Cat Cora cooks up a storm at RWS masterclass

First female Iron Chef, Cat Cora, is behind “Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora” at Resorts World Sentosa’s S.E.A. Aquarium. At the restaurant, diners can feast on Cat’s signature dishes while admiring the underwater antics of the marine animals at the aquarium.

Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora

Chef Cat was in Singapore from 2 to 7 May and held a cooking masterclass where she demonstrated how to make two of her signature dishes:

  • 42°C sous-vide Salmon with Citrus Minestrone
  • Seared Scallop with Butternut Puree & Apple Salad

The masterclass was held at Forest森 as the restaurant has a countertop that is perfect for cooking demonstrations.

Cat Cora masterclass recipe
Recipe and stationery were provided so that there is no need to frantically take notes.

Cooking masterclass with Cat Cora

42°C sous-vide Salmon with Citrus Minestrone

First dish on the menu was the “42°C sous-vide Salmon with Citrus Minestrone”. “Sous-vide” means that food is cooked slowly in a water bath at a constant temperature. This way of cooking retains the texture and taste of the food better than cooking at high heat for a short time.

Recipe for 42C sous-vide Salmon

Cat Cora demonstrating how to sous-vide salmon

For the dish, the fish was first cured and then packaged into a vacuum bag with herbs and olive oil. Next, the bag was put into the sous-vide machine that kept the water temperature constantly at 42°C.

While the fish cooked, it’s time to prepare the “citrus minestrone” sauce. The sauce consisted of a dash of champagne and juice from various citrus fruits.

After everything was done, it was time for plating. The salmon was sliced into bite-sized pieces, drizzled with the citrus minestrone and decorated with garnish.

Plating salmon sous vide

Seared Scallop with Butternut Puree & Apple Salad

Recipe for seared scallop

Next on the menu was “Seared Scallop with Butternut Puree & Apple Salad”. The Hokkaido scallops were plump and enticing.

Hokkaido scallops

The top and bottom of the scallops were seared one minute on each side.

The sauce that went with the scallops consisted of butternut puree and sea urchin paste. Sea urchin paste can be found in Japanese supermarket. Since the paste is very thick, you will only need a little to flavour your dish.

Sea urchin paste

Scallops

Cooking tips from Chef Cat Cora:

Cat Cora quotes

Chef Cat Cora was a very friendly instructor who encouraged us to ask questions. While demonstrating how to cook, she made jokes about how she loves cooking demonstration as everything from the ingredients, to the heat of the stove and even to the dishes were prepared beforehand.

Two chefs from Ocean Restaurant were close by to help with the demonstration. It’s quite funny how the chefs would usually stand aside but sneak in and help when Cat was busy with something else.

Cat shared a few cooking tips to help us in the kitchen:

  • As mentioned previously in her Ask Me Anything, Cat said new cooks should start their cooking journey with making a great roast chicken. Chicken makes good practice because it is inexpensive and more “forgiving” when anything goes wrong.
  • While extra virgin olive oil has a high smoke point, it is better to use such oil for its flavour than for frying. If frying, it’s better to use oil that is cheaper.
  • To make your home-cooked meal feel like a restaurant dish, the presentation, quality and finesse of the food is very important.
  • Add a dash of citrus (lemon, orange, lime or pomelo) into your cooking for extra flavour.

Tasting the masterpiece at Ocean Restaurant

After the cooking demonstration, it was the highlight of the night: Eating the chef’s signature dishes at Ocean Restaurant.

Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora

We were brought over to Ocean Restaurant on a buggy. Since it was a busy night, the best tables in the house were taken up. Still, from my table, I had a good view of the aquarium.

Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora

The food arrived at a leisurely pace which is good since I was busy admiring the fish in the aquarium.

Sous-vide salmon

42°C sous-vide Salmon with Citrus Minestrone
The salmon was delicate and melted in my mouth faster than raw salmon. The citrus sauce wasn’t as strong as the lime juice used in ceviche.
Seared Scallop at Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora

Seared Scallop with Butternut Puree & Apple Salad
The highlight of the meal was the scallops. The seared part of the scallop held it together. As soon as I sliced through it, it fell apart into chewy, tasty strands.

Fruit Berry at Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora

Fruit Berry
Raspberry sorbet with fruits was the perfect end to the meal. The sorbet did not melt quickly while the fruits provided a sharp contrast.

Now that you have had a look at what a cooking masterclass is like, be sure to follow our blog and Facebook for updates on future masterclasses.

 

 

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