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Thalassa Hotel in Cyprus

by Debra C. Argen
Executive Chef Hunter Reynolds
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Executive Chef Hunter J. Reynolds is a man who knows what he likes, and he likes vegetable and herb gardens and using the freshest of ingredients at his restaurants.


Australian Hunter J. Reynolds, is the Executive Chef at Thalassa www.thalassa.com.cy, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World www.slh.com and Great Hotels of the World www.ghotw.com, the first luxury boutique hotel in Cyprus with 58 exquisite rooms and suites located on a bluff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Hunter’s impressive credentials include graduating from the Regency College (TAFE) in Adelaide, Australia, which at the time was the only Swiss Hotel Management School outside of Switzerland, as well as working at Chiva Som, Hua Hin and Santiburi Koh Samui, Thailand and winning many international awards before joining Thalassa. While I was at Thalassa in May 2004, I had the great opportunity to interview Hunter, as well as to experience his creative cuisine and convince him to share a recipe with Luxury Experience readers, which he readily did.

Executive Chef Hunter J. Reynolds is a man who knows what he likes, and he likes vegetable and herb gardens and using the freshest of ingredients at his restaurants. He told me that having his own vegetable and herb gardens are actually one of his requirements for working at a restaurant. At Thalassa the motto is, “The answer is yes, what is the question?” readily agreed to Hunter’s request. Thalassa now has herb and vegetable gardens, as well as orange, date, olive and fig trees. Most all of the plants in their landscape can either be consumed or used in the Holistic Spa.

Char-Grilled Octopus And Poached Seafood Salad With Rose Petals Drizzled With Caramelized Lemon And Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 4

For the Salad

400      grams              fresh octopus (beaten)
100      grams              fresh red snapper fillet
180      grams              fresh prawns and mussels
100      grams              mixed lettuce
1          bunch              rocket
20        pieces              whitloff (chicory)
20        pieces              cherry tomatoes
50        grams              field mushrooms, sliced and sautéed
1          bunch              chives
                                    fresh rose petals finely sliced

For the Dressing

100      grams              sun-dried tomatoes
40        grams              olive paste
                                   lemon zests
2          drops               rose water

To Garnish

caramelized balsamic vinaigrette
sprigs chives

Place about 5 litres of water on the stove to boil. Take the octopus and place it into the boiling water for 7 minutes. Take it out and place in iced water for 2 minutes, then place back in the boiling water for another 2 minutes, and finish in the iced water again. Strain the octopus and discard the water.

Put 2 litres of salted water on the stove and bring to a simmer. Place the seafood into the simmering water for 4 minutes, take it out and place  it in iced water until cool, and then leave the seafood to the side until needed.

For the salad, wash the leaves and drain. Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters, and then add the sautéed field mushrooms. Cut the base off the whitloff and separate them into pieces. Finely chop about half of the chives, keeping the rest of them for garnishing later. Mix the salad together and leave in a bowl until needed.
For the dressing, place all ingredients in a bowl and leave to the side.

To serve, place the mixed salad onto 4 serving plates. On a hot griddle, cook the octopus until seared. Slice the tentacles of the octopus in long pieces and place it into a bowl with the other seafood. Toss together and then arrange on the plates of mixed salad. Drizzle with the dressing followed by the balsamic around the edge of the plate. Sprinkle rose petals over the salad and garnish with chives.

To read our in-depth articles on Thalassa and Cyprus, please read our Destinations, Travel News, Music Scene and Art & Antiques.

Coral Bay
P.O. Box 62874
CY-8099 Paphos, Cyprus
Telephone:  +357-26-813-777
Fax:  +357-26-813-778

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