Chef Norman Van Aken of NORMAN'S in Coral Gables, Florida

Maine Lobster Claw & Vanilla in a Sauternes Jelly with Granny Smith Apple, Radishes and Celery Shoots

Yield: 6 appetizer portions

For the Lobster in Jelly:

  • 6 Maine lobster claws, poached, cleaned & chilled
  • 1 Tablespoon each very small dice of celery root & fennel, blanched
  • 18 ounces Sauternes wine (Norman recommends Roûmieu-Lacoste) , reduced by 1/2 with 3 vanilla beans, that have been split & scraped
  • 9 ounces apple juice
  • 6 each gelatin sheets, bloomed in cold water until soft


Incorporate the bloomed gelatin into the warm, stained sauternes-vanilla liquid. Let it come to room temperature. Pour the liquid over 1 lobster claw and vegetables divided into 6 soup bowls or small ramekins. Chill & reserve.

For the granny smith apple, radishes and celery shoots:

  • 1 Granny Smith apple, julienned
  • 6 each breakfast radishes, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 ounces celery shoots


All above seasoned with salt & pepper individually and dressed with a light vinaigrette made with champagne vinegar.

For decoration:

  • Osetra caviar
  • Toasted hazelnut sabayon
  • Minced chives

For the Toasted Hazelnut Sabayon:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup hazelnut oil
  • ½ cup medium whipped heavy cream
  • ¼ cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts


Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the lemon juice over a bain-marie (water bath) until it has the consistency of a "ribbon" of pulled taffy. Take off the heat and slowly drizzle in the hazelnut oil. Then fold in the whipped cream. Season with salt, pepper and incorporate the thyme leaves & toasted hazelnuts.

To serve:

Place the Granny Smith salad in the midlle of the plate. Unmold the ramekins on top and spoon sabayon around the plate. Decorate with caviar and chives.