Breakfasts are andamental

By Suman Mahfuz Quazi | Mumbai

A former adman is cooking up an eggilicous meal at a pop-up in Bandra, as he enters the culinary world

the basic egg

What do you do once you have already found yourself? You look for something new. But for Rajat Mendhi, 39, the passion for cooking was kindled at a tender age. "I think it was a Tarla Dalal cookbook," he recalls. For 13 years, Mendhi worked in the advertising industry until he finally took the plunge in January this year, to dedicate all his time to food. "I still love advertising and the way it enables you to make something out of nothing, but I had already achieved everything that I wanted to in that space. Also, when there's a fire inside you, it keeps burning," Mendhi says, talking about his transition from a corporate wiz to discovering himself once again as a compulsive cook.


bread pudding

This Sunday, he is hosting a pop-up, The Tight Slap, signifying the slap of flavour he promises to bring at the farmer's market in Bandra, which will feature two dishes that highlight the egg in ways that are not obvious to the naked eye. "It's like 50gm of luxury," he tells us touching upon the versatility of the ingredient. "You can eat eggs with poha, bread or paratha. It's the one thing that can be added to elevate most dishes," he adds.

At the pop-up, Mendhi will be serving the basic egg, a sandwich consisting of a mustardy salad made with jammy boiled eggs, sour peanut chutney, homemade mayonnaise and fresh coriander. A bread pudding, too, will be on offer. "The idea is to make use of the egg in different ways in the two dishes. For example, in the bread pudding I will be using an egg custard. And an egg yolk goes into the lemon curd, too. That's where the bright yellow colour of the lemon curd comes from," he explains.


Rajat Mendhi

Mendhi, who took a break in 2015 to train at the Le Cordon Bleu, London, is obsessed not just with eggs, but also breakfasts, often resorting to #makingbreakfastsgreatagain on his social media handle. "Training at Le Cordon rewired my brain entirely in terms of the way I looked at food. And the joy of cooking lies not in a particular cuisine, but in meal-time, which for me is breakfast. The great thing about this meal is that breakfast food isn't just for breakfast. Having waffles, egg rolls, or poha as a snack or even at dinner time can be quite delightful," he elaborates. So, coming back to finding yourself, the best way is to never stop searching, and Mendhi's culinary calling bears testimony to that.

On: September 9, 9 am to 3 pm
At: D'Monte Park Recreation Club, Bandra West.
Log on to: instagram.com/TheIncurableCook/

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