Last week I was invited to attend dinner at BiCE Mare in Souk Al Bahar where Two Mitchelin-Starred Chef Enrico Bartolini * was serving up a 5 course dinner to members of the press, invited diners and a few foodies like me. The dinner was part of an official launch of BiCE Mare working with Terre del Sole, a 60 year old organisation in Italy who work with 200,000 small olive producers to produce quality Italian virgin olive oils.
Starting off with a deceptively light looking olive oil to dip our bread in, but which delivered a peppery kick in the back of your throat which was pleasantly warming, we were then treated to a five course menu consisting of :
warm potato foam with zabaglione & salmon eggs asparagus cooked in rich butter thyme, served with anchovies & capers homemade pasta with caciucco sauce , lime zest & grilled octopus 10-hour slow cooked veal cheek with celeriac cream sauce. crunchy herb biscuits, caramelized banana and bronte pistachio ice-cream
It’s easy to see how the first 4 courses could be cooked whilst incorporating this rich virgin olive oil, but the fifth course, an indulgent and decadent pudding was new to me. Sure I’ve used oil in cakes sometimes instead of butter, but the combination of flavours, textures and tastes delivered in this dessert were beautifully married together delivering both a visual delight to the eyes and a sensation of tastes and textures to my mouth. For me, the dessert course was the highlight of my night although I also loved the asparagus course paired together with anchovies and capers this is a dish I would order again just with a side of bread some more melted butter (I know ! – but seriously it was good and somewhat moreish)
After the event Chef shared the recipe for dessert with me. If you are making from home tread carefully as there are a few processes which I think need further explanation and research before you start cooking.
The special dinner that we sampled is available be 24 March – 30 April at 550 AED per person
Chef Enrico is the youngest Italian chef to receive a Michelin star, receiving his first one at the age of 30.
BISCOTTO ALL’OLIO E PISTACCHI DI BRONTE
For the biscuit oil and herbs 250g whole eggs 500g caster sugar 500gr flour 00 35gr baking powder 500g double cream 350ml extra virgin olive oil 5g salt Lemon zest 200 grams of spinach puree
Whip eggs and sugar for about 10 minutes, then add the flour and baking powder , salt, lemon zest and spinach puree. Mix all ingredients together and add the cream whipped to ribbon stage and at the and slowly add the olive oil. Let it sit overnight and bake at 170 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
Mix the water with milk ( fresh and powdered ) sugar and pistachio paste . Boil the mixture and pour onto the egg yolks. Bring to 85 °, cool and then break it down to -20 . At the time of service use the paco jet ( Ice cream Machine ) For the hazelnuts SemifreddoIngredients: 8 whole eggs, separate the whites and the yolk 400gr icing sugar 2.6lt half whipped cream Caramelized hazelnuts 400gr Crushed amaretti biscuits 350gr For the caramelized hazelnuts: 500ml water 500gr sugar caster 300gr toasted hazelnuts Prepare your caramel with water and sugar then add the hazelnuts. Leave to cool down and crush finely. In a bowl add egg yolk, and ¼ of the icing sugar then add the semi whipped cream. Then add the crushed amaretti biscuits and the crushed caramelized hazelnuts. Incorporate the egg white ( previously whipped with the rest of the icing sugar) Pour into the stamps some of the crushed caramelized hazelnuts and add the compost on the top. Leave in the fridge ovenight. To finish : Cut the biscuit in a rectangle shape, lay on top two sticks of caramelized banana , a scoop of pistachio ice cream , hazelnuts semifreddo and caramelized almonds .