New Delhi [India], Aug 12 : French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler on Monday conferred Indian chef Priyam Chatterjee with the distinction of Chevalier de I'Ordre du Merite Agricole, also known as the Order of Agricultural Merit.
Chatterjee, 30, was the first Indian chef to be conferred this honour, which comes in recognition of his contribution to reinventing the gastronomic scene here.
"At present, I am relieving my dream so I don't think any sentence or speech would suffice what I am going through. I have a family of exceptional cooks and from that is where the great art of food and hospitality came to me," Chatterjee said at the event attended by his near and dear ones.
The chef wanted to serve the Indian army but couldn't so he took up arts, especially cooking because he thought "it is the best form of art to express yourself".
Having trained under eminent French chefs, the Kolkata-based chef is known to honour French cuisine by revisiting the traditional dishes of his native place.
Chatterjee's masterful plating, his eccentric cooking style and his creative dishes draw upon his Bengali roots, the French influence in his life and his love for music and art.
"I first fell in love with the culture of France and then the cuisine," he said.The young chef is currently serving as the head chef at Jaan Restaurant Yacht in France. Prior to this, he was the head chef of Rooh (group of Indian Chef Sijan Sarkar) and Qla in New Delhi.
Chatterjee began his training under Chef Jean-Claude Fugier at Park Hyatt in Hyderabad, before moving on to Fauchon in Oman. He has also cooked with French Chef Ernest Darren Alford, Michelin-starred chefs, Spsh Koldo Royo, and Italian Matteo Grandi.
"There is so much difference between the French cuisine and ours, relating to the taste, quality, quantity and spices. Therefore I don't really like the idea of fusion because the food of each place loses its own authenticity," he told .
Chatterjee much excitedly stated that he will be moving to Paris very soon where he wants to open his own restaurants serving Bengali dishes.
"Cooking authentic Indian food with French techniques is what I am going to focus on," the young chef claimed.
Meanwhile, appreciating Chatterjee's culinary skills, the French ambassador said, "I think this is the first time that we are celebrating such a talent. I had to choose one word to define your food it would be 'precision'. Your plating of dishes is very reminiscence of ours."
( With inputs from ANI )