If you need a pal to help you prepare this stunning lobster dish, don’t feel too bad about it – Michelin-starred chefs Erwan Ledru and Kevin de Porre are firm believers in a little teamwork themselves!
A year after Substance (which has one Michelin star) caused a stir on the Paris food scene, restaurateur Stéphane Manigold followed it up with Contraste in the 8th arrondissement, and it too has garnered plenty of praise – plus a Michelin star.
In the kitchen are childhood pals Erwan Ledru, from Brittany, and Kevin de Porre, from Perpignan. Their resumés include the Shangri La, the Plaza Athénée and Keï for Kevin, while Erwan has worked at Le Rech, Le Meurice and Arnaud Nicolas. It’s unusual in the restaurant world to ﬁnd two chefs working together, but the team at Contraste say their “four sure hands, two good heads” make for a cuisine that is truly attention-worthy. Plus their backgrounds in different parts of France add to that all-important contrast.
Set in a beautiful Haussmannian building, a very modern mission is taking place in this restaurant to bring together the chefs with craftsmen, winegrowers and designers to create “a house of contemporary gastronomy”. We expect more stars will soon be ﬁlling their ﬁrmament…
Breton lobster with squash and coﬀee
- 8 Breton female lobsters (400/600g)
- 8 mini pumpkins
Emulsion kabocha coffee:
- 2 French kabocha squash
- 100 g cream
- 50 g of milk
- 70 g of espresso
- Sufficient quantity of xanthan
- Carcasses of 8 lobsters
- 1 large fennel
- 6 grape tomatoes
- 5 medium shallots
- 100 g of tomato concentrate
- 50 cl of dry white wine
- 25 cl Cognac
- 100 g of butter
- Sufficient quantity of cornstarch
- Espelette pepper
- Grape seed oil
- Olive oil
Pumpkin seed tuile:
- 150 g pumpkin seeds
- 20 g egg whites
- Espelette pepper
- 1 butternut squash
- 200 g pickled pumpkin vinegar
- 100 g water
- 50 g of water
Lobster claw stew:
- 16 cooked and shelled lobster claws
- 50 g butternut squash brunoise
- A few snipped chives
- A small amount of lobster sauce
- Espelette pepper
- Coffee powder
- 1 kabocha squash
- Banyuls vinegar
- Salt & pepper
Lobster egg and squash seed gomashio:
- Lobster eggs
- Finely crushed pumpkin seeds
- Fleur de sel
- Cook the lobsters for 1 minute 30 seconds in salted simmering water, tying them beforehand to keep them straight. Glaze them and shell them.
- Put the lobster eggs aside to dry, then mix them with the pumpkin seeds and the fleur de sel.
- Break the heads of lobsters into 4 and fry them in the mixed oils. Once coloured, add the aromatic garnish and the tomato concentrate. 4 Deglaze the pan with white wine and Cognac and bring to a boil. Loosen with some water and cook for 50 minutes.
- Pass through a sieve and strainer and reduce. Bind with cornstarch and season.
- Make a classic kabocha purée: Mix the 300g of purée with the rest of the ingredients. Put in a whipping siphon and gas with 2 cartridges.
- Bake the second kabocha squash cut in half on a bed of coarse salt for 45 minutes in an oven at 180°C. Chop the pulp with a knife and season with Banyuls vinegar.
- Mix the pumpkin seeds with the egg white, salt and Espelette pepper. Spread on a silicone baking mat and bake at 160°C for 10 minutes.
- Using a small spoon, make butternut balls. Cook for 5 minutes in the pickle mixture and let cool.
- Remove the flesh from the lobster claws and sweat it with the finely diced squash, moistened with the lobster mixture, then season with the remaining ingredients.
- Hollow out the mini pumpkins and fill them with the lobster stew. Finish with the pickle balls. Reheat the lobsters in clarified butter and serve.
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