Detroit Delhi team Jesse Knott and Lindsay Salminen are popping up quite a bit these days. The partners hosted the inaugural POP brunch at Checker Bar last weekend, are back again tonight, and are hitting Motor City Wine this weekend for a special Valentine's Day dinner.
Knott, who originally ran the pop-up solo, says learning to cook Indian cuisine was a necessity for him. "It's just one of my favorite things to eat and there's not a lot of it around town." This lead him to hit the books and start testing recipes at home, which eventually led to a full-fledge pop-up series. Meanwhile, he continued improving his dishes.
Mastering the special flavor profiles found in Indian cuisine was a challenge for Knott, but even more difficult was finding the proper ingredients. Throughout the experiment he's explored some of the metro area's lesser-known markets for exotic spices (even driving as far as Ann Arbor for curry leaves) only to realize he could find everything he needed in Eastern Market.
Knott met Salminen, an accomplished chef herself, when she moved back to Detroit from New York for the first iteration of Antietam. While the staff didn't last, Salminen and Knott hit it off and kept in touch as they went on to work for Brad Greenhill at Katoi food truck.
Now that Katoi is on hiatus (awaiting the brick-and-mortar location), Salminen and Knott are refocusing their attention on Detroit Delhi. "It's very collaborative," Salminen says of her relationship with Knott. "We have a lot of fun brainstorming and being super creative in the kitchen."
Tonight's menu at POP features Indian and Kashmiri inspired cuisine including Nacho Chaat, what Knott describes as an "amazing super crunchy Indian nacho." Keep an eye out for more events by the team.