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Chef Akshay Bhardwaj from Junoon it was very natural. We tried to incorporate some thing that were very common in Indian cooking and in Italian cooking. Naturally, you wouldn’t think that they would go together, but we did a Saffron Risotto with yellow lentils and lamb cooked two ways and this was really successful and I liked the dish a lot. It was because the lamb that we did, one part of it was Sicilian style and the other way was an Indian style where we had marsala and chili peppers and a lot of depth of flavor. We had Sicilian style lamb belly was cooked with garlic and herbs. The risotto was obviously Italian, but with the saffron in there it had the Indian approach along with the yellow lentils. When you ate it all together, it didn’t feel forced, you just loved the taste playing well together. AM: Although this series has come to an end, will there be another? CHEF AH: I’m not sure. I mean, I know that the rest of the year maybe not, but perhaps next year. I know there is an Eataly launching in Las Vegas so maybe this is something that we could do there. It will be a new concept in Las Vegas so maybe getting people to be aware of this location, they can bring in other chefs that are established in Las Vegas through this series. Overall, we loved the concept and I think that going into the end of the year, we will be more focused on truffles and getting our menu ready for the winter. AM: How many times a year does the menu change at Manzo? CHEF AH: Constantly ha! It’s an organic thing. You change the menu based on seasonality, availability, for example we recently took off summer squash because it’s fall and even though it’s a bit early to put winter squash on the menu, we can’t call out to summer squash because it’s not summer. Tomato season is winding down so even

though we love selling heirloom tomatoes and caprese, we can’t run it all year and it’s not true to the Italian cooking philosophy. Somethings that are on the menu are mainstays and they don’t change too much like some of the steaks we have – it doesn’t go out of season. But it’s the garnishes that might change and as we go into the winter, we want to make our menu more comfort friendly, so tomato based pastas aren’t so friendly with truffles so we do more butter and cheese sauces because it goes great with truffles. Just keeping the menu flexible for things like that is key. AM: What are your favorite dishes that you like to create at Manzo? CHEF AH: Well that’s a tough question! I like doing something that is traditional but a little bit different. A good example of this is the lamb shank that’s on the menu right now. In the spring time in Italy, much like we do a barbeque here in the US with a whole roasted pig on a spit, they will do lamb in the same way over an open fire. You eat it as soon as it comes off the fire. You dig into it when it is so hot that it burns your fingers and it’s so hot, but you eat it any way because it is so delicious. The dish translates to “lamb that burns your fingers” – we do a version of that, but it’s not the whole lamb because we’re not going to sell a whole lamb. So we do lamb shanks and it’s marinated with white wine and olive oil, thyme, rosemary, lemon zest and a little anchovy. These are all traditional flavors and we slow cook the lamb for 24 hours and then we cool it down. When the customer orders it, we coat it with salt and sugar and we roast it so it gets crispy on the outside and when you cut into it, it’s crunchy and juicy and falls off the bone. When you dig into it, it burns the roof of your mouth or your fingertips and it pays homage to the original. There's a story to it and

Profile for Athleisure Mag

Athleisure Mag Sep 2018