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.
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
50 gm Marie biscuit
200 ml milk n 100 gms sugar
100 gms cream
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 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.
1 litre sunflower oil
5 fresh tomatoes
1 fresh red chilli
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.
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.