Saturday, January 28, 2017

Beef Tenderloin Recipe by Igor Macchia

As promised, here the first recipe in a long time. As we are talking about Igor Macchia, I have taken the liberty to share his recipe with you. It is a bit labor intensive than many others, but then, you want to cook one Michelin Star cuisine...then you have to work for it....Stars don't come just for a simple steak on the BBQ, no there needs to be more to it than that

It was so much fun working with Igor, he is totally down to earth and happy to coach the team, something they loved as the guest chefs are really changing the everyday routine, mine included. Often these chefs need specialized ingredients like the cassis and spinach powder for this recipe. Of course you can do it without it, but for us here, we want to be as close as possible to the original. So I contacted Igor and he happily shared where I can get all the special ingredients from, it took of course still a lot of mails with suppliers to get it finally delivered to us,..... but that is the fun part, the part where we have to source the best ingredients and then bit by bit actually have a web of suppliers where we can fall back with all the fancy foods....I just love that part

So here is the recipe: Enjoy!
Ingredient for cherry marinated with ginger:
  400 gr. fresh cherry
  140 gr. brown sugar
    50 gr. fresh ginger
Method for cherry marinated with ginger:
season quartered cherry with sugar and ginger. Vacuum pack and cook in steamed oven at 80°C for 3 hours. Chilled and blend. Keep the sauce for presentation of the plate.
Ingredient for mashed potatoes:
1500 gr. potatoes
                Sea salt
  150 gr. diced butter
  150 gr. mascarpone cheese
               Salt
               Pepper
Method for mashed potatoes:
wash potatoes and pierce with a fork. Cook with sea  salt in oven at 200°C for 1 hour.
Mashed potato and add mascarpone cheese and butter. Season with salt and pepper and keep for presentation of the plate.
Ingredient for watercress sauce:
250 gr. fresh watercress
             Xantana
             Salt
             Pepper
Method for watercress sauce:
Cook watercress in salted water. Chilled and blend.
Add xantana and season with salt and pepper. Keep for presentation of the plate.
Ingredient for presentation of the plate:
480 gr. wagyu beef tenderloin
120 gr. foie gras
   30 gr. cherry pure’ from boiron or capfruit
   20 gr. beef juice
   10 gr. watercress sauce
     2 gr. cassis powder
     2 gr. spinach powder
   60 gr. mashed potatoes
   40 gr. cooked cherry
   40 gr. saute fresh spinach
               Extra virgin olive oil
               Maldon salt
               Sea salt
               Pepper
               Fresh sprout
Method for presentation of the plate:
Season beef with salt and pepper and cook in a hot pan with olive oil. Finish to cook in oven at 200°C for 5 minutes.
Garnish the top of cooked beef with all ingredient and plate in a hot plate garnished with cherry and watercress sauce.

Use cassis and spinach powder for garnish the plate.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Cooking with a Michelin starred Chef

Lobster Carpaccio
Today I just wanted to tell you a bit about our latest event we did with a Michelin starred Chef. His name is Igor Macchia and he traveled all the way from Italy to us in Maldives to cook with us and produce 2 amazing dinners. Igor usually works in "La Credenza" a lovely Gourmet Restaurant close to Torino in north Italy
The Canapes
We have cooked together a couple of years ago and I am really happy to have Igor over again, this time in a different hotel, and show us the art of Italian Fine Dining
Chef Igor and me
Busy Plating
As the hotel is pretty full, it is not always easy for the chefs to make time and come over to Naladhu, the private island, and cook with the master chef. That is why most of the chefs actually took a day off so they have time and invest it to learn something new
Caesar Salad
We started off with a cocktail at the beach for around 60 guests. An absolutely amazing event as we had. We finished off the canapes in a make shift kitchen at the beach, the chef went around to meet the guests and everyone had a great time having some stunning food and watching the sunset. Of course the dinner was sold out within no time and we had 2 evenings with 32 guests each time....booked to capacity.
Lobster Carpaccio
Rabbit
The dinners were great too, the setup was outside, next to the beach under the stars....could not be any better. Igor and the chefs all busy in the kitchen we sent out course by course, accompanied by wonderful Italian wines.....yes, each wine was sent to the kitchen as well for a taster...much appreciated
Wasabi Risotto
Wagyu, Foie Gras and Cherries
I have a whole load of photos, so you can see the food a bit and I will try to post some of the recipes soon, they are absolutely easy to do, especially if one thinks that this is Michelin star level cooking
Pre Dessert
Chocolate Mousse and Spice Cake
So next will be a nice wine dinner with wines from Antinori and then there are another 3 Michelin starred chefs on the program in the next three month....something really exciting...and lots to write about.
The Brigade at work

The Brigade after work

Sunday, January 1, 2017

It has been too long

As the title says, it has been too long that I have not written a single Blog and one of my new years resolutions is that I am writing again regularly, something that I actually always enjoyed but due to a really hectic time at work totally put on the back burner.
It has been a fantastic time here in Maldives, I am not complaining, we have done a lot here at Anantara and have now culminated on a fantastic New Years Eve buffet...not just one but we had on Dhigu one buffet, then another one on Veli and 2 of the a la carte outlets served set menus...so yes we were running a bit
One of the main attractions was the ostrich eggs that we had in Dhigu....something most of the team members here have never seen nor touched. So when I got up this morning I saw plenty of photos on Face Book with the ostrich eggs
It took me more than 6 month to get them here....from the initial idea to contacting a super supplier in South Africa to finding out that the supplier actually needs an export permit for the eggs. The supplier went onto it and obtained a permit from the South African government, then got everything in place to send them to us which again is a challenge as they need to be
fresh and sent between Christmas and New Year.
 They did arrive in Male airport in the morning of December 30...then customs and yehee....arrived safely with us late in the evening, just in time for the next days events
But of course not just the Ostrich eggs were a big attraction. As usual the pastry outdid themselves and every year got better....I have attached a couple of photos as I really like these pastries very much0 In future there will be again a lot more....not just promising, but really taking the time to write a little bit

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Fruit Bread

We have started an amazing little cheese board in one of our outlets, called The Living Room. Here we serve a cuisine which we like to call personal dining. This means, the chef goes to see the guests during breakfast, asks them what they like to have and then will cook a personal menu for them for either lunch or dinner or both. Of course there are many guest that still like to opt for the normal a la carte, but the personal dining gives a whole new dimension to the experience here
So with the cheese board that has mainly European cheeses on at the moment, I needed a bread that compliments it to perfection and I started digging in my old recipes.....what I found you can see below and of course I am happy to share the recipe

I am very happy now with the cheese board, it reminds me of home and sometimes I can't stop but have a little nibble
Recipe
200 g Dried Pears
300 g Dried Figs
200 g Dried Prunes
200 g Dried Apricots
200 g Dried Apples
1000 ml Water
600 g Flour
40 g Yeast, fresh
 Salt and
cinnamon

120 g Almonds
160 g Hazelnuts
100 g Walnuts
150 g Raisins
Method
Cut the dried fruit in cubes
Leave in the water over night Add yeast and flour
 Add nuts let the dough rest for at least one hour
Form the loafes proove them for another 20 min before baking

Monday, November 23, 2015

Break time is over

Looking for stories? Found them!!!
It has been a while since I have published a blog, it has been a busy time here in Maldives and the writing was not high on the priority list....but I think I can make a little time to publish a blog from time to time

Maldives are amazing, the islands, the sunshine, the snorkeling and of course the amazing hotels. The three hotels I am in charge for the kitchen have kept me nice and busy and so much happened in the last 12 month, so I think it is time to tell you a bit about the happenings here

So you can expect new posts, new recipes and of course a lot of new stories with photos. It has been far too long since you heard from me last and there is so much to tell you about

There was the chef competition in Colombo, my first time as a judge, then the 2 cooking competitions in Male, one of them was a great success, then of course the recipes, we have changed a lot of menu and of course some which we cooked at home, was real fun

There were guest chefs coming to cook with us, highly decorated ones with loads of Michelin stars, all of that I need to tell you and not just keep for myself

So stay tuned.....the channel
is open again with loads of interesting stuff

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tagliolini with Green Asparagus and Black Truffle

We do have a daily special in our Italian Restaurant, Terrazzo and we do serve it as well in our second restaurant, Sea-Fire-Salt. It makes sense as both restaurants are actually served out of the same kitchen, so the special is easy to be prepared for 2 restaurants
 
We like to make some nice homemade pasta dishes, they are usually so tasty and one can immediately spot the difference between bought and homemade.
 
For me to make pasta is totally relaxing, it is fun and I love to see how the dish comes together. Yes it is a bit more work than just buying pasta, but at the same time it is much more rewarding to eat it as well. If you don't have the time or the patience to make your homemade pasta, then go and buy some high quality chilled pasta which is available in good supermarkets
 
This is id a bit on the rich side, with the creamy sauce, but it is really simple to make
 
The recipe is for 4 friends as a main course or for 6 friends as a starter

Pasta
500 g (1 lb) Flour
5 Eggs
25 ml (1 oz) EV Olive Oil
5 g Salt

Sauce
500 g (1 lb) Green Asparagus
200 ml (5 oz) cooking liquid of the Asparagus
50 g (2 oz) Onions
100 ml (3 oz) Cream
15 g (0.5 oz) Corn starch
30 g (1 oz)Black truffle
Salt
Pepper
70 g (3 oz) Parmesan shavings

For the pasta dough mix all the ingredients together to a firm dough
Knead well
Let it rest for at least 2 hours before rolling out

For the sauce

Clean the green asparagus
Cut the heads off and then cut the stems in small pieces, keep some asparagus to cut into slivers
Blanch the Asparagus in a small amount of water which can then be used for the base of the sauce
Fry the onions in the melted butter without color
Add the asparagus and then the cooking liquid and cream
Bring to the boil
Thicken with corn starch which has been mixed with some cold left over cooking liquid
Season to taste

Toss the pasta in the sauce

Drizzle the pasta with truffle oil and generously slice fresh black truffle and Parmesan shavings on it





 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cured Wagyu Beef Salad

As promised I am busy again with new dishes and recipes and am happy to share some of the new dishes. I know it took a little longer than expected, but finally I have some time to share the recipes. I am trying to get back into the routine of writing 4 to 5 blogs a month, so that there is a steady flow of recipes and stories

Live here is amazing, the 7 restaurants and 2 bars are keeping me busy, but working with the 60 chefs here is an absolute pleasure. I like when the chefs are creative, I push them to be creative because to be quite honest, to put out daily specials and more for all the outlets, then menu changes, new buffets and more, that is something one single chef can't do, but with a team like I have here, it works really well.

Today we do a nice cured Wagyu beef. Something that sounds so expensive but if you take the right cut, it is actually not that expensive. For a marble grade 8/9 Fillet one can easily pay 120 to 220 $ per kg.....for proper Kobe it can be even more. But to be quite honest, you don't need the most expensive cut of meat. A nice Wagyu rump will do the same, just make sure it is nicely marbled. Then you will be able to get the meat for around 20 to 25$
 
To make cured beef is actually vey simple and similar to Gravad Lax, the main ingredients are salt and sugar and spices. I usually marinate it over night or just a little longer, like this it is nicely flavored but still not too strong in flavor

So here is the recipe for the dish. This is enough for 10 friends

Cured Wagyu
800 g Wagyu Topside
75 g Sugar
100 g Salt
25 g Pepper Black, coarse
10 g Juniper Berries, crushed
2 ea Lemon Rind

Salad
250 g Green Asparagus
250 g Artichokes (from a pack of Antipasti Artichokes, so they are already marinated)
100 g Parmesan shavings
100 g Grapes
150 ml Balsamic Vinegar
25 ml Honey
75 ml EVOO
Micro Greens

For the beef just mix all ingredients and rub evenly of the meat.
Wrap the meat in cling film and keep refrigerated for 12 to 18 hours.
From time to time turn the meat around to ensure it is evenly marinated

The cut it as fine as possible and plate like a Carpaccio

Cook  half the green asparagus al dente
Cut the artichokes in halves or quarters
Cut the Parmesan in fine slices with a truffle cutter
Do the same with the uncooked asparagus
Reduce the Balsamic with the hone to half

Plate and enjoy

Monday, February 9, 2015

Anantara Maldives

It has been very quiet lately on my Blog. The reason for this is my new job, Cluster Executive Chef at Anantara Maldives.

As you can imagine, the cluster stands for more than one hotel, and yes in fact there are three hotels which are very close together and I am currently looking after all the culinary aspects. So the time for writing on my Blog is very much limited, but I am sure over time I will find more time to share recipes and stories again.

The hotels here are absolutely amazing. Each island/hotel has its own identity.

There is Anantara Dhigu, the biggest of all with 110 villas, some over water and some on the beach, but all are absolutely beautiful. Here we cater more for families, there is a kids club and kids are allowed everywhere. On this Island we have a couple of Restaurants, there is Fushi Cafe where we serve breakfast and an international dinner buffet. We have Terrazzo, our Italian restaurant which offers authentic Italian cuisine from our Chef de Cuisine Alessandro. It is an eclectic mix of traditional and modern cuisine. We have Fuddan, our Fusion restaurant...but this one will soon change to a different restaurant, stay tuned for more news about that soon. We have Aqua serving light snacks from 10 till 6 pm and drinks till late
The there is Anantara Veli, the romantic island, no kids during the evening, loads of honeymooners and couples are staying here. Here we have Origami, Japanese, then 73 Degrees with Breakfast and daily changing theme evenings and we have Dhoni bar for drinks and snacks

On the way to the last island you will pass Baan Huraa, our thai restaurant. I always love stopping here as everything is Thai, service, chefs and of course the food. We fly in all ingredients from Bangkok....yes we like to do the real thing.

That brings us to the last hotel island, Naladhu. Naladhu is actually not an Anantara brand but we are of course looking after it as it has only 20 rooms and is super luxury. So you guess it right, our restaurant here is The Living Room where we cook fine dining, progressive cuisine or simply what the guest likes to have. The chef is talking to the guests and will then cook what they feel like.
So and then there is one more island, called Guli Fushi. We have a little pop up restaurant on there serving light foods cooked mainly on the grill and in the Tandoor.
But that is not all, we have one last island called Marina. That is where most of the staff is living and all the main offices and stores are there

So we have to get everything from Male by boat to the stores and then from the stores to the different islands....then like pastry for example, we send again to the different islands as the pastry and bakery are on Veli. Not an easy operation, but trust me it is a lot of fun.

So you can expect a lot of new stories and recipes very soon, keep tuned

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