Scallop, Cucumber and Dill Ash
Copenhagen’s Noma is, of course, officially the world’s best restaurant. And now Tom Sellers, one of its proteges – as any self-respecting foodie will already know – has just landed in Bermondsey. Sellers’ first chef-proprietor role will be at his brand new and highly anticipated Restaurant Story, housed in a former public lavatory block on Tooley Street. And it opens its doors for the first time on Tuesday.
As well as having worked under René Redzepiat at Noma, the young (he’s 26!) tattooed chef who got kicked out of school at 16 has already rubbed knives with numerous Michelin stars. He’s worked for American super-chef Thomas Keller – who has a lifetime achievement award from the 50 Best Restaurants in the World people – Tom Aikens, and rising star, Adam Byatt at Clapham’s Trinity. Sellers also ran the much talked about Bethnal Green pop-up, Foreword, in 2011, serving an “avant-garde” menu.
So what will Story offer? Dishes on the £45 or £65 set menus will inventively champion British produce, and include the likes of Sellers’ trademark Bread & Dripping, as well as Beef Cheek, Stout & Cauliflower Yeast and the intriguing Three Bears’ Porridge.
And in a bit – OK, a lot – of a coup, we can exclusively bring you Tom’s coveted recipe for one of the dishes Story will be serving. So even if you can’t bag a table – the restaurant is already one of London’s hottest tickets, with booking only open for two months – you can have your own Michelinesque meal at home. Good luck!
Scallop, Cucumber and Dill Ash
Nb: you will need to prepare the infusions 8 and 2 hours ahead and procure a bit of specialist kit, or work out your replacements
2 x scallops in shells
200g fresh elderflower
5 cucumber flowers
10g wild nasturtium leaves
100g white wine vinegar
200ml double cream
20ml whole milk
1 fresh horseradish
5 bunches of dill
Maldon salt to taste
1. Pick out 6 elderflowers to dress and put to one side
2. Remove scallops from shells, clean and prepare. Slice into 3mm discs
3. Gently wash cucumber flower and nasturtium leaves
4. Make the elderflower vinegar: Bring the sugar, salt and vinegar to the boil and infuse with the remaining elderflowers for at least 8 hours
5. Make the horseradish cream: combine the double cream and milk together and finely grate in half a stick of horseradish. Leave to infuse for 2 hours only then strain
6. Make the dill oil: pick the dill and blanche in salted water for 7 minutes and put straight into iced water to refresh. Lay out on a tray and leave to dry. Once fully dry add to ThermoChef and blend for 8 minutes at 80°C/ 175°F with half the amount of vegetable oil to dill in weight. (Assuming you don’t have a ThermoChef – it’s a pro, pricey piece of kit – employ a thermometer and a pan, and work fast to get it to the blender swiftly.) Once blended cool instantly to preserve colour
7. Make the dill ash: peel cucumbers using a knife to remove more flesh than just the skin. Place the skins onto a hot BBQ, or under the grill, and burn until black and all moisture is removed. Then place into a spice grinder and blend to a fine black ash.
8. Take the remaining cucumber, parisienne 10 balls (using a melon baller)
1. Place scallops onto tray and lightly pickle with elderflower vinegar and Maldon sea salt
2. Put 5 of the cucumber balls into some of the remaining elderflower vinegar
3. Take another 5 cucumber balls and place into a bowl with 1 tablespoon of dill ash and 1tbls of dill oil. Mix until completely black.
4. Mix remainder of dill oil with the strained horseradish cream in a 50/50 solution
5. To plate, lay 4 pieces of marinated scallop on the plate. Around this place the 2 types of cucumber balls. Add flowers and leaves around plate to add height. To finish, lightly spoon on the dill and cream sauce in and around the scallops.