The city’s favourite expat chef introduces air-fried tofu and Mediterranean fare to Residency Towers
RC Willson, the 59-year-old New Zealander chef, popularly known as ‘Chef Willi’, is joining hands with The Residency Towers to offer his signature dishes for dinner this week. Expect seafood pepper soup, braised aubergine rolls, herbed fish fillets (pan-fried, baked, grilled, steamed or roasted), among others.
“I will be cooking one of my favourites, risotto bisque with king prawns, tapping into Chennai’s love for seafood and rice. It combines the butter and Parmesan of the risotto and garlic-grilled prawns fresh from the ocean,” informs Willi, who has been in Chennai for 14 years and owns Chef Willi’s Restaurants and Consultancy Pvt Ltd.
With an a la carte menu that includes baked mushrooms in cream and wine, pasta squares with smoked chicken and desserts like panna cotta and sticky date toffee pudding, Willi says he’ll be serving another favourite, the air-fried Cajun spiced tofu. “Air-frying is the domestic equivalent of our commercial combi-ovens. I like the texture that tofu gets from the air-fryer, and I use my favourite pumpkin to offset the spices,” he says. Willi adds that he dislikes it when chefs use fancy names for dishes. “Having a fish grenobloise means nothing to guests unless they are told that it is pan-fried with lemon, butter, capers, parsley and lemon segments,” shares the chef, who is currently associated with Jonah’s Meets Chef Willi (Alwarpet) and Jonah’s Goes Fishing with Chef Willi (Palavakkam).
At The Crown, till April 17. From 6.30 – 11 pm. Meal for two from Rs 2,500 plus taxes. Details: 9840046630.
— Lalitha Ranjani