BEFORE I arrived here in La Cala I had a company that provided the food and service to VIP hospitality clients at Formula One events for about eight years.
It was a fun stage of my career, flying into countries, often meeting the F1 drivers and many celebs.
One of my most memorable was in Abu Dhabi where we were brought in to launch the amazing Yas Marina Circuit, and I was asked to cook personally for the star attraction performing on launch night… Beyonce.
Now, in truth, most of the F1 drivers (apart from a few – which I will disclose at some point!) are not friendly.
They look down on us as mere ‘caterers’, and generally think they are the most important stars on the planet.
But, wow, Beyonce was very different!
Standing in front of me was a real superstar that is unbelievably grounded, she didn’t want any fuss.
“Steve,” she said, “I don’t eat much, I like sushi and tuna but I don’t mind if it’s not cooked!” “You like Japanese food?” I asked and she replied that she loved it.
Now, I am not Japanese but in the middle of a service at The Little Geranium La Cala I might be mistaken for a Japanese person, as when I am under pressure a lot of their language comes out of me!
What a dilemma I had. I worried she could get sushi anywhere better than I could do it, and wondered what to do.
At that point my phone rang and it was Carolyn my manager, who looked after the circuit.
“I just had a great tataki for lunch at the Marriott hotel,” she said.
“That’s it! tuna tataki,” I replied.
Carolyn replied that hers had been salmon but I decided to do tuna tataki for Beyonce and excitedly hung up.
I delivered it to her dressing room with some of my team.
“You’re an amazing chef,” said Beyonce.
“And you’re the most amazing superstar,” I replied.
On that mutually appreciative point we kissed bye and I left her with my tuna, feeling like her number one fan!
Here is the recipe which I have just put on our menu this week!
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
250gm very fresh, sushi-grade tuna
3 tablespoons peanut oil, for searing
Juice of 3 limes
1 medium-size, ripe avocado, peeled, quartered and sliced
12 very thin slices of red onion
A few salad leaves with rocket
Several small cherry tomatoes cut into quarters
1 small shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon of olive oil
On a plate, mix together the ginger, sesame seeds, and cracked black pepper.
Season the tuna with salt.
Roll the tuna in the ginger mixture, pressing lightly so the mixture sticks to the tuna.
Pre-heat a saute pan over a high heat.
Add the oil and sear the tuna on all sides, about 30 seconds per side.
Remove the tuna from the pan and set aside. Deglaze the pan with lime juice. Pour the lime juice over the tuna and roll the tuna in cling film and preferably leave in a cold fridge for at least an hour.
In a bowl combine the avocado, a few salad leaves like rocket, red onion, and tomato. Toss with some of the ginger sauce. Place some of the dressed leave mixture on four plates or slates.
Top with sliced seared tuna slicing it in half centimetre slices and drizzle with some more of the ginger sauce.
In a small bowl, combine the shallot, ginger, a few grinds pepper, soy sauce, and lime juice. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and set aside.
When ready to serve, whisk thoroughly to combine.
Steven Saunders FMCGB
Tel: (0034) 7222 322 74