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Celebrated TV Show Host Roger Mooking to be in Delhi for Indo-Canadian Fusion Cookbook Release

Posted: March 16, 2015 at 4:33 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

HE’S A CHEF who could have been a celebrity singer, but his destiny made him one of North America’s premier cookery show hosts well-known among followers of TLC here.

Roger Mooking, Canada’s ‘singing chef’ – he’s a Juno Award winner – and darling of the small screen, will be in New Delhi for the release of An Appetite for Fusion, the first Indo-Canadian cookbook to be brought out by the Canadian High Commission to drive home the point that apart from Canola oil and maple syrup, the two products the country is known for the world over, Canadian lentils and chickpeas are a part of our everyday diet without anyone of us realising it.

The cookbook features recipes from Mooking, our own celebrity chef, Sanjeev Kapoor, ITC Maruya’s gifted Senior Executive Chef, Manisha Bhasin, Delhi-based Canadian owner-operators of Red Moon Bakery, Anna and David Hambly, and the high commission’s chef, Curtis Pintye. It will be unveiled by the Canadian High Commissioner, Nadir Patel, at an evening co-presented by the Delhi Gourmet Club at Canada House on March 19.

Roger Mooking will be very much present at the book release (he’ll also be conducting a limited-entry cookery demo at Shangri-la by Eros Hotel) and his fan club in the city is all set to give him a warm reception. A third-generation chef, born in Trinidad and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, where his mother picked up European recipes from Ukrainian neighbours, Mooking’s cooking style reflects Canada’s multi-cultural ethnic profile.

As much as 28 per cent of Canada’s population today is of foreign origin and the number of Indians – as High Commissioner Patel reminded the India Today Conclave 2015 – is 1.26 million, or 3.55 per cent of the nation’s population.

It is this composite tradition that gets reflected in Mooking’s popular internationally broadcast television show, Everyday Exotic, where he uses one ‘obedient ingredient’ per episode to sass up an everyday dish. He marinates salmon with tahini before grilling it, for instance, or turns around a buttery angel’s hair pasta with pesto, or livens up chicken fingers with blood orange, and serves them with a fresh plum dipping sauce and watercress salad.

The ingredients, from passion fruit to curry powder (which he uses in good measure with macaroni and cheese), are as many as the episodes that have been aired. And Mooking, drawing on his global cuisine fed by local influences, turns each one of them into a life saviour for a Plain Jane dish.

Mooking, according to his biography, is also the co-host of Heat Seekers airing on Food Network and host of Man Fire Food on Cooking Channel. Roger is also a reoccurring judge on Chopped Canada, which premiered last year, and he has appeared on The Today ShowGood Morning AmericaMarilyn DenisTop Chef Canada and Iron Chef.

As his biography points out, Mooking has also dedicated his time and resources to both local and international charities. “His work has taken him all over the world to experience first-hand food insecurity issues that many individuals live with every day,” it says. “In the last few years [he] has visited Peru, Cambodia and Bangladesh to meet with community groups, medical clinics and local families to explore ways to create sustainable health and nutrition programmes.”

The chef-entertainer began his formal training at the Culinary Management Programme of Toronto’s George Brown College, from where he graduated with Top Honours and is now the Chair of the Professional Advisory Committee. He continued his training at Toronto’s world-renowned Royal York Hotel before co-owning and consulting on many food and beverage operations, including one most recently at the Pearson International Airport.

“Food feeds the body, music feeds the soul. It’s all food in various forms.” These words of Mooking’s express his spicy philosophy of life and work as best as his perfectly grilled pork chops served with sweet and sour lychees.