India is Changing by the Minute: Italian Restaurateur

Tuesday, 30 August 2011, 09:14 Hrs
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New Delhi: His passion for cooking drove Italian Canadian Enzo Renda to create the first Eggspectation outlet in Montreal in 1993 to prove that eggs were more than just a breakfast food. He brought the concept to New Delhi five years ago and has been so encouraged by the response because, as he says, "India is changing by the minute", that he has now branched out to introducing fine Italian dining at a golf resort in Greater Noida.

"We will introduce our guests to authentic food from all the regions of Italy," Renda said of La Brezza that is set to open its doors at the high-end Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort at Greater Noida.

La Brezza, along with its Enoteca Bar, has been conceptualized as a traditional family style Italian restaurant with a modern edge. The restaurant has 80 covers with an area of 5,282 sq. ft. spread on two floors, including the kitchen. Aiming to establish a harmonious relationship between the resort and the restaurant, table setting has been kept casual and classy with sociable atmosphere. Intangible pleasures as flavors, senses and emotions are directly reflected through the most selective menu personally created by Renda.

"Actually, there is a little touch of my mother's recipes in most of the items on the menu," Renda explained.

The bar menu is distinct and unique to some of Italy's famous wine bars. Nestled in the stairwell against the backdrop of a two-storey high wine display, the bar offers a wide selection of wines and a large variety of appetisers and some items from the main menu. So, how will authenticity be ensured?

"Well, we'll be importing all our ingredients from Italy, from mozzarella cheese to tomatoes to what have you. The meats we will source locally but thanks to the herbs we will use, the flavour profile will be authentic," Renda asserted.

The chefs, however, will be Indian and will function under the watchful eye of Renda who will increase his visits to India to three a year once La Brezza opens before the inaugural Indian Grand Prix at Greater Noida in October.

Chef Gomes, who oversees Eggspectation at the Jaypee Vasant Continental, will be in overall charge of La Brezza and will be assisted by two other chefs from the same hotel.

"They know the way I think. They know how I cook. They follow my instructions to the T. They have a passion for cooking," Renda declared of the trio.

What then brought him to India? "India is English China, without the controls. The growth is evident all around. "India is changing by the minute, and my instinct of seven years ago is showing results sooner than expected," Renda told IANS in an interview.

Admitting that Indian laws are difficult, he also noted that change is under way and reforms were on the way. Noting that salaries are increasing by 20 to 30 percent Renda was confident of seeing a greater number of Indians trying out outlets like his. "The future lies where the middle class increases, a move that triggers all the way to the richer population."

At the same time, he conceded that food was not the easiest of businesses, and India does not make it any the easier.

"We spent a lot of the time in the initial years convincing people we worked with here," Renda said, adding they are far more receptive now. "Indian brands are getting into niches, and will need to compete with western brands, for which they will need western consulting," he said.

Eggspectation's three outlets in the National Capital Region -- the other two are at Japyee Siddharth (Rajendra Place in west Delhi) and Japyee Greens Golf and Spa Resort at Greater Noida -- contribute 10 percent of the chain's revenues, with the 16 restaurants in Canada and the US contributing the rest.
Source: IANS
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