Guest Chef Demonstration with Alberto Palomar
Le Cordon Bleu London were joined by Alberto Palomar, the Gastronomic Director, Sales Manager and Consultant of Plancton Marino Veta la Palma, for cooking demonstration to provide guests with an understanding and appreciation for utilizing phytoplankton in dishes.
Alberto left his career to follow his passion for cooking, studying gastronomy at Hofmann before joining its Michelin-starred restaurant. With experience working in a range of Spain's Michelin-starred kitchens, he joined Angel Leon's Plancton Marino Veta la Palma; the leading producer of microalgae for consumption.
Phytoplankton (marine plankton) is a microalgae and one of the first living organism on our planet, formed by only one cell. It is one of the most vital collections of organisms on earth, estimating to contribute to 50% to 80% of the world’s oxygen. It is the foundation of the aquatic food chain, with phytoplankton photosynthesis (converting energy from sunlight into chemical energy) producing food for many aquatic organisms to survive. These aquatic organisms include bacteria and algae, and animals such as snails, fish and whales.
As a ‘Chef of the sea’, Alberto aims to merge the world of science with product innovation, with his philosophy that “we are responsible to go beyond what nature gives us”. Phytoplankton is full of minerals and the consumption of it is a natural and revolutionary way to support a healthy diet thanks to its many health benefits such as vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, just to name a few.
Before starting the demonstration, Chef Alberto allowed guests to try a Plancton Marino thick paste, smeared on the back of their hands to give the them a taste of its true flavour, which many said had a fresh and distinct flavour and an earthy smell.
For his first demonstration, Chef Alberto made a Plancton Marino Risotto, and he hydrated the Plancton Marino with mineral water and salt to create a fine paste and left it to be added to the dish later. He then steamed mussels in a pot to open them, and once cooked, he added the steamed mussels to the dish, topping with garlic mayonnaise. Lastly, he poured the Plancton Marino paste on top of the dish and gave each guest a sample to try.
Moving on to the second demonstration, he made Octopus with Mango and Plancton Marino Vinaigrette. Chef Alberto started this off by again creating a fine Plancton Marino paste, this time mixed with olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice and a dash of lime juice. He boiled octopus tentacles for two hours and once cooked, it was placed on a dish with mango cubes to accentuate the flavours. He then put a few drops of the Plancton Marino paste on the octopus and mango cubes and the dish was finished off with sprinkled sea salt and sprouts on the side. Guests were handed mini dishes to sample. During this, Chef Alberto made it clear that only a very small quantity should be used to cook with, ideally 0.1 to 0.5 grams per person, per dish, and it should not be cooked at 100 degrees or more as this will kill the marine plankton.
For the last demonstration, he prepared a Codfish Salad Marinated with Plancton Marino. To begin Chef Alberto created a fine Plancton Marino paste and put the paste in a vacuum bag with desalted cod loin and left to omose for 12 hours. He placed grated tomato on the sampling dishes with the cod and black olives and coriander leaves on top, before he handed the tasters to each guest.
Asked his plans for the future, Chef Alberto explained that he is to keep producing Plancton Marino foods while finding new and creative ways to incorporate it in everyday culinary techniques.
See more upcoming guest chef events like this on our culinary conferences and cooking demonstrations page.