Lobster with grapefruit and bergamot orange
This month's guest chef is François Geurds. While François is a chef, he is also an entrepreneur and owner of FG Restaurant**, FG Food Labs*, and FG Chocolate Room (FG Bonbons) in Rotterdam. This Dutch chef also has roots in Aruba, where his mother, a talented home cook, grew up. She continues to be his biggest inspiration.
As a student, François travelled across the world and worked in the kitchens of restaurants in Italy, the USA, and the UK, such as Per Se*** (USA), The French Laundry*** (USA), and as a sous chef at The Fat Duck*** (UK). In the Netherlands he worked at Parkheuvel, which in 2002 became the first Dutch restaurant to be awarded three Michelin stars. In 2009, François opened FG Restaurant where he was awarded his first Michelin star within nine months, to be followed by the second star in 2013. The following year he also received a Michelin star for the newly opened FG Food Labs.
Quality is always paramount for François. His distinctive cooking style is difficult to define, but he is world-famous for his deep, complex flavours. François Geurds is the only Dutch chef to have his own taste laboratory.
François has this to say about the dish: ‘The bergamot orange is a small, pear-shaped citrus fruit that is found in Italy and has a beautifully tart flavour. The oil from this citrus fruit is a favoured ingredient in the perfume industry. This dish emphasises the specific fragrance of bergamot.’
Creation by François Geurds, FG Restaurant**, FG Food Labs*, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Photography by Scala Photography.
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Preparation method: celeriac
- Peel the celeriac.
- Cut into quarters.
- Cook the celeriac quarters in butter.
Preparation method: grapefruit
- Cut the grapefruit into segments.
- Allow the grapefruit to soak in the olive oil for ten minutes at room temperature.
- Grate a little bergamot orange over the grapefruit.
Preparation method: orange syrup
- Confit the orange rinds by placing them in cold water and bringing this to the boil.
- Drain the orange rinds. Repeat this process three times, so that the orange rind loses its bitter flavour.
- Create a clear syrup by dissolving 200g of sugar in 200ml of water.
- Slowly cook the orange rinds in the syrup until they become translucent.
Preparation method: lobster
- Bring a large pan of water seasoned with salt to the boil.
- Kill the lobsters by placing a sharp knife on the little cross on top of the head and splitting it with one fast movement.
- Place the lobster in the boiling water and blanch for about one and a half minutes, depending on the size.
- Do the same with the second lobster.
- Cover the lobsters with aluminium foil and allow the water to evaporate.
- Cut the tails of the lobsters into segments and remove the digestive tract.
Finishing & presentation
- Fry the lobster pieces for a few minutes in grape seed oil with the bay leaf and the rosemary needles.
- Arrange the plates with the orange syrup, celeriac, and grapefruit.