Employee Spotlight - Pitchacaren Mardaymoothoo, Sr. Chef de Partie
On October 23rd, The Reefs' very own Sr. Chef de Partie, Pitchacaren Mardaymoothoo competed inÂ Bermuda's Rising Chef of the Year 2013 contest.Â The single elimination tournament gives each chef only 25 minutes to create a dish from scratch and features a mystery basket filled with unknown ingredients that must be used in the dish. We sat down with Chef Pitcha to learn about his cooking style and asked him to share his recipe for the competition.
Chef Pitcha, how long have you been working at The Reefs and where are you originally from?
I have been working at The Reefs for 4 wonderful years and I hail from the Maritious Islands off the east coast of Africa.
Wow, you have traveled a long way to get here! How long have you been in the culinary industry?
I started working in the food industry when I was 18 years old.
What are a few of your favorite ingredients to work with and why?
I love working with fresh vegetables. You don't need to do a lot with them to let them shine; they are already beautiful on their own. It's my job to enhance the flavor naturally with the ingredients I work with and with vegetables I'm able to do that quite easily.
What inspired you to enter this competition?
I wanted to represent The Reefs in this great culinary competition, other chefs from properties all over the island also competed and I wanted the challenge to compete against the best chefs in Bermuda.
Was this your first year competing in the Rising Chef contest?
This was the first time competing in this contest, but I won a Bronze medal in the 2005 Dubai Culinary Festival.
What was it that set your dish apart from the others?
Even though I didn't win, the fact that I cooked my dish entirely from scratch makes me proud. I know I represented The Reefs well because I showcased how a dish should be properly prepared.
Fricasée of Pawpaw, Stuffed Organic Chicken Breast on Glazed Romaine, Smoked Pumpkin Fondant, Crunchy Papaya Salad and a Basil Emulsion.
- 2 chicken breast (6 oz.)
- 2 chicken tenders and deboned wing meat
- 2 chicken legs deboned (6 oz.)
- 10 oz pawpaw peeled and seeded
- 10 oz pumpkin peeled and seeded
- 1 romaine lettuce head
- 2 large shallots
- 2 lime
- ½ red pepper
- ½ green pepper
- ½ yellow pepper
- 1 whole tomato seeded
- ½ cup of fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup of Italian parsley leaves
- 3 tbs of thyme leaves
- 1 tbs of finely chopped garlic
- 2 tbs mascarpone cheese
- 1 oz of soaked dried porcini mushroom
- ¼ cup double cream
- 1 oz. unsalted butter
- 1 tbs. brown sugar
- 1 cup brown chicken stock
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 6 tbs. extra virgin oil
- white ground pepper
Step 1: Stuff Breast
Blend tenders. Wing meat, 3 ounces of the leg with 4 table spoon of cream, salt and white pepper to make a smooth farce.
Cut ½ of the parley and 4 large leaves of basil as fine julienne
Roughly chop the porcini and dice 1 oz of pumpkin
With a spatula mix all these ingredients in a bowl with the farce
Stuff the breasts using a piping bag
Sear the breast skin side until golden brown in a pan with 2 table spoon of oil, flip and roast in a preheated oven at 340 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes
Step 2: Chicken Fricasee
Slice the chicken leg, dice 1 shallot, cut 6 oz of pawpaw in cubes
Sauté the chicken in a deep pot with olive oil without coloration, add shallot, chopped garlic, pawpaw and a bundle of parley and thyme stalks.
Season with salt and pepper, add ½ cup chicken stock and bring to a boil
Reduce the fire to low add 3 tablespoons of cream, cover with a lid and simmer until creamy.
Step 3: Smoke Pumpkin Fondant
Shape the pumpkin in half moon
Heat pan, add little oil and sear pumpkin till brown, add ¼ cup of chicken stock and 2 spoons of brown stock and cook till soft
Place pumpkin in bowl and smoke using smoke gun.
Cook pumpkin trimmings in rest of seasoned chicken stock.
Blend the cooked pumpkin with the rest of basil leaves and mascarpone with a blender to form a foam
Add the brown jus to reduce till until a syrupy
Meanwhile julienne the peppers, rest of pawpaw, tomato, shallots and parsley
Mix with one tablespoon of olive oil, 1 lime zest and juice
Remove breast from oven and let to rest
Cut romaine in quarters, heat pan, add brown sugar and cumin
Caramelized the romaine leaves by adding dices of butter and glaze
Taste and the fricassee for seasoning
Cut chicken breasts in half or slices
Combine all ready ingredients in plates as per your liking and serve ho