Secrets of the Seabed (Revealed) by Louise Guthrie

Great insight into my forthcoming Borough Market residency demos. This was from my bloggers preview event and Louise has asked if I share it with you all.

keep on shucking Louise …..x


Secrets of the Seabed (Revealed)

By Louise Guthrie

Have you ever shucked a scallop?

If not, don’t worry, you’re in safe hands with Hayden Groves, Executive Chef for Baxterstorey and a former National Chef of the Year who is here with us tonight in this veritable portal to culinary enlightenment known as Borough Market Cookhouse, unveiling some of his most precious trade secrets.

As an exclusive preview to Hayden’s upcoming October demonstrations on techniques and dishes to enhance your autumn entertaining, the award winning chef is showcasing this stunning sea delicacy with an interactive demonstration of his recipe of ceviche of scallop, avocado, pink grapefruit and puffed wild rice.


Once the maestro has pieced together his medley of shape, colour, texture and taste to create a miniature work of art (which we will duly get to sample!), we are cordially invited to each coax our own (perhaps slightly reticent?) scallop out of its shell and into the real world, and then smarten it up ready for presentation to discerning diners.

They say if you can open an oyster, then the average sea scallop shouldn’t cause you too much trouble.


Not that the specimens we are working with today are average. Brave divers have oh-so carefully hand-picked each and every one of them from the bottom of the sea, Hayden confides. Not only is this method eco-sound, but these little ‘bivalve molluscs’ (to give them their more scientific name) are gloriously untainted by any of the debris that mechanical dredging would have left behind.So don’t give up, because once shucked, your shy saltwater scallop is full of potential.

You don’t even have to exhaust all its possibilities in one go. Our scallop’s glorious auburn roe can be dried, powdered and stored to give future concoctions an authentic tang of the ocean. But for now we need to quickly remove its brown frill (although that could be used for fish stock in another incarnation), because once we’ve discarded its black pouch, it’s actually just its delicate white body we’re after for tonight’s serving….

A nice bit of ‘persuasion’


But if your scallop puts up a bit too much resistance (and some of them can be slightly stubborn!), Hayden can show you how to give it some short sharp sweet-talk with a small oyster knife, then some firm but gentle persuasion with a palette knife until it (willingly) yields up its inner treasures.

Giving up its innermost secrets

Even if all this is a bit new (and strange) to some of us, the splendid English wines that Borough Market team offer up give us that extra bit of Dutch courage.

Meanwhile Hayden pieces the whole picture together for us (it’s good to leave things to the professionals sometimes). So food presentation is important, but it’s not paramount, he tells us. You can tweak a recipe, (try adding finely diced shallot or red onion, or slivers of red or green chili to give some pep to this one), but Hayden stresses that there are basic tenets you should never tamper with: “Remember the three T’s” he says “Temperature, Taste and Texture.”

Carefully does it

So he conjures up some real heat (vegetable oil at 220C no less) to help create some extra texture – who knew that wild rice puffs up like popcorn to give a dish the edge that only a decent crunch can deliver?

With soft green avocados nicely blended to form a silky smooth puree, Hayden deftly chops pretty pink grapefruit into tiny tart but decorative pieces.

And the rest of it (crème fraiche, lime zest, olive oil and micro coriander leaves) somehow magically falls into place…

Pretty as a picture


We are not sure how successfully we could replicate this splendid little feast-for-the-eyes (at least not without a lot of practice), but we are still keen to take home the full disclosed secrets of Hayden Groves’ recipe in our Borough Market goodie bags.

You can find Hayden in Borough Market’s Demonstration Kitchen on consecutive Thursdays in October, 12.30-2pm, teaching a series of techniques covering starters with scallops and mussels, main courses of mallard and wild mushrooms through to puddings with orchard fruits. These demos are free to the public. So do yourself a F(l)avour and drop by…

Demo kitchen residencies / Borough Market


~ by theboxterboy on October 10, 2016.

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