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Ajay John and Matt Harris discuss food and wine

Ajay John and Matt Harris discuss food and wine

FOOD + WINE MENU WITH AJAY JOHN + MATT HARRIS

“The wine is the understudy, the food is the star of the show.”

AT THE CHEF'S TABLE with AJAY JOHN, MATERCHEF QUARTER-FINALIST 2019 - Saturday 1st June - see EVENTS

When a chef and wine expert meet to discuss which wines to pair with food, how exactly do they decide? Jo Boissevain went along to find out....

There’s more to Indian food than the generic spicy curry. Not all Indian food is overpowering, not all Indian food is hot. Such misconceptions have proved a challenge for wine drinkers over the years, but the pairing of wine with Indian food has come on leaps and bounds in the last decade.

Diners are no longer content with a bottle of Kingfisher. “Fizzy lager,” says Ajay, “is the worst.” When it comes to his food, pairing wines, particularly when guided by Matt, is a delight. Ajay’s dishes are notable for their intricate spicing, aromatic sauces, and occasional chilli heat.

Hence these pairings, featuring reds, whites and rosés from Europe and Australia, and Sula Vineyards in Nashik - India’s most popular winery. The big picture: soft wines for subtle flavours, and the citrussy Sibiliano “the wine of the night.”

Ajay and Matt discuss food and wine - https://youtu.be/V_26W-0TTew

ABOUT MATT HARRIS - 'PLANET OF THE GRAPES'

Introduced to the charms of France as a child, Matt Harris “always had a taste for wine”. From modest 1990s’ beginnings (Threshers - Brixton Road) he opened a wine ‘pop-up’ in the heart of town. Ten years later, Matt founded Planet of the Grapes in Holborn. ‘PotG’ now comprises four eclectic wine bars in the City of London, known for its fabulous wine dinners, master classes, and ever-changing select www.planetofthegrapes.co.uk

Book for Ajay's Taster Menu with selected wines from Planet of the Grapes at FSP on Saturday 1st June - EVENTS

Ajay John, Masterchef Quarter-finalist 2019

Ajay John, Masterchef Quarter-finalist 2019

' AT THE CHEF'S TABLE'with AJAY JOHN, MASTERCHEF QUARTER-FINALIST 2019 - Saturday 1st June - to see the menu and book see EVENTS

Ajay John joins our new series of food events 'AT THE CHEF'S TABLE'

Ajay has been cooking since he was four years old; he loved to help his mum make dosas. Growing up in southern India, Ajay used the ingredients of the region: curry leaves, fennel seeds, coconut, peppercorns. Moving to the US to do an MBA, and pining for his home cuisine, he began to offer South Indian dishes to his fellow students. Wisely, as it turns out: “As a cook, you end up making really good friends!” Now a Global Account Director in London, and a 2019 MasterChef UK quarter finalist, Ajay adds European techniques to some of his dishes, but considers his mother’s cooking his first inspiration.

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