d i n e PERFECT Master Chef RogĂŠr Rassin & La Rive chefs and Recipes
introduction PeRfeCt HaRMony is a unique peek into the kitchens and wine cellars of the amstel Hotel’s legendary La Rive Restaurant. It reveals the valuable trade secrets behind the famous signature dishes of Michelin starred La Rive’s starched white brigade of cooks, under the controlling genius of Master Chef Rogér Rassin.
these are directly “paired” with the wine selection advice of the hard-earned, hard-learned black brigade of sommeliers and waiters under charismatic host, Maître Sommelier Ronald opten.
In this section, Dine, La Rive’s top 29 signature and rotational dishes, created and perfected through the last 7 years, are explained by Rogér Rassin, with clear step-by-step instructions, ingredient and supplier listings.
In the Wine section, Ronald opten discloses La Rive’s perfectly matching wine pairings, with some alternative choices depending on your mood and budget.
these pairings have been carefully chosen to enhance and transform the pleasure of their combinations into a series of divine experiences that can now be enjoyed at home.
rogér about the amstel hotel Master chef Rogér Rassin “the amstel GM’s phone call triggered something deep inside me. How could I, even for a moment, resist being head chef of my country’s finest and most beautiful Hotel? How could I not pick up the baton of the highest challenge there is? to aim to always delight the most cultured and knowledgeable guests from here and abroad, and to fulfill all of their expectations, be they personal, business or governmental. I could not say no.”
personal story of a pastry chef I’m a pastry chef from france. I was in a kitchen in france and on the way to be a sommelier. But I was asked if I wanted to go into pastry for a while to help. So I went and discovered pastry and it was WoW, this is my new patient! I just love it.
that was 4 years ago and I decided to dedicate myself to pastry. I am now so happy making every type of dessert for this top restaurant. I try to learn and do everything I can. I imagine a new dessert everyday. Before I go to sleep I write down maybe a new idea with framboise or whatever.
I love the atmosphere here – it’s so much more constructive and supportive than in france. of course its very competitive and hard work but you really feel supported by the Chef and all my colleagues. It’s such positive energy. I wake up and think “yes- I’m going to work!” In other kitchens it’s so stressed and people let you down. Here everyone is helpful and they want to get the best out of each other.
I’m on a 6 months contract but after that I want to stay. one day I will do my own thing but not now, it’s too early. I want to learn and enjoy this experience every day. It’s wonderful.
personal story of a sous chef
I am Rogér’s number 2 in the kitchen. I have been focused on La Rive fine dining but am involved in all sections now. I like to move around the sections, it ensures the transfer of quality throughout and improves the standard overall. I joined La Rive 6 years ago and only began to cook when I came here from thailand with my mum 14 years before. My mum’s food has always been an inspiration. Being here in Holland but enjoying these wonderful, vivid and sophisticated mixes of flavours and textures at home. I studied cooking for 6 years and joined here directly from college. It was amazing because it is so difficult to get a job here. everyone would love to be here. I was very lucky, although I had to work extremely hard to be given the chance. I started as demi chef de partie.
this is an international restaurant so our guests are familiar with many of the flavours of the world. La Rive’s thai curry was developed by me. Chef said, “Why don’t you look at a thai curry.” So I thought about it and asked my mum. She suggested some ingredients. normally thai curry is spicy with more than 20 ingredients. We buy them in the asian supermarkets here. My mum is the best thai cook of course! I created this 4 years ago and it became one of our evergreens. It is back now for the next 8 weeks, as part of La Rive Gauche menu, which makes me very proud. I like to mix asian ingredients and themes along with classic western flavours. It adds interest, depth and more notes to a dish.I recently won the Dutch competition for the best chef or sous chef in Holland. the Goldenkokmuts or Golden Chef’s Hat. they make a final selection of 10 chefs who apply. We each had to propose a 4-course meal and cook it in 150 minutes at their kitchens in amsterdam. the pressure is incredible. Very hard, but you learn so much up against 9 other chefs who are all dedicated to winning with the very best of each course. My mother cried when I won. She was so proud of me.
Raw marinated sc allop with green apple and green herb g azpacho ingredients
gazpacho green herbS
gazpacho green herbS
Serve the gazpacho ice-cold, with a raw scallop
20 g baSil leaveS
Blanche the herbs, add to the food blender and
20 g Dill leaveS
blend. Slowly add oil, add the shallots, green
20 g parSley leaveS
tomatoes, cucumber and chilli, and blend for two
Cut the apple and lemon in wedges. Serve the
20 g mint leaveS
minutes. add the vinegar and water and blend
gazpacho ice-cold with a raw scallop, dress the fruit
50 ml olive oil
for another two minutes. Sift through a sieve and
wedges and garnish with some wild herbs.
75 g ShallotS
season the gazpacho with salt.
500 g green tomatoeS 350 g peeleD cucumber 10 g green chillieS (DeSeeDeD) 50 ml white wine vinegar 100 ml water Salt preSentation 1 granny Smith apple 1 lemon 1 Scallop 100 g wilD herbS (mint, purSlane, bronze fennel)
tar tare of sea bass, n or th Sea crab, watercre ss a nd was abi vinaigre t te ingredients tartare
320 g baSS fillet
2 buncheS watercreSS
Mix all of the ingredients together until fully
1 lime (zeSt)
200 ml olive oil
1 tbSp finely choppeD chiveS
crab clawS (100 g cleaneD)
4 thin SliceS of breaD
Blanch the watercress, rinse cold, then turn the
100 ml arbequina olive oil
1 Sp mayonaiSe (maDe with olive oil)
watercress in the olive oil.
30 g peeleD Dutch ShrimpS
Sprinkle the slices with olive oil and a little salt and
put them in the oven to 160°C.
blue ocean (koppert creSS)
4 mini carrotS
Scarlet creSS (koppert creSS)
olive oil Sea Salt a few StalkS of chiveS
Place a cutter on the plate and line the bottom with the tartare of sea bass using a pestle. Garnish with the cream of crabmeat. Remove the cutter. Spray on
the crab cream spaced nicely, create small nodules
Skin the fillets of the sea bass and dice them into
of the crème fraîche.
10 ml Soya (kikkoman)
a fine brunoise. add the olive oil, lime zest and
arrange tufts of frisée lettuce with the vegetables,
250 ml grape SeeD oil
chives. Cook the crab claws for 6 minutes, and
arrange cucumber ribbons across the plate. top
185 ml natural vinegar
then cool them immediately in ice water. Mix the
with two quenelles of caviar, ‘Blue ocean’ and
22.5 g Sugar
crabmeat with the mayonaise, lime zest, salt and
‘Scarlet Cress’ (Koppert cress) and watercress
22.5 ml water
cream. Serve the vinaigrette separately.
60 g waSabi paSte 8 g garlic
35 g muStarD
Cut the cucumber into half-moon shapes and strips (using a mandolin). Clean and blanch the carrots. Mix with the olive oil and some sea salt. Cut the chive stalks leaving them long and place them in ice water until they curl.
Violets, rose petals, mascarponemousse and rhubarb bouillon ingredients rhubarb compote
800 g rhubarb
100 g egg white
Combine the rhubarb juice, sugar and crème de
150 g Sugar
200 g Sugar
cassis and bring to the boil. add the mint leaves and
1 vanilla Stick
100 ml water
allow to infuse. Sift through a coffee filter, cool,
then include the xantana.
natural biScuit joconDe
7 DropS of violet eSSence
1 egg yolk
Bring the cream to the boil with the vanilla; allow
100 g almonD powDer
to infuse for 2 hours. Soak the gelatin and stir the
100 g icing Sugar
100 g egg white
mascarpone. Bring the cream mix to the boil again
180 g egg white
200 g Sugar
and dissolve the gelatin. add the cream through a
70 g Sugar
100 ml water
sieve to the mascarpone: stir smooth. Lightly beat
80 g flour
the egg yolk with the sugar. then beat air into the
25 g butter
7 DropS of roSe eSSence
egg white and add the sugar. Combine everything.
the rhubarb pills. Cover with the rolled and sliced
600 ml rhubarb juice
Joconde biscuit. Wrap tightly and freeze before
100 g Sugar
Small mint topS
60 ml crème De caSSiS
fill moulds with the mascarpone mousse. Insert
20 g mint leaveS xantana
meringue violet Boil the water and sugar to 121°C. Lightly whip the egg white, then add the sugar syrup. add food
colouring and essence and leave until it stiffens.
100 ml cream
Chop the rhubarb, combine and cook all ingredients
form into studs and let dry.
2 vanilla StickS
together in a bowl au bain-marie for 2 hours.
7 ½ gelatin leaveS
Remove the excess moisture with a sieve. Put the
300 g maScarpone
compote in pill sized moulds and freeze.
Preparation as above.
75 g Sugar
natural biScuit joconDe
375 ml half beaten cream
Combine eggs, egg yolk, icing sugar and almond
150 g egg white
powder, then mix with the sugar and egg white.
Remove the mascarpone mousse from the freezer
50 g Sugar
Blend in the flour, then the melted butter. Sprinkle
to defrost on the plate. arrange the meringue
with beaten egg and bake at 220°C.
studs against the mascarponemousse. Spray the
100 g egg yolk
mascarpone cream between the studs.
200 g maScarpone
20 g icing Sugar
Stir together until smooth.
Garnish with sprigs of mint and violets.
Strawberrie s with masc arpone and lavender ingredients
2 kg StrawberrieS
Heat the strawberries au bain-marie until all of the
Shape and form the aspic into a round plug shape.
200 g Sugar
moisture from the strawberries has gone. Place the
Place the aspic plug with a palette on the board.
strawberries on a cloth and squeeze well.
Remove the plug and squeeze the mascarpone
cream evenly around the aspic.
500 g Strawberry broth
Garnish with the mini strawberries, cress and
4 gelatin leaveS
Soak the gelatin in cold water. Cut the strawberries
flowers. Place a little of the white chocolate
500 g StrawberrieS
into equally sized slices. arrange them on a plate
powder in the middle of the aspic. add a pinch of
with as little space as possible in between. Bring
strawberry sorbet on the tuille.
one-fith of the strawberry broth to the boil, then,
300 g maScarpone
add the squeezed gelatin. add the rest of the broth
100 g hung yoghurt
and spread a thin layer of broth over and around the
40 g icing Sugar
strawberries. Leave to set in the fridge.
120 ml freSh orange juice
Smooth and stir all the ingredients together in a
200 g icing Sugar
piping bag with a plain wide nozzle.
100 g Soft butter 80 g flour
tuille Heat the orange juice with the icing sugar. Stir the
butter through the sweet juice and add the flour.
1 kg StrawberrieS
Paste into the desired shape on a silicone mat. Bake
100 ml water
the dough at 170째C until golden brown. Remove
140 g Sugar
from the mat and bend the tuille slightly.
80 g glucoSe powDer 4 g Sorbet Stabilizer
1 lemon (juice)
Puree the strawberries with the water, then bring to the boil. Mix all dry ingredients together and add to
white chocolate powDer
the boiling liquid. Continue to boil, add the lemon
100 g white chocolate
juice and sieve.
37 g malto powDer
allow to cool and blend until smooth in a food processor.
preSentation variouS kinDS of mini StrawberrieS
white chocolate powDer
Melt the white chocolate and gradually stir the
malto powder into it.
w i n e PERFECT HARMOnY MaĂŽtre Sommelier Ronald Opten & Black Brigade and Pairings
la rive is a pink cloud “Our guests walk up the red carpet into the imposing lobby and are escorted here through a wood-paneled staircase. Expectations are way up, and I don’t want anyone stressed coming here for dinner. This is not about stress. The reason I am here, with my team, is to help everyone walk into a pink cloud. No stress. Completely relaxed. And when they leave the cloud, they should be delighted with an evening that they will remember as a highlight in their lives.”
happy feeling One dish that appears regularly at La Rive is Cod with Langoustine, lettuce, olive, quinoa and samphire from beside the Dutch dunes. The Cod is soft, translucent and succulent, while the Langoustine adds an extra texture level. It is paired with a white wine from Bandol in Provence, for its Mediterranean feel. It will pick up on the saline touch of the dish so the taste together comes out creamier than the wine is itself, while adding a citrusy, mandarin finish. It tastes soft and makes you feel happy. Ronald Opten says; â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you close your eyes it gives you a feeling of sitting on a terrace by the Mediterranean sea in Marseille.â&#x20AC;?
rogér and ronald on 1+1 equals 3 “1+1=3 doesn’t just relate to the dish with the wine,” explains Rogér Rassin. “No. It has to be timed perfectly, there has to be the right atmosphere. The food has to delight each person; the wine has to really add to the dish. The atmosphere, all together, has to be great. Then it’s 1+1 equaling 3. “1+1=3 also relates to how we work together,” says Ronald Opten. “Sometimes there are challenges to get the wine to match with certain dishes. We then sit together and negotiate what we have to add or take out to get it perfect. We do this together and either change ingredients in the dish or change to a different style of wine. We want to create harmony together”
philosophy behind the wine lists We have 2 wine lists. One is called Aroma Impressions. It is not categorised by
We’ve also changed it so that the Collectibles book isn’t just expensive wines.
wine region. The wines are only listed by flavours. ‘Light and refreshing’, ‘Full
I don’t want price to be such a dominant factor or to be a limitation, especially
bodied’, Lightly aromatic’, ‘Powerful & Rich’, and so on. Each flavour has 20
when we can often sell some great wines by the glass.
to 25 wines, in different colours, from around the world that meet that criteria.
Each book should be for everyone so there are some real pearls in Collectibles
Against each wine we describe 3 Aroma’s to the wine such as chamomile, green
for around €70.00. We have some wonderful wines from the Loire Valley, like
apple, citrus so you know what’s coming at you.
nice Chenin Blanc that we bought at the right time. We have a lot of these great
As a team, my 3 sommeliers and I worked hard to make sure the Aroma’s
wines that go up in steps.
perfectly denote each wine and show the price of a bottle and where we can
The most expensive is Chateau Petrus 1982 at €7,500.00 but the most active
serve it by the glass.
is the €80.00 to €300.00 level. My main task is to find reference wines, like
Some people don’t want to go through a whole book. They already know what
Barolo, Barbaresco, Meursault, Puligny, etc. that most people are looking for, at
style they’re looking for. I want to make it easier and simple to read.
The other book is called Collectibles. It covers everything we have collected
In that way I can have a wonderful Meursault in different price ranges starting
over time. It has major references on the well-known wine regions. So, for
at €98.00, then Meursault at €120.00, €150.00, €200.00 and €300.00. If
example, if you are looking for a specific Cru in Barolo from Parusso, then this is
you are into it then each is worth its price. If you’re not interested then that’s
the book to look through.
absolutely fine. Everyone gets both books and it’s entirely up to them. The idea that any
This is an evolution of what I did in my previous position at De Vrienden van
restaurant would only give only one book to certain people is so wrong I just
Jacob, and updated for what I think people are looking for.
don’t want to go there. That’s so not us. We want to delight everyone that
Some people say, “I don’t know anything about wine but I know what I like.”
walks in here, no matter what their budgets for wine are.
ronaldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best dining experiences One of my best was in New York. At Per Se by Thomas Keller at Columbus Circle who also owns the French Laundry in California. I was lucky, because I managed to get a table 2 months ahead. For a 3 Michelin star restaurant they have 2 sittings, at 5.30 or 8.30. I took the 5.30 because it has this marvelous view of Central Park. It was outstanding. A hand-written card on the table, welcomed us by name. The food was truly amazing, 12 dishes but not paired, which was surprising because the dishes are so different. Pairing is not so frequent in France or Italy either, but when you have a great match, pairing really makes sense. When I arrived here, the only focus on wines in the cellar was French. I listened to our guests and first I added wines from Italy, then Spain, Austria, Germany the US. I stay focused on what the guests are interested in. I have some returning guests, for instance, who love Opus 1, so naturally we have to have that. I see trends, and decide whether to follow them or not. Good Barolos are standard. I introduce really new wines through the pairings, when appropriate. I introduce more unknown, forgotten or new wines through the pairings, when appropriate.
Anjou pigeon with bee troot, peas and raspberrie s The pigeon is cooked at low temperature so it’s very soft. Pigeon cooked like
The name Crimson was inspired by the work of the Charitable Conservation
this is normally a great pairing with a nice Burgundy but the vegetables add
Trust known as ‘Project Crimson’. A significant portion of the proceeds from
extra earthy notes and the raspberries add fruit acidity that will push a Burgundy
the sale of Crimson Pinot noir helps to fund this trust, which aims to protect and
over to the wrong side. When you use pigeon liver, for instance, in a sauce with
renew New Zealand’s spectacular red-flowering native ‘Christmas trees’, the
roasting flavours, the Burgundy could work. The earthiness of the beetroots is
Rata and Pohutukawa.
also fine with Burgundy but the raspberries, with their fresh, fruity bite call for a
This wine is very fruit-driven. I love it because it has that powerful fruit that
slightly different direction.
I was looking for, with a red cherry note, raspberry, red berries, and a good acidity level, without the harsher tannic structure and higher acidity of the other
I ventured out to New Zealand. Clive Paton in Martinborough in the south of
Ata Rangi wine or those of a Burgundy.
North Island was a dairy farmer until 1980. He then sold the cows and became
The Crimson Ata Rangi is softer and has a finer style of Pinot noir to play with
a pioneer by planting Pinot noir grapes. This was 10 years ahead of the New
the fillet of pigeon. It still has that nice earthiness to stand up to the beetroots,
Zealand Government supporting the move away from fortified wines by
but brings with it that wonderful soft red fruit that pairs so well with the
subsidising the introduction, and planting, of noble grape varieties from abroad
raspberries in the dish.
such as Pinot noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling. Rogér s pigeon preparation here is perfect. The way he cooks it, slowly in the These grapes do very well in New Zealand because it is a cool climate zone,
beetroot leaves, makes it become butter soft with just the slightest hint of
with a lot of influence from the South Pole bringing in cold air, yet still getting
enough sun. Unlike Burgundy the extra intensity of the sun gives it a riper tannic
As an alternative, even though the Crimson is wonderful with this dish, you
structure, more quickly. The cool nights also help the build up of aromatics in
could go for a good Beaujolais style wine. A Moulin à Vent, in a more powerful
the grapes. You don’t see a lot of Pinot noir grapes in Australia because the heat
stage, has that fruit intensity, without that tannic structure that Pinot noir from
alone is too strong for the grapes. Pinot noir is a grape with a thin skin, it’s very
Burgundy can have.
vulnerable, so you have to be careful where you plant it.
Spätburgunder from the Rheingau or Pfalz area in Germany could work, so long as it hasn’t taken on those tobacco notes. Spätburgunder wines have the nice
Ata Rangi wines are the main result of Clive’s work and he has become the
fruit flavours, without the tannic structure but still with a little complexity.
reference point for Pinot noir in New Zealand. This is not the dish for a big bold wine as the complexity will over-dominate the But the wine I chose for this dish is not Ata Rangi, it is his second wine called
pigeon. A Romanée-Conti would be a waste of Romanée-Conti, so better to
Ata Rangi Crimson.
save it to weave its magic on a more appropriate dish.
Dover Sole, potato, oys ter and par sley g arlic s auce We serve the Dover Sole fillet, after it has been cooked very naturally at a low
It doesn’t make the oyster ‘pop out’, it creates a balance at the same complexity
temperature, with a creamy soft potato mousseline. It has some Gillardeau
level of the dish, so it can really focus on the Sole. It has a very elegant and
oysters and a little mustard seed, sweet and sour style, in a beurre blanc.
I have to pay particular attention to the effect of the creamy textures. There is
The vineyard is very small so it’s maybe not easy to find. Wine for this dish
some acidity, but not so much. I don’t want to overwhelm this refined dish. I
needs elegance, not power, but a nice balance between acidity and backbone.
can’t go with a powerful style Chardonnay. Good alternatives can be found in Southern Burgundy in the Mâconnais district. I discovered a wine from Tenerife, Spain, at a wine fair called ProWein in
A richer style like a Pouilly-Fuissé has the minerality, and the barrel ageing
Dusseldorf, which I became very excited about.
gives it the smoky finish and enough creaminess. Pouilly-Fuissé certainly has the complexity, but a Mâcon-Bussières for instance, might be a little too light in
Trenzado from Suertes Del Marqués, Orotava Valley on Tenerife, is from Listán
richness for that oyster, and the creaminess in the dish.
Blanco, Pedro Ximénez grapes and a Vidueño grown in a volcanic terroir and fermented in 500 liter oak barrels in contact with its skins. It works sublimely
If you want to take a step up you could go to the Côte d’Or in Burgundy for a
with this dish.
nice Puligny-Montrachet. Here I wouldn’t choose a Meursault or ChassagneMontrachet as they have more fattiness, in contrast to the tighter style of the
The Trenzado has a nice acidity level and the smell has a smoky touch with
Puligny-Montrachet, which works so well with the oyster while elevating the
refined hazelnut and the appetite-appealing sense of fresh baguettes. It has
a luscious citrusy start with fresh white fruit. It’s not at all disturbed by the creaminess of the potato, but it does pick up on the minerality of the oyster on the other side.