By Sourish Bhattacharyya
IT WAS Tanveer Kwatra, the extremely creative Executive Chef of Pullman Central Park Gurgaon in whose passion I see shades of Bill Marchetti, who first volunteered to take me to the Le Carne Cuts production facility in Manesar, the upcoming industrial suburb of India's 'Millennium City', Gurgaon. He said he knew the Le Carne Cuts Master Butcher Sigi Maletzki from his days in Melbourne, Australia, and showcased sausages from the company on the popular Sunday brunch menu of Sen5es. Maletzki, whose wife Gilly is the Head of Sales at Le Carne Cuts, previously had a long stint with Australia's quality meat producer, Top Cut, and its East Asian subsidiary, Tender Plus.
The conversation came back to me a couple of days back, when I visited Aahar 2014, India's premier food show at Pragati Maidan, and met the gregarious Tarsillo Natalone, the owner of Flavors, who was effusive in his praise for the chicken pepperoni that he had sourced from Le Carne Cuts for his pizzas. It was finally the busy restaurant consultant, Ramindar Bakshi, who put me in touch with Bharat Singh, a former executive at the independent private equity advisory firm, Campbell Lutyens, and now one of the five directors of Primo Foods Private Limited, the holding company of Le Carne Cuts.
Primo Foods is a privately held Indo-Australian joint venture company led by Moin Akhtar Qureshi, one of the country's leading meat exporters and President of the Doon School Old Boys Society. The company's Australian directors are Marvin Fayman, Joshua Fayman and David Joshua Grajzman. It was incorporated on January 18, 2013, and its production facility, an out-of-work garment-manufacturing factory, is studded with state-of-the-art German and Australian machinery.
Bharat and I connected at the busy Hall No. 10 at Pragati Maidan, he took me to the Le Carne Cuts stall, and then started what I can only describe as a meat feast. Tanveer was around and so was Andrew Parsons, Executive Chef at the Official Residence, High Commission of Canada. What struck me instantly was that I was having sausages that actually tasted and felt like meat in the mouth and not like some rubbery, synthetic mock meat.
My favourite was the juicy pork kransky, a sausage that's hugely popular in Australia -- mildly hot and best eaten in a roll with rustic mustard. Giving it competition were the chicken chorizo sausages, which my boys polished off in a matter of minutes; lamb kabana, which are modelled after the Polish sausages made with pork drawn from pigs fed on potatoes; and the pork krakauer, sausages made from cuts of lean pork, seasoned with pepper, allspice, coriander and garlic, and packed into large casings. The winner, though, was the birchwood-smoked whole chicken, which you can simply microwave and add to your Caesar's salad, or just have by itself. I preferred the second option -- the chicken was too wholesome to need any sexing up.
Finally, we have grown-up meat products in our city. Let us fall in love with them -- like I have. You can get them at Modern Bazaar outlets and at the Japanese store, Yamatoya, in Humayanpur, in the neighbourhood of Safdarjung Enclave.