While I was in Berlin, Germany, Chef de Cuisine Matthias Buchholz of the Michelin-star restaurant, first floor, stopped to relax for an interview and to share his recipe for Ravioli with Smoked Pike-Perch with Horseradish Ice Cream.
Chef de Cuisine Matthias Buchholz is a passionate professional, whose impeccable pedigree includes beginning his training in 1983 at the age of 16. By 1986 he was working in Berlin at what would be the first of his many culinary experiences working at Michelin star restaurants. In 1988, he worked in Hannover, in 1989 he moved to Frankfurt and worked with Michelin-star chef Hans Haas in Frankfurt, where he saw there what he wanted to achieve. In 1991 he worked in Bargum and in 1996 he joined first floor. In 2000, he was named Berlin Chef of the Year, in 2001 GaultMillau named him Chef of the Year, in 2004, he received a Star Diamond Award from the The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, and that is only a partial list of his credentials.
Dedicated to all things culinary, he reads cookbooks in his free time, including his own collection of over 700 cookbooks including antique cookbooks dating to the 1820s. Where does he store all these books? There are two rooms dedicated to the books, and they are also piled on the floor. He enjoys traveling to get new ideas, and it seems that his daughter, age 3 years, has her own ideas when it comes to cuisine. She told him that frozen spinach is better than fresh, and that she also likes ketchup. As for Chef Matthias, a new trend for his cooking is mixing smaller dishes including Asian influences, French and typical German. He also enjoys the seasons of cooking, the morel season, the asaparagus season, the Périgord and white truffle season, and changing the menu to reflect the season.
When I had lunch at first floor restaurant I had Ravioli with Smoked Pike-Perch with Horseradish Ice Cream, and I enjoyed it so much, that I asked Chef Matthias if he would share his recipe. The ravioli are delicate and served with the horseradish ice cream and beetroot crème it is a dream of a dish.
Ravioli with Smoked Pike-Perch with Horseradish Ice Cream
400 grams (14.11 ounces) pike-perch
salt and sugar
30 grams (2 tablespoons) oyster sauce
Preparation: Remove the fish bones, add salt and sugar to the pike-perch, rub in the oyster sauce and let the fish sit for 24 hours. Smoke the fish for approximately 10 minutes.
Ingredients: for the Pike-Perch Ravioli (4 servings):
400 grams (14.11 ounces) smoked pike-perch
50 grams (1.76 ounces) vegetable broth
50 grams (1.76 ounces) white bread croutons
50 grams (1.76 ounces) sour cream
salt, cayenne pepper
Preparation: Cut the smoked pike-perch in cubes. Stir in sour cream and add spices. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate the perch until further processing.
Ingredients: for the pasta dough:
200 grams (7.05 ounces) flour, sifted
2 egg yolks
Preparation: Whisk in the egg yolks and salt with a splash of olive oil in a bowl. Gradually add the flour to avoid lumps. Finally, knead the dough with your hands until the dough has a smooth texture. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 1-hour.
Use a pasta machine to roll out the dough to make very thin pasta sheets. Brush the surface of the first layer of the pasta with an egg and place a 5-cm diameter of fish batter on the pasta. Top with another layer of pasta, press tightly and cut out the ravioli with a star cutter. Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water until tender, drain and gently stir in a small piece of butter.
Horseradish Ice Cream for the Smoked Pike-Perch Ravioli
500 ml (2 cups) milk
500 ml (2 cups) heavy cream
250 grams (8.82 ounces) creamed horseradish
15 grams (1 tablespoon) salt and pepper
500 ml (2 cups) apple juice reduced (190 ml) (3/4 cup)
8 egg whites
Preparation: Bring the milk and cream to a boil. Add the creamed horseradish, salt, pepper and reduced apple juice, bring to a boil and then let it cool. Briefly whisk the egg whites and stir them in the cooled batter. Bring the batter to a boil (no simmering) and let it cool immediately. Freeze the batter in an ice-cream maker.
Beetroot Creme for the Pike-Perch Ravioli
50 grams (1.76 ounces) onions
50 grams (1.76 ounces) leeks (white part only)
50 grams (1.76 ounces) celery sticks
50 grams (1.76 ounces) celery bulb
50 grams (1.76 ounces) beetroot
500 ml (2 cups) heavy cream
50 ml (1/4 cup) white wine
1 liter (33 ounces) broth
Preparation: Cook the uncut beetroot in salted water and caraway. When the beetroot is soft, peel it, chop it into small pieces and blend it in a blender to a very fine purée. Sauté onions, leeks, celery sticks and celery bulb in butter. Add salt, pepper and white wine. As soon as the white wine has been totally reduced, add the broth and cook the vegetables until they are soft and tender. Add the cream, and bring it to a boil, and then blend and strain, and season to taste. Shortly before serving, stir the puree into the light-colored soup, bring it to a boil and season it to taste.
Presentation: Place the ravioli on a plate and serve the horseradish ice cream in a small dish next to the ravioli. Pour the beetroot creme in a small teacup.
Budapester Strasse 45, 10787 Berlin
Telephone: +49 (030) 2502 1182
Fax: +49 (030) 2502 1189
Please read the articles on first floor in the Restaurants and Chefs' Recipes sections, and articles on Berlin in the Destinations, Hotels & Resorts, Restaurants and Music Scene sections.
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