Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New food.. New Ideas.. New Clean Look...

For a fresher cleaner look I have decided to concentrate on moving ubergrub to wordpress for now, please follow this link, all feedback greatly appreciated..

Monday, May 10, 2010

Indian Ocean...

Coming home, that’s how it feels stepping onto the sand of the staff beach as we get off the boat..

This island is paradise on earth and coming back feels so right, leaving 18 months ago there have been a few
changes, but with familiar faces it’s great to see some old friends. After the volcano saga we finally stepped onto the island on Monday 26th April, we settled in and had a day to rest.

It was Wednesday morning 7am back into the kitchen, things have changed, the place has had a well needed refurbishment and looking very welcome indeed, can’t wait to get stuck in.

Not knowing where to start and so much to do, a very full 11 days have passed since then, it has been 16 hour days, everyday and we really are flying there is so much already to put into this blog.

I am going to start the updates on a daily basis now, our kitchen compliment went from 15 to 12 within 48 hours of my arrival, it seems like we are going to be needing more staff then I originally thought, so any chefs out there drop me a line if you want to be in a kitchen that is going to earn a huge reputation this year.

In the first 24 hours I started taking steps to cementing our updated Food Philosophy, Exec Sous and I took a couple of buckets and headed down to the sea, we collected 24 litres of sea water and brought it back to the kitchen, passed through muslin and passed again into a boiling pot to start production of our own Indian Ocean Sea Salt. This is our starting point, our first little experiment and it has proved fantastic so far. The SALT is one of the elements which will be included in our unique food we are creating here. From the 24 litres, we managed to achieve a yield of 400gms, we tasted through the process and the taste profile was amazing changing along the way, we are going to be use the salt in so many different forms, before it completely dries and dehydrates it is a very subtle light flavour, getting sharper and slightly sweet before the final product is achieved.

We are now in the process of building a boiling pot and trough so we can make at least 1 -2 kg a day, we are going to use this in our curing, in all of our food for seasoning, even the spa are now after it from us for their scrubs, in this week we are going to refine the process and looking into flavouring the salt in the cooking process before drying..

There is far too much to write here on what has happened so far but I am going to be updating on a regular basis, we are building a state of the art new kitchen, changing and updating all the standards, the food philosophy is written and will become apparent over the next couple of posts. We are in the garden again, a trial hydroponics bed arrives in the next couple of weeks, the new updated smoker is being built now, the new dehydrator for fruits and also to make our salt beds is in the process as well, so much to tell you about, just not enough time..

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Little Delay..

This 'cloud' has caused a major delay for us this week!

I'm sure there is no need to write about the volcanic ash cloud as it has been sprawled across all international news networks around the world, but the day before we were due to depart, British Airspace was closed and for 6 days we have been waiting to see what is going to happen.

Like many others, we now have our travel plans re organised and thankfully we will be heading to the island to start a little later than expected and due to arrive on Monday 26th April!
Can't wait to finally get started again, so looking forward to getting stuck into the kitchen and island life, watch this space...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Future of Ubergrub..

I have been blogging here for quite some time now and am looking at which format is going to be best for me with the future blog, so I am now running alongside as to get a feel for the site and a specific look all feedback greatly appreciated... thanks.. and chefs.. read my last post and please send contact to me with cv's to

Friday, April 9, 2010

Calling all chefs!!!! Paradise awaits.......

In November 2008 I started this Blog whilst working in the Seychelles on a private island as Executive Chef.

Those of you who know me have no doubt heard lots of stories of the Island and how beautiful it was/is even. Well a surprise to most and probably most of all to myself, we are going back!

We are returning to the very beautiful North Island in just over a week to continue what was started back then in 2008 and very  very much looking forward to it. North gives you a sense of piece and a sense of how beautiful natural things in the world can be.

I have so many ideas I need to write about, to cook, to photograph, I will have the pleasure of meeting members of my new team, but also working with a couple of very special chefs who have stayed and kept the amazing food standards alive.

This will also give me more opportunity to document all as it happens with the blog, this I am greatly looking forward to, I already have some great plans which will go into the place as soon as I take the reigns once again.

We are going to create in an environment second to none on the earth, we have the freshest fish delivered daily on the beach, we have our own tropical garden, we have some of the best spices available to us, what more could you wish for, well, 32' all day every day, that just adds to the perfect place to create perfect food.

Our dining concept revolves around the guest, you arrive on the island and you will meet me and we will talk about your likes, dislikes, your home comfort, what you would like to try, so many options, the menu is an 'Any menu' 'Any venue' 'Any time' scenario, challenging this is, but exciting all the same, for a chef what can be more on the edge of creating...

This leads me to my first post of my new regime back on North.

I need chefs, if you think you have what it takes and would be interested then please mail me or contact me, look forward to hearing from anyone who thinks they are up for it!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Three ways..

Continuing with Japanese flavours and with scallops, here is a simple yet light dish with a deep fried scallop in gyoza on soba noodle broth, seared sesame on nori/shiso and matcha steamed on green kosho

Toys.. Fantastic ingredients to play with, the first matcha....
it translates to mean ground and is the base ingredient for the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. The tencha plant is grown slowly which produces a higher amount of chlorophyll and then finely ground or rubbed and the result is matcha, this is the tea you will see in Japan which is whisked to a light frothy broth..
The light sweet flavour is a perfect balance for steaming scallops, just dust them before steaming, these are served on the second of my favourite taste extravaganza.. Kosho

I love Kosho, this one green, it gives you that unforgettable experience, like the first time you taste.. galangal or kaffir lime leaf, I think everyone remembers there first real authentic taste of Thailand, where flavours just seemingly unrecognised before to your palate explode into senses and enliven your taste buds.

Well, you are in for a real surprise when you taste Kosho for the first time, it is a paste made from Yuzu zest, yuzu to me is an amazing ingredient, it can be either yellow or green and is a citrus fruit which is a hybrid of a  sour mandarin and a Ichang Papeda (which is a kind of chinese lemon) This fruit looks like a grapefruit but tastes like nothing else. The kosho is made from the zest and the colour relates to that with the addition of green or red chillies and salt..

Here the two contrasting flavours are a delight..

Sesame.. The scallop is pressed into the tan on one side and the black seeds on the other, mixing the 2 different seeds with lightly smoked sea salt, they each gives the textured crunch and the flavour profile of gomashio which is a powder used for sticky rice in japan, I love to grind this into a paste with shiso leaves to create a tahini like texture..  great to paste over beef tataki or alike, but thats for another post..
Just to continue that bite and crunch of flavour as well, I take the micro leaves of daikon and tempura them, delicate yet full of flavour..

Last post I used hontsuyu, again this noodle soup base I used but reduced it to intensify the flavour, a nest of soba noodles just for the scallop to sit on. I shredded gyoza wrapper and the mixed that through with a pinch of kosho, a generous helping of shichimi and hijiki seaweed and then literally just kept moulding it around then scallop, there is enough natural dampness on the scallop to make it stick together, I first tried adding egg white to make sure, but that really isn't necessary.. so just mould it around the scallop and then into a pan drop in and deep fry, it doesn't need need long, the flavours that you achieve from the kosho stay with it but the spice and deep notes of mandarin and poppy seed from the shichimi just bring it to life wonderfully... The crisp gyoza gives a fantastic crunch which turns the whole thing into a taste explosion!! As you bite into it, the whole thing crunches into the mouth.. fantastic!!

The shichimi also adds that little bite you need to bring the noodles alive, often found in japan sprinkled on top of soups and noodles alike, on the side I finished the dish with a red miso sauce, the rich earthy flavour is a nice accompaniment for the sweet scallop and the salty addition of a little ikura (salmon roe)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Barely cooked... Sashimi... In the shell.. So many options..

We all love Scallops, I have been playing with Japanese flavours recently.. and over the next few weeks will be posting some simple yet uncompromising asian influenced dishes

Here simply flash fried fresh hand picked divers, start in a smoking pan of rapeseed oil, crisping nicely on the exposed flesh and the a knob of butter before turning.

These are set aside and the pan is then finished with a touch of garlic, ginger, a dash of yuzu juice, hontsuyu (Hon Tsuyu is basically extracted bonito and japanese niboshi sardine oil mixed with soy sauce. It's used as a soup base for noodles such as Udon) and fresh chilli. I love adding a touch of hontsuyu to the scallops as they start to caramelize it just helps the process along and adds a depth and intensity of flavour with umami found in the garum of sardines. Garum was a fish sauce similar to the fish sauces used in Asian cuisines, which are equally ancient (if the Roman Empire had not toppled, we’d most likely be using garum in Western cuisine today). 


I have a lot to post about garnish, in plating Japanese food, simple yet beautifully aesthetic garnish which eats with the dish is a key to achieving perfect balance and flavour...

Benriner Mandolin - Fresh seasonal beetroot, the earthy sweet flavor is a perfect marriage for scallops...

The dish here has alternating beds of beetroot and mooli for each plump scallop to sit on and that little touch of nigella shoots and daikon cress livens the mouth with each fresh bite