A MORNING IN HUNGARY WITH TEALEAVES: EXECUTIVE CHEF LEONARDO DI CLEMENTE’S SALMON WITH GRESHAM TEA SAUCEOct.20.2014
“I believe that tea in combination with cooking creations enhances the richness of foods, making a meal truly unique. Various tea blend aromas inspire me and allow me to create dishes based on my inner feelings and thoughts. The tea I like to drink is the fruity tea because I can enjoy the flavor and the aroma explicitly in the winter time. The fruity and spicy flavors are perfect on a cold day next to a fireplace.” – Executive Chef Leonardo Di Clemente
Tealeaves worked in collaboration with Executive Chef Leonardo Di Clemente to create a hand-blended medium-bodied Ceylon black tea, the Four Seasons Gresham Palace Blend. We learned more about his story when venturing with him through the Great Market Hall in Budapest and explored the various sights, sounds, and senses.
· CHEF SHOPPING TIPS AT THE GREAT MARKET HALL ·
The Great Market Hall is one of the leading tourist attractions of Hungary, being the oldest and largest indoor market in all of Budapest. Guided by Chef Leonardo through the stalls and shops of paprika, spices, palinka, beef, cabbages, tomatoes, and other local foods, he took us to a mushroom clearance room and explained to us how fruits and vegetables are divided into a class system dependent on the degree of ripeness. He also explained to us about his fondness for local yogurt, “It’s more creamy because of grass. More creamy, not watery – it’s tasty, made natural with fresh enzymes.”
In his Italian childhood, Chef Leonardo had been taught by his parents who were farmers to create meals from fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs, locally sourced. “My main philosophy in the kitchen is to first find the best local ingredients in Hungary. If not there, then Italy. If not in Italy, then look around internationally.”
· CURATED CULINARY SKILLS, INTERNATIONALLY REFINED ·
Chef Leonardo’s wide array of international experiences has helped transform his culinary skills, style, and beliefs. We discovered that in Switzerland, he learned to be organized. In London, he learned of different cuisines through the city’s multiculturalism and through the city’s wide variety of ingredients available. Through his experiences in Japan, he learned about perfection, balance, colour, and how to please his guests. In Hungary, he has learned about the importance of first impressions when preparing a dish, with the belief that “the first bite is with the eyes”.
· RECIPE: HOMEMADE SMOKED SALMON WITH GRESHAM TEA SAUCE AND BABY APPLE ·
Chef Leonardo shares with us a delectable recipe using the hand-crafted Four Seasons Gresham Palace Tea. A complex recipe to re-create, not for the faint of heart, yet glory will be bestowed upon the hosts who can serve up this delightful dish for his or her privileged guests of 10.
For a visual reference, we recommend watching Chef Leonardo prepare his Smoked Salmon recipe in his film, below. Watch him wield an authentic Japanese cutting knife in his Hungarian kitchen, having curated the best tools from his international past to create an optimal dining experience for his guests.
· ingredients for Smoked Salmon ·
Salmon fillet, cut into half lengthwise
White wine, to rinse cheesecloth
Yield: Serves 10
· ingredients for Poached Salmon ·
Salt and pepper
· ingredients for Gresham Tea Jelly ·
· ingredients for Chinese Baby Apple Compote ·
· ingredients for Mostarda Cream ·
· ingredients for Grilled Spring Onion ·
· ingredients for Sour Cream Pureé ·
Cserpes sour cream
+ 150 g
· ingredients for Red Radish Shaving ·
· ingredients for Black Rice Chips ·
· ingredients for Marinated Zucchini and Carrot ·
· ingredients for Cherry Tomato ·
Red cherry tomato
Yellow cherry tomato
Kumato cherry tomato
Salt and pepper
· ingredients for Micro Cress ·
· ingredients for Green Pea Sprouts ·
Green pea sprouts
· steps ·
To prepare Smoked Salmon:
Combine all ingredients except the wine.
Place half of the salt mix on a tray.
Place salmon on the top and cover with the rest of the salt marinade.
Cover with cheese cloth rinsed in white wine and marinate for 12 hours.
Wash off the salmon and pat dry with kitchen towels.
Cold smoke the salmon for few minutes.
To prepare Poached Salmon:
Season the salmon with salt, pepper and the lemon zest.
Vacuum seal with the olive oil and cook sous vide at 55 °C for 10 minutes. Chill in ice water.
To prepare Gresham Tea Jelly:
Bring water to boil.
Remove from heat and add tea, cover and steep for 2-3 minutes and strain.
Add agar-agar, sugar, and salt to the tea.
Bring to simmer whisking constantly.
Simmer for 2 minutes.
Strain through a chinois.
Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.
Cut into cubes.
Transfer to a blender and blend on high speed with the compote until very smooth.
Strain through a chinois.
To prepare Chinese Apple Compote:
Drain the apples, cut the bottom and cut a whole with a parisienne cutter.
Stuff with the mostarda cream.
To prepare Mostarda Cream:
Strain and blend the mostarda until creamy. Transfer to piping bag.
To prepare Grilled Spring Onion:
Wash and remove the outer leaves form the onion.
Cut x on the bottom of the spring onion and blanch 3-4 times, in salted boiling water until soft.
Chill in Ice water.
Drain on paper towel. Season with salt and olive oil and grill.
To prepare Sour Cream Pureé:
Warm the sour cream over low heat but don’t boil.
Bring the agar-agar and the water to a boil for 1 minute.
Whisk in the warm sour cream and season with the salt.
Strain through a chinois and refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.
Cut into pieces and blend in Thermo mixer on 60 °C until smooth with the extra sour cream and xanthan.
Strain through chinois.
To prepare Red Radish Shavings:
Wash and thinly slice the radish with mandolin.
Keep in ice water.
To prepare Black Rice Chips:
Combine the rice, water and salt.
Bring to a boil and reduce the heat.
Simmer for 40-50 minutes until overcooked.
Strain and transfer to a blender and blend until smooth and pass through chinois. Add more water if required.
Line a tray with silpat and spread thinly the rice purée onto.
Dry at 90 °C for 1,5-2 hours until crisp.
Heat up the vegetable oil to 200 °C. Break the rice and fry until puffs.
Drain on paper towel and season with salt.
To prepare Marinated Zucchini and Carrot:
Thinly slice the carrot and zucchini lengthwise.
Put it on a tray and season with salt.
To prepare Cherry Tomatoes:
Wash and cut the tomatoes in half.
Season with salt, pepper and olive oil.
· A DAY IN HUNGARY WITH TEALEAVES: MORNING, AFTERNOON & NIGHT ·
One tea, multiple personalities. See how the Four Seasons Gresham Palace Blend tea adapts itself to the shifting needs of the day, in our film series to come.
A DAY IN HUNGARY
Learn more about the inception of the Gresham Palace Tea that Tealeaves custom blended for our friends at the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest(Explore Here).
AN AFTERNOON IN HUNGARY
After hours of traversing the Great Market Hall, sit and sip contemplatively at Four Seasons Gresham Palace’s exquisite Bar and Lobby Lounge. Drink in the history and the stunning beauty of your surroundings. Live like Hungary’s elite and world adventurers alike by partaking in their uniquely Hungarian afternoon tea service. (Explore Here).
A NIGHT IN HUNGARY
Join bar manager Gabor Szonyi of Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest as he shares with us a tea and alcohol recipe using our Gresham Palace Tea. Promises to be as unique an experience as Budapest is a city! (Explore more).
Enjoy this exquisite tea beyond the walls of the Palace as your mind journeys there. Indulge your wanderlust and appetite by taking a taste of Budapest home!