Published on : Saturday, January 31, 2015
Since it welcomed its first guest in 1974, Taj Coromandel has been an integral part of everything that makes Chennai unique. A bedrock of fine living and hospitality in the city for four decades, the hotel offers a rejuvenated luxury experience; a perfect fusion of rich South Indian design and classic elegance. Having introduced the first authentic Italian fine dining experience to Chennai’s culinary landscape, the Taj Coromandel invites guests to rediscover the magic of Prego – a vibrant new experience, highlighted by a new menu curated by Italian cuisine specialist, Luca D’Amora. Chef Luca brings with him finesse in presenting simple, traditional food, while reinventing some delicacies with his unique interpretations.
The Food Affaire
A burst of authentic flavours, the new menu is a fine mix of traditional Italian food and Chef’s innovations. Simple plating is key at the all-new Prego, where the very best of the Italian culinary mosaic is showcased using only the freshest of ingredients, including local fresh catch from the Bay of Bengal. Savour appealing appetizers like Parma ham, fresh mozzarella and confit tomato; Potato “beignets”, goat cheese cream, tomato coulis and caramelized cherry tomato; or Seared scallops, truffle and parmesan cream. Chef Luca stays true to tradition with favourites such as House made Pappardelle, lamb ragout and pecorino sauce; Field mushroom and mascarpone risotto and the Traditional Margherita; “Ortolana” and feta cheese; and Truffle, Rucola and Pecorino cheese. A must-have for all Italian food lovers is the Braised lamb shank, celeriac cream, caramelized shallots; 8 hours cooked pork belly, balsamic figs and apricot glaze; and Zucchini and tomato timbale, tomato sauce.
Extending the experience of home-style dining, guests are invited to Casa D’Amora, Chef Luca’s home, where he serves up an off-the-menu Italian family style dining experience. The Plates of the deep sea and coastal plains gives you a gourmet selection of a seafood appetizer or soup, a pizza, a pasta or risotto with seafood, fresh catch of the day for a grand seafood indulgence followed by the delightful dessert. The Plates from farms brings you a bouquet of handpicked items from the farms on to your plate, including an appetizer or soup, a pizza, a Pasta or Risotto, Vegetarian Entrée for a grand herbaceous meal followed by dessert. Or guests can opt for Chef Luca’s interpretations, the ultimate gastronomic experience with a myriad selection of seafood, meat and garden fresh vegetables.
While the Tiramisu and Cassata are the most favourite Italian desserts, Chef Luca’s deconstruction of these desserts gives them his signature touch. The list of must-haves includes Luca’s Tiramisu; Dark chocolate fondant with Sea salt and caramel gelato and the De-constructed Sicilian cassata.
Design and Décor
The restaurant is decorated in chic and contemporary style, paired with earth-toned upholstery and gorgeous flooring. Twilight transforms Prego into an elegant dinner venue with upbeat music and candle light, to make each evening unobtrusive and relaxed.
Of Fine Wines and More
This Conde Nast-listed restaurant features one of the finest wine selections in the country. Specializing in Italian wines, it has an equally impressive collection from across the world. Guests can experience the wine room – Enoteca – for an interactive experience of food and wine pairing. Introducing the concept of wines by the ‘half glass’, the menu offers an unmatched selection of Italian favourites, besides heady cocktails, liquors, the popular Spritzers and homemade lemoncellos.
Meet Chef Luca D’Amora
Chef Luca’s love for the kitchen started when he was 17 years old and today, at all of 26 years of age, he comes with the experience of working in different restaurants run by Chef Moreno Cedroni, a Michelin 2-star Chef. Chef Luca started his career in 2006 as Apprentice Assistant Chef with Ristorante Baia del Sole – loc. Lido – Capoliveri (LI) and moved to work with various restaurants including Ristorante Bellini Perugia, Ristorante Pierino Penati – Viganò (LC), Ristorante Al Molo – Marina di Portomaso, Clandestino Susci Bar, Hotel Il Principe Delle Nevi – Cervinia – Aosta and Chef Moreno Cedroni. Mentored under the watchful eyes of the ‘Father of Italian cuisine’, Chef Gualtiero Marchesi, Chef Luca has developed his own style; one that is traditional, with a modern twist.
His most memorable experiences include cooking up special meals for Marcello Lippi, the former Italian football team manager; Andrea Bocelli, a well-known Italian singer and song writer, Al Pacino, the American actor and film maker; and Luciano Ligabue, an Italian singer-songwriter, film director and writer.
At Prego, Chef Luca is all set to create drama on a plate through a perfect combination of true flavours, colours, tastes, aromas and textures of Italy. Besides presenting traditional Italian fare, he has also enhanced some of the popular dishes with a burst of unique flavours. “This is home food; What I cook and eat at home. Simple plating, fresh ingredients, vibrant flavours,” says Chef Luca, shy to expose his limited knowledge of English, but keenly focused on allowing his culinary creations do the talking.
With a refreshing new vibe, warm service, a menu of traditional favourites and signature delicacies, and an unmatched selection of wines from across the world, Prego reinvents itself as a dining destination.
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