"The idea for this dish came to me when Johnny, my fishmonger, gave us some whelks to play with one day. They arrived in the same delivery as some stonkingly fresh mackerel. From this the seeds for the dish were sown. It has taken a little while for it to come together, but now I am extremely happy with it. It is a real chef’s dish with its contrasting flavours, textures and temperatures"


Serves 8


Gayette of trotter and whelks

300g poached and shelled whelks

125g belly pork

70g lean pork

20g pork back fat

50g white breadcrumbs

1 egg

125g meat from poached pig’s trotter, finely diced 

65g finely chopped onions

juice of 1/2 lemon

60g olive oil

a sheet of caul, about 150g

50g unsalted butter



75g salt

50g light brown muscovado sugar

20g grated lemon zest

20g grated orange zest

10g coriander seeds, crushed

2g mustard seeds, crushed

6 black peppercorns, crushed

20 leaves of lemon verbena, shredded

3 mackerel, about 350g each, trimmed and filleted

50g olive oil


Cardamom yoghurt

250g milk

8g dried skimmed milk

3 cardamom pods, slightly crushed

50g natural cultured yoghurt


Pickled mooli

1 medium mooli

300g orange juice

200g caster sugar

100g white wine vinegar

grated zest and juice of 1 orange



50g peanuts, toasted and peeled

50g sesame seeds, toasted

13g salt

radish shoots, to garnish



Gayette of trotter and whelks 

 Mince the whelks, belly pork, lean pork and back fat through a fine/medium mincing plate. Place in a mixing bowl.

Add the breadcrumbs and beat in the egg, then add the diced trotter, onions, lemon juice and seasoning and mix well. To check the seasoning, take a small spoonful of the mixture and shape into a flat burger, then cook in 10g of the oil in a small frying pan for 1 minute on each side. Remove from the pan and taste. Add more seasoning if required.

Divide the mixture into 55g balls. (You only need 8, but it is difficult to make a smaller quantity of mixture; you could shape all the gayettes and serve the rest on the side.) Lay the sheet of caul on the work surface. Wrap each ball in caul, cutting it as necessary. Flatten the balls to resemble burgers and trim. Place on a tray and keep in the fridge until needed.



Put all the ingredients, except the mackerel and olive oil, in a food processor and blitz to break down the aromatics a little. Place the mackerel fillets skin side down on the work surface and sprinkle the flesh with the aromatic mixture. Place one mackerel fillet on top of another, flesh sides in, and tightly wrap the pairs in cling film. Place on a lipped tray and leave in the fridge for 2 hours. After this curing time, rinse quickly under cold running water and pat dry with a cloth. Keep in the fridge until needed.


Cardamom yoghurt

Place the milk in a saucepan and whisk in the skimmed milk powder, then add the cardamom and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and cool down to 35ºC.

Strain through a fine sieve. Mix in the cultured yoghurt and place in a yoghurtmaker.

Leave for 8–10 hours. Keep the yoghurt in the fridge until needed.


Pickled mooli

Peel the mooli, then use a mandolin to cut it into long, thin strips. If you don’t have a mandolin, then grate the mooli. Place in a bowl of salted water and leave for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, bring all the remaining ingredients up to the boil in a small saucepan. Cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Pour the pickling solution into a bowl. Drain the mooli well and add it to the pickling solution. Leave to marinate for about 1 hour. When needed, drain.



Put all the ingredients in a food processor and process to a coarse powder (it can be finer if you wish; I quite like a coarse texture).


Finishing the gayettes

Heat the remaining oil in a large pan. Place the gayettes seam side up in the pan and cook for 3 minutes, until golden.

Flip them over, add the butter and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Remove from the pan to a tray and keep warm.


Finishing the mackerel

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan.

Place the mackerel fillets, skin side down, in the pan and cook for 1 minute. Flip them over, then remove the pan from the heat and let the mackerel finish cooking in the residual heat of the pan for a further 1 minute. Remove from the pan and place on a tray. Keep warm.



Split each mackerel fillet lengthways, then cut the pieces across in half. Make 2 swipes of cardamom yoghurt on each plate, then place a cross of mackerel on it. Put a gayette at the opposite side of the plate and add a small mound of the gozmasio.

Place a third piece of mackerel on top of the gayette and garnish the plate with a small mound of the drained mooli and the radish shoots.


Find out more about David's culinary career here...

Recipe feature in 'Beyond Essence' published by Absolute Press; Bloomsbury Publishing Plc