Thursday, 1 May 2014


What is art? If you told me ten years ago that I’d be exploring that question and expressing myself through a hen’s egg I would have told you that you were out of your f**king mind, but here I am, talking about eggs, thinking about art! There are so many ways I can go about this. I can fixate on the endless versatility of eggs in traditional and novel cuisine. I can talk about the nutritional complexity of eggs and the fact that they themselves account for much of the daily sustenance of humanity. I can attempt to explain their endless physical and chemical qualities which allow them to be used for a full spectrum of culinary purposes, from gels to foams. I can try to offer insight into my personal connection to deviled eggs, being a staple of sorts on the unchanging appetizer boards back in my home country. I can endlessly comment on the amazing egg experiences I have had in restaurants in a few countries. To do any of those things though would not do justice to my real reason for putting this dish together. I wanted to plate something so elegantly simple in a provocative way. I challenged myself to take a simple dish and to amplify the visual stimulation. Immediately I can tell you that responses have been different. Some people expressed excitement at artistry while others simply saw an unclean plate. In the end though, I suppose that’s the thing about creativity and more to the point, artistry, it is not meant to provoke uniformed consensus, but rather, provoke dialogue in the first place. It is meant to be different things to different people. It is meant to be different things at different times. It is meant to tell something about the person that put it together. You know them a little better. The humble egg has allowed me to express myself in this way. Who would have thought?

INGREDIENTS (serves 4):

·         6 eggs
·         3 tbsp mayonnaise
·         1 tsp champagne vinegar
·         1 tbsp milk
·         1 tsp Dijon mustard
·         Sea salt
·         100 g green peas
·         Pea or other shoots
·         6 strips smoked bacon

-          Preheat oven to 175 °C
-          Place the bacon onto a lightly greased baking rack that is itself over a backing tray lined with foil to act as a catch for bacon grease
-          Put the bacon into the oven for about 10 minutes until cooked
-          Allow the bacon to cool and cut each strip in half and reserve
-          Meanwhile place the peas into a pan of salted boiling water at just over medium heat for about 2 minutes
-          Reserve a few of the peas and purée the rest until smooth, passing through a sieve if necessary
-          Submerge the eggs in a pan of cold water then bring the water to the boil
-          Boil for about 8 minutes after the water starts to boil after which remove the eggs from the water and place into a waiting bowl of ice water
-          Peel the eggs carefully to avoid bruising the whites
-          With a clean life slice each egg in half along the longer axis
-          Using a small spoon remove the yolks from the eggs, reserving the whites
-          Use a potato ricer or a food processor to combine the egg yolks with the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, and milk
-          Season the yolks with salt to taste
-          Fill a piping bag with the desired nozzle with the yolk mixture
-          To serve first use a pastry brush to paint a white serving plate with the pea purée, using straight line strokes
-          On a clean surface, pipe each egg white with enough of the yolk mixture to slightly rise above the surface
-          Carefully place a straight bacon piece into each deviled egg and neatly place the eggs onto the serving plate painted with the pea puree
-          Scatter a few of the shoots and reserved peas on each egg and around the plate

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