Teen Chef Recipes

In the June issue, five teen chefs of the Oakwood School prepare the most important meal of their lives. Here are the recipes for the dishes they served

Kumamoto Oyster, Buttermilk, Fennel, and Chocolate Tuile

Serves 6

For the oyster:
2 dozen Kumamoto oysters (or any other small oyster) 

For the buttermilk sauce:
200g (aprox. 14 tablespoons) buttermilk
50g (aprox. 4 tablespoons) reserved oyster juice 

For the fennel-radish salad:
18 radishes
3 small fennel bulbs 

For the chocolate:
10-ounce block 67 percent dark chocolate 


For the oysters:

  1. Shuck the oysters
  2. Reserve the oysters with some of their juices in the refrigerator
  3. Reserve the rest of the natural juices separately, to be used later for the buttermilk sauce

For the buttermilk sauce: 

  1. Mix the buttermilk with the reserved oyster juice
  2. Refrigerate

For the fennel-radish salad:

  1. Slice the radishes 1/8-inch thick on a mandoline
  2. Cut into batons and reserve in ice water in the refrigerator
  3. Cut the stalks off of the fennel
  4. Pick the fronds from the stalks, reserve in ice water, and refrigerate
  5. Cut the fennel bulbs in half vertically and remove the cores. Separate each “petal” of the bulb and cut into thin batons, just like the radish. You don’t need to slice them on the mandoline before because the “petals” will be thin enough. Reserve in ice water in the refrigerator.

For the chocolate:

  1. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the chocolate into about 30 small curls
  2. Refrigerate

To serve:

Lemon juice
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fennel fronds
Fennel flowers (optional) 

  1. Season the oysters with lemon juice
  2. Mix the fennel batons and radish batons with some olive oil and salt
  3. Using a milk frother, froth the buttermilk sauce
  4. Place 3 oysters in each bowl
  5. Top with some of the fennel-radish salad
  6. Spoon the buttermilk sauce around
  7. Place 5 shavings of chocolate on each plate
  8. Place a few fennel fronds and one flower on each plate
  9. Serve

Scallop Tartare, Honeycomb, Breakfast Radish, and Black Sesame Emulsion

Serves 6

For the scallop:
6 fresh scallops, cleaned

For the honeycomb:
45g (aprox. 3 tablespoons) honeycomb

For the black sesame sauce:
110g (aprox. ½ cup) chicken stock
50g (aprox. 3 ½ tablespoons) black sesame seeds, toasted
10g (aprox. 2 teaspoons) clover honey
20g (aprox. 1 ½ tablespoons) toasted sesame oil
5g (aprox. 1 teaspoon) lemon juice

For the radishes:
4 Breakfast radishes

Fleur de sel
Olive oil
Mustard flowers


For the scallop:

1. Cut the scallops into ½-inch cubes and reserve in refrigerator, covered

For the honeycomb:

1. Cut the honeycomb into ¼-inch cubes and reserve in plastic container

For the black sesame sauce:

  1. Combine the chicken stock, black sesame seeds, and honey in a blender
  2. Blend on high speed for 3 minutes. If needed, add water in 10g (aprox. 2 teaspoons) increments until a saucelike consistency forms
  3. While blending, drizzle in the toasted sesame oil and blend until emulsified
  4. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste when the puree is done
  5. Refrigerate

For the radish:

  1. Slice the radishes 1/16-inch thick on a mandoline
  2. Reserve in ice water and refrigerate

To serve:

  1. Heat the black sesame puree to room temperature
  2. Put the scallops in a bowl and season to taste with salt, lemon juice, olive oil, and chives
  3. Season the radishes with olive oil and salt
  4. Pour 2 tablespoons of black sesame puree on each plate
  5. Top each serving with a scallop
  6. Put 3 honeycomb cubes on each plate
  7. Put 4 radish slices on each plate
  8. Garnish with mustard flowers
  9. Serve

Seared Loup de Mer, Sauce Bercy, Bloomsdale Spinach, Radish, and Baby Carrots

Serves 6

For the vegetables:
18 baby carrots
18 radishes
6 heads Bloomsdale spinach
1 handful pea tendrils
1 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt

For the fish:
6 fillets loup de mer

For the fish velouté:
1 1/4 quarts hot fish stock
4 ounces blond roux (2 ounces clarified butter and 2 ounces all-purpose flour) 

For the sauce bercy:
2 ounces chopped shallots
½ cup white wine
1 quart fish velouté


For the vegetables:

  1. Wash and peel the baby carrots. They should all be about the same size. If some are too large, cut them in half. Refrigerate.
  2. Wash and peel the radishes, leaving some of the leaves attached. Cut the large radishes into four pieces and the smaller ones in half. Refrigerate.
  3. Wash and trim the yellow or dead leaves of the Bloomsdale spinach. If the root is too long, trim it down because it will be hard and woody when eaten. Be careful not to cut the root fully off or else all the leaves will separate. Refrigerate.
  4. Wash the pea tendrils and refrigerate
  5. Bring the water to a boil
  6. Add the salt and let the water return to a boil
  7. Set up a bowl with ice water. You will put the vegetables in here after they come out of the boiling water.
  8. Drop the carrots into the boiling water and cook until a fork slides through the carrot but there is still a little resistance. The carrot should not be mushy. Immediately remove from boiling water with a strainer and place in ice water.
  9. Let the water return to a boil. Do the same with the radishes.
  10. For the spinach, drop the spinach into the boiling water for 15 seconds or a little longer if needed. It should just be wilted. Place in ice water and reserve separately from the carrots and the radishes.

For the fish:

  1. Make sure that the fish is clean, with no scales or bones
  2. Reserve the fillets in the fridge in a single layer, uncovered, to dry out a little

For the fish velouté:

1. Heat the fish stock in a heavy-bottomed saucepan
2. In a separate pan, cook roux to a blond stage
3. Allow roux to cool slightly before adding it to the gently simmering stock
4. Whisk the stock and roux together and bring to a gentle simmer
5. Simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour
6. Adjust consistency by adding more hot stock if necessary. The sauce should coat the back of a spoon.
7. Finish by straining through a chinois or a strainer lined with cheesecloth

For the sauce bercy:

  1. Sweat the shallots in a little oil over low heat
  2. Deglaze with the wine and simmer over medium heat until reduced by two-thirds
  3. Add the fish velouté and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, reducing slightly

To finish:
Canola oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Chicken stock
2 ounces unsalted butter
Lemon juice
Arugula flowers

  1. Remove the blanched vegetables and the pea tendrils from the refrigerator
  2. Place a medium-sized nonstick pan over high heat and add enough canola oil to cover the bottom
  3. Once it starts smoking, add the pea tendrils. There will be popping noises. Cook for 30 seconds. Season with salt and reserve in a low oven until ready to serve.
  4. Heat another large-sized nonstick pan over medium heat and add canola oil. Once the pan is hot, add the radishes and carrots. Then add 3 tablespoons of butter and let melt. Once the butter has melted and coated the vegetables, add a splash of chicken stock and mix the ingredients so the juices of the vegetables, the butter, and the chicken stock all form a glaze that coats the vegetables. Then add the spinach to the pan.
  5. Heat the sauce bercy to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently
  6. Once it is simmering, swirl in the 2 ounces of butter
  7. Season with lemon juice to taste
  8. Dry the fillets with paper towels and season both sides with salt. Begin to heat a new pan with enough oil to cover the bottom.
  9. When the pan is very hot, place the fish skin side down and reduce the heat a bit
  10.  Cook until the skin becomes slightly colored, about 2 to 3 minutes 
  11. Flip the fish so the skin faces up and place on a rack to rest. Leave in a warm area, since the heat will finish cooking the fish.
  12. Reheat by placing the fish in a 400-degree oven until it is warm to the touch. You can test the inside temperature by using a metal cake tester: Poke it into the center of the fish and allow it to sit for a few seconds. Then touch it to a sensitive area (your lip or wrist) to test for heat.
  13. Spoon the sauce bercy onto each plate
  14. Evenly distribute the vegetables among the plates, placing them on top of the sauce
  15. Place a fillet of fish on top of the vegetables
  16. Spoon a little more sauce on top
  17. Top with a few arugula flowers

Hay Ice Cream, Hazelnut, Caramel Broth, Coffee Sablé
, Tangerine Coulis, and Lemon Curd

Serves 6

For the hay ice cream:
45g (aprox. 3.5 tablespoons) hay
Milk, to cover
200g (aprox. just less than 1 cup) cream
135g (aprox. ½ cup) granulated sugar
100g (aprox. 5 ½ ) egg yolk
3g (aprox. a heaping teaspoon) ice cream stabilizer (optional)
Kosher salt

For the coffee sablé:
2 ounces granulated sugar
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
5 ounces all-purpose flour
1 ounce coffee grounds

For the hazelnut streusel:
100g (aprox. ½ cup) toasted hazelnuts
50g (aprox. ¼ cup) unsalted butter
50g (aprox. ¼ cup) light brown sugar
50g (aprox. ¼ cup) cake flour

For the lemon curd (inspired by Michael Laiskonis’s recipe):
2 whole eggs
170g (aprox. 2/3 cup) granulated sugar
90g (aprox. 1/3 cup) lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1 sheet gelatin, soaked and squeezed of excess moisture
85g (aprox. 1/3 cup)  unsalted butter

For the tangerine puree:
750g (aprox. 3 cups) water
300g ( aprox. 1 1/3 cups) granulated sugar
5 tangerines

For the caramel broth:
175g (aprox. 3/4 cups) granulated sugar
205g (aprox. just under a cup) water
Kosher salt


For the hay ice cream:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put hay on a sheet tray and toast in the oven for 1 hour.
  2. Put hay in a medium-sized pot and pack down. Add enough milk to fully cover the hay. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally so the milk does not burn.
  3. Once the milk has come to a simmer, transfer the mixture to a heat-proof container and refrigerate for 12 hours.
  4. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve so there are no tiny pieces of hay in the milk. The milk should smell sweet and have a tan color.
  5. In a medium saucepan, bring 800g (aprox. 3 ½ cups) infused milk and the cream to a simmer.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and the egg yolks until fully incorporated
  7. Slowly whisk the cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Don’t add the cream too fast or the egg yolks will cook and you will have to start over.
  8. Return the mixture to a clean saucepan and place over medium-low heat
  9. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
  10. If using an ice cream stabilizer: Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the stabilizer and a pinch of kosher salt, and blend on high for about 3 minutes
  11. Strain the mixture into a container and refrigerate overnight
  12. Process the mixture in an ice cream maker and reserve in the freezer overnight

For the coffee sablé:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine the sugar and butter, mixing by hand or in an electric mixer until they are fully incorporated and the butter becomes light in color
  3. Add a pinch of salt to the butter mixture
  4. Fold in the flour and the coffee grounds gradually, alternating between the two, and continue to mix until a dough is formed
  5. If the dough does not look dark enough, add more coffee a little at a time, until the dough is a little bit lighter than the color of the coffee grounds. Keep in mind that once it has baked, it will be darker.
  6. Put the dough on a piece of parchment paper. Add another layer of parchment paper on top. Roll the dough out until it is 1 centimeter thick.
  7. Refrigerate until the dough is stiff. Transfer the dough onto a sheet tray and put into the oven
  8. Bake the sablé for about 11 minutes, checking every 2 minutes after that if it needs more time. The sablé should be crisp on the edges and soft in the middle, but it should not be raw.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes, or until it becomes hard. Then break it into small chunks and pulse in a food processor to create a fine powder.
  10. Pass the sablé through a sifter to remove any large pieces. Reserve in a container at room temperature.

For the hazelnut streusel:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Freeze the toasted hazelnuts for 1 hour
  3. Pulse the frozen hazelnuts in a food processor with 5g (aprox. 1 teaspoon) of granulated sugar until a powder is formed
  4. Soften the butter and gradually add the hazelnut powder, the sugar, and the flour. Mix until a wet dough is formed.
  5. Spread the dough 1 centimeter thick between two pieces of parchment paper
  6. Refrigerate for an hour, or until the dough is stiff.
  7. Place the dough on a sheet tray and put in the oven.
  8. Bake for 11 minutes. Depending on your oven, it will probably need more time, so check back every 2 minutes.
  9. The streusel should be crisp on the edges and soft in the middle, but it should not be raw.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool until it becomes hard, about 30 minutes. Break the streusel by hand so it isn’t a fine powder.
  11. Reserve in a container at room temperature

For the lemon curd (inspired by Michael Laiskonis):

1. In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the eggs and sugar, then add the lemon juice and zest
2. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly so it does not scorch
3. When the mixture boils and is quite thick, remove from heat, add the gelatin, and emulsify the butter into the lemon curd in small amounts. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and chill in an ice water bath.
4. Transfer curd into a squeeze bottle and reserve in the refrigerator

For the tangerine puree:

  1. Combine the water and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Refrigerate.
  2. Put the syrup into a small saucepan and add the tangerines. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 1 hour, or until the tangerine skins are easily pierced and sticky
  3. Strain out the tangerines and add to a blender. Add 30g (aprox. 2 tablespoons) of the tangerine-infused syrup and blend, agitating the mixture as needed, for 3 minutes or until smooth.
  4. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and strain through a fine mesh sieve to create a very smooth puree. Transfer the puree into a squeeze bottle and reserve in the refrigerator.

For the caramel broth:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar and 40g (aprox. 3 tablespoons) of water to 340 degrees over medium heat
  2. Remove from the heat and immediately add the rest of the water, whisking constantly. Be careful because the mixture will bubble and splatter, and it is molten sugar.
  3. If there are still pieces of caramel in the mixture, put the mixture over high heat and whisk constantly until all the pieces are dissolved. Reserve at room temperature.
  4. Add a pinch of salt to the mixture. If it is too sweet, add a little bit of water, but don’t dilute it too much.

To serve:

Micro mint leaves

  1. Put 2 spoonfuls of hazelnut streusel and 2 spoonfuls of coffee sablé on each plate
  2. Pipe out a couple of dots of lemon curd and tangerine puree. You don’t want too much tangerine puree because it is very strong.
  3. Place a few mint leaves on each plate
  4. Warm the caramel broth and pour 50g (aprox. 3 ½ tablespoons) of broth on each plate
  5. Place a scoop of the hay ice cream on top of the streusel and sablé.
  6. Serve

*Gram conversions for all ingredients are approximate
Photographs by Jennifer Rocholl 

Also Read:
To find out if the teen chefs pulled of the most important meal of their lives, read
Appetite for Perfection 
Follow the teen chefs on Twitter