Personal chef Steve James will serve dishes that celebrate the seasons in your own home, like these succulent scallops
Full time personal chefs are, like helicopter landing pads and yachts, the preserve of the super rich, However, calling in a professional to prepare a meal for a special occasion is a food lovers dream come true. Sit down with Weymouth born personal chef and caterer Steve James, and you can create your own bespoke menu or choose from a wide selection of delicious dishes on his seasonal menu to suit the situation, dinning at home or in a local holiday cottage. Whatever you put on your personalised menu, it’s likely to be seasonal and sourced locally by Steve. His passion for the best the region has to offer is always evident on the plate, whether that’s fresh mackerel and scallops caught off the south coast, squash and blackberries from his Somerset garden or cheese produced by local farmers. Steve’s Autumn menu, available from the end of
August, is packed with flavours and produce from the region including squash, sage and chestnut rolls, Moroccan braised local lambs neck with cumin roasted squash and a spiced pear tarte tatin with rosemary cream. Whatever the choice, you can be guaranteed every bite will have been lovingly prepared and designed to create a memorable culinary experience.
In this recipe, he makes the best of local scallops by serving them with seasonal fennel, celeriac, radishes, apples and watercress.
- 12 Scallops
- 1 medium celeriac
- 75ml double cream
- 250ml chicken stock
- Nigella seeds
- A large handful of fennel fronds plus extra for garnish
- 4 radishes
- 100ml rapeseed oil
- 75g unsalted butter
- 25g watercress
- A pinch of dulse or nori seaweed flakes
- 1 Braeburn apple
- 1 Lemon
- Start by making the fennel oil. Add the rapeseed oil and the fennel fronds and blitz on high speed until the rapeseed oil turns green. Let infuse for at least 30 minutes and then strain through a muslin cloth or an unused jay cloth.
- Peel and roughly cube the celeriac, add to a saucepan and cover with the stock, Boil until very soft.
- While the celeriac is boiling, place a frying pan over a medium heat and dry fry the nigella seeds until they are fragrant, remove from the frying pan and place to one side.
- Finely slice the radishes into rounds, julienne the apple and toss in juice of half the lemon to stop oxidisation.
- Once soft, strain the celeriac. Heat the cream and 25g of the butter and while everything is still hot add the cream mix and celeriac to a blender and blend until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve.
- Season and then place back into the saucepan and keep warm.
- Place the frying pan back on the heat. Toss the scallops in rapeseed oil and season with pepper but not salt as the seaweed will do this. Once you see the pan hazing, add the scallops and leave for 1 minute until it forms a nice caramelised colour on one side, turn over and colour the other side for roughly a minute more, until nice and springy but not firm.
- Finish scallops by adding the rest of the butter and the seaweed and toss in the melted butter mix.
- To serve, place some celeriac puree on to the plate, top with the scallops and dress with the radish, apple, nigella seeds and fennel fronds. Drizzle with the fennel oil and finish the dish with sprigs of watercress.