José shows up with a carload of fresh vegetables and specialty ingredients from Harrod’s Food Hall (aka: heaven on earth with the price tag to match).
Carrots, onions, zucchini, thyme, leeks, chicken, artichokes, green beans and snap peas for the Paella, plus mushrooms, burrata, good quality olive oil and vinegar, oysters, dragon fruit, clementines, caviar, etc, etc, for the many tapas we made all together that night.
We discuss the menu for the evening... Clearly I’m psyched about what’s going to go down in my kitchen.
We took copious notes...
Paella takes the longest so José gets started with the chicken and vegetable prep. He cuts a whole chicken into large pieces and sautés it along with the vegetables.
While that’s cooking José puts us all to work on appetizers. We use the boiled potatoes in the picture above, and cover them in crème fraiche and caviar (what luxury!).
We delicately grill a variety of mushrooms (setas a la plancha as they’re called in Spanish) and also make a seta cream sauce to go with the burrata.
The final product is this dish: burrata topped with crema de setas and setas a la plancha.
Meanwhile, José demonstrates his dragon fruit and tomato appetizer. He cut cubes out of a dragon fruit and tops them with what he calls the "caviar" of the tomato, which he achieves by cutting the top and side layers off in a square, leaving just the seeds.
We prepare a scallop ceviche with clementine juice and clementine zest, maldon sea salt and really good olive oil.
We serve it on halved kumquats placed on top of an ice tray, for kitsch and cool.
There’s also grilled cheese sandwiches: mozzarella and preserved black truffles on brioche…
and thick slices of smoked salmon topped with a passion fruit vinaigrette.
We put all of our appetizers on the dining room table...
And then José serves up his chicken paella on top of a sundried tomato pureé with a side of friseé lettuce tossed with sherry vinegar and olive oil.