Gastronomixs

Pumpkin toffee with grilled scallops

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: ‘If you prepare the pumpkin without water, the pumpkin keeps all of its flavour. The addition of rosemary further enhances this taste. You won't taste the rosemary in the toffee, yet the herb is intensifying the flavour of the pumpkin.’

Creation by François Geurds, FG Restaurant**, FG Food Labs*, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Photography by Scala Photography

Pumpkin toffee with grilled scallops

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Ingredients

2

 

potatoes, floury

50

g

Pecorino, grated

1

tbsp

crème fraîche

As needed:

 

olive oil

¼

 

pumpkin, peeled

1

tbsp

rosemary needles

1

tbsp

butter

200

ml

cream

4

slices

sourdough bread

4

slices

jamon Joselito (Spanish ham)

8

 

scallops, fresh

As needed:

 

grape seed oil

As needed:

 

pea shoots

As needed:

 

Pecorino

Preparation method: Pecorino crème
  • Peel the potatoes, cut them brunoise, and boil for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Mash the potatoes into fine pieces with a fork.
  • Add the crème fraîche and a few drops of olive oil.
  • Push the mashed potatoes through a sieve and stir in the grated Pecorino to create a smooth Pecorino crème.
Preparation method: pumpkin toffee
  • Brunoise the peeled pumpkin and roast in the oven until the pumpkin cubes turn a light shade of brown.
  • Put the pumpkin in a pan with a tablespoon of butter and the rosemary needles and slowly caramelise. Stir regularly.
  • Reduce the cream in a pan until about half remains.
  • Reduce the cream together with the pumpkin (without the rosemary needles) for about ten minutes.
  • Finely blend the mixture with a hand-held blender.
  • Push the mixture through a sieve for an even smoother purée. 
Preparation method: sourdough bread
  • Dry the sourdough bread in the oven for about 20 minutes at 80°C.
  • Place the jamon Joselito on the sourdough toast.
Finishing and presentation
  • Briefly grill the scallops in the grape seed oil in a griddle pan and serve the dish with the pumpkin toffee, the bread, the pea shoots, and grated Pecorino.

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