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Cooking with the Michelin Man

india Updated: Dec 19, 2012 18:21 IST
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It’s hard not to like Sergi Arola. The twice Michelin-starred Spanish chef is talkative, funny, good-looking and, of course, a fantastic cook. He also knows that you can’t help but watch him, so he puts on a show — regaling you with stories, grinning at his audience, dropping quick hints and tips as he demonstrates his recipes and then watching gleefully as you relish them.

Last week, 15 readers picked by HT Café got to attend a workshop with Arola, when he was in the city on a brief visit. And while he whipped up his signature Patatas Bravas, Naan-Tomato, Tandoor Lobster and Crema Catalana, he shared with them anecdotes on his culinary influences, love for Indian tandoors and breads, and how food is just like sex. “Eating is the only other act that involves using all five senses,” he grinned.

While his enthused audience looked on, Arola whipped up four dishes. Here are the recipes so you can make them too.

Crema Catalana


For orange form

500 ml milk

500 ml cream

1 stick cinnamon

10 gms orange peel

10 gms lemon zest

150 gms sugar

150 gms egg yolk

20 gms orange sorbet

For Mousse

50 gm Marie biscuit

200 ml milk n 100 gms sugar

100 gms cream

Method :

Make a Marie biscuit mousse from all the above ingredients in martini glass. Prepare the orange form by combining all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil maintaining the temperature at 40°C. When the mixture reaches the required temperature, remove from fire strain and cook in an oven at 10°C for 20 minutes for steam. Then remove it, cool it down and add it to a nitrogen can.

Finally, take the martini glass in which the mousse is set, then put one quenelle of orange sorbet.

Put the orange form and sprinkle sugar syrup over it. Gratinate and serve.



1/2 cup refined flour

Salt to taste

120 ml water

1/2 tsp olive oil

1 tomato

1 garlic clove

Sea salt to taste

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil


Knead the dough for naan with refined flour, salt, water and olive oil.

Roll into a ball. Let it rest for 30 minutes. Shape the ball into a naan and bake in the tandoor.

Remove and cut into triangle shape.

Grate the tomato and keep it in a strainer to remove excess water.

Cut the garlic clove into two. Rub the naan with garlic, put the grated tomato, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil.

Serve hot.

Patatas Bravas


5 potatoes

1 litre sunflower oil

5 fresh tomatoes

1 fresh red chilli

1 egg

3 garlic cloves

1 tsp lemon juice

5 tbsp olive oil n Salt to taste

Black pepper powder to taste

2 springs fresh parsley


Cut the potatoes into exact halves. Scoop with a pineapple corer, and then scoop at the centre with a small scooper.

Put the potatoes in a tray and cover them with sunflower oil. Cook in the oven at 1500°C for 45 minutes, and then remove.

For the spicy tomato sauce:

In a pan, heat olive oil, add crushed garlic cloves and sauté. Add chopped fresh red chilli, sauté and add chopped tomatoes. Cook for one hour over slow flame. Season the sauce and blend.

For garlic aioli:

In a bowl, break the whole egg, add chopped garlic, lemon juice and salt, mix well and start whipping it; add olive oil slowly to form an emulsion, whip till the aioli is firm, then season it.

Deep fry the potatoes, take out on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.

Fill the centre with spicy tomato sauce and top with garlic aioli. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Tandoor Lobster


1 lobster

100 gms almond flakes

100 gms black olives

1/2 cup cream

2 garlic cloves

5 pieces rigatoni pasta

1 tbsp spicy tomato sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

Fresh oregano for garnish

Salt to taste

Black peppercorns to taste


Remove the lobster meat whole from tail. Marinate with olive oil, salt and crushed black peppercorns.

Slice the black olives and roast them in the oven at 1200°C till dry. Cool them down and blend to powder.

Toast the almond flakes with crushed garlic clove, add cream and simmer till almonds are cooked. Puree in the blender and strain with fine strainer.

Blanch the rigatoni pasta in boiling salted water.

Roast the marinated lobster in a tandoor till cooked. Remove and cut.

Toss the blanched rigatoni with olive oil, chopped garlic and spicy tomato sauce.

In a plate, sprinkle black olive powder and put the lobster on it. Put the rigatoni on each piece of lobster. Garnish with fresh oregano leaves. Serve the warm almond cream on the side.