Carles Tejedor And The Art of Olive Oil

Just last week, Capella Singapore played host to One-Michelin-Star Spanish Celebrity Chef and olive oil specialist, Carles Tejedor of Via Veneto in Barcelona. I have to say that it was hands down, one of the most educational weeks I have ever had.

Personally, besides the usual olive oil dip for my bread roll when I dine at any western restaurant, I have never been much of an olive oil connoisseur. Needless to say, this olive oil filled week has left me a little more cultured in the art of olive oil appreciation.

Before his cooking stints began at The Knolls, Chef Carles was kind enough to allow me to organise a little media workshop on manipulating the textures of olive oil, granting us a little peek into his world.

The workshop was off to an interesting start with Chef Carles boiling olive oil with some gelatin to create a sort of paste – that kind that you could use as an all natural hand cream but edible and appetizing at the same time.

Next up was the olive oil caviar – olive oil that is shaped and textured exactly like real fish roe, right down to the “pop”. Adding to the surprise, he added a drop of Sesame oil to the olive oil caviar, an idea he picked up from coming to Asia.

The final treat of the day – Olive Oil Jelly. While definitely intrigued, I had my reservations at the thought of olive oil and jelly. However I stood corrected. To my pleasant surprise, the slightly chewy yet smooth texture of the jelly gave off a gentle fragrance from the olive oil with a mild sugary aftertaste

Here Chef Carles let us in on a little secret – in order to make the olive oil jelly, one must ensure that the gelatin and sugar mixture was the same viscosity as the olive oil. Then only can the ingredients bind well together.  Olive oil jelly was a technique he took months to perfect.

To close the chapter on the evening, Chef Carles left a little parting gift for us – a recipe for Olive Oil Gummies.

Ingredients:

  • 150 g extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7 g xanthan
  • 7 g garrofin
  • 320 g glucose
  • 160 g sugar
  • 35 g water

Directions:

  1. Combine the olive oil, xanthan and garrofin. Blend together with a hand blender.
  2. Combine the olive oil mixture with the rest of the ingredients in a cooking pot. Bring to a boil, blending with a hand blender to create a homogeneous mixture.
  3. Working quickly, add this mixture to a pastry bag. Pipe the mixture into cornstarch molds, pinching the bottom of the pastry bag to release each large drop of the gummy mixture. Try to make as little contact as possible between your hands and the gummy mixture, as it is very sticky. Also, it is advisable to wear a double (or triple) layer of gloves, as the mixture is very hot.
  4. Cover the molded drops with more cornstarch. Allow to sit overnight at room temperature. Remove gummies and brush off excess cornstarch.
  5. Gummies can last up to 5 days at room temperature, and 2 weeks in refrigerator.

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