A look back at the recipe – winner in the category of the imposed theme of scallops – which enabled chef Charles Coulombeau to claim the Taittinger Prize on 28 January 2020. 

At the heart of the Taittinger, there is a winning recipe. A recipe where scallops meet Botticelli’s Venus. After emerging from its shell, it is cloaked in cabbage leaves, covered in thin slices of truffles, blanketed in Earl Grey sauce. Chef Charles Coulombeau has devised surf and turf creations, exquisite morsels combining various cooking methods, elaborate textures and select ingredients. The scallop au naturel at the centre of the plate on a throne of buttered cabbage.

Arranged around it, three celeriac palets stewed in butter bearing a marble of scallop and truffle mousseline, all coated in a sophisticated Earl Grey cream sauce with shallots, leeks and mushrooms steamed and deglazed with Noilly Prat and then mixed with scallop beard and a dash of bergamot before serving. Next, a steamed ballotine of scallops, King Edward potato and truffle. Cut in half, the layers of colour are remarkable. Then, a mille-feuille of rings of potato and Butternut squash, with a filling consisting of caramelized shallot purée and crushed walnuts; And, finally, a black cromesquis, made with a croquette of scallop beards and coral in lemon and parsley, coated in breadcrumbs and squid ink. All of this is set on a circle of walnut oil and pumpkin seed flour. Colours, flavours, a taste of the sea for the palate.

See you in May at Gravetye Manor to discover this delicate recipe and maybe one day soon in France. Who knows?

Gravetye manor / Vowels Lane, West Hoathly, Sussex / 01342 810 567

Official website of the Taittinger prize
The “Taittinger” on Taittinger.com
Text : Jérôme Descamps
Photos : Jean-Blaise Hall