It's not only for the convenience of working on the opposite side of the road at Ratchaprasong intersection that chefs Leslie Stronach and Mark Hagenbach are partners again for the 2012 Bangkok Chefs Charity Gala Dinner on Aug 17.
Executive chefs Leslie Stronach of the InterContinental Bangkok and Mark Hagenbach of Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel.
The InterContinental Bangkok's executive chef Stronach has Scottish roots but he likes to say he's an Australian like Hagenbach, the Grand Hyatt Erawan's executive chef, who was born in Melbourne. Sharing similar culinary styles, they like to work with seafood and the duo did a warm and savoury scallop dish as a second course for last year's gala dinner.
Creating something with crab meat didn't need a long discussion either, and for the upcoming charity gala, they will be preparing a cold starter: Sweet corn panna cotta, gazpacho mirror with crab escabeche.
"We have a similar thought process in our approach to food. So it wasn't difficult to put this dish together when we started talking about crabs," said Hagenbach. "This starter is a play on ingredients that we know work well together. Like in the Chinese crab and sweet corn soup, crab and corn go very well together. Lending a very fresh flavour on the palette, the crab escabeche pairs beautifully with the sweet corn panna cotta." Presented in an elegant cocktail glass it looks like something simple to create, but the process of preparing the starter begins one day before with the making of the tomato water as a base for the avocado gazpacho.
While ripe vine tomatoes are red, the extracted tomato water is almost a clear liquid which gives the main flavour of the bright green gazpacho.
"You can say it's a crab cocktail but with a very definite twist, and one of the twists is the gazpacho with the tomato water," said Hagenbach. " We extract all the flavours out of red tomatoes and there's a mild touch of chilli at the end of the gazpacho _ and so a lot of fresh flavours."
As top chefs, how do they design flavours for a dish?
"For the first course of the evening, we don't want to start exploding the palette because there are more rich flavours throughout the rest of the menu," Hagenbach said.
"So we chose to do a simple dish with a delicate taste. Still it's a good way to begin a long dinner and excite the palette."
Accompanying the starter will be Sauvignon Blanc, Discovery Point 2009, Marlborough, New Zealand, supported by Italthai.
A delicate starter, sweet corn panna cotta, gazpacho mirror with crab escabeche.
CRAB ESCABECHE, SWEET CORN PANNA COTTA, GREEN VEGETABLE GAZPACHO
Makes 10 portions
- Simply mix all ingredients together and chill in the refrigerator prior to serving.
- Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Strain through a fine strainer to have a smooth creamy consistency.
- Blend all ingredients together until a fine pulp. Pour liquid over a very fine cheese cloth, preferably put in chiller overnight to extract all the clear liquid to be used as the base for the gazpacho.
CORN PANNA COTTA
- Slowly simmer corn in milk and cream until tender. Season the mix. Blitz the mix and pass through fine strainer, add softened gelatin to mix. Place in glasses to set.
About the author
- Writer: Kanokporn Chanasongkram