Chef Sanjeev Kapoor was given a rare insight into the historic kitchen of the White House, which prepares food for US President Barack Obama, his family and the guests at the White House every day.
Kapoor was not only given the tour of the historic kitchen, but also had an intensive discussion with the team of White House chefs led by its executive chef, William 'Bill' Yosses, for several hours on Sunday.
He was accompanied by KN Vinod, an eminent Indian-American chef from Washington who runs three popular Indian restaurant in the nation's capital.
Yosses, said to be a great lover of Indian food himself, took Kapoor and Vinod around the White House kitchen, but also gave him a tour of the kitchen garden of the first lady Mitchell Obama.
A frequent visitor to Indique and Indique Heights – the two popular Indian restaurants in the nation's capital – Yosses discussed at length of the growing popularity of Indian food in the US and at the white house.
Kapoor presented his latest encyclopedic work on Indian food, 'How To Cook Indian' to Yosses and submitted copies of it for the President and the First Lady.
"It was a great experience," Kapoor told PTI after his, what he termed as – once-in-a-life experience.
"It is great to see how interest in India food is growing. When (Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh Comes (to the White House) Indian food being on the menu is quite understandable. But Indian food is being introduced in other ways also," he said.
Kapoor said, a trip to the White House on Sunday, on the eve of Easter when it is expecting 30,000 visitors and the kitchen is making preparations for them, reflects the gaining importance and recognition of Indian food in the White House.
Yosses took them around and shared behind the scene preparations for the Easter.
Before visiting a White House kitchen, one would expect a fairly large, but that's not the case, he said.
"Being a chef I can tell you that cooking 4,000 people from that kitchen is not an easy thing, which can be very very challenging," Kapoor said.