Chefs Collective: Recipes, Tips and Secrets From 50 of the World’s Greatest Chefs
Michelle Tchea, author, founder and owner of Healthy Spoon Pty Ltd and manager of PopIntel Ltd, works with some of the world’s best restaurants, Michelin-rated chefs and 5-star luxury hotels and has been published in GQ, Travel + Leisure, and Food & Wine. With her fourth book Chefs Collective, Michelle has taken on a project near and dear to her heart: promoting the innovation and diversity of some of Asia’s top chefs.
Chefs Collective profiles 50 great Asian chefs working in some of the world’s top kitchens, including four of the world's greatest female chefs working at Le Mout, Bo.Lan, CIBO, and TATE, 1-2-3 Michelin-starred chefs from Florilege, Merciel, Gaon, Ta Vie, and Kei, and others waiting to be discovered. Each of the chefs provides a signature dish from his or her restaurant as well as a personal narrative into their featured recipe, including background stories, inspiration, cooking philosophies, food memories, and underrated Asian ingredients.
The featured dishes in Chefs Collective seamlessly blend Asian cuisines including Modern Filipino, Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Thai with Western (including molecular gastronomy) in dishes that are adventurous yet playful, innovative, and creative. Some dishes incorporate sensory experiences such as the interplay of sun and shadows in Hualien, Taiwan’s lush foliage (Roasted Asparagus, Chayote with Black Garlic and Mullet Roe by Nicolas Chang of Restaurant Savor in Taipei). Others are an homage to classic comfort foods (Mum’s “Mostly Cabbage, A Little Bit of Pork” dumplings from Jowett Yu of Ho Lee Fook, Hong Kong) or national dishes.
The book’s visual design is eye-catching, cleverly incorporating each of the chefs’ native languages into the chapter contents. Ingredients are provided in imperial, metric, and American cup and spoon measurements, and a conversion guide to weights and measures is also provided. Featured dishes include meat and poultry, fish and seafood, eggs and vegetables, rice and noodles, and desserts and treats. Japanese flavor profiles and ingredients feature prominently. Some of the recipes incorporate techniques from modernist cuisine and call for specialized kitchen equipment such as a whipping siphon / espuma gun.
Hokkaido native Hideki Endo, Executive Chef at Matsuhisa Paris, Le Royal Monceau, delights with uni seaweed tacos with sea urchin and truffle. Sea urchin packs a triple punch in several forms (uni, uni soy sauce, and uni paste). Glazed with a truffle teriyaki sauce and drizzled with melted Parmesan cheese, the richness of the uni and snow crab is balanced by the pungency of fresh truffles and black truffle oil, while the crisp seaweed taco shell provides a striking visual and textural counterpoint.
Kei Kobayashi, owner and chef of Restaurant Kei in Paris, offers up his signature dish from Restaurant Kei: an eye-catching garden of vegetables with foam of rocket (arugula) and anchovy mayonnaise that pays homage to Japanese aesthetics and delicacy of flavor as well as French gastronomy. Chef Kobayashi uses several varieties of zucchini and multicolored radishes, beetroot, and carrots in a plating reminiscent of stained glass; the raw vegetables are enhanced with an arugula foam, olive sauce, and anchovy mayonnaise and finally topped with smoked salmon and a sprinkling of fleur de sel.
Eunjung Cho, Owner and Pastry Chef at Honeybee Cakes in Seoul, contributes the Ultimate Coffee Chocolate Crunch Bar, a (conveniently gluten-free) hazelnut dacquoise balanced atop chocolate cream, enrobed with a hazelnut chocolate glaze, and finally piped with coffee and chocolate Chantilly cream. Hazelnut lovers will rejoice as the nut is incorporated in several forms, including crushed hazelnuts, hazelnut powder, and hazelnut oil. A hint of orange peel enhances the coffee and chocolate Chantilly without overpowering. This sophisticated dessert would instantly be at home in one of Tokyo’s upscale patisseries.
Chefs Collective provides personal insight into the passion, drive, and inspiration behind the culinary success of some of the world’s top chefs. Their 50 signature dishes highlight the diversity of Asian cuisine, including an in-depth look at Asian dishes and ingredients and how they can be prepared for the modern table, as well as blend age-old techniques with modern-day trends in an exciting collection of today’s top culinary talent from around Asia.
Chefs Collective: Recipes, Tips and Secrets From 50 of the World’s Greatest Chefs (ISBN: 978-981-47-7192-4), Michelle Tchea, Marshall Cavendish International, 2017.
Garden of Vegetables with Foam of Rocket and Anchovy Mayonnaise (Kei Kobayashi, Restaurant Kei, Paris) Serves 10
Garnish 120 g (4 ⅔ oz) smoked salmon Fleur de sel as needed A dash of olive oil Basil oil Vegetable Salad Round zucchini, washed and sliced Zephyr zucchini, washed and sliced Gold rush zucchini, washed and sliced Pink radish, washed and sliced Red radish, washed and sliced Multi-colored carrots, washed and sliced Raw red new beet, washed and sliced Runner bean, washed and sliced Rocket mash 2 bunches basil 500 g (1 lb 1 ½ oz) rocket, washed 1 clove garlic Olive oil as needed Siphon 200 g (7 oz) rocket mash 200 ml (6 ¾ fl oz / ⅘ cup) full cream 250 ml (8 fl oz / 1 cup) yoghurt Salt to taste Sugar to taste Olive Sauce 500 g (1 lb 1 1 ½ oz) pitted black olives 160 ml (5 ½ oz / ⅗ cup) olive oil 2 tsp caper juice 80 g (2 ⅘ oz) capers 4 Tbsp water 2 cloves garlic Anchovy mash 100 g (3 ½ oz) salted anchovies 100 ml (3 ½ fl oz / ⅔ cup) milk Anchovy mayonnaise 1 egg, egg yolk and egg white separated 250 ml (8 fl oz / 1 cup) grapeseed oil 2 Tbsp anchovy mash 2 tsp Dijon mustard Juice from ½ lemon Sugar to taste METHOD Prepare rocket mash. Gently remove basil leaves from stalks. Place rocket and basil leaves in a heatproof bowl and sweat with olive oil.
Prick garlic with a fork. Add to bowl and mix well. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Mix and whisk with more olive oil. Place rocket mash through a Chinese sieve.
Prepare siphon. Mix rocket mash with other ingredients. Place in a siphon with 2 canisters. Gas and keep refrigerated. Prepare olive sauce. Mix all ingredients together for 5 minutes in a bowl until a homogeneous mash is obtained. Set aside. Prepare anchovy mash. Place anchovy and milk in a food processor. Mix for 5 minutes at 80°C. Place anchovy mash through a Chinese sieve.
Prepare anchovy mayonnaise. Mix egg yolk into a medium mixing bowl using a whisk. Allow a small amount of grapeseed oil to drip into the bowl while stirring briskly with whisk. Once the mixture has begun to thicken and increase in volume, slowly pour more oil in. Continue to vigorously stir in remaining oil. Season with remaining ingredients and olive sauce. Keep refrigerated.
Place anchovy mash and olive mayonnaise on a serving plate, then top with a piece of smoked salmon. Season with fleur de sel and a dash of olive oil. Siphon rocket. Garnish as desired. Drizzle basil oil all around the base of the salad.
All photographs and promotional materials copyright Chefs Collective.