It is such an exciting time of the year for me in terms of ingredients.
Spring is probably my most inspiring season.
Last week, for example, I had the sweetest beetroots of the year so far. We peel them, we quickly pan fry them in olive oil and cook them with water for almost 7 minutes.
I am always very tempted to serve them just like that- perfectly cooked with nothing more than their own taste- but you have to be very brave to do that. I am not convinced that our customers will feel excited by the view of a plate filled with beetroot.
So we "play" a bit with them= some red chard leaves tossed with an aged Balsamic dressing- maybe some deep fried tofu & artichokes to give a crunchy contrast to the dish....
I am hoping that broad beans will be better this week than last. They tend to be slightly flourish and hard to cook lately.
Radishes are perfect at the moment, so we serve them as soon as guest seat down with some basil relish, butter and salt.
Asparagus were really up and down this week- some big , some too thin. We are seeing the end of the season and I doubt that we will have some from tomorrow. It is quite sad to see the end of an ingredient- I have to wait for another 10 months for some good green asparagus now!
Strawberries were delicious this week (from Secretts farm). Carlos has created and exceptional dessert with them.
A base of very fragile chocolate biscuit Breton topped with a light sweet wine jelly.
Then he puts the strawberries (room temperature) and a light coconut cream/mousse.
To finish the dish, he adds a little translucent crust over it.
When he first told me about this dish, I told him that he was " hors sujet". I didn't want him to play around too much with the strawberries. Most of all I didn't want to see a dollop of coconut cream in my pudding.
Despite my comments, he developed the pudding and asked me to try it.
And then..... i thought to myself- what a wanker I can be.!
I was so wrong. His composition was perfect. in terms of taste nothing took over the subtle taste of the strawberries. The ingredients are just complementing the deep flavour of the red fruit.
Texture wise, it is perfect. The balance crunchy, tender, soft and crispy is very clear across the dish. Nothing is too hard or too soft. The simple weight of the spoon breaks everything without effort. I was blown away. Well done Carlos.
Also, his Campari granité with grapefruits and lime juice was out of this world!