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CAVIAR IN MODERN FRENCH COOKING

by Richard Ekkebus photos by Brent Pottinger

Richard Ekkebus

Caviar is the most extravagant, perhaps one of the oldest, delicacies in French cuisine. To many, caviars are mysterious tiny black pearls that are so refined and rich in flavors. In this issue, I created a new dish “Oscierta Gold Caviar, Winter Leek, Crème Feuille de Brick” especially for Spirito diVino Asia to pair with bubbly.

 

I grew up surrounded by food and restaurateur environment because my grandparents owned a restaurant in Holland, where I was born and raised. I often offered them a helping hand by peeling shrimps and cleaning fishes. As time passed, I fell in love with cooking and began training under classical French culinary styles.

 

My career began through an apprenticeship under Michelin-starred chefs Han Snijders and Robert Kranenborg. I won the prestigious Golden Chef’s Hat for ‘Young Chef of the Year’ and was further inspired to work under the tutelage of three- starred chefs in France, including Pierre Gagnaire and Alain Passard. I later took up the Executive Chef position at the Royal Palm in Mauritius, then The Sandy Lane in Barbados.

 

After exploring world cuisines in various culinary establishments, I joined Amber at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental in 2005 and was privileged to be Culinary Director in this luxurious five-stars hotel in Asia.

In this issue, I thought about telling readers to put a spoonful of high-quality caviar on top of a lightly toasted and buttered slice of bread, but that would be too easy! Instead, I played with the idea of making a tart with the exquisite Oscietra Gold Caviar, one of the most prized types of caviar obtained from Ossetra sturgeon, which is easy to achieve. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is the simplest dish ever with only leek, caviar, and cream. Caviar pairs well with food in great crispiness such as crunchy bread. The tart shell of this dish is made from Feuille de Brick that produces crisp and well-rounded flavours with the caviar.

To pair with this dish, Jean-Charles, our Asia Editor, suggests the Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé featured in the column “From My Cellar”. The Chardonnay in the blends lifts the palate to keep it fresh and lively while the Pinot Noir, partially processed as red wine before final assemblage, gives the wine body and flesh to match the creaminess of the caviar. The rosé style of this Champagne brings added aromatics to the pairing and increase the overall complexity of the experience.

 

I hope that you will find this delicate dish a beautiful way to begin a meal with loved ones at home!

Oscietra Gold Caviar, Winter Leek, Crème Fraiche, Feuille de Brick
Oscietra Gold Caviar, Winter Leek, Crème Fraiche, Feuille de Brick
Oscietra Gold Caviar, Winter Leek, Crème Fraiche, Feuille de Brick

Oscietra Gold Caviar, Winter Leek, Crème Fraiche, Feuille de Brick

Tart

- Feuille de Brick dough 6 sheets

- Clarified butter 20g

 

1. Take 3 sheets of dough, brush with little clarified butter.

 

2. Place 3 layer on top of each other.

 

3. Cut each sheet in two discs with cutter 8cm in diameter.

 

4. Place disc in between 2 buttered tart tins 9cm diameter.

 

5. Bake at 170°C for 10mins, let the shells cool down.

 

Cream Sheets

- Crème fraiche 200g

- Gelatin leaves 1pc

 

1. Soak the gelatin in ice water, squeeze out all water when softened.

2. Reheat in a small thick bot- tom sauce pan the gelatin without boiling.

3. Remove the pot from the stove, add the crème fraiche, resolve the gelatine.

4. Pour onto a flat covered with parchment paper in a layer of 3mm thick, let the tray cool down in the refrigerator.

5. Use cutter of 5.54cm in diameter and cut in 4 discs.

6. Keep covered & refrigerated till needed.

Leek compote

- Leek 250g

- Fish stock 100g

 

1. Dice leek into 0.3cm x 0.3cm dice.

2. Add olive oil into a heavy bottom pan & sweat the leek for 3 minutes without coloring.

3. Add the fish stock and cook the leek till fondant and all fish stock is evaporated.

Plating

- Caviar 4 X 20g (reserve some extra to garnish)

- Bannou negi 4 X 5pcs

 

1. Portion 4 times 20g.

2. Cut the green firm part of the Bannou Negi in very thin & perfect slices.

Presentation

1. Place in each tart shell a ring diameter 6.5 cm and spread out evenly 10g of the leek compote, top with the 20 g caviar and spread out evenly.

2. Place Crème Fraiche disc on top in the center and garnish each cream disc with 10 grains of caviar and 9 thin slices of bannou negi.

3. Serve immediately to ensure crispiness.

Amber

LANDMARK, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central

tel. +852 2132 0066

More Chef stories & their Recipes
 
♦     CHEF YOSUKE SUGA    ♦      CHEF FABRICE VULIN     ♦     CHEF SHANE OSBORN    ♦     CHEF ALVIN LEUNG    ♦      CHEF BAMBANA    ♦     CHEF PINO LAVARRA    ♦     CHEF PAUL LAU     ♦     CHEF RICHARD EKKEBUS    ♦      CHEF VICKY CHENG    ♦      CHEF ERIC RATY    ♦