Christmas Ooh La la!
For 4 persons
500 gr Cauliflower
2 Potatos, peeled en rougly chopped
6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled
500 ml Milk
Peel and Juice of half a lemon
Knob of Butter
150 ml Olive Oil
2 Enchalottes, finely chopped
2 tsp Korma Paste
2 tsp Lemon Juice
8 Scallops without coral
1 tbsp Crème Fraîche
Add if desired:
Parmesan Crisps: 100 gr Parmesan, Grated, 10 gr Flower
3 florets of Cauliflower, thinly sliced on a mandolin, and the remains grated finely and roasted in the
oven on 180 degrees until crisp
Cress (shiso purple or pea cress)
For the vinaigrette, saute the enchalottes in a little oil until translucent. Add the korma paste and fry
until fragrant. Put into a measuring cup, together with the rest of the oil and the lemon juice. Blend
into a smooth emulsion.
For the skordalia, chop the cauliflower, except for 3 florets. Put the chopped cauliflower into a
saucepan, together with the potatos, the milk and the garlic. Bring to a soft boil, and cook until soft,
8-10 minutes. Drain the milk, but save some for the puree. Mash the potatos, cauiflower and garlic
into a puree, push through a fine mesh strainer if you want an even smoother skordalia. Add a dash
of milk, the lemon peel and juice and the knob of butter and keep warm.
For the crisps, combine the cheese and the flower. In a dry frying pan, make really thin circles of the
mixture and bake until the cheese is melted. Flip with a spatula, and bake for one more minute.
Make 8 crisps like this.
To the frying pan, add some butter and olive oil, and put in high heat. Pat the scallops dry with a
paper towel, and season with pepper and salt. When the pan is screaming hot, add the scallops and
fry 1 minute on each side.
On the plates, make two heaps of the puree, put a scallop on top of each, and some creme fraiche on
the side. Finish with tiny frops of the vinaigrette, along the plate.
If adding the extra’s:
Place the thin cauliflower slices playfully against and between the other ingredients, make a thin line
of the cauliflower crumble alongside the puree, and finish with a crisp against each scallop.
and finish with the parmesan crisps against the scallops and the cresses put in between.
How would you classify your style of cooking?
I love working with colors, that’s one of the reasons why vegetables are so important to me. I build my plates around a vegetable, adding different preparations and additions as I go. Going with the seasons, using local products, and showcasing all their possibilities! For me, cooking is a way to challenge myself and my creativity, and to stay flexible. When I go grocery shopping, I go with an idea in mind of what I would like to make, but when I find something interesting I can just as easily add that to the dish. My dishes vary from Japanese to Peruvian and from savory to sweet.
Have you taken courses or have had any education in cooking? If not where did you pick up your kitchen skills?
From when I was in high school until I left Holland to move to Barcelona, I’ve always had parttime jobs in hospitality. I worked in a lot of different places, among others a Michelin star restaurant, a patisserie, a fresh pasta place, a lunch room, and a catering company, so there’s a lot of things I picked up and influences from every experience. Also, I have pictures of myself from when I was 3, sitting on the kitchen countertop, watching my mom cook. From her I learned the basics, and from my dad the crazy things. He would put ingredients together that didn’t seem to go together, and at times they didn’t. But sometimes, the result turned out better than we could expect, so I incorporated “learning through mistakes” into my philosophy. And in my free time I read cookbooks. I have a huge collections of cookbooks, even though I never follow a recipe!
Who would be your biggest inspiration today in cooking? Any celebrity chef’s for example?
My inspiration comes from a lot of different places, but at the moment there’s four chefs that inspire me in particular: Matt Wilkinson, who puts vegetables in the spotlight. Niven Kunz, a chef who’s 80/20 philosophy I find very inspiring. He constructs a plate starting with vegetables, and then he adds fish or meat, but only if it adds something to the plate. Then there’s Katie Quinn Davies and Jamie Oliver, both super inventive and constantly improving themselves.
What motivated you to join Eatwith? Any tips for anyone who’s thinking of joining?
A friend of mine introduced me to Joel, one of the guys running Eatwith in Barcelona. We cooked together and he told me I should try working as a host for Eatwith. At the moment I was working part time at a fresh pasta place, and Eatwith seemed a good opportunity to work a bit more and meet interesting people.
I thought pretty long about what I wanted to offer for my dinners at Eatwith, since it has to sell and be different from everything else that’s already offered. It’s about the experience you provide, something else than just a dinner at a restaurant. The thing that I like most about Eatwith is that you meet so many people, who in their turn meet a lot of people as well, and make new connections in my living room!