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My Favourite Dish: Cristiano De Martin, White

My Favourite Dish: Cristiano De Martin, White

MY FAVOURITE DISH

Cristiano De Martin
Executive Chef - White

Seafood Risotto


We are very particular about how risotto is cooked back home in Venice. Only certain people were allowed to cook it, in my case my mother. She gets very upset if someone else tries to do it! So I grew up eating a lot of this and it became special, and this is on the menu as it reminds me a lot of my heritage.



When I first started at White a few years ago, I came with a food philosophy called Homegrown which is all about local seasonal produce without too much tampering. I thought there was definitely room for a well prepared proper Italian risotto, something which even a few years ago you didn't really see in this country.



This dish is a great opportunity to use all sorts of seafood. It could be anything depending on what is available at the time. We use things like scallops, prawns, snapper, tuna, monkfish, salmon and clams. We don't know from day to day what we will receive, so the dish is always changing.



To make this, we cook the shallots and celery and garlic in some extra virgin olive oil until it's nice and shiny. Then we add the rice, which is produced very close to where I come from in Italy. The creamy consistency that you want is all down to how you work the starch out of the rice.



We add white wine and keep working it. Fish stock is then added and soon the risotto is ready to be plated, with the different kinds of seafood cooked and placed on top.



This is a gratifying dish. You can have it to start or as a single dish for lunch. You'll feel like you've had just enough and be able to go back to work afterwards! It's great with an unoaked chardonnay.

As to whether my mother approves of my risotto... well, we're still arguing about it!

For more from our My Favourite Dish series click here.



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