Wild Smoked Salmon Benedict by Lee Gross of M Café de Chaya 
on StarChefs.com

Photo Credit: StarChefs.com

Lee Gross
M Café de Chaya
7119 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 525-0588

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Lee Gross
M CAFÉ DE CHAYA | Los Angeles

Thirty-two-year-old Lee Gross combines the principles of macrobiotics with sound French technique. A graduate of Johnson & Wales’ culinary training program, as well as the Kushi Institute’s macrobiotics program in Becket, Massachusetts, Gross seeks to further Americans’ understanding of the relationship between food, health and the environment. Mentor Philippe Jeanty at Domaine Chandon taught him to value his culinary education, but what sets Gross and his cuisine apart from the rest is his ability to honor the body and still delight the palate. His modern versions of classically macrobiotic dishes intermingle cultural influences found during his travels in Japan, Spain and England as a former private chef to Oscar-award winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Now at M Café de Chaya, Gross strives for integrity in his work and believes that its influence will be "a recipe for a better tomorrow."


Wild Scottish Smoked Salmon Benedict with Soy Hollandaise
Chef Lee Gross of M Café de Chaya - Los Angeles, CA
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Yield: 6 Servings


    Scrambled Tofu:
  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 1 Tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (soy butter)
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons scallions, julienned

    Soy Hollandaise:
  • 4 ounces Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (soy butter)
  • ½ cup soy mayonnaise (preferably Veganaise brand)
  • 6 ounces silken firm tofu (Mori-Nu brand)
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoons turmeric
  • Sea salt
  • White pepper
  • Dash of Tabasco

    Smoked Salmon and Garnishes:
  • 12 ounces naturally-smoked wild Alaskan salmon
  • 1 small bunch green kale, washed well, de-stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • Sea salt
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced thick
  • Olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • 6 thick slices of artisanal whole-grain baguette
  • 1 small clove garlic, cut in half
  • Minced chives


For Scrambled Tofu:
Crumble tofu coarsely by hand. Heat soy butter in a medium sauté pan. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes or until translucent. Add carrot and sauté 30 seconds. Add crumbled tofu, turmeric and sea salt and black pepper to taste. Heat through and add a few Tablespoons of water. Let simmer until tofu is thick and creamy, and resembles soft-cooked scrambled eggs. Fold in scallions, adjust seasonings, and reserve.

For Soy Hollandaise:
Melt soy butter and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in blender and blend well to combine. Drizzle in soy butter slowly until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning and lemon if necessary. Reserve.

For Smoked Salmon and Garnishes:
Cut salmon into thin slices and set aside.

Blanch kale in lightly salted boiling water until tender. Keep warm and reserve.

Brush tomato slices with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat until lightly cooked. Keep warm and reserve.

Brush baguette slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat until just marked. Remove from grill and rub with cut side of garlic. Reserve and keep warm.

To Assemble and Serve:
Place two slices of grilled baguette on warmed serving plates and top with four slices of grilled tomato. Place steamed kale on top of tomato. Spoon scrambled tofu over kale and lay thin slices of smoked salmon evenly over tofu. Heat soy hollandaise in a double boiler until just warm- do not over heat or sauce will break. Spoon warm sauce over salmon and drizzle around the plate. Garnish with chives.

Wine Pairing:

Chardonnay, White Rock, Napa Valley, California, 2002


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   Published: May 2006