Every season, The Claridges invites international chefs to teach the whole team and going forward with this tradition, they are hosting Spanish Chefs Maria Adrover and Rafael Barrientos for a Mediterranean food festival at Sevilla – one of the most coveted places for Valentine’s Day.
A special table was set up for us to sample and review the menu with Head Chef Vivek Rana accompanying us through the gastronomic experience.
We started the evening with the Prawn Brioche. The fried prawn cake has been minced and marinated for 12 hours with brandy and later added with chopped onion, paprika and parsley. It is served along with the chilli prawn, Brioche bread and aglio sauce. The prawn is perfectly cooked and the texture of the bread stands out as Brioche dough is initially steamed and then fried. Chef Rana pointed out that originally the prawn was supposed to be served raw, however, given that the prawn was frozen, he opted it for it to be fried.
Next, we tried Lamb Bonbon with lamb meatball poached at 67 degrees and served with bitter orange, green herb powder and a fried egg. The lamb was tender and melts in your mouth with the bitter orange adding flavour to it. For those who find the lamb a little dry, can have it with the fried egg. But personally, I didn’t feel the need to have the egg at all.
I have never been fond of eggplants but Compressed Eggplant soon became my favourite. The eggplant is soaked in white vinegar, water, olive oil, salt and pepper for 24 hours, and then compressed in a vacuum pack in controlled temperature. Cut into three-four slices, it is served with goat cheese cream and corn dust. The dish was on a sweeter side with both the eggplant and the cheese bursting with flavour in your mouth.
Next, it was time for the soups – Carrot Cake Cream Soup and Gazpacho Consomme. The former was as creamy as it could be with an added texture and flavour by candied walnuts, rum-soaked resins and crispy duck. The latter comes with a bread piece with vegetables, everything that comprises to make the clear soup.
For the main course, we had the Canadian Duck Breast grilled in Josper oven. It is served with sweet potatoes and cake crumble and coffee sauce which accentuates the flavour of the duck. We ended the evening with a heavy dose of Dark Chocolate with raspberry ice cream.