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Ben Spalding

BIOGRAPHY:
Ben is the former Head Chef at
Roganic in Marylebone, Simon Rogan’s (L’enclume) London restaurant.

Ben’s phenomenal training started at the 1* 28+ Restaurant in Gothenburg, Sweden then followed with time spent at 3 Michelin starred restaurants Per Se in New York and Royal Hospital Road (London). This lead onto holding senior positions at L’Autre Pied (London) and Gary Rhodes W1 @ Cumberland Hotel (London) and being an integral part of the team awarded a Michelin Star in each of the restaurants in 2008/2009 respectively. Ben then took a break from London, before his daughter was born and spent 3 months at Shannon Bennett’s critically acclaimed restaurant Vue de monde in Melbourne, Australia.
Ben has also undertaken long stages throughout time off periods at the 3*The Fat Duck, 2*Le Manoir, 2*Capital hotel, London and 2*Bagatelle in Oslo, Norway.

BEN'S DISH:

SEAWATER CURED MACKEREL WITH EBÈNE CAVIAR, ORACHE, BROCCOLI AND WARM ELDERFLOWER HONEY

Photo taken by Paul Winch-Furness

MACKEREL:

4 MACKEREL LARGE FILLETS – BONES REMOVED
30G CASTER SUGAR
1000G SEAWATER
5G DILL SEEDS
5G CARAWAY SEEDS
5G WHITE PEPPERCORNS
3 SPRIGS DILL
15G CIDER VINEGAR

BROCCOLI CREAM:

1 LARGE BROCCOLI HEAD
200G DOUBLE CREAM
20G PEELED AND CHOPPED GARLIC
SALT AND WHITE PEPPER

BROCCOLI CRISPS:

1 SMALL BROCCOLI HEAD

PICKLED SHALLOT RINGS:

2 LARGE BANANA SHALLOTS

ORACHE:

1 HANDFUL OF ORACHE LEAVES

WARM WLDERFLOWER HONEY:

50G ELDERFLOWER HONEY
10G RASPBERRY VINEGAR
1 TABLESPOON OF SHAVED BROCCOLI FLORETS

METHOD:

  1. Pour the seawater through a Brita water filter then into a pan and bring to the boil, when at the boil remove from heat and add vinegar and spices, leave to cool

  2. Meanwhile Lay mackerel skin side down in a shallow tray and sprinkle the caster sugar evenly over the flesh, place the tray in the fridge for 20 minutes.

  3. Fill a bowl with cold water, remove the mackerel from the tray and wash the sugar off the mackerel fillet, then lay flesh side down in the original tray.

  4. Now checking the seawater is cool, pour over the fish and disperse evenly, place the tray in the fridge for 45 minutes.

  5. Remove mackerel from fridge and fill a bowl with cold water and wash the mackerel again, then lay the fillets out on a chopping board, using a knife scrape the skin to remove any excess water and the mackerel are now ready to pan fry.

TO ASSEMBLE DISH: Heat a non-stick frying pan to smoking, add a little oil and then lay the fish skin side down and slowly pan fry for 1 minute until crisp, do not turn, leave pink and remove from pan and serve immediately.

BROCCOLI CREAM: Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add the chopped broccoli florets, cook for 2 minutes or until tender then remove and shock in ice water, meanwhile slowly reduce the chopped garlic and double cream by two thirds and set aside.

In a blender add the broccoli and the reduced cream and blend on high for 3 minutes, adjusting consistency if needed, when blended, check seasoning and remove into a small pan until needed.

DRIED BROCCOLI: Cut large florets off the broccoli and cut 8 slices thinly with a knife, lay out onto a flat plate and dry out in the oven at 70c for 3 hours until crisp and shrivelled in size.


PICKLED SHALLOT RINGS: Slice the shallots with a knife into 1cm rings and push out the middle part, put the rings into a small container and bring the pickling liquid to the boil and pour over the rings and leave to cool down at room temperature.

ORACHE: Pick orache leaves from stalk and wash to remove any dirt


WARM HONEY: In a small pan warm the honey to just before boiling and add the raspberry vinegar to taste and 2 good pinches of the broccoli shavings

EBÈNE CAVIAR: Spoon the caviar over the dish at the last second

TO ASSEMBLE THE DISH:

On a large round plate, put a good dollop of the warm broccoli puree, and spread flat with a palette knife, spread shallot rings over the puree, sprinkle the broccoli crisps over, add the wilted orache leaves and then place the mackerel on top, then drizzle the warm honey around the plate and finish the dish by spooning a generous portion of caviar all over the honey