Gastronomixs

Olhão oysters, Azores pineapple, and foie gras

This month's guest chef is Hans Neuner, chef at Ocean** restaurant at Vila Vita Parc Resort & Spa in Portugal. Hans has been the chef at Ocean since 2007 where he was given the unique chance to develop the restaurant into a Michelin-starred establishment. 

Hans, who loves to travel, journeys across the world to learn about different cuisines and new uses for ingredients. He was born in Austria and started cooking when he was just fourteen years old. He has worked in renowned kitchens such as The Carlton in Switzerland and The Dorchester in London. At the Adlon Hotel in Berlin, Hans worked together with well-known chef Karlheinz Hauser. He then moved on to Tristan** restaurant in Mallorca, Spain, before returning to Seven Seas* restaurant in Hamburg, Germany.

In 2007, he took up the position as head chef at Ocean where he was given free rein to realise his ambition of earning a Michelin star. He was awarded his first Michelin star after just two years and the second followed in 2011. When he arrived in Portugal, he knew little about Portuguese food and mostly prepared dishes that he was familiar with. But Hans decided to learn more about Portuguese cuisine from his kitchen team and the locals. In no time at all, Hans was creating traditional Portuguese dishes adjusted to the high-end style of Ocean. His dishes are light and modern and feature mainly ingredients from the Algarve and the rest of Portugal. Most of his ingredients are sourced from within the country itself.

Creation by Hans Neuner, Ocean** restaurant, Porches, Portugal. 
Photography by Vasco Celio. 

Serves 4.

Olhão oysters, Azores pineapple, and foie gras

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Ingredients

8

 

oysters (from Olhão)

1

 

leek

200

g

white mushrooms

200

ml

smoked eel stock

100

g

celery

2

 

fennel

1

clove

garlic

As needed:

 

coriander seeds

1

 

cardamom

As needed:

 

hot sauce

As needed:

 

Riesling

As needed:

 

oyster water

As needed:

 

butter, frozen

 

 

black pepper

 

 

sea salt

300

g

water

200

g

sugar

100

g

lemon juice

600

g

geranium leaves

8

g

gelatin

1

 

pineapple

As needed:

 

fermented pepper

As needed:

 

pineapple juice

150

g

pineapple purée

8

g

albumin

10

g

trisol

5

g

flour

0.5

l

pineapple juice

6

g

agar-agar

4

g

gelatin

As needed:

 

foie gras

As needed:

 

oxalis

Preparation method: oyster
  • Open the oysters and pass the water through a fine sieve. Clean the oysters thoroughly under running water.
  • Refrigerate the oysters in the oyster water. 
Preparation method: oyster beurre blanc
  • Melt some butter in a pan (not too hot) and then add the finely diced vegetables. Glaze them slowly without allowing them to colour, add the spices, and simmer for another five minutes too glaze.
  • Add the Riesling and reduce to almost nothing. Then add the eel stock and the oyster water and reduce by half.
  • Pass everything through a fine sieve and put in a blender.
  • Mix the hot sauce with the oyster water and add the frozen butter. Mix to a nice smooth consistency and keep warm at around 70°C.
  • Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
  • Make sure it does not boil as it will split.
Preparation method: geranium clouds
  • Bring the water and sugar to the boil temperature. Allow to cool and then add the lemon juice and geranium leaves.
  • Leave to infuse for a week.
  • Take 200g of the liquid. Put the gelatin leaves into 100ml of the liquid to soak. Heat slowly and then add another 100g of liquid.
  • Pass everything through a sieve and place in a siphon.
  • Leave to rest for an hour and then spray onto a frozen surface. Keep frozen.
Preparation method: pineapple cubes
  • Cut the pineapple into cubes the same size as the oysters.
  • Season with fermented pepper and some pineapple juice.
  • Put in a vacuum bag for 24 hours.
Preparation method: pineapple crisp
  • Blend all together in a thermomixer for 20 minutes at 80°C until very fine.
  • Using a template of your choice, spread the cream onto a silicone sheet.
  • Bake in the oven at 150°C for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Keep in a dehydrator until ready to use.
Preparation method: pineapple gel
  • Bring a small amount of the pineapple juice up to the boil and then add the agar-agar. Mix until completely smooth.
  • Add the soaked gelatine and the rest of the juice and stir until dissolved. Then put in a blender and mix to a gel-like consistency.
Preparation method: foie gras
  • Freeze the foie gras completely.
  • Use a microplane to shave off small flakes.
Finishing and presentation
  • Cut the oysters in half and arrange six pieces on a plate. Add five dots of the pineapple gel in between.
  • Place a pineapple cube on each dot.
  • Quickly spoon the foie gras shavings over all elements everything and arrange the clouds neatly on the foie gras.
  • Add enough sauce alongside the foie gras and cover with the crisp.
  • Sprinkle tiny pieces of green oxalis to finish.

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