The best chef in Lithuania is not at all a Lithuanian but a Spaniard. Javier Lopez has not only brought some Barcelona sunshine to the grey sky of Vilnius but has also set high gastronomic standards through his work in La Provence and Domm. Javier Lopez is a true artist and you can see that from the recipe Javier has agreed to share with Luxeat’s The Chefs Lab.
What made you become a chef?
When I was young I had 2 passions- to play and work in theatre or to become a chef de cuisine. As my mother was working in a market, I got involved in the products, and really got to know them… Then I decided to be a chef, the theatre I play at home!
I believe in The Signs. Of course one of the things I love is to create, have fun, adrenaline, to experiment, to feel, to transform… And somehow in the kitchen, you can get all of this together!!!
In my case the main “click “was in Sea Grill, 2 stars Michelin in Belgium. I saw such plates, menus, taste, flavours, combinations, sauces, colours, ingredients… It took my attraction to cuisine!
What is your favorite product?
I still don’t have any favourite product because I am not so lucky to know all of them… but I will say that I really love Asian lovely staff!
What are your upcoming projects?
La Provence in Moscow in late summer….
Foie-gras/ Fruit bread sandwich / Truffle / Morel / Pedro Ximenez Xeres
“This recipe can work as a snack, a starter… or simply for the beginning of a tasting menu… it’s a sandwich!” (J.Lopez)
Ingredients (4 people)
450 g 1 Duck liver;
200 g Fruit bread;
100 g Morels;
80 g Ficoide glaciale (“crystalline” or “ice plant”, other seasonal salad can be used);
95 g Cream;
35 g Black truffle;
80 g Mini carrots;
300 cl Pedro Ximenez ( sweet sherry wine);
125 g Sea buckthorn juice (yellow seaberry);
3 Gelatin leaves;
15 g Sea salt (crystal)
Fruit bread: Cut the fruit bread into slices by 5×5 cm rectangles, place into the oven and dry it at 140 degrees for 14 minutes, till it becomes a fruit bread chip, reserve.
Foie gras: Clean the duck liver and marinate with salt, black pepper, Pedro Ximenez. Place it in a vacuum bag, seal it, and cook in a bain-marie for 25 minutes at 65 degrees (constant temperature). Cool it, and cut in slices 4 x 4 cm.
Morel + Truffle: Blanch the morels, whip the cream till Chantilly texture, add salt and small cubes of black truffle. Fill the paste into the morel.
PX: Reduce in a pan the Pedro Ximenez, till it becomes a syrup, place in a dip-squeeze bottle for the decoration.
Sea buckthorn: Heat the juice and add the gelatin leaves, cool it, cut into 4×4 like the foie gras slices. Place the foie gras with the gelatin and make the sandwich with the fruity bread chips, decorated with the ficoide glaciale, morels, a blanched mini carrot. With a help of a dip-squeeze bottle, sketch the initials of the Pedro Ximenez sherry.