November 14, 2013 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

The Secret To Raw-Cooking with Chef Youssef Akiki

During the The Beirut Cooking Festival, Grohe launched their latest product, a special faucet I had the privilege of being the first to own in Lebanon: The Minta Touch. They introduced the new product during a unique workshop attended by culinary, decoration and lifestyle editors and hosted by Executive Chef Youssef Akiki. I was excited about the workshop, as I was chosen to be one of the judges along side Lina Varytimidou of Grohe Middle East and Africa and Chef Youssef Akiki. A bit about Minta Touch - The idea is simple: A faucet that stays clean. The main difference between the Minta Touch and the laser activated faucets is that you decide when to start and when to stop the water without having to stay under the water jet at a certain distance all the time.

Youssef Akiki Executive Chef at Burgundy Wine Bar revealed "The Secret To Raw-Cooking" during the workshop, which led to one member of the media to win this unique product. Participants invited to the workshop were expected to prepare a dish with salmon as the main ingredient. The best dish will win. Today’s recipe: Spice-Crusted Salmon:

  • Salmon 100g salmon, 10ml of olive oil, 2g of flour de del
  • Vegetables: Radish, ginger, mini cucumber, asparagus
  • Acidulated vinegar: 1 liter of water, 500ml of white vinegar, 500g of sugar
  • Spices crust: 10g of squashed coriander grains, 12g of coriander powder, 5g of black sesame seeds, 4g of ginger powder, 3g of espelette pepper, 5g of lemon zest
How to prepare this raw/cooked spice crusted salmon:
  1. Start by cutting and preparing the vegetables: The pickled ginger, radishes, cucumbers, asparagus and mangos
  2. Mix all the acidulated vinegar ingredients and boil them in a saucepan. Create a bouillon of vinegar, sugar and water
  3. Add this hot mixture to the vegetables and cool it all together in the fridge for two hours
  4. Spices are then mixed all together and added into a grinder. Put the grinder on for 5 seconds at a time to mix without completely grinding the mix...
  5. Mix the crust all together and spread it unto a tray. A rich aroma will caress your nostrils
  6. Put the salmon on the bed of spices, no added salt is needed and most importantly don't turn the salmon around
  7. Add some olive oil to the pan
  8. Cut it in rectangular slices of 10cm each. You'll see a crust on one side and the salmon on the other
  9. Fry the salmon on the pepper covered slice for 1 minute
  10. Make sure to clean the pan between every round not to have pepper residue that will burn your next round. For example if you have a dinner for 12, and the pan can't take more than three, clean the pan before going to the other three
  11. Just add to it, flour de sel, ginger acidule and olive oil to enjoy this mouthwatering preparation

Afterwards, Chef Youssef distributed the ingredients to all the participants as he explained a few guidelines. Guests from the media where all ready to prepare the most beautiful salmon plate that will hopefully win them a Minta Touch.While the participants were preparing their plates, I walked around making sure the techniques are correct. Cutting and handling food is something very crucial.

My criteria for the most beautifully designed plate:
  • You don't have to use all the ingredients given
  • A plate is to be eaten, so it has to be mouthwatering
  • The simpler the better
  • Salmon is always kept together even when sliced
  • The salmon should not be covered. The eyes expects something nice to eat not just nice to take a picture off
  • Give your plate a theme

Naomi Sergant from Time Out Beirut was the winner. She prepared a plate that's simple and clear and more importantly with a theme: "Let your kids love salmon". Naomi won the new Minta Touch. I couldn't but share my experience about this new innovative piece of technology, which I'll describe further in a separate post.

Categories: Spotted Stories





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