June ‘16
Executive Chef of Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski

June ‘16
Eric Pellen
Eric Pellen


    


During our marvellous weekend at The Palace, we got the chance to meet Mr. Eric Pellen, Executive Chef of Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski and he told us all about his secret ingredients, culinary style as well as shared his most exclusive recipe with (In)sight’s readers.

Howm do you find your team members?

My team is absolutely stunning and great. The only thing I do is motivate them, encourage them and make sure everything is good.


What are some of your signature dishes?

Stuffed Pigeons with foie gras and fig and Osso Buco.


How do you observe the Egyptian mindset when it comes to trying new cuisines?

They have a classic taste and like traditional cuisines; they like the Italian, Lebanese and Chinese. If I owned a restaurant, I would do a fusion between French and Egyptian cuisines with fine dining touches. I would try to do what Korea did 10 years ago; Globalize Korean food. 


Any plans to have an Egyptian restaurant at The Palace?

Not for the time being as we have recently opened! 


What are your plans for Ramadan?

We will be extremely busy; Sohour will be nicely presented at the pool area, Romanov will be closed. Bab Al Qasr will offer set Egyptian and Lebanese menus. We will also have an exclusive tent for Sohour on the terrace.


Do guests accept this twist in flavour?

They do, they loved the salad with watermelon! It’s new and fresh and people nowadays love to eat light and healthy things rather than heavy plates. You just need to bring beauty to the plate without putting too much in it. I do not like to add quantity as much as quality. It’s like a painting… you’re tight on time; you want to do it as fast as you can and use all your creativity to produce something simple and beautiful. This is what I like most about being a chef.


 What new ingredients and ideas are you planning to bring?

Combining flavours from western local products I lately made a Greek salad and served it with pineapples, it was not traditional and the flavour was different. The idea was to take the traditional recipe of the Greek salad and do a contrast between salty and sweet ingredients to create something different. I did it last year with watermelon and it was really good. This is what I like to do, I like to play with the food and create something new without changing the taste.


What is your secret ingredient?

Love, you need to love the product and transcend this through the dish so that the guest loves it too.


What do you recommend us to try at Romanov?

The Caesar salad is simple and nicely done with dressing, very traditional mayonnaise, eggs and mustard, for the main dish, Wagyu Tenderloin with Mashed Potatoes and Béarnaise dressing and Mastic Ice-cream for dessert.


What is your favorite restaurant at Royal Maxim?

 Romanov, it is a steak house with a modern French touch. Now that I work in the hotel, we added a couple of my personal recipes. We serve fantastic types of meat like American Angus and others, we’re trying to bring Egyptian Angus as well.


You serve many cuisines at Royal Maxim; how do you manage to meet every style and taste?

Very simple, here we have Asian, western, Lebanese, Caribbean, Oriental and international dishes, you just need to find the right person to take care of it. The fact that I visited many countries helps me deal with different people from different backgrounds.


What do you do here exactly?

My work here is very simple, it’s about making sure that our guests are always satisfied, most importantly I care to look after them and provide them with whatever they need. We care to provide our guests with top-notch quality; we care to provide the right service and right food quality. I work with the belief that these people could be my friend, family or business partner so I must do my best to make them happy. I give guidelines, directions, and sometimes I cook, but I spend more time planning, managing and giving advices to make sure that our guests are satisfied.


How does it feel being a member of Royal Maxim’s team?

It’s an amazing opportunity to bring something. At Royal Maxim we have a great outlet and an amazing team of talented and passionate individuals. All members of this hotel are very much attached to it, they want to do something big and I’m so excited to be a part of this team.


What can you tell us about yourself?

I started my career back in 1989 in France, and then a couple of years later I moved to travel the world. I’ve been to England, Scotland, Switzerland, Oman, Indonesia, Korea and now I am residing in Egypt.  I first wanted to be chef in 1981 when I was 7 years old, this dream came true when I was 18 and I have been living it ever since. I bring an experience of 28 years in the business; this is something that I’m carrying with me.


Broiled Shrimps, Mediterranean Bite

Ingredients

For 4 persons

4 Jumbo Shrimps 5/6

1 Pineapple

0.500 gm Greek feta cheese

3 pieces Red Capsicum

1 piece Yellow Capsicum

1 piece Green Capsicum

6 pieces cherry tomatoes

6 pieces Kalamata black olive

1 Cucumber

0.005gm Sumac spices

2 pinch Salt

1 pinch White pepper

10 gm Baby Basil

½ L of extra virgin olive oil 

 

Description:

Take the shrimps and marinade them with a bet of olive oil, basil leave, salt, pepper and lime jus, reserved into the fridge for 2 hours prior cooking them

Skin off your pineapple without to forget to remove the black spot as well, cut some 5 cm slices from it on the vertical length and then slice it again on the a rectangle form with 5 cm from the side, reserved into the fridge till further used

Cut your cherry tomatoes into half, marinade them as well on a small bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and some tip of thyme, reserved on a side

Take the cucumber, peal it, keep the skin to fry it for your decoration,  cut your cucumber into small cube of 2 cm square and reserved as well on a side

Slimly slice the red capsicum, heat a pan and add olive oil on it, then gentle seared the capsicum for few minute, cover it with cling film for 5 minutes, then blended till you get a smooth puree, reserved into a kitchen bowl until further need

Slice your green capsicum into a triangle, then place it into a very ice cold water to became curly 

Cut your yellow cucumber into a small cube of 1 cm square and marinade it into a small kitchen bowl with some sumac, olive oil, salt and pepper

Removed your feta cheese from the water and carefully cut some 2 cm square cube

While now all your garnish are ready, heat the griddle part of your oven and slightly cook your shrimps for 5 min… 

You are now ready to create your own art…. 

Enjoy your shrimps & Bonne appetite