search
Loading
|  home | feedback | help          
StarChefs
Features on StarChefs.com
On the Plate: Notable Presentations
Archive
August 2009

In Spain’s cutting-edge culinary landscape, it seems that almost everyone is doing something innovative and different and doing it well. But, in Madrid we dined with two phenomenal chefs, Chef Francisco "Paco" Morales of Senzone, and Chef Ricardo Sanz of Kabuki, whose dishes stood out for their spotlighting and focus on the traditional concepts of textural layering, depth of flavor, and use of imagination. Senzone carries the idea through esoteric and seasonally focused compositions, and Kabuki, through five-star Japanese cuisine.

+ click pictures to enlarge

Kabuki
Madrid, Spain
Black Sea Bass, Fish Liver Sauce, Baby Potatoes

Black Sea Bass, Fish Liver Sauce, Baby Potatoes

In this dish, Sanz presents a do-it-yourself approach to sushi—the diner assembles the roll—and ingeniously intermingles uncommon textures. Soft layers of sea bass sashimi are drizzled with a sweet fish liver mousse, and a boiled cube of baby potato is placed at one end. Once rolled and assembled, the finely sliced fish with the rich liver sauce wrapped around the soft potato makes for a decadent combination of textures and flavors.

Chef Ricardo Sanz

Senzone
Madrid, Spain
Crusted Codfish stuffed with Tender Onions, Lentils, and Crisp Pancetta

Crusted Codfish stuffed with Tender Onions, Lentils, and Crisp Pancetta

This curious looking bite-sized dish is Morales' refined approach to the traditional Spanish tapa, croquetas de bacalao (salt cod fritters). The cod is encrusted with potato flour, giving the croquette a thick white crust and a funky, almost gluey, texture. Served atop thick slices of semi-raw onion and crispy salty bits of fried pancetta, this stark-white fritter dish oozes with crunch. The lightness of the beefy broth provides balance to the rest of the dish.

Chef Francisco "Paco" Morales (now at Ferrero)

Kabuki
Madrid, Spain
Squid with Caramelized Onion

Squid with Caramelized Onion

Cleverly disguised as a sushi roll, this dish is actually a bundle of sweet caramelized onions enveloped by tender squid meat. The meat is so tender, it’s almost squishy and similar in feel to the caramelized onions—an intriguing textural juxtaposition. The clean, simplistic presentation is garnished with bits of crispy codium, a seaweed like plant that grows with barnacles, and a seven spice chimichiurri that lends bright flecks of color. And as in Japanese tradition, the “sushi” comes plated with a side of wasabi.

Chef Ricardo Sanz

Senzone
Madrid, Spain
Roasted Apple, Meringue, Apple Puree

Roasted Apple, Meringue, Apple Puree

Chef Francisco "Paco" Morales beautifully drapes rice paper around an apple prior to roasting, creating a whimsical visual of crumpled paper-like skin. The texture of the skin is just as delicate—very similar to that of a milk paper—disintegrating as it hits the tongue. A creamy pool of puree beneath the apple hints at the light mousse hidden inside the fruit—a velvety and substantive contrast to the rice paper.

Chef Francisco "Paco" Morales (now at Ferrero)

Kabuki
Madrid, Spain
Toro Sashimi with Tomato, Olive Oil, and Bread

Toro Sashimi with Tomato, Olive Oil, and Bread

Everything about this presentation is fun and inviting— from the fluorescent colors of the toro and tomato beside the bright green plate to the playful scattering of bread crumbs. The idea behind this dish was to reinterpret a staple Catalonian tapa of pa amb tomaq, a grilled bread rubbed with tomato, seasoned with garlic, olive oil, and salt, and topped with a slice of ham. Sanz takes a risk assembling this dish with such an unusual combination of textures, but the crusty salty breadcrumbs partner with the skinned tomato pulp soaking up its juices, imbuing the crumbs with flavor. Harkening back to the pedestrian and utilitarian roots of pa amb tomaq, the plating is casual and minimal in garnish.

Chef Ricardo Sanz

Senzone
Madrid, Spain
Smoked Jelly Tuna Boullion, Zucchini, and Sea Caviar

Smoked Jelly Tuna Boullion, Zucchini, and Sea Caviar

In this playful take on bouillon, the bright green, thinly sliced zucchini and “sea caviar” appear to float atop the clear jelly tuna broth. Yet, the broth is in fact neither hot nor liquid, but a cool gel cut into a precise circular disc. The sea caviar is actually sodium alginate squid ink. Texturally, the jelly is so elegant and light its mouthfeel resembles soup. A big spoonful is utterly refreshing: subtly smoky bouillon with crunchy raw zucchini, and silky sea caviar that “pop” in your mouth.

Chef Francisco "Paco" Morales (now at Ferrero)

hotlinks_general_narrow
  • Chef Ricardo Sanz of Kabuki
  • Letter From the Editor Vol. 37
  • Chef Paco Morales of Senzone  


  •  

     Sign up for our newsletters!|Print this page|Email this page to a friend
     QuickMeals   Chefs   Rising Stars   Hospitality Jobs   Find a School   Wine   Community   Features   Food Events   News   Ask the Experts   Tickets   Cookbooks
    About Us | Career Opportunities | Media Kit | StarChefs in the News | Site Map
    Please help keep StarChefs a free service by displaying our button on your website. Click here for details.
      Copyright © 1995-2014 StarChefs. All rights reserved.  | Privacy Policy