Events on StarChefs

Rising Stars Revue - Seattle on StarChefs Rising Stars Revue - Seattle on StarChefs
Gala Tasting Menu

Hot Smoked Sturgeon, Pickled Beet Salad and Paddlefish Caviar
Chef Scott Staples of Restaurant Zoë – Seattle, WA
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 6 Servings


    Crème Fraîche
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream (not ultra pasteurized)
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons tarragon, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

  • Curing Mixture
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1/8 cup ground coriander seed
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white peppercorns
  • Zest of 1 lemon, minced
  • Zest of 1 orange, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Sauza White tequila

  • Pickling Liquid
  • ¾ cup cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons ground coriander seed
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 ¼ cup water

  • Sturgeon
  • 1 ½ pounds Columbia River sturgeon filet, divided into 3 ounce portions
  • 4 cups apple wood chips
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter

  • Beet Salad
  • 8 (3-4 ounce) golden beets, tops removed
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

  • Garnish
  • 1 cup micro greens
  • 1 ounce paddlefish caviar
  • 1 Tablespoon white truffle oil


For Crème Fraîche:
Crème fraîche should be made 3 days ahead of time. Combine buttermilk and cream and mix well. Put in airtight container. Seal and leave in 80°F for 48 hours. Next, refrigerate 24 hours. Add remaining ingredients, mix well, and chill.

For Curing Mixture:
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate 1 hour.

For Pickling Liquid:
Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cooled, strain and chill.

For Sturgeon:
Begin sturgeon preparation 3-4 hours before meal. Line sheet pan with parchment paper. Lay fish portions on parchment paper. Rub each portion with 1 Tablespoon of curing mixture. Cover each portion completely. Once all portions are covered in curing mixture, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour.

Place fish portions in 2 – inch deep perforated half hotel pan and put pan inside 6 – inch deep half hotel pan. Fill dry sauté pan with wood chips. Have plastic wrap near work station. Start heating wood chips over high heat, until burning but not in flames. Toss chips occasionally to evenly heat. Chips will eventually start to catch fire spontaneously. At this point, tip pan so that gas flames from stove light wood chips. Once chips are burning well, remove 2 – inch deep hotel pan from 6 – inch deep hotel pan. Dump chips into 6 – inch deep hotel pan, replace 2 – inch deep hotel pan and quickly cover with plastic wrap. Form an airtight seal, which will smother wood chips but keep smoke in. Refrigerate pan 15 minutes. Remove fish from pan and refrigerate.

Heat large sauté pan over medium-high flame. Melt butter in pan, once golden brown, add fish and turn flame to high. Brown fish on one side, then turn over. Sugar will caramelize quickly, so watch closely. It should take about 4 minutes on first side. Once on second side, don’t worry about color, cook fish to medium temperature.

For Beet Salad:
Begin preparing beets 3-4 hours before meal. Preheat oven to 450°F. Take 4 – inch hotel pan and spread salt on bottom. Rub surface of beets with oil, place cut sides down in salt. Spread thyme evenly around pan. Cover pan with aluminum foil and roast 1 to 1 ½ hours or until beets are tender. Remove from salt and refrigerate.

Once cold, peel beets. Cut into small dice. Cover beets with chilled pickling liquid. Marinate 1 hour. Strain beets and discard liquid. Toss beets with olive oil and shallots, and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.

To Serve:
Spoon 2 Tablespoons crème fraîche in center of each plate. Spread into 3 – inch diameter circles. Top with about ¼ cup beet salad in center of crème fraîche. Slice fish portions from corner to corner on the bias, so that two triangles are formed. Criss cross fish triangles over beet salad. Top with a bit of micro greens and caviar, about 1 to 2 teaspoons per serving. Finally, drizzle with white truffle oil.

Wine Pairing:
Gallo of Sonoma 2001 Sonoma Coast Two Rock Vineyard Chardonnay