It was on a trip to the beach in Morocco with a good friend, enjoying watermelon with the fresh catch by local lobster fishermen where he found his inspiration for his Brittany blue lobster tart with watermelon and yuzu vinaigrette. This was the dish he serve at the 2018 MICHELIN guide Hong Kong Macau gala dinner.
It was created about a year ago. I’d spent a superb morning at the beach with my friend François at Essaouira in Morocco. He introduced me to the fishermen who were catching blue lobsters – we spent an exceptional day on the Mediterranean Sea.
How did it come together from there?
I was eating watermelon along with the lobster. The melon was very juicy, the lobster was very good, and I thought the combination would be amazing – I actually loved the association of flavors. So I began creating a recipe with lobster, watermelon, yuzu caviar, yuzu confit, and caviar. I think the caviar makes this dish especially interesting.
I know where I can get the best ones from all over the world. My lobsters for the gala are coming from Bretagne. It’s part of my philosophy to obtain the best ingredients, and I take my suppliers very seriously – I’ve had a twenty-year association with one of them.
Have Moroccan ingredients influenced your food?
Yes, they have so many amazing spices and products. Whenever I’m there, I go to the market to see what’s best that day and to get inspiration and just imagine what I can create.
How do you go about developing a new dish?
When I’m in the process, I don’t do it for others at first. Only when I’ve come up with something that really impresses me do I develop it for customers. Chinese diners, for instance, prefer neutral flavours, and I always adapt my dishes with specific customers in mind.