiences – his Kashmiri roots, travels, and the innate internationalism that comes from his stints at top global restaurants – were on full display. I was served a generous portion of Kashmiri lamb neck yakhni meets morels miso; a rogan josh sausage with kalam (the Jammu bread) masqueraded with NYC casual-chic; and a Puducherry chocolate combined with indigenous central Indian flower liqueur, mahua that I had not tasted before.

‘Think global and source local’ is the buzzword these days in the culinary world, with more and more restaurants adopting a locavore philosophy of using local ingredients in favor of imported produce. While sourcing products from local purveyors is not exactly new, it has gained currency in the pandemic as chefs are personally taking interest in promoting the philosophy to support local economies. “Masque’s ethos from the start has been to put Indian produce at the forefront, and so we’ve always sourced within the country. We spent a good 18 months traveling across the country to meet farmers and suppliers and develop those relationships; currently, we work with Zama, OOO, Two Brothers’, among others. I’ve always felt that the actual process of growing food needs to be a part of anybody’s culinary education; it gives you invaluable insight into just what it takes to get food onto a plate, and I think that makes one value it more. We’ve always approached farms and suppliers with that mindset, with total respect for their work, which I think has helped nourish those relationships,” says Sadhu.

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