Learning the secrets with Chef Tomonori Danzaki of Joel Robuchon at the final DBS Masterclass

As the final DBS Masterclass for this year, DBS Indulge brought in Tomonori Danzaki, current Executive Chef of Joel Robuchon’s Restaurant and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Going off with a bang, the mastermind behind the three-star Michelin restaurant in MGM Grand, Las Vegas, shared with the audience three seemingly simple yet complex recipes of La Tomate, Le Bar, and Le Foie Gras de Canard.

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Chef Tomonori Danzaki started off in a small eatery in Tokyo back in 1981, and thereafter enrolling into the Tokyo Cookery Academy as an apprentice. His relationship with Chef Robuchon started off whilst he was having dinner at the French maestro’s Joel Robuchon’s Jamin on Rue de Longchamp. There he met Chef Robuchon and discussed plans to open the Chateau Restaurant Taillevent Robuchon in Tokyo. It has been 17 years since, and both have been longstanding partners.

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The crowd at AFC Cooking Studios Orchard Central last Wednesday was fully packed and it was a sell out affair.

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And it begins for the night, presenting Chef Tomonori Danazki and his creations.

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The first dish for the night La Tomate. Seemingly simple, but with a requirement of at least half a day’s worth of cooking time. Described as en salade, huile d’olive au basilic, tomate et mozzarella en gelee (Salad of tomato, bail infused olive oil, tomato gelee topped with mozzarella), this dish has two components. The tomato first is flavourfully savoury and tart with a mild acidic taste to open up the palate.

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Move that on to the tomato gelee, it is a mix of the chilling cool, cascading textures and freshness that will leave your eyes open. I’ve seen the recipe, and it is so complex for the seemingly innocent looking dish. Exotic.

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Wine paired for the night : White Sancerre, Eric Montintin 2009.

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The second dish, Le Bar is slightly simpler to create and it is a quaint combination of curry scents, lemongrass fragrance all seeped within the flavours of the fish.

Le Bar
Poele a la citronnelle avec une etuvee de jeunes poireaux
Pan fried sea bass with lemongrass and stewed baby leeks

Serves 4

  • Lemongrass Oil
  • 100 grams Sea bass

Lemongrass Sauce
– 50 grams lemongrass
– 125 grams shallots
– 200 grams White wine
– 500 grams Cream
– 50 grams Kaffir lime leaves

Garnish
– 4 pc snow pea
– 4 pc baby leek
– 4 pc confit tomato
– 16 pc Edername
– 100 grams Kataif

Service
– Lemongrass oil
– olive oil
– Espelette pepper
– yuzu

Materials Required
– Hand blender
– Thin chinois
– Fryer
– Yuzu Grater

Method

Sea Bass
– Cut pieces of 25g of loin per order.
Lemongrass sauce
– Sweat shallot in butter
– Add lemongrass, cook and add white wine, simmer to 1/4 quantity
– Add the cream, cook and then add kaffir lime leaves and let it finuse.
– Strain through chinois.
Garnish
– Clean vegetabales
– Portion one serving per person
– Fry the kataif
Service
– Season the sea bass and sear in lemon grass oil.
– Saute the vegetables in olive oil.
– Sprinkle yuzu on the fried kataif
– Plate and serve.

Serves well with Bourgogne Blanc, Domaine Rossignol Trapet 2006

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And the last dish for the night, Le Foie Gras de Canard. An endless classic, I greatly adored the sauce which was well infused into the foie gras lightening the overall flavour with a mix of balsamic sweet sourness.

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Le Foie Gras de Canard
roti, fruits verjutes, zeste d’agrumes confits et poivre noir ecrase torrefie
Roasted duck foie gras, verjuice fruits, candied citrus peel and coarse black pepper

Serves 4

Apple
– 1 pc Apple Golden
– Butter
– Sugar

Tuile
– 250 grams Rice Flour
– Salt
– Pepper
– Frying Oil

Foie Gras
– 1 pc Foie Gras Rougie

Sauce
– 200 grams Balsamic vinegar
– Black pepper
– Salt

Method
Apples
– Clean and peel the apple
– Tourner the apple (oblong shaped cut)
Tuile (crispy flour)
– Mix flour with water, season salt and pepper
– Fry as thin as possible
– Put grapefruit zest on the tuile
Foie Gras
– Deveine the foie gras, separate the big lobe from the small lobe
– Season with salt and pepper
– Colour the foie gras in a pan fry and roast in oven at low temperature of 150-160 degree celsius for about 15 to 25 minutes.
Sauce
– Reduce the vinegar
– Add in the foie gras and let it reduce for about half and hour.
– When the liquid boils, remove the scum. Don’t let it reboil as the scum will keep on appearing.
– Season
Decoration
– Clean the arugula, and use the nice leaves.
Service
– Colour the fruits in clarified butter.
– Reheat the foie gras, then cut and set on the plate.
– Season with sea salt, mignonette pepper and chopped chives.
– Sauce the plate.
– Set the apples.

The foie gras for the night was paired with Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Petite Chapelle Domaine Rossignol Trapet 2008.

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Small desserts were served for the night after the demonstration.

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Chef’s son taking a photo of his dad in action.

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Catherine (from Camemberu), Chef Tomonori Danzaki, and me having a moment on picture at the final DBS Masterclass for the year

To think that so much work could go into the creation of each dish, it takes a lot of skill and creativity to come up with a new one each time. It was a long night and Chef was quite meticulous in his preparation, cooking and plating but it was all an eye opener to see the chef at work in his craft. And for this night, every guest had a polaroid taken with Chef Tomonori.

This DBS Indulge Masterclass series was surely a refreshing experience into the world of gastronomy with chefs. And I look forward to see what more DBS has in stored in the future. From the kitchens of restaurants all around Singapore and sometimes around the world, into the very hearts of our own homes. Till then!

Many thanks to DBS and the Asian Food Channel, Fulford PR for the invitation.

Click here to check out the previous DBS Masterclass session I had with Chef Yong Bing Ngen