TOSHIYUKI Katsuta, chief chef of Western cuisine at Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai, has received one of the most prestigious culinary awards for his contributions to French cooking.
Katsuta is the recipient of the "Disciple d'Auguste Escoffier," named after the French chef (1846-1935) who updated traditional French cooking, codified haute cuisine and brought discipline to the kitchen.
A commemorative set menu, named for Katsuta, from today through Saturday has been launched in the hotel's Continental Room.
"It expresses my culinary interpretation of French cuisine, using good ingredients but not judged price, precise heat control as well as premium sauce, requiring time and effort," chef Katsuta says.
One main course is steamed lobster and truffle. The brightly colored dish uses a sauce of olive oil and green mint and a coral-colored lobster sauce with white wine, giving a taste of autumn.
"Each distinct sauce echoes different part of the dish, which gives the dish more dimensions of flavor and smell," the chef says.
Lobster meat is mixed with truffle, topped with fungus and folded into the shape of a mushroom umbrella - it definitely doesn't look like lobster, creating a contrast between expectations, taste and presentation.
Black truffle adds complexity to sweet lobster meat and fragrance. The starter is stuffed quail salad with foie gras, served with elegant sweet and sour sauce made with white wine, balancing the foie gras.
Using local ingredients, the soup is made from Shanghai hairy crab.
The other main course is grilled marbled sirloin with herb sauce, topped with tender buds of local greens such as watercress and onion shoots. It's flavored with olive oil, tomato and beet root sauce.
The chef prepares fresh yogurt sherbet after the creamy and sweet lobster to cleanse the palate.
The chef's signature dessert is chocolate and chestnut fondant with homemade vanilla ice cream.
The dinner set, including a glass of Champagne, costs 980 yuan (US$154) net/person. Guests also have a chance to chat with the chef.
Venue: Continental Room, Okura Garden Hotel Shanghai, 33/F, 58 Maoming Rd S.