On a globetrotter's tasty trail

Chef Marshall Orton has made his way to Bangkok and offers two dishes that reflect the eclectic influences that have shaped his cuisine

Chef Marshall Orton arrived at the Pullman Bangkok King Power with almost 29 years' experience garnered from around the world, including 10 years with Accor Hotels and Resorts.

Discovering his love of food at an early age under the guidance of his grandfather, Orton was eager to experience the culinary world. Every restaurant, cafe and home he visited was inspirational to him. Orton took in all that was on offer _ flavours, smells, techniques.

Starting a four-year apprenticeship in his home town of Perth, Australia, Orton trained under the watchful eye of his mentors, Chris Taylor and Bert Lozey, both of whom encouraged Orton to sample flavours from anywhere and everywhere.

On completion of his apprenticeship, Orton travelled to London to work with the Hilton group. After two years, he was asked to join the Hilton team in Vienna, where he acquired a taste for European flavours and ingredients.

Since then, Orton has lived and worked in some of the most exciting cities and beautiful islands in the world, including Bali, Singapore and Shanghai. He also worked at the Sofitel New York, on Broadway, regularly catering to celebrity diners. After four years in New York, Orton was appointed to Sofitel's food and beverage committee to help design and develop the rebranding of Sofitel's food and beverage concept for the Sofitel Brisbane. He is now executive chef in charge of food and beverage of the Pullman Bangkok King Power.

Orton's style is described as ''global'', and refers to his penchant for blending flavours and ingredients from the four corners of the world. Here are two of his signature dishes.

ASPARAGUS AND SEARED SCALLOPS WITH A ROYAL PROJECT TOMATO AND HERB VINAIGRETTE

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

Break off the woody end and peel the asparagus. Blanch in salted water and refresh in ice bath.

Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry. Add butter and oil to a 35cm frying pan on a high heat. Season the scallops, and once the fat begins to smoke, gently add to the pan making sure they are not touching each other.

Sear the scallops for 1 minutes on each side. They should have a 5mm golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the centre.

Pour vinegar and wine into a glass bowl. Whisk in the salt, sugar and pepper until the sugar has dissolved. Slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl while whisking rapidly to blend together. Stir in garlic, thyme, marjoram, basil and tarragon; fold in shallots and tomatoes. Store in the refrigerator until serving.

BLACKENED CHICKEN WITH MOROCCAN COUSCOUS

INGREDIENTS

(Serves four)

METHOD

Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot over a medium heat. Stir in the cumin, ginger, cloves, cayenne, cardamom, coriander and allspice; gently toast until fragrant, about two to three minutes. Stir in oil and onion, cook until softened. Stir in the bell pepper and courgette; cook for five minutes. Stir in the raisins, salt and zest.

Pour in the chicken broth and orange juice; turn heat to high and bring to a boil. When the mixture is boiling, stir in the couscous and remove from heat; cover and let stand five minutes. Fluff with a fork and fold in chopped mint.

In a small bowl, combine paprika, one teaspoon sugar, one teaspoon salt, garlic powder, thyme, lemon-pepper, cayenne and to one teaspoon pepper; sprinkle over both sides of the chicken. Set aside. In another bowl, combine mayonnaise, water, vinegar and remaining sugar, salt and pepper; cover and chill in a cup for serving. Save remaining sauce for basting.

Rub chicken with spices and grill the chicken, covered, over indirect medium heat for four to six minutes on each side or until juices run clear, basting frequently with remaining sauce. Serve with remaining sauce.

Put couscous in mould and than place on plate. Slice chicken and add to plate. Serve with freshly cut lemon and Portuguese piri piri sauce.

Recipe and pictures courtesy of Pullman Bangkok King Power.