Raw gurnard, broccoli, oyster
Douglas McMaster, born in 1987, is chef and owner of Silo in Brighton, England – the first zero-waste restaurant in this country. He was awarded the title of Yorkshire young chef of the year in 2008 and Britain’s most irreverent chef in 2012. After dropping out of school, Douglas began his kitchen career in the pot wash. Since then he has worked with famous chefs like Fergus Henderson at St John and with Colin McGurran at Winteringham Fields.
In 2011 he travelled through Australia where he met Dutch artist Joost Bakker. Douglas quickly became executive partner and chef at Silo by Joost, the world’s first waste-free café. In his first six months he won several awards including the ‘Restaurant of the year’ award. But, due to family-related reasons, Douglas returned to England where he opened Silo in Brighton in 2014.
Douglas’ cooking style sticks to fundamental basics with inherent respect for nature and its ingredients. Silo is committed to conscious cooking and making nutritious, creative, and delicious food at true cost. At the heart of the restaurant is a composting machine which can produce more than 60 kilogrammes of nutrient-intense compost overnight, which is then used to grow more food.
This is a completely raw dish, based on the winning combination of raw broccoli and oyster. Its presentation is minimal, elegant, and unpretentious.
Creation by Douglas McMaster, Silo, Brighton.
Photo credit: Xavier D. Buendia
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Preparation method: raw gurnard
- Fillet, skin, and pin bone the gurnard.
- Dice the flesh into chunky pieces. Not too fine otherwise it will resemble paté.
- Set aside in the fridge.
Preparation method: broccoli
- Use a turning knife to cut the topmost tips of the broccoli into small caviar like pieces.
- Save the entire core as it makes an amazing ingredient for so many other dishes!
- Dress the broccoli with a little lemon juice and rock salt.
Preparation method: oyster emulsion
- Shuck the oysters into a tall, narrow jug, making sure that no shell breaks into the jug.
- Insert a hand blender into the jug and blend, slowly pouring the oil into the mixture as it slowly emulsifies into a mayonnaise-like consistency.
- Squeeze a little bit of lemon juice to taste. Note that lemon is also used to finish the broccoli.
Finishing and presentation
- To plate up the dish, simply season the fish with rock salt. Oil is not necessary.
- Evenly spoon the gurnard into the ring moulds to form a layer as deep as your thumbnail.
- Squeeze a few generous blobs of the emulsion randomly on the fish, with the ring mould still in place.
- Then finish with the broccoli so that it is the only ingredient visible.