A master class with the master chef – Michel Roux Jr

When you think of the name Roux you instantly think of a Michelin star restaurant, quality food, superior ingredients and divine dining and that is exactly what I got last week when I attended a master class with the lovely Michel Roux Jr, who has just launched his set of professional quality saucepans with Greenpan.

We gathered at the excellently appointed ‘L’Atelier de Chefs’ in London’s Wigmore Street to make some of the recipes from Michel Roux Jr’s book Cooking with the Master Chef. We made Gilded Sea Bream with Citrus Fruit Vinaigrette (recipe below taken from Cooking with the Master Chef, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £25, photo by Cristian Barnett) accompanied by the most delicious tart followed by Roasted Figs with Pistachios and Honey. As you can imagine there wasn’t a lot of talking at the dining table once the food was put in front of us!

The gathering was in aid of the collaboration between Michel Roux Jr and Greenpan who make durable and stylish saucepans and frying pans. After using Greenpan on one of his TV shows Michel Roux got the full Greenpan range into his kitchens at La Gavroche to have a ‘real test’ with.

‘The timing and the product had to be right,’ Michel Roux Jr told me. ‘Any product we put our name to has to be able to cope with a professional kitchen. Using a pan in a professional kitchen isn’t the same as using one at home – pans are subjected to all sorts of environments like being left in an oven and forgotten about and cleaned in a caustic soda bath. At La Gavroche we used and abused the pans for a year and they stood the test of time.’

Michel made the cooking look so easy during the master class and showed us how to segment fruit professionally, chop shallots to the tiniest morsel and cook a fish whole and then fillet it  – I pity the person who ate my fillet – there were definitely bones in there!

For more information on the Michel Roux Jr Greenpan range visit the Greenpan site

Follow this delicious recipe for Gilded Sea Bream with Citrus Fruit Vinaigrette here…

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 gilt head bream (400-500g each)

1 orange

1 lemon

1 pink grapefruit

Salt and pepper

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 sprigs basil leaves only, shredded

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas mark 7. Scale the fish and remove the eyes and gills. Slit the belly and remove the guts. Rinse well under cold running water and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Peel the fruit and segment, removing all the pith, holding the fruit over a bowl to collect the juices.

Slash the skin of the fish three times on each side, and season with salt and pepper. Cook in a non-stick ovenproof pan with a drop of olive oil over a high heat to crisp the skin, turning the fish after 3 minutes. When both sides are browned, place in the oven for about 5 minutes, depending on the size of the fish.

Take the fish out of the pan and place them on plates or a serving dish to keep them warm. Put the shallots in the same pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and cook briskly for 1 minute.

Add the fruit juices and reduce by a third; pouring in any juices from the fish. Add the fruit segments and the remaining olive oil, then immediately take the pan off the heat and pour over the fish, sprinkle with the basil leaves and serve; this should be warm not hot.

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Emma Morton Turner, Guest Editor

View all posts by Emma Morton Turner, Guest Editor