April 5th, 2016

Winning Gusto Manchester Chef Sebastian Polakowski at The House of Peroni

By The House of Peroni

Winning Gusto Manchester Chef Sebastian Polakowski at The House of Peroni

HOW DO YOU IMPRESS A MICHELIN-STARRED SICILIAN CHEF? CREATE A DISH THAT STIRS HIS EMOTIONS. SEBASTIAN POLAKOWSKI'S HALIBUT WITH SMOKED AUBERGINE PUREE & BASIL BUTTER DID JUST THAT. FIND THE RECIPE HERE AND TRY IT AT HOME...

Back in November, five talented chefs from Italian restaurant group Gusto were invited to The House of Peroni Residency on Brick Lane, London, competing to work in Sicily with esteemed chef Accursio Craparo. Their brief? Create a dish inspired by a modern take on home Italian cooking to tie in with The House of Peroni residency's theme of Vita all'Interno or 'a life lived inside'.

The winning dish, selected by Accursio, was halibut with smoke aubergine puree & basil butter, created by chef Sebastian Polakowski from Gusto in Manchester. Accursio explained what impressed him: "I believe that a dish is great when it is able to spark an emotion in me. All the dishes told very good stories, but Sebastian's stood out from the others with its simplicity, humility and tidiness."

Sebastian will now join Accursio for two weeks this spring at his restaurant in Modica, Sicily. What can he expect? "He will be welcomed by a small town with a great history and culture, immersed in nature," Accursio said. "A whole life span does not suffice to become a chef - there is always something to learn. A chef needs to activate their five senses and create a harmony between them."

Seb's dish, Halibut with smoked aubergine puree & basil butter, created at The House of Peroni, will take pride of place on Gusto's next menu, launching in April. Visit a Gusto restaurant and try it for yourself or create at home with the below recipe.

Winning Gusto Manchester Chef Sebastian Polakowski at The House of Peroni

RECIPE METHOD

BASIL BUTTER

Heat the 250g block of butter until it is slightly melted. Take 100g basil, 50ml virgin olive oil and blend together, then add the butter and mix together.

Spread some cling film and place the butter, olive oil and basil mixture inside. Seal the cling film into a sausage shape, knot both ends and refrigerate for 20mins to harden. This will allow you to cut round discs of basil butter later.

SMOKED AUBERGINE PUREE

Cut 3 whole aubergines in half, then score across them with a small, sharp knife. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Bake the aubergines in an oven at 200°C until they are soft and brown in colour. Take out of the oven, remove the aubergine skins with a spoon and place in a food blender with 50ml of double cream, a sprig of thyme, two cloves of smoked garlic and 50ml virgin olive oil. Blitz until a smooth puree.

PAN-FRIED HALIBUT

Take a non-stick frying pan, add a dash of virgin olive oil and place on a medium heat.

Next, season the halibut with salt and place skin-side down in the pan - this will help achieve a crispy skin. Fry for 5 minutes on each side.

ROASTED CHERRY TOMATOES

Grease a baking tray with virgin olive oil. Leave the tomatoes on the vine and place onto the baking tray. Roast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until sweet and soft.

TO SERVE

Spoon the smoked aubergine puree on to a plate and use a pasty scraper to smear it across to create the desired effect. Then place the halibut on the plate at an angle, position the cherry tomatoes next to the fish and place a disc or two of the basil butter on top of the fish. Garnish with edible flowers.

INGREDIENTS
250g unsalted butter
100g basil
150ml virgin olive oil
3 aubergines
50ml double cream
thyme sprig
2 cloves garlic
200g halibut
4 cherry tomatoes on the vine
edible flowers (optional)

 

 

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GUSTO ~ Restaurant and Bar: Italian for taste and enjoyment
Inspired by the elegant charm of a classic Italian ristorante with a contemporary buzz and a modern, stylish interior, GUSTO brings the true "taste and enjoyment" of Italy to our guests.

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