I realized today that the symbol of my blog has never featured in a story, so I will correct that. The octopop was created during my time in Burj al Arab and it has come a long way since. The original idea started out with a desire to create a Octopus terrine with the flavors of Saffron and orange (same flavours as in my first Chef de Cuisine (Head Chef) position 7 years ago in London), which had some sentimental as well as historical meaning. But my wishes changed as wanted to pan fry it and serve it hot and my old method would not of worked, so I incorporated a product I have been studying for a long time which is Transglutaminase (an enzyme which bonds proteins) a form of meat glue. Basically as the testing went I found and interesting form which was to lay the legs of the octopus (which had been cooked in vacuum at a very low temperature for 12 hours, just in the juice of the melting natural collagen) in a straight line, put transglutaminase and roll with a large amount of pressure. When sliced it resembled the cross section of A head of Garlic……….. So to highlight this I Dipped it into a clear yellow Gell (made with Kappa) of Orange and saffron, and after it resembled a flower so of course the only way to serve this is in the floral form. The flowers of Dill are very aromatic and when the plant goes to flower the stems are very strong so I put the octopop on the end of the stalk so when you eat it you get the aroma of Dill which goes very well with Octopus. Hence the birth of the “Octopop”.
The story doesn’t end there: Whenever you move countries (as I have 5 times) as a Chef you need to adapt your food to the taste of the locals and this can take anywhere up to 6 months. According to the Spanish, they only like to eat octopus in 1 way which is with paprika, olive oil and potato. And the especially don’t like it with Orange…….. So I Confit some potato in Olive oil and stuck it inside using an advanced Transglutaminase technique and dipped it into a Paprika Kappa. And this one is served hot.