Nick Alvis is never happier than when he’s in the kitchen working with his team of chefs. He began his career cooking in English country house hotels, before moving to London to train under the three Michelin starred chef Nico Ladenis. Nick then worked for Gordon Ramsay for a number of years, both in London at Claridges and Petrus and in France at Gordon Ramsay au Trianon, which was awarded two Michelin stars in its first year of opening.
Even as an 11 year old washing dishes in his town’s local hotel Scott Price knew he was destined for a career in the kitchen. After attending catering collage and reaching the national finals of the Gordon Ramsay Scholarship in 2003 he went on to work for Gordon in London for seven years, ending up as sous chef at Claridges and the three Michelin-starred Royal Hospital Road.
Devon Crab, Basil and Seaweed
250g white crab claw meat
50g lemon juice
Carefully pick through the crab to remove any broken shell pieces. We use a stainless steel tray with a deeper tray underneath full of ice to keep the crabmeat cold, as it will spoil fast if it gets warm. Using two bowls, again one full of ice and the other one on top of the ice to keep the crab cold, place the meat inside and then add the other ingredients but keep a little of each back just to be sure it’s not too much liquid and moisture. When you’ve mixed all together and happy to add a little more then add the remaining ingredients. Taste the mix and correct seasoning if needed, keep chilled in the fridge.
Basil bisque (must be made in advance)
500g crab shells (chopped into inch square sized pieces)
100ml olive oil
50g tomato paste
½ bunch of basil (stalks and leaves separated)
75g crème fraiche
Heat a deep pan with the olive oil inside, when the oil starts to smoke add the crab shells being very careful of the oil spitting and splashing. Roast the shells until the browning begins, then add tomato paste and cook out for no more than 30 seconds, add the water and basil stalks then simmer for 1 hour. Strain the stock, then reduce on a medium heat until almost a syrup, whisk in the crème fraiche, tear the basil leaves, add them to the pan and bring up to the boil again, infuse for 5 minutes then strain the bisque and cool.
Seaweed (must be made in advance)
500 grams dark green savoy cabbage leaves
2 liters vegetable oil for frying. Salt.
Heat the oil to 120 degrees Celsius in a deep pan. Very finely slice the cabbage leaves into long thin strips and then deep fry until the bubbling stops, remove and place onto a tray with absorbent paper and season with a little salt while there is still a little oil coating the outside that it can stick to. Keep in a warm dry place until needed.
To serve, (using a room temperature bowl). Pour a little basil bisque in the bowl, then using a small steel ring or cutter place a little of the dressed crab inside and gently push flat to make a level surface then take a heaped spoon of the crispy seaweed and place on top. Eat and enjoy!