All posts by - rudi

WASTED – Announcement!

Leafy Waste2

Yesterday was a truly special day, so I have replaced this week’s post on kimchi with this short story .
We prepared our first wasted lunch at the chefs table yesterday, with all the dishes prepared from rejected, wasted and shunned produce. Five courses of pure genius from my team. I think the most important message is that nothing was new, but the level of respect for the ingredient was evident, food has become cheap and we have forgotten how to use everything, forgotten how to cook like we should, everyone can take the best parts and be creative. But the unwanted always suffer. With the menu we served some homemade kombucha and pineapple cordial. We started the lunch with “all things crispy “ from leaves to skin and tendons served with whipped beef fat flavoured with mushroom powder. The next course was made up with using the outer leaves from lettuce to make a cold soup served with charred leek picked from the greener parts. The fish course was beautiful and fresh, a tartare of trout scraped and removed from all the bones with a tempura of confit trout removed from the collar finished with a pickled lemon skin salsa.
The chicken course should read carcase and spaghetti, but what we served was a parcel made from blended spaghetti made into a dough filled with meat from the roasted carcase in a chicken veloute. With some crispy bits skins from chicken skin and parmesan skin.
Dessert was simply orange rind that essentially was made into a marmalade and then turned into a ice cream served on a croissant pudding.
Look out for a truly remarkable experience at our chef’s table only on Saturdays for lunch where we will be showcasing a wasted menu and sharing experiences and stories from and in our kitchen.

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Celebrating Peanut Butter

Rice Paper wraps

Rice Paper Wraps With Peanut Sauce

To celebrate peanut butter day tomorrow, how about a peanut sauce or also known as satay sauce.
My first taste of peanut sauce, I was working at the Hyatt the recipe was made up of blended toasted peanuts, garlic, onion, ginger, soya and coconut milk and pineapple juice. I could drink the stuff. Later while traveling to Indonesia I tasted my first peanut sauce on foreign soil, this breaks the mould of everything that was tasted before. With multiple different recipes each slightly different depending if from Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia or Thailand.
Served with satays/sate made with chicken, beef or pork. But for the pool menu we serve rice paper wraps with or with out prawn with mint and coriander. The sauce make is a influence from all South Asian Countries.
It is also not needed to use whole toasted peanuts, as we celebrate peanut butter, it is not only good for a sandwich, but as a cheat in a sauce it will also do the trick. It must just have a balance of sweet, sour and spice. We add lime leaves as well as tamarind to give it that extra kick.

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Celeriac Salad with Celery, Fennel, Apple, Walnuts and a Mustard Dressing

Celeriac Salad

Celeriac Salad with Celery, Parsley, Walnuts and Spiced Mustard Mayonnaise

1 large Celeriac, peeled and thinly sliced or shaved
1 Green apple cored and thinly sliced
1 Fennel Bulb shaved
3 Celery stalks thinly sliced or shaved
50g Walnuts chopped
50g Cranberries
Chopped Parsley
Picked celery leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
Juice one lemon

Season salad and lightly dress with lemon

Dressing
3 tbsp Whole grain mustard
1 tbsp Honey
6 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine

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#Fromthepass – Roast Quail

IMG_6497 (1)

Roast quail breast

 

Roast quail breast, poached tomatoes, pecan nut praline shards, confit leg, Gorgonzola, quince apple jam, green sorrel

Quail is a firm favourite in the kitchen and one of Chef “D” favourites to eat as he points out.

“We decided to pair the quail with tomatoes as they are entering into season and they have the most amazing natural flavours imaginable, sweet, tangy, sour, bitter, sharp, natural MSG as I say, I literally walk into the vegetable fridge and eat them like apples”

‘For this dish at the chefs table we added our favourite blue cheese from cremalat and some quince jam as an unexpected combination that actually works.

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ROASTED CARROT & CONFIT ONION SALAD

Roasted Carrot w Confit Onions

ROASTED CARROT & CONFIT ONION SALAD

I have a thing for roasted carrots & roasted onion, I do not think I am the only one with this problem. When we cook it as an accompaniment to a roast it is the best. When left for the next day, if you are lucky enough, it is equally as delicious. But it did need an extra element to cut through the olive oil, first we made the dressing with yoghurt, which worked very well.
Then we decided to try using another favourite, hummus, and thinning it out a little. This opened a whole lot of other possibilities, adding mint, zest, sesame, pine nuts, cashew and parsley.

500g Baby Carrots
300g Confit Baby Onions
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
3 Bay Leaves
4 Garlic Cloves
Sprig Thyme
1 TSP Black Pepper Corns
1 Cup Olive Oil + 15 ml for Carrots
2 Tbsp Honey
Salt
Pepper

Dressing
100g Hummus
2 Tsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
2 Tbsp Water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil form confit
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
10 ml Lemon Juice
Method
Combine Carrots with olive oil, honey, salt & pepper
Roast for 10-15 Minutes at 160°C

For the onions
Place Baby Onions in small saucepan covering with olive oil, add pepper corns, Olive oil, Bay leaves, salt, thyme and garlic. Close with foil.

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#fromthepass – Burrata, prosciutto and asparagus salad

Prosciutto

Prosciutto Salad

While travelling to London visiting an old friend whom Dion cooked with many years ago during his junior stages in the kitchen, she decided to take Dion to the Borough Market. “we bought tons and ate like pigs but what stood out the most was the insane prosciutto that was sliced paper thin and simply melted once it touched you tongue, we had it with burrata which was literally made in front of us and asparagus which was cooked on this open charcoal grill. Those flavours still cannot be erased from my memory and its the simplicity of having a few great products which simply speak for itself”

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Look out on this summer day, we have added to the Vegan tea selection.

IMG_6636

When Kirsten brought me the first grey looking vegan macaron I was very excited, it tasted so close to the real thing. We both smiled and left it there. Some small things were missing, as we knew she had to take it further. That is the thing about Kirsten, nothing was said, it will just happen and it will be perfect.
And then it happened, a palate blue and grey. All we are now missing was a hint of Venus.
But from the asylum in the back of the kitchen this creation was layered and filled with a cashew cheese flavoured with raspberry.
The liquid – Aquafaba, the water in which chickpeas have been cooked in, especially the tinned version. It has similar properties to that of egg white, which is magical in making egg free, vegan cooking possible. We first started experimenting with meringues. It had a great shelf life. In some cases people enjoyed it more than its egg counterpart. The obvious next step was to make macarons. Happy days!

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Wasted 4 – Fashionably Rejected

SWISS CHARD

Further to the last conversation around the wasted skin and flesh, is it really waste that we are talking about? It is destined for the bin due to laziness, lack of interest, poor skills or cheap food and because it is destined for the bin, it is waste or perhaps we could call it the unwanted, shunned or fashionably rejected. It is still disrespectful and this introspect is needed.

Currently we are busy working on a number of projects and re writing a bunch of recipes. One idea we discussed is that we should not cut up anything new for creating an atchar or jam, but instead use the items left to waste. So some of these projects include kimchi with shaved cauliflower stalks, cauliflower atchar made with stalks, lime atchar, orange skin preserve, melon skin preserve, celery salt, tomato salt and marmalade made with all the oranges left over from juicing. The more we dig the more we find, the more we find the more guilt we are surrounded with, as we have forgotten how to really respect ingredients.

One of our success stories has been the complete utilisation of Swiss chard and writing the recipe around the use. It took a long time, four years probably before all the staff bought into the system that we use all. The only way was to write the recipe specific. But we had to be smart and include other bits, like the outer leaves from the baby gem leaves. Over the months we tweaked the recipe adding a little onion, chili, carrot and feta. Eventually we made the whole thing gluten free with the no crust adding some quinoa.

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Roasted Carrot and Mango Salad with a Sesame Dressing

Carrot and Mango B

100g Red Cabbage
50g Shaved Carrots
50g Sugar Snap Peas blanched and sliced
200g Baby carrots roasted with sesame oil
1 Mango peeled, sliced or cubed
30g kale shredded
50g Corn
1 Tbsp sesame seeds

Garlic, Ginger Sesame Dressing
50ml Vinegar Rice Wine
50ml Soya
3 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp grated ginger (microplane)
1 Tsp sesame oil
3 Spring Onion sliced thinly

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#fromthepass – Laksa with sea-bass and prawn

Laksa w prawn and seabass

Laksa w prawn and seabass

Dion fell in love with laksa the first time during the early stages of working with me at the Saxon Hotel as a junior CDP, we had a crocodile and prawn laksa where we skewered the crocodile with lemon grass.
Through the years Dion mastered the complexity, bringing together all the flavours. Enter Marcus a talented young chef who has an undying love for Asian flavours, having travelled to Asia as youngster on numerous occasions he always has a great understanding with the complex flavours. So when he made a laksa Dion of course got excited, “I hope you know I’m the king of laksa, so please blow my mind.” An hour or so late he did just that, blew my mind and socks off, It was at that moment that I could not leave it of the chefs table menu for that night, so we took the base and worked it into a pretty looking dish but of course giving homage and respect to the all glory full laksa.”

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