What would you cook if you were planning a boat trip? From May 15 -19 Italian chef Marco Stabile, from the L’Ora d’Aria restaurant in Florence, and the French chef Alain Llorca (chef and owner of the Alain Llorca restaurant in La Colle sur Loup) will prepare an exclusive four-hand dinner on board a boat as part of the ‘S.Pellegrino Trattoria’ event taking place in Cannes. A unique culinary event that brings the flavours of the sea directly to the idyllic setting of Cannes.
The chefs, both with Michelin star status, will cook together during the world famous Cannes Film festival, preparing a menu full of Mediterranean touches: stuffed vegetables à la Niçoise, cod brandade with soft hen egg, a confit of tomato cream, crispy eggplants and S.Pellegrino "Acquacotta" (literally translated as cooked water) with vegetables, mushrooms, and caviar - just a selection of dishes the chefs will prepare.
For those who love seafood but can’t attend this special event in Cannes, here’s some tips from both chefs on how to cook simple dishes that can be cooked on a boat and how the sea influences their cuisine.
Can you offer up three simple summer dishes that could be prepared on a boat?
• Tomato Gazpacho: a seasoned dish, fresh and perfect for a meal in the sun and which you can prepare the day before. Recipe: finely chop tomatoes and add herbs of Provence, basil, some bread crumbs, sweet peppers and fennel. Put in the fridge for 24 hours and serve simply in glasses. Chef's tip: enjoy this fresh dish with a chilled glass of Pastis!
• Cod brandade (Portuguese cod and potato pie): this is a fresh meal which you could easily bring onto a boat. Recipe: chop two onions and fry them in a pan. Peel and cut three or four potatoes and sauté them with garlic in the pan. Add sour cream and continue to cook on a low heat. Add the cod fish and then remove all when the fish is to you r preference. Ass to a dish and cool in the fridge for two hours before working it with a spatula in order to obtain the texture of a brandade. Finally, add olive oil, garlic and croutons.
• Marinated Anchovies and Sardines: This is a friendly and easy to cook dish that you can easily rustle up on a boat. Recipe: take the sardine or anchovy fillets and scale them. Remove the central fishbone with fingers and close the fillets. Cover them in thin salt and let them stand for 15 minutes. Rinse the fillets and marinate them for 15 minutes in lemon juice. Drain them using absorbent paper and add olive oil. Chef's tip: add garlic croutons when eating and you’ll obtain a perfect dish!
The best, during a boat trip, is having simple dishes that don’t require long cooking: while you’re on a boat it’s important to enjoy the sea! My suggestions are: Beef tartare, marinated in beer and served with black truffle and Tuscan oil Lobster sandwich with salad and apple vinegar, sweeter and smoother than traditional vinegar. To close, why not having a cold frittata with fresh spring onion, anchovies and Buffalo Mozzarella, with some grated lime on the top.
How is the sea - its products and tastes - part of your cooking?
Having Spanish origins, my way of cooking is very Mediterranean and, as a consequence, seafood is an essential ingredient for my cuisine. Like fruits and vegetables, seafood products follow seasonality. Thus, the way I cook fish varies a lot depending on currents, flows and water temperature in the sea. In my restaurant, I serve my clients different types of fish such as mild fish, mostly sardines or anchovies, which are delicious marinated, and also rock fish such as in the Bouillabaisse, this traditional dish from the area of Marseille which consists of fish soup made with whole fish, potatoes, croutons, garlic and rouille sauce. The fish is a very subtle and interesting ingredient because it can be cooked in many different ways (marinated, in soup, grilled, etc.) and mixed with many ingredients. In my cooking, I like to work earth and sea products, such as fish with Iberian ham or with meat juices, especially with veal sauce. Finally, my advice for all fish dishes is that it is important to always highlight the subtlety of the sea, choose a fresh fish and cook it the right way, with the right timing.
The sea is one of the most important aspects of Tuscany, my home region, and I was born quite close to it. Seafood is half of my menu in Winter, more than 70% in Summer. Yhe sea, iodine, and related ingredients are light and fresh, perfect for the summer season. Not to mention the sea as a symbol of endless inspiration.