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Indians understand French food because they travel- French chef



VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS@ Chez Jerome Restaurant.

Baguette lobster thermidor, chicken roulade, escargots de bourgogne and croissants. Indians are no strangers to these French delights and more, says French chef Chez Jerome Cousin who, encouraged by the evolving tastes of well-travelled “desi” foodies, has opened an “authentic” bistro here.

Born in a family of restaurateurs, Cousin has been living in India for the past 15 years. He finds India’s culture and climate better than Europe’s.

“In Europe now, everything has changed. You don’t find the respect; they don’t respect the teacher, the professor, nothing. The culture has totally finished. In India, I find what I like. I am not old, but I like culture. I like people who respect their culture. In my country nobody respects anything and in India they respect everything, I also like the climate here,” he said.

Professionally, Cousin is continuing the tradition as a fourth-generation chef. And he is happy to serve Indians willing to try the authentic French palette.

“Indians now do understand the cuisine. In the beginning it was very difficult. What has happened is that Indian people have started travelling a lot, whereas 15 years back it was not so much as it is today,” Cousin told IANS at his Chez Jerome Restaurant in south Delhi here.

“Indians are going everywhere now. In the beginning, when I opened my restaurant the first time, they would complain that there is no taste, it’s not spicy; now that is no more the case… nobody complains any more. They try to understand the French taste and they like it,” he added.

His first endeavour in the food business in India was Le Pe’tit Bar, followed by Rara Avis.

Unhappy with “certain things in life”, Cousin shut down both the outlets and later opened a guest house, among other things. But after much prodding from his friends and fans about his cooking skills, he opened his latest restaurant in Greater Kailash’s M Block market.

While a string a restaurant owners are trying to woo customers with fusion food, Cousin has steered clear from it as he is “totally against” the trend. So, he has included 25 per cent Asian and Italian dishes to his mostly French menu to cater to a table that wants “variety”.

“Everybody now wants to make fusion food. Many people want to open restaurants with fusion in their menu, but those have not really been successful. Europeans would say the food is not French enough and Indians would say it is not Indian enough. I love traditional food…it is very important to me.

“If I teach people French cuisine, I must show them real cuisine.”

Cousin does not think it would be a great idea to mix French food with Indian spices.

“It is not good and I do not want that. For me, tradition is important… and so is real food. In all my creations, I only use fresh ingredients. Everything is homemade and nothing frozen comes in. I make a bit of Italian also,” he added.

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Shilpa Shetty suggests Tratak meditation to calm mind, reduce stress




Shilpa Shetty

Actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra took to social media on Monday to suggest meditation that offers benefits like calming the mind, reducing stress and sharpening the eyesight. The ancient meditation practice is called Tratak.

“We may not always have the power to change what’s happening around us, but we can definitely control what happens within. That is possible only through Yoga. Give yourself the ability to calm the mind, reduce unwanted thoughts, centre your wandering attention, and improve your focus through Tratak Meditation,” Shilpa wrote in an Instagram post.

The actress, who is known for her penchant for Yoga, also mentioned the benefits of the meditation, which include increased concentration levels, fighting sleeping difficulties, sharpening eyesight and reducing stress.

On the work front, Shilpa is set to make her comeback into Hindi films after 14 years with the upcoming comedy “Hungama 2”. The Priyadarshan directorial also features Paresh Rawal, Rajpal Yadav, Meezaan Jafri and Pranitha Subhash in key roles.

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Report: Food and spirits



Rhea Kapoor

She may be more known for her passion for fashion, but food is as much of a forte for Bollywood producer Rhea Kapoor, who finds cooking “spiritual”. In a free-wheeling chat with IANSlife, she shares how food helps get her closer to people. Excerpts:

Q) How big a foodie you are?
Hundred per cent. Not only do I take pleasure in food, I also seek inspiration from it. I look forward to travelling because I want to try new cuisines. I fall in love with people when they cook great food or their taste matches mine. I feel it’s at the core of my world, which is sad, but also good. Food is on my mind all the time.

Q) Your favourite cuisine?
My favourite cuisine keeps changing, but I love Indian food. I also love Thai, Italian, French cuisines. It’s too hard. I can’t pick one cuisine. But my current favourite is Italian.

Q) Do you cook?
I love cooking. And I cook really well, but I have so many chef friends that I am scared to cook before them. Though I’ve cooked only a few times in the past year because of all the work, but I really look forward to weekends when I can cook and I do everything from scratch. It’s like spiritual thing for me.

Q) When you buy food, do you read the label?
Whenever I buy food I try to ensure that the product is fresh and organic, and has less preservatives.

Q) You recently joined The Doers Club. Tell us about it.
Though I found the idea of collaboration with a chef to curate a menu interesting, I was a bit unsure of working with a scotch brand, because I have seen these commercials based on male bonding over whisky. Ironically, some of the best whisky drinkers that I know and that I like to drink with are women. But my love for the perfect old-fashioned whisky sour has evolved from the age of 21 to 32, and I love enjoying these cocktails with my girlfriends. So I thought it was cool that a scotch brand was reaching out to two women for collaboration and breaking the stereotype of bro-ship. Every cool girl that I know enjoys her scotch as much as a man and we discuss anything to everything while having it.

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Eat your good way to keep your healthy eyes



Prolonged usage of mobile, laptop and TV screens is becoming a necessary evil. With screen-time becoming so essential to our personal and professional lives, taking good care of your eyes is equally important. Two dietitians suggest some nutritious food for your eyes.

* Vitamins
Foods rich in vitamins can help eyes fight problems, says dietitian Deepti G. Dua, who is the co- founder of Mutation Diet Clinic. Our eyes require Vitamins A, C and E rich food. Citrus rich food, such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons and tangerines contain free radical-fighting antioxidants, which can keep our eyes healthy. Non-citric food like strawberries, peppers, peaches are also vitamin sources, she explains.

Researches show that eyes need high amount of Vitamin C to function well and can prevent or delay eye-related troubles like cataract, says Harshita Dilawri, a nutritionist at Know Your Nutrients.

* Leafy vegetables
Eggs and veggies like spinach, kale, turnip green, brocolli, peas are good sources of Lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients key to lower the risk of AMD (age related macular degeneration) and healthy eyes.

* Omega-3 rich food
Cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines are rich in good fats like Omega-3 and very good for dry eyes and macular degeneration. These are also rich in Vitamin D, which is equally good for healthy eyes. If you are not a fish eater or if you are vegan, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and thus good for protecting eyes.

* Legumes and Beans
Many beans and legumes are rich in zinc, which is a very important mineral found in high concentration in eyes. Zinc is found in mostly all beans, including lima, black eyed beans and kidney beans along with lean meats, poultry and fortified cereals.

Tip: Good breakfast combinations might be whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, eggs and toast with jam, porridge, oatmeal, or muesli. Drinking water can also be beneficial for your eyes in many ways. Nutrient rich food such as garlic, tomatoes and soy milk, depending on their amount of intake, too could be a major add on to your eyes’ health.

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