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Julian Serrano

Executive Chef Julian Serrano

    Esparragos Blancos

Dining with Chefs: Executive Chef Julian Serrano
Julian Serrano (Part 2 of 2)

When our food began to arrive, we turned our conversation to the meal, which began with something light and surprisingly tender: the Esparragos Blancos (White Asparagus with Mango Foam). "This is a Spanish asparagus that we cook sous vide style, which makes it very tender," Chef Serrano explained. "We clean the asparagus and we cook it in a short water container with a thermostat control. And while it is cooking, the water is moving constantly. You cook it very, very slow, and that's why the asparagus is very tender. The mango sauce is made in a foam style. A lot of people really like this dish. Right now I put a demitasse spoon with it, and if you want to, you can put the sauce on the top of the asparagus."


Next, we decided to be adventurous by trying the Octopus with Cachelo and Spanish Paprika. "The important thing is to buy a good size," Chef Serrano said of the octopus. "We buy about 8 to 10 pounds of fresh octopus, which we have a special technique for cooking. The water has to be boiled. We put the octopus in the water for one second, then pull it in and out two times. This is to relax the octopus, because you want it to be relaxed and not tough. Then we cook the octopus in water for about 40 minutes, And we season the water with mirepoix, meaning vegetables. You don't have to cook it very crazy hot. You want the water to simmer, because when it simmers the flavor of the water is still there. When you cook it in the water too quickly, you have to add more water because it [evaporates]. After that, we cool down the octopus by itself, not want it touching anything because it doesn't need any more flavor. Next, we clean it up; for example, some of the skin is sometimes tough and people don't like to see that. Finally, we boil potatoes in water with different herbs -- like rosemary and garlic -- also very slowly, then we slice the potatoes and the octopus and finish them with a little Spanish paprika and Spanish virgin olive oil on top."

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