Posts Tagged ‘coriander’

Chef Anna Hansen/Photo: The Modern Pantry



The Électrons Libres, is a group of chefs that are as individual or as leaders of a group have taken a unique route that goes beyond the learning process. Their philosophy transforms the cuisine of the present time as well as the cuisine of the future in a specific area (place) or country. Sometimes they are the leaders of a culinary movement but often, they are alone in their search. Anna Hansen is a good example of an ‘’Électron Libre’’.  

Anna Hansen was born in Montreal (Canada) and grew up in New Zealand. She first trained as a chef under Fergus Henderson (St John) at The French House Dining Room. In 2001, she started working with the chef Peter Gordon to open The Providores, a restaurant that won several awards. In 2005, Anna Hansen left Providores to focus on developing The Modern Pantry, but the restaurant open just four years later! Perseverance it is certainly one of her qualities… One must read the reviews and comments to see how her patience has been rewarded! 

In a world where the best and the youngest are inspired by the Spanish stars (Adria, Arzak, Aduriz etc.) or by the Danish great chef René Redzepi, Anna Hansen’s cuisine is truly unique! Considering all the interviews that I did for this Serie, I have not yet seen one that masters savors so so well. She mixes, in a perfect harmony, a wide variety of product for a perfect new Cuisine Fusion. Often those products are from South East Asia or Asia (coriander,turmeric, tamarind, lemon grass, sambal, ginger, fish sauce, miso etc.) mixed with local and fresh produce. Anna Hansen is a rare talent in the culinary world! 


Q+A WITH ANNA HANSEN (www.themodernpantry.co.uk ): 

1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your cuisine at The Modern Pantry and what is it main characteristics? 

AHansen- The greatest influence in my life of food was my Danish grandmother, my Mormor. My family is Danish on my mother’s side and I spent many happy hours with Mormor in her kitchen during my childhood. Mormor’s cuisine was typically ‘immigrant’ in her skill at adapting a recipe by replacing unavailable ingredients with something else. Her understanding of and respect for an ingredient’s flavour was amazing. 

Fergus Henderson came next. My Mormor always said that anyone with all the right ingredients in front of them could cook well but to be a great cook required the skill of being able to create something delicious, even splendid out of very humble ingredients. I think this is why I appreciated Fergus’ approach to food so much. His philosophy of unadulterated flavours and textures no matter how humble was inspiring. 

I then met Peter Gordon whose approach to food was unique and at polar opposites to Fergus. Peter taught me to experiment and not to be afraid to try what seemed outlandish combinations then. To have an open mind. 

These two encounters in conjunction with my travels over the years and my fascination with all flavours unknown have lead me to where I am now, to my culinary philosophy which is driven by the desire to please and excite the palate. My larder is global. There are no cultural or culinary boundaries in my kitchen. 

2-(Scoffier) Do you have a flavour or taste from your childhood that is again memorable? 

AHansen- Liquorice. My Auntie’s would visit from Denmark and bring packets of liquorice lozenges for my grandparents and Mum, some with salt, some without. I loved them all and this has stayed with me for life. I love all similar flavours such as fennel, tarragon, star anise, aniseed etc. and use them daily in my cooking. 

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular foods (or products) that you often use in your recipes? 

AHansen- I am a big fan of tamarind and miso in all its incarnations, fresh turmeric and curry leaves, umeboshi plums and yuzu juice. 

4-(Scoffier) Do you have a mentor (chefs or anybody else) that inspires you in your cuisine? 

AHansen- There are many chefs who have inspired me over the years such as Fergus Henderson, Peter Gordon, Christine Manfield and David Thompson but my main source of inspiration these days is my chefs. Their enthusiasm and fresh thinking keeps me on my toes and helps drive my creativity. 

5-(Scoffier) I seen your cuisine at Modern Pantry and your special menu at The Loft Project; It’s influenced by Asia cuisine (Sri Lanka, Vietnam). Do you study in these countries or you’re self-educated? 

AHansen- I am self educated. I travel (although not as much as I would like to!) and research ideas or dishes I like then create my own take on them. Sometimes the outcome has no relation to my original idea but that is what it is all about! 

Aubergine Crispy Shallots/Photo: The Modern Pantry


6-(Scoffier) How do you develop (inspiration) your recipes and construct your menu? 

AHansen- As well as travelling I am always on the lookout for new ingredients and although I cook fusion cuisine I am very driven by seasonality which in itself I find inspiring. We have a forager for example who visits us once a week with all kinds of delights. Certain dishes on the menu will then be designed to incorporate what he has brought us. 

I also become obsessed with things which then lead to inspiration and recipe development. My signature dish, the sugar cured prawn omelette for example is truly representative of my approach to cooking. I find ingredients that I like and then see how many different things I can do with them. Or I try to replicate a process or ingredient (in this instance a dried shrimp) that I love. There are many failures along the way but every now and then you get lucky and come up with something that has the perfect balance of flavour, texture and aroma. I think the sugar cured prawn omelette achieves this. It began with me trying to make my own dried shrimps. 

7-(Scoffier) I know that the chef Pascal Barbot (L’Astrance) take a lot of time choosing and picking his produces at the market. Do you spend as much of time to choose and pick your produces? 

AHansen- Unfortunately, I do not have time to visit the markets. Instead I have developed a very close relationship with my suppliers, some of them very specialist such as Martin the forager, who make sure I am receiving the best produces and let me know about anything new they get in. 

I am also very particular about operating a responsible restaurant in terms of sustainability and as such spend a lot of time ensuring that wherever possible we are doing what we can. Sometimes that can mean we have a very limited choice when it come to fish for example or that we pay a higher premium for our meat but it is very important to me and a lot of our purchasing revolves around this. 

8-(Scoffier) Do you use some elements from molecular gastronomy or new technology in your cooking techniques? If yes, which? 

AHansen- No, I do not. 

The Modern Pantry/Photo: http://www.themodernpantry.co.uk


9-(Scoffier) Can you give us detailed recipe (Signature dish or other) that is characterized the cuisine of Anna Hansen and The Modern Pantry? 

AHansen- Sugar cured prawn omelette, spring onions, coriander, smoked chilli sambal. 

10-(Scoffier) What is your goal (ambitions) as chef or for your restaurant? Do you think about write a book, a television show, others? 

AHansen- At the moment I am still focused on building up The Modern Pantry as we have not yet been open two years. Maintaining consistency in all areas of the business is a full time occupation! I am also writing The Modern Pantry Cookbook which should be published early next year. It is not so much a restaurant cookbook as a look at what is in the modern day pantry. My aim is to get people to think outside the box but in a way that is simple and every day. For example most people have a packet of miso in their pantry or a bottle of fish sauce. One for making soup, the other for making a Thai curry but both can be used for so much more. 


RECIPE: Sugar Cured Prawn Omelette, Spring Onions, Coriander, Smoked Chilli Sambal 

Omelette/Photo: The Modern Pantry



Sugar cured prawns: 

-24 New Caledonian prawns peeled, split lengthways and de-veined 

-1 lemon grass stalk bashed gently with a rolling pin or other suitable implement and chopped in to 4 

-30 g peeled ginger sliced 

-3 lime leaves shredded 

-1 tsp chipotle chilli flakes 

-1 tbsp soy sauce 

-1 tbsp fish sauce 

-100 g sugar 

-15 g Maldon sea salt 

1. Mix all ingredients together well and leave to marinate for 24 hours then rinse and pat dry. Refrigerate in an air tight container until ready to use. 

Smoked chilli sambal: 

-2.5 lt rapeseed oil for frying 

-250 g sliced red peppers 

-250 g sliced white onions 

-250 g whole ripe cherry tomatoes 

-80 g garlic, sliced 

-80 g peeled ginger julienned 

-25 g dried shrimps ground in a spice grinder 

-1 large dried chipotle chilli soaked until soft in hot water (remove the stalk) 

-125 ml tamarind paste 

-40 ml fish sauce 

1. Heat the oil in a pot to 18oC then deep fry the red peppers, onions and cherry tomatoes separately in small batches until they are a rich golden brown – almost burnt looking – draining them on paper towel and then tipping them in to a large bowl as you go. Fry the ginger and garlic, in separate batches also, until just golden brown. 

2. In a small frying pan fry the ground shrimps in a little of the fryer oil until aromatic and add to the bowl along with the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. 

3. Now blitz the sambal in batches in a food processor until almost smooth emptying it out in to another bowl as you go. Once you have done this mix the processed sambal together thoroughly and leave to cool. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until needed. 


-12 eggs 

-1 bunch of spring onions sliced 

-1 green chilli sliced into super fine rounds 

-1 bunch of coriander picked 

1. For each omelette whisk two eggs together in a small bowl with 1/2tsp of sambal and a small pinch of salt. 

2. Heat a knob of butter in an omelette pan over moderate heat and when it begins to sizzle add 6 prawn halves. Toss these in the pan until almost cooked then pour in the eggs. Swirl the pan once or twice then reduce the heat. 

3. Sprinkle over 3 green chilli rounds and a small handful of spring onions. When the eggs look almost cooked use a flat heatproof rubber spatula to fold the omelette in half. 

4. Slide on to a plate and keep somewhere warm while you repeat the process. 


1. Garnish each omelette with picked coriander and a spoonful of the sambal. 



-The Modern Pantry/Chef Anna Hansen 

47-48 St John’s Square,  

Clerkenwell, London 



-Review :      

1. The Guardian, January 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jan/03/modern-pantry 

2. Menu for The Loft Project, June 2010, http://www.themodernpantry.co.uk/pdf/The_Loft_Project_3.pdf 

3.  Stuff Magazine, March 2010, http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/3523232/London-chef-named-New-Zealander-of-the-Year-in-Britain 


Tous droits réservés. Copyright Scoffier © 2008-2010


Read Full Post »

Chef Claude Bosi/Photo: Hibiscus Restaurant


The Brits have been preparing for some time the after Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White cuisine. Not that there is a british style but we can certainly say that the emerging chefs are pro-locavore and that they are sourcing the best products of the island of Albion. In the very cosmopolitan London, the influences of young chefs are many, which give them a unique culinary personality. I discovered Chefs with a very modern style, who are  mastering the techniques as well as the French roots, Claude Bosi being one of them. Brett Graham on the other hand combines terroir, flavors and creativity a very nice surprise! As a counterbalance to London, I will present you a great chef of Edinburgh in Scotland, Martin Wishart. He has a strong French influences that works wonders with the best products of the land and sea. 

Born in Lyons (France), Claude Bosi moved to the UK in 1997. He learned his profession with the chefs Alain Passard and Michel Rostand. In 2000, he opened Hibiscus in the Shropshire (UK) and 7 years later he moved the restaurant to London. Presently, Hibiscus is one of the most acclaimed restaurants in England. Under the London’s drizzle hides the bright cuisine with The Passardien accents of Claude Bosi. Bosi is a craftsman that is respectful, thorough and who utilizes the best products in the market. Because of all that, he has earned a reputation both in England and abroad. He is already considered a great master in the kitchen and a worthy successor of Alain Passard (L’Arpège)


Q+A WITH CLAUDE BOSI (www.hibiscusrestaurant.co.uk ): 

1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your cuisine and what is it main characteristics? 

CBosi- I work as closely with the seasons as possible, and source as much as I can from local producers, mainly within the UK. 

2-(Scoffier) I know that the chef Pascal Barbot (L’Astrance) take a lot of time choosing and picking his produces at the market. Do you spend as much of time to choose and pick your produces? 

CBosi- I spend a great deal of time choosing my ingredients, and I am lucky enough to be able to draw on the knowledge of my fantastic suppliers, who I have been working with for ten years. 

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular food (or products) that you often use in your recipes? 

CBosi- The ingredients I use always depend on what season it is. 

Squab Pigeon/Hibiscus Restaurant

*Squab Pigeon: roast squab pigeon, roasted chervil root, potato, coriander & passion fruit puree, tamarillo confit in muscovado sugar 

4-(Scoffier) Do you have a mentor (chefs or anybody else) that inspires you in your cuisine? 

CBosi- I have been greatly inspired Alain Passard, and I worked with him for 2 ½ years. 

5-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular flavour or taste from your childhood that is again memorable? 

CBosi- My Grandmother’s Vegetables Jardiniere. I have tried, but I cannot re-create the dish! 

6-(Scoffier) What do you eat when you are at home? 

CBosi- I spend very little time at home. I am either at work, or eating out! My kitchen staples though, are some crusty white bread, cheese and salad. 

7-(Scoffier) You participated at the Cook It Raw event (2009-2010) in Copenhagen and Collio initialized by René Redzepi (Noma). Are you also near of the nature and the local products that Redzepi and are you as strict in your recipes? Example: no olives oil etc. 

CBosi- René Redzepi has an individual and particular ethos to his cooking, and I have my own.  We are both, however, passionate about sourcing the best local produce available. 

Bosi+Chang,CIR2010/Photo: Per-Anders Jorgensen

8-(Scoffier) I seen your menu and the vegetables are omnipresent. How do you create your tasting menu? Do you think vegetables in first and meat or fish after? 

CBosi- The order I serve the tasting menu at Hibiscus is as follows: Raw, shellfish, vegetables, fish, offal, meat and then dessert, with the intention of building up the flavour at each stage.     

11-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (Signature dish) that is characterized the cuisine of Claude Bosi? 

CBosi- Please see the recipe for Carpaccio of Sea Bream 

12-(Scoffier) What is your goal (ambitions) as a chef or for the restaurant? Do you think about write a book, a television show, others? 

CBosi- My priority is to achieve a full restaurant for Lunch and Dinner, all year round. 


RECIPE: Carpaccio of Sea Bream 

Restaurant (interior)/Photo: http://www.hibiscusrestaurant.co.uk


-1 Tin of 400ml Black Truffle Jus 

-Chickens stock and liquice soft eating.  

-20 cl Almond oil 

-Splash sherry vinegar 

-100 g Black radish 

-2 Fillets of Sea Bream boned 

(Stages 1 to 4 can be done in advance (up to two hours) of the meal.  Stage 5 can then be added before serving) 

1. Put Truffle jus into saucepan, simmer slowly and reduce to consistency of syrup. 

2. Slice bream as thin as possible by working knife horizontally along top of fish. 

3. Thinly slice black radish using slot on cheese grater or on mandolin. 

4. On a cold plate, layer fish and radish. Refrigerate.              

5. Using a hand blender, blitz reduction of truffle jus and almond oil.  Add sherry vinegar to taste.  Do not add any salt or pepper to this dish as is not necessary. 

6. Drizzle vinaigrette over fish & radish. Serve 



-Hibiscus/Chef Claude Bosi 

29 Maddox Street 

London (UK), W1S 2PA 


-Reviews :  

1. The Guardian by Jay Rayner, http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/nov/25/foodanddrink.shopping 

2. The Independent by John Walsh, http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/reviews/hibiscus-a-chef-with-balls-399515.html 

-Video :  

1. Interview of Claude Bosi at Cook It Raw 2010 (Collio, Italy), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JWlEM61nzI 


Tous droits réservés. Copyright Scoffier © 2008-2010 


Read Full Post »