This week Celebrity Chef from Ready Steady Cook & Fellow Master Chef Steven Saunders, proprietor of The Little Geranium in La Cala cooks for the Rock Stars!
Last week Rod Stewart performed at Fuengirola Castle bringing back memories of me cooking for him.
But he is not the only rock star I have cooked for, there have been many including Chris Martin, Keane, the Killers and Bob Geldorf to name just a few!
In 2009 I launched the first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, called Yas Marina. I headed up the hospitality. Stars like Beyonce and Aerosmith flew in to headline performing at Yas Marina for three days of Formula 1 and world class music.
Ferrari world was not finished (where it was due to be held) but plan B was to use the main site which was huge and we had to pack in mobile units offering basic food like burgers etc. for the crowds.
There were also some VIP rooms which I catered for. In the VIP rooms was Bernie Ecclestone, the heads of Formula 1 management and many previous F1 drivers. I was looking after them all.
They asked me to cook for the VIP bands as they didn’t want to give them the burgers! I met up with Beyonce who was delightful in every way, very grounded and we really got on, the next day I was meeting Steven Tyler from Aerosmith.
I asked him what they would like to eat over the next few days. “Nothing much” they said, “coffee, cigarettes and some chocolate!”
“What is your favourite food?” I asked Steve, “I love Italian” he said.
In the 70¨s I was trained at the Savoy Hotel London by the Chef legend Silvino Trompetto who was head chef from the 60´s up to 1980.
He was Italian but British bred and held the title of the world’s best chef at one stage. I had learned from him how to make great pasta, excellent risotto and delicate raviolis filled with lobster.
We also used to cook a huge steak for two and spice it and slice it, Tagliata of beef was a famous Trompetto dish and I still do a version of it at The Little Geranium.
In the 90¨s I had become friends with Rick Wakeman one of the world’s top keyboard players and composers who had worked with Bowie, Elton John, T. Rex and Cat Stevens. Rick´s progressive rock band was called Yes.
I was doing a Ready Steady Cook gig on the Isle of Man where he lived, it was at his children’s school and I was competing against Chef Kevin Woodford.
Rick loved pasta and asked me to show him how to make it. I carefully and correctly showed him each step and so proud I was of the perfect Tagliatelle, I held it up in my hands to show him and he poured pasta flour all over my head. Rick is a real joker!
So back to Abu Dhabi and Aerosmith and I was telling them the story of the flour whilst making them some fantastic Italian dishes in the little kitchen behind their green room.
I was laughing about it whilst serving them some squid ink pasta with shellfish and some ravioli filled with lobster. I also served them the amazing beef Tagliata.
As I turned to get the special pasta flour that I had bought for the ravioli, it wasn’t there. Steve had grabbed it and poured most of it over my head. “For gods sake” I said “what is it with you rock stars and pasta flour?!” “its Rock and Roll”, Steve said, “just Rock and Roll buddy!”
Rock & Roll Lobster Ravioli (serves 4)
To make the pasta dough, mix together the two flours and make a well in the centre. Add the egg yolks, egg white and a pinch of salt, and mix all of the ingredients until you obtain consistent smooth dough
180g of egg yolk
20g of egg white
A pinch of salt
135g of semolina flour
135g of 00 Strong flour
Knead vigorously for at least 15 minutes, then wrap the dough in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least two hours
For the Lobsters
Two whole live lobsters weighing approx. 600g each
Steam or boil the lobster bodies for five minutes. Cook the claws separately in the same water at the same temperature for seven minutes, then cool it all in iced water
100g of Mascarpone
Bunch of chives finely chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
A tablespoon olive oil
Gently remove the meat from the tails of the cooked lobsters and finely chop, setting the whole claws to one side for later. Add the mascarpone, chives, a few drops of lemon, the oil and some lemon zest and salt to the lobster meat and mix well to combine.
To make the ravioli, roll out the dough with a machine or with a rolling pin until you obtain very thin sheets. Make some discs with a ring cutter. Add some lobster filling and close the ravioli like a little pyramid or a little disc shape.
Cook the ravioli in salted boiling water for two minutes and then drain.
Place a little pan fried foie gras to one side (optional) and top with a lobster claw which is seasoned.
Complete the dish with some micro herbs and a little creamy saffron sauce (make a smooth cream sauce from thick cream, white wine, garlic shallots and saffron optional)
Not an every day dish but something special for a summer’s dinner party!
Follow Steven on Instagram ….saunderschef
Email any questions ….firstname.lastname@example.org
The Little Geranium, Winner of Best Contemporary International Restaurant 2019-Costa Del Sol