In this new column, Equinox meets the bon vivants of Barcelona, these French people who love small taste pleasures. Here, they share their ideal menu, French with Catalan notes. This week, it’s the Parisian of West Indian and Japanese origin, Jérémy, who invites us with a recipe with flavors from around the world. With, the icing on the cake, the advice of Romain Fornell, starred chef in Barcelona.
An escape, a moment of creativity and a Madeleine by Proust. For Jérémy, a 39-year-old Parisian, cooking is all of these things at once.. “I see my mother again making wedding cakes, making meals that were ordered for her.” Jérémy grew up with, at his table, always delicious pastries and good cuisine, with multiple flavors. Martinican, on her mother’s side and Japanese on her father’s side. So much so that today, at home, he is the one behind the stove, and has fun mixing his origins.
“I like to mix origins. Playing between Asian simplicity and West Indian spices. Between sweet and savory too”, says the sound engineer and composer, who arrived in Barcelona last July. Besides, if he had to make a dish, “now it would be lobster sashimi cooked with spices and honey”, smiles Jeremy. His eyes light up. Neither one nor two, here he is enthusiastic at the idea of testing this new recipe. “It’s like music for me, cooking. Every weekend, I have to invent at least one dish and one dessert! ” To taste, none other than his darling, Sara. But also his loved ones. In less than three months in the county town, the couple has already received their friends six times.at least”. Meals in small groups, a question of space, for which the Sunday chef has more than one flavor in his pocket. Even if, it has its essential plate. Takeoff, heading to the Antilles? Almost.
What dish do you like to prepare when entertaining your loved ones?
Four-spice chicken! Honestly, I don’t think this dish existed before (laughs). I created it myself and I like to do it when I invite.
What is the recipe?
You need chicken fillets that I cut into cubes or small pieces, a bit like they do in the Asian restaurants in front of you. Then, I brown them with onions, in olive oil, because we’re in Spain, and honey. Once the chicken is well seared, not overcooked, quite tender and juicy, I add cinnamon, Provençal herbs and a mixture of four spices rather based on cinnamon, colombo, ginger, cloves. I sear the meat again and brown it again with a small drop of honey. Salt, pepper, cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Instinctively!
Then, I reserve the chicken fillets. In the remaining juice, I put a little water to have a little sauce in which I heat the peppers. But not for long, 2 or 3 minutes so that they keep their crunch. And there you have it, the chicken is ready!
What side dishes do you offer?
You can put whatever you want. Rice, pasta, vegetables. I generally make rice because I like it.
Where do you find the ingredients?
I am lucky to live not very far from the Sants market. Over there is Alibaba’s cave. I find everything. Good meat, good vegetables. And otherwise, sometimes, for fruit, I go to Mercadona. It’s not bad and accessible.
Who are you making this dish for?
The good thing is that everyone likes chicken. Young and old alike. Well, except for vegetarians, for whom I will rather cook Italian.
With what drink?
I’m not much of a red wine fan, so I prefer Sauterne, a smooth white. If I’m lucky enough to find some! Otherwise, a classic beer from here, Estrella Dam. This is going well.
Bonus: the ideal menu by Romain Fornell, starred chef
Since 2002, Romain Fornell has continued to seduce the taste buds of Barcelonans. Recognized for his creativity, the French chef trained at the Toulouse Hotel School was also the youngest chef in France to obtain a Michelin star. For Equinox, he offers two little extras to perfect or accompany the favorite dish of Bons vivants in Barcelona, this week Jérémy’s four-spice chicken.
- As a starter: celery ball risotto
I’m thinking of a vegetarian starter based on ball celery (or celery root). We take it, cut it into small pieces and cook it like a risotto! So, we drop a little shallot. The celery, just sautéed, then moistened with a little white wine, reduced, and re-moistened with a white vegetable stock or poultry juice. It is cooked slowly, like a risotto, bound with butter and parmesan at the end. And we serve with a few fluffs of celery, garnished with grated parmesan.
- Dessert: Suzette crepes
Just make pancakes, like we do at Candlemas, just sautéed and cooked. Then, we make a little syrup with orange juice, lemon, a little Cointreau or whatever alcohol we have at home. We add a little sugar, caramelize everything and deglaze with the orange juice. We finish the pancakes in it, and we can serve them with vanilla ice cream.
Also read: The bon vivants of Barcelona: Bertrand from Franche-Comté