Sunday, November 23, 2008

Belly Pork, Sweet Potato, Bilimbi, Chilli & Chocolate

Braised Pork belly, sweet potato mash, chocolate leather, cauliflower puree, chili tuille, baby carrots, sauce vigneronne & bilimbi..
Absolutely delicious, although a little sweet, that's where the bilimbi comes in, a little fruit from the Seychelles, also found across Asia and in Caribbean, it's very sour and dry, actually from the same family as the carambola (starfruit)
It also has some good medicinal uses as well. Here the locals blend it with fresh chili to add to their food, they like it really hot, so it acts as a really good carrier.

What else have we used bilimbi with recently, we pickle it, marinate fish with it, we have made salsas, I'm thinking bilimbi ice cream, no sorbet, with sweet chili sauce..
actually a dry rubbed curried bonito, bilimbi ice cream, palm sugar jelly, coriander foam, holy basil risotto.. mmm nice new creole dish there

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Red & White

Red Snapper & White Chocolate

We have been oddly busy the last few days, occupancy has been lower but we haven taken the chance to get ahead with prep and lots of it, having a any menu any venue any time concept for your work is a little strange and challenging to say the least, but, we do well most of the time.

So, we have been busy getting ahead for the strange requests we get, making purees, turning herbs into beautiful herb oils, its fantastic when you see all the mis en place building up and gets the creative side of all of us thinking.

We have had everything going on, one sous chef on holiday, another sick had to get a chopper off the island, a new chef started and today he left, a 1 week wonder! A steward leaving on the boat to the dentist, what it seems like non stop rain, 2009 budget meeting, a visit with a hydroponics expert, made a japanese 6 course dinner, made a "desperate dan" style pie, five course Asian dinner for spa girls, England beat Germany 2-1 in the footie, "big man" my star kitchen steward cleaned the gator (buggy), foie gras terrines, non stop thai curry for one guest, today I have been piping beetroot meringue to look like antique picture frames, we recieved some nice red snapper, vara vara, jobfish from Mahe, that and more all in the last 3 days!

What to do with beautiful fresh red snapper, well we pan fried it, nice and simple fresh flavour, along with some truffle pomme puree, sliced truffle, vanilla salt, asparagus we feature it alot because its one of our best ingredients, white chocolate veloute, red wine syrup just to cut through the whole thing, the vanilla salt is great with the white chocolate TGRWT, another nice little treat is a white chocolate jelly wrapped around the asparagus and a light grating of the choc as well, all comes together as what we like to do with red snapper.

Monday, November 17, 2008

You Decide...

Tropical Fruit Garden... A nougat base with mango, papaya, kiwi, pineapple, gooseberries, blueberries, candied hibiscus flower, grenadine glass, pistachio glass, vanilla panna cotta, pistachio petals, raspberry jelly, papaya parfait, lychee sorbet, pineapple sorbet, rose petals, mint & fleure be blue, a ttropical fruit garden idea
Crayfish & Lamb... Butter poached lemongrass lamb loin, grilled crayfish tail, arrugas ppotatoes, quince puree jelly, goosberry, lemongrass caviar, coconut veloute, pepper syrup, lamb crackling & thai basil

I couldn't decide which photo to put on, half of us said Lamb, half of us said fruit, so never one to stand in the way, here are both for you to decide which one should be here, my own personal thought was the fruit garden..

Sunday, November 16, 2008

From the Garden

One of the first things I started on the Island was talking to Gregg the Landscape Manager, he had started a rehabilitation on the Vegetable Garden before I arrived, so I wanted to get stuck in and see what we could do with the vegetables we had and what else we could possibly plant.

Our first discussion involved lots of different possibilities with what was possible to plant in the quite hard soil, obviously Cherry Tom's were one of them, now several months down the line we are now seeing the fruits of the labour, they are beautiful! There is nothing like the smell of fresh tomatoes, I can't believe how wonderfule they look growing on the vine as well, so above are a few shots of the first batch of cherry tom's, we can only hope the other new crops are going to come as good.

We are about to get onto the new planting after this week, looking at a hydroponic watering system, we are talking with an expert who is over to help us along the way. Very exciting to see what we can grow and how, my first thoughts are growing lots and lots of micro shoots, I miss not being able to use nice little beetroot shoots or onion cress, when we try and get these locally its very difficult, although we have managed a few times and our delivery system is now about too take a huge leap in the right direction.
I have been talking to Tarak, they supply the best produce in Mahe, they can get ingredients for us from all over the world and he is my best connection with food here for produce. We are about to start transporting our food in a fantastic way, electronic temperature control probes will record the temp of all goods transported on the boat, inside new fantastic rubberised sealed poly boxes, this is a huge leap and basically with the ice packs placed in the boxes means we keep the temperature with no break in the cold chain!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Chocolate Coral... a local inspiration

How much can one person produce? Well it seems endless amounts, we discussed a bit of local inspiration, something which started as a crayfish dish play about one night, thinking it could look like under the sea, then a few days later... "I used to make chocolate coral before"
..Well pour over crushed ice, let it set and watch the ice melt, turn it over, then instant coral!!

Ok, then we moved onto lots of thoughts of what we could use as different aspects of living coral, thinking of the movement and realism. Strawberry octopus came and went and then we decided lets stick to black and white.. Chocolate!
Popcorn for sand, jahlebi & churros for the long coral strands, tapioca, we love using tapioca recently, its just amazing to look at, looks like underwater, lychee anenome.. what a great idea, one of the best things on there, white poppyseeds on the chocolate run outs, lots of unseen things, the white chocolate veloute hidden under the sand, when mixed with the popcorn sand eats beautifully, the little bit of salt in with the sand covering the white chocolate TGRWT. Chocolate mousse holding everything together, coconut living coral flowers, grated fresh toasted coconut everywhere. Shell macaroons, the tiniest detail, starfish macaroons, the list is endless, I need to go and check all has been mentioned here.
Well this was our first attempt, I really like it, I am not always a fan of the end product, I can always see room for improvement on the whole thing, not sure where we should go with this to make it better, like I said though one person made all of this for service and we didn't use all of the options for plating as well, there is so many ways and choices of putting it together, thats definately what makes this so much fun, I love making up coral, each plate is different, each one individual, just what each plate, each dish should be about.
Dark , white & milk chocolate coral, tapioca, salted chocolate popcorn coral, coral runouts, chocolate mousse, chocolate marquise, milk chocolate parfait, churros, honeycomb coral, jahlebi, star & shell macaroons, lychee anenome, white chocolate veloute, popcorn sand, I think these are all the elements but will update it!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Health Inspector!

We had a visitor this morning

North Islands Chief Taster and oldest living resident... Brutus

estimated to be well over 100, accordingly to Linda he is a great advert for viagra, always at it! He has over 20 girlfriends to choose from as well.

He came by the back of the kitchen for a morning visit, had a bite to eat, some breadfruit, papaya and his favourite mango and off again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wahoo & Fennel 3 ways, not forgetting smoked korsol

The Seared Wahoo eats in 3 elements on the plate each with fennel, 1 with braised fennel (mirabelle style ) with cinnamon and just a touch of cardamon powder.

Another with shaved fennel and citrus jelly agar based, a pinch of vanilla salt on the jelly to help and coriander, brings it all together.

Then a new discovery, when we smoked the sour sop we had no idea what the flavour was going to be like with the fennel, it completely changes the flavour profile, I am not the biggest aniseed fan in the world, never have been, but with any of the elements it was fantastic it really smoothed the flavour, giving it almost a fruit taste and we added a fennel veloute to go with just to finish, eats really good.

I think it could be part of the new TGRWT ideas, I think Khymos and the others were up to No.10, the last one being white chocolate & caviar.

Tomorrow we are using some fantastic little vine cherry tomatoes we have grown, they were the first things to be planted since we arrived and now we are starting to see the fruits.


We used the Smoker today, the first week I arrived I asked the maintenance guys to build me a smoker, we get an abundance of fish and its not always used, so, solution.. a smoker. I spoke to Phillip and he had the guys take an old oil barrel, mount it on a Weber base and we have been smoking stuff on and off ever since.

Some stuff has come out great, others not so great, the trouble has been getting the fire right, but we have mastered it now, so we can cold and hot smoke. Lieanna, prepared it all and got stuck in using the smoker for the first time... We smoked Palm Heart today along with Sour Sop in creole (korsol) as well as peanut butter, tempura batter, garlic, ginger, oysters & cinnamon. The korsol we used in tonights dinner dish, see the picture in the post above.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fresh Ingredients...

They don't get much fresher than this!!

We are now about to have this guy get us fresh coconuts on a daily basis, he is going top the nuts, drain out the water sieve it so we can bottle it everyday. I love it and could drink it all the time, we can also make our own fresh coconut milk instead of buying, finishes a curry off so much better.

I am using all of the husks as well, we are using them for our smoker I had built when I first got here. I mix the husks with the chips from the Takamaka & Casarina trees on the Island which Gregg's guys get ready for us, we also add some tonka beans to the smoking mix, adds a nice flavour.

We are smoking tomorrow, so will post the results in the afternoon, after a trip to the vegetable garden today we've got some great things to put in..

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sesame dipped Yellow Fin and Panko Froglegs

Another Tuna from the same batch, we are into cubes at the moment hence all the Yellow Fin is cut into them, Frogs Legs I got from a recent visiit to Mahe and they were the only 2 boxes on the Island, so I grabbed them and brought them back to North.

The mandarin jelly is made with Agar, which was our first attempt at the time, hiding inside is a peeled segment, goes really well with the honey foam, the watercress puree is scented with vanilla.

Tuna Nicoise

Sweet vinaigrette & balsamic agar sheet with seared yellow fin on top. Rolled spanish pickled anchovy, crushed potato tian and tapenade, shallot rings. Soft boiled quaills egg, confit tomatoes, local green beans, candied olives, olive powder, lime sherbet & smoked balsamic syrup.
We had a guy go fishing the other day and he brought back 37 fish, he brought back for us all this Yellow fin, Rainbow Runner, Wahoo, Dorado, Bonito, Sailfish, Jobfish & Snapper, we have been cooking it for him for the last week, in all different ways.

Yellow Fin