Kusshi oysters in sea water gelée

Serves 16 as a tasting-size appetizer


Seaweed crouton

8 thin slices seaweed bread

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Lemon custard

4 cured lemons, quartered

1 lemon

200g heavy cream

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk


1 small head fennel

10g kombu

33g chopped leek, white part only

12g chopped celery

6g coarse sea salt

¼ piece whole lemon omani

3g nori sheets

Glazed fennel coins and oysters

16 kusshi oysters

2 grams vegetable gelatin (carageenan)

Avocado mousse

3 ripe avocados

265g water

50g lemon juice

2.5ml tabasco sauce

Salt and pepper

To finish

3 sheets gelatin

Canola oil for frying

60g vietnamese rice vermicelli

2 sheets finely diced nori

8 tongues uni (sea urchin), halved

80g golden ossetra caviar

16 pieces oyster leaves

16 yellow celery leaves


For the seaweed crouton

Preheat oven to 175c. Cut the bread into a least sixteen 2-cm discs. Lightly brush two silpats with olive oil and set one on a baking sheet, oiled side up. Line the bread discs on top in a single layer, season with salt and pepper, and top with the second silpat, oiled side down. Bake until crisp, about 6 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container.

For the lemon custard

Preheat the oven to 90c. Rinse cured lemon quarters. With a small knife, trim away and discard the flesh and white pith from the peels. Transfer peels to a small saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to a simmer, and then drain. Repeat process twice, and set aside. With a vegetable peeler, peel long strips from the lemon, and then squeeze and reserve the juice. Trim and discard the white pith from the peels. Transfer the peels to a small saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to a simmer and then drain. Repeat the process 4 more times, and set aside. Roughly chop the cured and regular lemon peel and transfer to a saucepan with the reserved lemon juice. Place over a low heat and cook, stirring until almost all of the juice has evaporated. While still warm, transfer the mixture to a blender and purée with half of the cream until smooth. In a medium sized bowl, whisk to combine the egg, egg yolk, lemon purée and remaining cream, and then pass through a fine-meshed sieve. Divide the custard into 16 small oven safe bowls or ramekins (with the inset diameter no larger than 6-cm) to reach a thickness of approximately ½-cm. Cover the bowls tightly with plastic wrap and place in a baking or roasting pan with sides deeper than the bowls. Pour hot water into the roasting pan and around the bowls to reach the level of the custard. Bake for 35 minutes or until the custard sets. Unwrap the bowls of custard and chill, flat, in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

For the seawater

Trim the fennel, separate the layers and peel the outer sides of the layers. Using a 2 ½-cm ring cutter, punch out at least 16 ‘coins’ and reserve. Finely chop the remaining fennel trim. In a medium saucepan, bring 750ml of water to a boil, remove from the heat and add the kombu, fennel trim, leek, celery, coarse sea salt, lemon omani and nori sheets. Stir to combine, cover and infuse for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine meshed sieve and discard the solids. Reserve chilled.

Glazed fennel coins and oysters

Preheat the oven to 175c. Scrub the oysters well and place cupped side down on a baking sheet lined with crumpled aluminum foil to keep them level. Bake for 2 minutes, remove and then transfer to the refrigerator to chill. Place a bowl over ice and with an oyster knife, remove the top shell of one oyster and run the knife underneath to cut the muscle. Pour the oyster along with its juice into the iced bowl and repeat until all of the oysters are open. Strain the oyster juice through a fine-meshed sieve. Trim away the muscle and outer ruffled edge of each oyster and reserve in the juice, chilled. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and place a bowl of ice water on the side. Boil the reserved fennel coins for 20-30 seconds, or until tender, chill in the ice water, strain and pat dry. Measure 250g of the ‘seawater’ into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, remove from the heat and whisk in the vegetable gelatin. Cool to 35c. Individually dip the oysters into the gelée to coat, and place one each, slightly off center, on top of each bowl of lemon custard. Dip the fennel coins in the gelée and place one each on top of the custards at an opposite side of the oyster. Return to the refrigerator to set the gelée, about 1 hour.

For the avocado mousse

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pass through a fine meshed sieve, and transfer to the canister of the whipped cream maker. Charge with three nitrogen chargers, leaving the third attached and keep well chilled.

To finish

Soak the gelatin sheets in ice water for 10 minutes, remove and squeeze dry. Measure 250g of the remaining ‘seawater’ and pour into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat. Add the gelatin sheets and stir to dissolve. Cool to 35c. Carefully pour the gelée on top of the custards, dividing evenly into the bowls. Refrigerate, flat, until set, about 1 hour. Fill a third of a medium saucepan with the canola oil and heat to 400f. Fry the vermicelli so that it expands and crisps. Dry on a paper towel-lined tray and sprinkle with the diced nori flakes. For each portion, place one half of a uni tongue and approximately 5g of caviar onto the custard. Squeeze a dollop of avocado mousse from the whipped cream canister on top. Garnish with one piece of oyster leaf, a celery leaf and a few strands of crispy vermicelli.

Slow baked sea bass, fennel royale & caramelized figs

Serves 6


Syrah reduction

1 bottle (750 ml) syrah wine

240ml port wine

3 sliced shallots

2g cracked black pepper

1 small bay leaf

2 sprigs thyme

Fennel royale (makes extra)


2 heads (800g) fennel, with stems

480ml heavy cream

4 eggs

1g fennel pollen

Freshly ground white pepper

14g butter, softened

Sea bass

6 (200g) boneless black sea bass fillets, skin on

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

27g butter, melted

Crushed black pepper

Fennel salad and confit

1 small head fennel, stems attached

220g olive oil

1g fennel pollen

12g salt

Red wine and fig sauce

80ml syrah reduction (see above)

15ml heavy cream

175g cold butter, cut into small dice

30ml fig balsamic vinegar (we recommend restaurant lulu)

2 ripe figs, cut into brunoise

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

To finish

27g butter

3 figs, halved lengthwise

14ml fig balsamic vinegar

Salt and freshly ground white pepper


For the syrah reduction

In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients over medium heat and simmer until reduced to 480ml. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and continue reducing to 80ml. Reserve, chilled, for up to 1 week.

For the fennel royale

Preheat the oven to 135c. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and set a bowl of ice water on the side. Trim and weigh 120g of the fennel stems with their leaves. Boil the stems and leaves until very tender, about 3 minutes, and chill in the ice water. Strain and squeeze dry. Using a mandoline, cut the bulbs into thin slices and place in a medium saucepan. Add 240g of the cream with 12g salt and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until the fennel is tender. Scoop the fennel with a slotted spoon into a blender; reserve the cream. Add the blanched fennel stems and leaves and puree with enough of the cream to form a smooth, thick purée. Season with salt and pepper and measure 475g into a bowl. Whisk in the remaining 240g cream, the eggs, fennel pollen, 12g salt, and a pinch of pepper until well combined. Spread the butter on the inside of an 22 x 12-cm loaf pan and line with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. Pour in the mixture and wrap with plastic wrap; poke 3 small holes in the plastic wrap. Transfer the loaf pan to a roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with enough hot water to reach the level of the fennel mixture. Transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until set. Cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, remove the pan from the water, then chill in the refrigerator. Run a knife around the inside edges of the pan and flip the custard onto a cutting board. Peel off the parchment paper and cut into at least six 4-cm cubes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined baking sheet and reserve, chilled.

For the sea bass

Cut six 20 x 30-cm sheets of parchment paper and set aside. Square off the ends and sides of the fillets to form a 13 x 6 ½-cm rectangles. Lay the fillets skin side up and score a deep cut down the center of the length of the fillet, leaving about 1-cm of flesh intact. Fold in the fillets along the score, so the skin is facing outward. Season the fish with salt and pepper on all sides. Brush one side of a sheet of parchment paper with butter and wrap, buttered side in, snugly around a piece of fish. Repeat until all the fish is wrapped and place on a baking sheet. Reserve, chilled.

For the fennel salad and confit

Pick the fennel fronds, wrap in wet paper towels, and reserve, chilled, for the salad. Separate the layers of the bulb and peel the outser sides of the layers. Cut into at least 6 5-cm diamonds. Using a mandoline, shave 2 layers of the fennel bulbs lengthwise into ice water and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine with the fennel diamonds, olive oil, fennel pollen, and salt and heat to 85c over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until the fennel is tender. Keep warm.

For the red wine and fig sauce

In a small saucepan, bring the syrah reduction and heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter a few pieces at a time until melted. Add the vinegar and figs and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm but do not simmer.

To finish

Preheat the oven to 200c. Transfer the fish to the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until just cooked through. Place the fennel royale in the oven for 3 minutes, or until just heated through. Brown the butter in a small sauté pan over low heat. Add the figs cut side down and cook undisturbed until caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar, turn the figs over, season with salt and pepper, and swirl to coat. For each serving, place one portion of fish, 1 cube of fennel royale, and 1 roasted fig half on a warm dinner plate. Top the fish with fig sauce, and spoon a line of the sauce on the plate. Lean a few slices of shaved fennel and a fennel frond against the fennel royale and serve.

Langoustine croustillant hearts of palm tandoori, kumquat

Serves 6


Pickled kumquat

4 kumquats, cut into ¼” round slices

60ml rice vinegar

20g sugar

1 pinch chili flakes

Tandoori gremolata

10 kumquats, finely grated zest and juice

5g olive oil

3g tandoori paste

5g lime juice

1 pinch crushed black pepper



1 egg yolk

4g tandoori paste

1 pinch espelette pepper

6g salt

Freshly ground white pepper

12 scottish langoustines, peeled and deveined

10 spring roll pastry sheets, finely julienned

Hearts of palm

280g fresh hearts of palm, preferably from the thick base

13g coconut oil

4g tandoori paste

240ml chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth, divided

230ml heavy cream, divided

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

To finish

Canola oil for frying


30g lemon balm salad


For the pickled kumquat

Place the kumquats in a heat-proof container. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, and chili flakes to a boil, and then pour over the kumquat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 3 days.

For the tandoori gremolata

Mix all of the ingredients together and season with salt to taste. Set aside.

For the langoustines

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the tandoori paste, espelette pepper, salt, and white pepper. Evenly coat the langoustines in the mixture. Wrap each langoustine with the spring roll julienne. Reserve chilled.

For the hearts of palm

Cut 24 matchsticks from the hearts of palm and reserve for garnish. Cut 100g of brunoise from the remainder and reserve the trim. In a medium sauté pan over a medium heat, combine the coconut oil and tandoori paste and cook, stirring for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the brunoised hearts of palm and sauté for 2 minutes, until tender but not colored. Add 120g of the chicken stock and 115g of the heavy cream and simmer until reduced to a sauce consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve, warm. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining hearts of palm trim with the remaining stock, cream, and a 6g of salt. Simmer over a medium heat until the hearts of palm are very tender. Scoop the hearts of palm into a blender and puree with enough of the cooking liquid to make a smooth, thick purée. Pass through a fine meshed sieve and reserve, warm.

To finish

Fill one third of a large heavy-bottomed pot oil and heat to 175c. Fry the langoustines in batches until golden brown (1-2 minutes) and strain onto a paper-towel lined tray. Sprinkle with salt. Place a warm langoustine on top of a spoonful of brunoised hearts of palm. Top with two matchsticks of hearts of palm, two slices of pickled kumquat and two pieces of lemon balm salad. Spoon 5-6 dots of purée around the langoustine, as well as a drizzle of tandoori gremolata.

Honey poached pear, biscuit mirliton, maple ice cream

Serves 6


Biscuit mirliton

7g lavender honey

94g eggs

40g egg yolks

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

77g almond flour

77g sugar

7g flan powder

Croustillant tuile

200g sugar

12g powdered glucose

155g biscuit mirliton crumbs

1 pinch of salt

Honey cremeux

5g gelatin sheets

45g egg yolks

75g lavender honey

154g heavy cream

225g mascarpone

Maple ice cream

180g maple syrup

70g egg yolks

210g whole milk

140g heavy cream

Honey poached pear

250g lavender honey

250g butter, softened

6 asian pears

Asian pear gelée

3 asian pears

4g gelatin sheets

25g pear alchohol (we recommend poire williams)

60g sugar

Maple emulsion

135g fat free milk

70g maple reduction

2g soy lecithin

To finish

Asian pear


For the biscuit mirliton

Preheat the oven to 175c. Line a rimmed 24×32-cm baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper and coat with nonstick cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, eggs, yolks, and vanilla seeds. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the almond flour, sugar, and flan powder on medium speed. Stream in the egg mixture and continue to mix for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula halfway through. Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet, spread into a flat layer with an offset spatula, and bake for 14 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, turn the cake out onto a cooling rack, and turn off the oven. Once cooled, cut twelve 6 x 4-cm rectangles from the biscuit. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. Return the biscuit trim to the warm oven until dried, about 30 minutes. Cool, and transfer the trim to a food processor. Pulse into fine crumbs and reserve for the croustillant tuile.

For the croustillant tuile

Line a rimmed 32 x 44-cm baking sheet with a silpat. Combine the sugar and glucose in a medium saucepan and melt, stirring occasionally, over high heat until it reaches 180c. Remove from the heat and stir in the crumbs and salt. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and cool at room temperature until hardened, about 3 hours. With a blunt object, break the hardened sugar into small pieces and transfer to a food processor. Pulse into a fine powder and shake through a fine-meshed sieve. The powder can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Preheat the oven to 175c. Line a baking sheet with a silpat. Sift half of the powder over the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 3 minutes, or until the sugar is melted. Remove from the oven, cover with a sheet of parchment paper, and carefully flip the silpat onto a flat surface. Peel off the silpat, and cut at least eighteen 6 x 4-cm rectangles from the sugar. While still warm, lift the rectangles off the parchment with an offset spatula and transfer to a flat tray. If the sugar becomes too brittle when cut or lifted, slide the parchment back onto the baking sheet and place in the oven for 30 seconds to soften. Cool the tuiles at room temperature and store in an airtight container.

For the honey cremeux

Soak the gelatin sheets in ice water for 10 minutes, then squeeze dryin a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the honey until smooth. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. While whisking, gradually pour half of the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture. Gradually whisk the yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Return the saucepan to the heat and cook slowly while whisking until it reaches 83c. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the gelatin. Cool mixture to 40c, and then whisk in the mascarpone. Pour mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into a flat container to reach 1-cm height. Cover, and freeze until solid. Cut into twelve 4 x 6-cm rectangles and reserve in the refrigerator.

For the maple ice cream

In a small saucepan, reduce the maple syrup by half (to 90g). In a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. In a medium saucepan, combine the maple syrup reduction, milk, and heavy cream, and bring to a simmer. While whisking, gradually pour half of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk. Gradually whisk the mixture back into the saucepan. Return the pan to medium heat and cook, while whisking, until it reaches 83°c. Remove from the heat and pass through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl set over ice. Stir until well chilled, then spin in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to disposable pastry bags and reserve frozen.

For the honey poached pear

Using an immersion circulator, preheat a water bath to 60c. In a medium bowl, mix the honey and butter until well combined. Peel the pears and with a 1 ½-cm diameter ring cutter or cannoli form, cut out 5 long cylinders from each pear. Transfer the pear cylinders to a sous-vide bag, add the honey butter and vacuum-seal. Submerge in the prepared water bath and cook for 2 hours. Chill the bag in cold water. Strain and reserve butter for other uses.

For the asian pear gelée

Peel, core, and chop the pears. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Line a sieve with cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Pour the puree into the sieve and rest until the juice has strained through (do not press or the juice will become cloudy). Weigh 140 grams of juice for the gelée. Soak the gelatin in ice water for 10 minutes, and then squeeze dry. In a small saucepan, combine the 140g pear juice, pear alcohol, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, and then remove from the heat. Stir in the gelatin until dissolved. Pour onto a lipped plate or tray to reach ¼-cm thick layer and refrigerate, flat, until firm. Cut into at least 18 small discs, and reserve chilled.

For the maple emulsion

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix with a hand blender until smooth. Keep chilled.

To finish

Cut the asian pear into matchsticks. Cut the tip of a disposable pastry bag and insert a star tip. Cut the tip of a bag of maple ice cream, and insert into the bag with the star tip. Place the head of a hand blender just under the surface of the maple emulsion and puree to form a thick layer of foam. For each serving, place a rectangle of biscuit mirliton on one side of a chilled dessert plate and top with a croustillant tuile. Trim five cylinders of honey poached pear to 4-cm lengths and arrange on top of the tuile. Set another tuile on the pear, then another rectangle of biscuit mirliton, and top with a third croustillant tuile. Scoop a spoonful of foam onto the top tuile. Set three pear matchsticks on the opposite side of the plate and rest 3 asian pear gelée discs aside them. Pipe a swirly line of maple ice cream on the plate and serve immediately.

Find out more about chef Boulud.

Photography by t.schauer