Citizens, I have had the rare privilege of eating at not one, but BOTH the flagship restaurants of superstar French Chef Guy Savoy – both his 3 Michelin star Paris establishment and the 2 Michelin Star Las Vegas outpost.
Both ranked amongst the finest meals of my life, thanks to Chef Savoy’s sensitive attention to ingredients, freshness and transformation without losing the essential flavors of his ingredients.
Chef Savoy served three years apprenticeship under the legendary Troisgros brothers – after opening his eponymous restaurant in Paris in 1985, Chef Gordon Ramsay trained under Guy Savoy, and has described him as his culinary mentor. Chef Savoy received the Legion d’Honneur medal in 2000 and his Paris restaurant Guy Savoy garnered three Michelin stars in 2002. The restaurant was ranked in the Restaurant Magazine Top 50 Restaurants in the world in 2004 and 2005.
The Las Vegas restaurant has garnered 2 Michelin stars, the AAA Five Diamond Award, the Forbes Five Star Award, and the Wine Spectator Grand Award.
This recipe of Chef Savoy showcases his incredible talents and can be made by a talented home chef – I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! I have dared to make one tiny change to his recipe, by adding additional color and flavor to the final dish with an optional garnish of borage and other edible flowers.
Battle on – The Generalissimo
3 gelatine leaves
3 ½ pounds (1.6 kg) peas
¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
Freshly ground pepper
Small container watercress
1 bunch chives
7 tablespoons (100 ml) olive oil
Small container purple shiso
Fleur de sel (sea salt)
4 slices from a sourdough loaf
Borage and other edible flowers (TFG addition)
Soak the gelatine in cold water.
Shell the peas. Put half of them in a juicer, make juice.
Take 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) of this juice, season it, and heat one-third of it. Add the gelatine, mix, and add the remaining juice. Pass it through a chinois, and pour the jelly into four shallow plates, to a thickness of 1/8-inch (2-mm).
Cook the rest of the peas à l’anglaise in a large pan of boiling salted water. When they are al dente, remove half of them and refresh them in cold water, then set them aside. Leave the other half to cook longer, to make a purée, and drain them well.
When heated, the pea juice becomes clearer and turns slightly brown, which is why you only heat one-third of it to melt the gelatine.
Step 2: Make the pea purée
Place the peas that cooked longer in a food processor; add the cream little by little, plus a tablespoonful of crushed ice. Blend for a few minutes to obtain a very smooth purée. Season to taste with salt and pepper, sieve, and set aside. Dilute the purée with a little water if it is too thick.
Cut the watercress at the base, using scissors, and wash it in a large volume of water. Dry it out gently on paper towels and set aside.
Step 3: Cook the eggs
Soft-boil the eggs by plunging them into a saucepan of water at 150°F (64°C). Cook for 40 minutes over a low heat, checking the water temperature with a thermometer.
Step 4: Make the chive oil
Coarsely chop the chives and blend them with the olive oil in a blender, or with a hand blender, then pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve.
Take the peas out of their thin skin and season them with chive oil, salt, and pepper.
Skinning the peas is a long, painstaking process, but it’s essential to get perfect results!
Step 5: To serve
Lay a tablespoonful of purée in the middle of each plate, then arrange the skinned, seasoned peas carefully around it. Add the watercress in the form of a nest, then place 5 shiso leaves in a star shape.
At the last moment, gently place the hot soft-boiled egg on top of the purée and season it with a pinch of fleur de sel and pepper. Finish by garnishing the top with a head of shiso and pouring a fine ring of chive oil all around the plate.
Serve a slice of toast coated with chive oil to accompany this dish. TFD OPTIONAL ADDITION: GARNISH WITH BORAGE AND OTHER EDIBLE FLOWERS.
This recipe was originally published in “My Best Guy Savoy” (Éditions Alain Ducasse).