Ask my mum what her all-time favourite restaurant is and she’ll say Le Gavroche in London. Famed as the only French restaurant of its kind when it opened in 1967 by Albert and Michel Roux Snr, it is an institution in . When I took my mum to the restaurant, Michel Roux Jr had already taken over. His cheese souffle was one of the most superb French dishes I’d ever had and my mum still talks about it.
Earlier, I’d met Michel Roux because I took three of the LA Raiders football players there when I was working for Today newspaper back in the early 1990’s. Michel was a fan of grid iron and came out to meet them. However, he wasn’t so happy when we took some shots of us for the newspaper – a shot of me being held above the heads of these giant men – which caused havoc in the Le Gavroche kitchen. Michel told me he ended up making three, not one, cheese souffles.
Since then, Michel has become as famous as his father Albert and uncle Michel. His food is and always was delicious. Try his delicious Pan Fried Red Snapper with piperade and aioli sauce and you’ll see what I mean. And, if you head to London, be sure to visit Le Gavroche.
2 red snapper approx. 800gr each, scaled
120gr baked potato
2 egg yolks
150gr grape seed oil
75gr olive oil
5gr chopped garlic
200gr red peppers, peeled
200gr green peppers, peeled
200gr red peppers, peeled
200gr red onion, peeled and sliced
600gr ripe tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and sliced
30 gr chopped garlic
1. Cut off the dorsal fins of the red snapper tail with scissors. Lay the fish on one side and, using a filleting knife, open it up through its back to the belly, gliding the knife over the bones. Repeat on the underside of the bones.
2. Check for bones, remove with tweezers if needed.
3. Rinse the fillets under a trickle of cold running water. Thoroughly dab the fillets dry with kitchen paper or a cloth.
4. Cook the fillet of red snapper skin side down with a little olive oil in the pan for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat, turn and cook for 30 seconds on the other side.
1. Rub 120gr baked potato pulp through a sieve in to a bowl.
2. Add the chopped garlic cloves, the raw egg yolks and pinch of salt. Mix together.
3. Add the olive oil and grape seed oil in a thin, steady stream, mixing constantly.
4. When about half of the oil has been incorporated, add some drops of water to emulsify. (Instead of the water you can add saffron strands infused in 3 tbsp boiling water for 5 minutes or so). Gradually incorporate the remaining oil, then season the aioli with a pinch of cayenne and salt to taste.
1. Put into a pan 3 tablespoons olive oil and heat gently. Immediately add the onions, cover the pan and sweat for 15 minutes.
2. Remove the stalks from the peppers, halve them lengthways and discard the white membrane and seeds. Slice the peppers, but not too thinly, and add them to the onions, together with the chopped garlic. Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
3. Add the sliced tomatoes and cook uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until their juices have evaporated. The vegetable mixture should be melting and soft but not liquid. Season to taste with salt and cayenne.
The Carousel would like to thank Michel Roux for his recipe.