Scallops the professional way.

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be taught by the BBC’s Masterchef Professionals 2013 winner, Steven Edwards.  He showed us how to deal with scallops that arrived in their shells and turn this delicacy in to an amazing starter with roasted cucumber and his own special marmite bread.

You can watch me make them on YouTube

He showed us how to prepare the scallops direct from the sea.  I found a long palette knife worked best: slip between the two shells opposite to the square hinge end of the shell and gently but firmly run down the inside of the flat shell.  This should loosen the scallop meat and enable you to separate the two shells.  Gently work the knife under the scallop away from the rounded shell.  You might be surprised at the amount of sand etc in the “skirt”.  Gently separate this from the scallop meat, pull out the “comma” shaped roe.  Throw out the sandy skirt.  Don’t let the scallops spend more than about 30 seconds in the water as you wash them – and change the water if necessary to get rid of all the sand.

Check out the scallop meat: one flat side will be larger than the other.


MasterChef cookery Day

You can watch me on YouTube or download the recipe here

Rather stupendous cooking sessions with Steve Edwards, winner of the BBC’s 2013 MasterChef competition who now runs his new restaurant “Etch” near Brighton. At the magnificent Lainston House hotel.  The demonstrations and our individual cooking stations were top quality, with excellent behind-the scenes support to keep us constantly cleaned down and fully stocked with the ingredients needed.  Best of all from my perspective was the personal support of Sylvain, the Cookery School Manager, who was completely unperturbed by having a blind cook in their midst and made sure that I was completely included and every step was wholly accessible.

In reality, I got the best deal of the day through Sylvan’s own massive experience as the sous chef at the hotel.  All the others on the one-day course were equally inclusive and supportive so it was a great experience all round.

Steve shared some of his own recipes: from Marmite bread to accompany the scallops and roast cucumber starter through very straightforward Ballantine of guinea fowl (simply wrap in prosciutto and roll up with cling-film to poach) to the honey cake he is confident won him the Masterchef prize.  He’d specially designed every element of the menu so that the dishes are easy to make at home and kindly allowed us to video throughout the day and share his recipes.

What an exceptional day – it was a gift from the team that helps me here.