Chef Peter Knogl – Cheval Blanc at Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois in Basel, Switzerland
So, on a Saturday afternoon in this beautiful historic hotel along the Rhine River, we dined at Cheval Blanc for lunch. With views of the river from our table situated next to the window and the elegant atmosphere of this stunning dining room surrounding us, we enjoyed several of Chef Knogl’s favorite new dishes and some that he’s most proud of: Smoked eel, beetroot, black garlic and wasabi; Crab, grated goose fois gras, and green apple; and Crispy filet of red mullet with saffron, black garlic and vinaigrette of tomatoes. With impeccable service by Maitre d’hôtel Grégory Rohmer and the waitstaff and excellent regional wine pairings selected by Sommelier Christoph Kokemoor, this is a team effort orchestrated to create an extraordinary experience for the guest. Throughout the afternoon, the concept of Knogl as the “Chef of the restaurant” became apparent.
With a staff of eight in the kitchen (with two of those being pastry chefs), and the maximum number of seatings at thirty, a meal at Cheval Blanc is a most memorable experience and a privilege. As we tasted each of the dishes, the earlier discussion we had with Chef Knogl about the importance of the feel and taste of the product played over in my mind. These refined dishes were the chef’s canvas where he combined brilliant colors, beautiful product, and creative preparations to tantalize the eyes and the palate with extraordinary flavors and the harmonizing of the ingredients. While it was art in appearance, it was all about the product and the taste.
We thank Chef Knogl for his hospitality, the time he spent with us, and insight. It was a pleasure to meet him while we were in Basel. Translated from German to English, Chef Knogl has shared his recipe for Taschenkrebs mit Yuzu-Mayonnaise und Senf-Eis or Crab with Yuzu Mayonnaise and Mustard Ice Cream. With an intriguing combination of flavors and textures, you can try your hand at Michelin star cuisine at home.
For more information on Basel and the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, please refer to this article.
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Crab with Yuzu Mayonnaise and Mustard Ice Cream
This recipe was translated from German, so most of the measurements are in metric.
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
200 ml of sunflower oil
1 teaspoon yuzu juice (Japanese citrus fruit)
100 grams crab meat
For Mustard Ice Cream:
50 ml cream
250 ml milk
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 egg yolks
15 grams of glucose (commercially available)
2 grams of stabilizer (commercially available)
40 grams Pommery mustard
2 drops of Tabasco
1 pinch of salt
1 dash of Chardonnay vinegar
4 grapefruit fillets, cut into small cubes
4 Cress sprouts
Pink peppercorns, coarsely ground from the mill
Combine egg yolk and mustard in a bowl and whisk in the sunflower oil until it becomes the consistency of a mayonnaise. Season with a little salt and yuzu juice. Reserve a little of the mayonnaise to garnish the plates. Fold in the crab meat to the remainder of the mayonnaise and mix well. Cover and refrigerate or alternatively (and preferably), prepare immediately before serving.
For Mustard Ice Cream:
Earlier in the day, combine the cream with the milk and the sugar in a saucepan and heat until very warm. Whisk the egg yolks until frothy and add the warm liquid, tempering the mixture, so the eggs do not cook. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat over low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Pour the mixture into a bowl, then place on ice to cool. Add the glucose, stabilizer, and Pommery mustard. Season to taste with Tabasco, salt, and Chardonnay vinegar. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker, according to directions.
Arrange the crab meat with the help of a ring on the plates. Form the mustard ice cream with two teaspoons, shaping into a quenelle and place on top of the crab meat. Garnish with the grapefruit cubes, some yuzu mayonnaise, the cress sprouts, and coarsely ground pink pepper.
Peter Knogl – Chef de Cuisine of Cheval Blanc
Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois – Basel, Switzerland