You’d think one hotel and its multitude of restaurants would be enough to cook for, but Frenchman Stephane Buchholzer arrived in Dubai in 2004 bringing with him a flair for molecular gastronomy. He now helms the kitchens at Le Meriden Mina Seyahi and neighbouring Westin as Complex Executive Chef, looking after 14 outlets from Italian and Thai to a steakhouse and all-day dining, and many more. Unbelievably he still loves to cook for his wife and friends when relaxing at home. Here are his favourite dishes.
500g Sako centre cut tuna (chopped)
80g finely sliced spring onions
10g grilled sesame seeds
50ml soy sauce
6 tbsp Lorenzo N5 olive oil
100g tomato confit [available from Lafayette Gourmet]
1tsp Dijon mustard
4g smoked sea salt
4 tsp fried onions
1. Mix the tuna with the olive oil, salt, spring onions and the mustard.
2. In a pan, roast the sesame seeds. Once golden brown, add the soy sauce, reduce for 30 seconds and pour onto the tuna.
3. Add the lime, dress on the plate and top with the tomato confit, the zest of lime and the fried onions.
Grilled Sirloin, Rocket and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Aged Balsamic and Coriander Hazelnut Pesto
4 x 250g Black Angus sirloin
200g baby rocket
600g heirloom tomatoes
8 tbsp Spanish olive oil [Neus Especial]
6 tbsp 15 year old balsamic [Villa Minodori aged on cherry oak barrel]
Fleur de sel de Gerande
4 tbsp mustard
Ingredients for coriander pesto
50g fresh coriander
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp roasted hazelnuts
1 tsp roasted pine nuts
1 pinch of fleur de sel
200ml Spanish olive oil
1. First make the coriander pesto by mixing all the ingredients in a mortar and crushing together until you get a chunky sauce.
2. Grill the sirloin on a lava stone grill or coal barbeque if you have one. If not, a normal oven grill or cast iron pan also works as it retains the heat cooking evenly without burning.
3. Let it rest for six minutes prior to slicing.
4. Spread the mustard on the plate and top with the rocket.
5. Quarter the heirloom tomatoes and arrange on top of the rocket.
6. Season with fleur de sel and Espelette chilli to your liking. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top with the sliced sirloin and dress with one tablespoon of the coriander pesto.
Chef’s tip “I tend to prefer grain-fed beef for better marbling and hence it’s more tender. Grass-fed has more of a bite to it, and is stronger in flavour. It just depends what you prefer.”
500g liquid cream
150g milk chocolate
1 tsp instant coffee
1 whipped cream canister with two gas cartridges (can be bought from Tavola)
1. Bring the cream to boil. Remove from the heat.
2. Add the chocolate and coffee. Mix until well dissolved and pass through a fine sieve.
3. Pour into the canister and store in the fridge for 3 hours until cold. Close and gas twice. If you don’t have a canister, just let the mix rest in the fridge for 3 hours until cold, and then whip with a whisk or mixer. Serve in tumbler glasses.