2700 grams clean mussels
Pick through the mussels, removing any of the coarse beards that may be sticking out of the shells. Place a rondeau or a heavy bottomed pot large enough to hold the mussels on the stove over medium heat. Add the clean mussels to the dry pot and occasionally stir from bottom to the top of the pile of shellfish. As the pot heats the mussel shells will begin to open and they will release their juices. Once about a third of the shells have opened, stir the pot one more time, cover it with a tight fitting lid and turn the heat off the heat. Let the mussels rest, covered for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and separate the mussels from the liquid. Strain the juices using a fine mesh strainer. Chill the resulting mussel juice and reserve for later use. Pull the mussels from the shells, trying to keep them intact. Discard the shells and place the mussels in a small bowl. Cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
425 grams pear
175 grams onion
200 grams fennel
100 grams skinned hazelnuts
20 grams garlic
1000 grams water
Quarter the pears and remove the cores. Clean and slice the onions and fennel into pieces 3cm thick. Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a 6-quart pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 25 minutes. Allow the pressure to dissipate naturally. Alternatively combine the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for one hour, skimming as needed. Turn off the heat, cover the stock and let it steep for an additional 30 minutes. Strain the finished pear stock through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the solids. Chill the stock and reserve until needed.
300 grams pear stock
1.5 grams fine sea salt
3 bags chamomile tea
For a vacuum infusion, combine the pear stock, salt and tea bags in a shallow container. Place the uncovered container in a chamber vacuum sealer. Turn on the vacuum sealer and watch the liquid as it rises to the top of the container. When it is within 5cm of the top, turn off the vacuum sealer. Repeat three times. Remove from the vacuum chamber and discard the tea bags.
For a cold infusion, combine pear stock and salt, stirring well to dissolve the salt. Add the tea bags. Cover the container and let it rest in refrigeration for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. After 24 hours the infusion is finished. Discard the tea bags.
Chamomile Foam Base
285 grams chamomile infusion
2.85 grams Methocel F50
0.375 grams xanthan gum
Put the chamomile infusion in the blender. Turn the power onto medium and create a vortex. Sprinkle in the Methocel and the xanthan gum. Increase the power to high to fully disperse and shear the hydrocolloids into the liquid. Turn the blender off and pour the mixture into a bowl sitting in an ice bath. Chill the mixture until it reaches 10ºC, the temperature at which Methocel is fully hydrated. Reserve the chamomile foam base in the refrigerator.
Candied Hazelnuts with Miso
150 grams skinned hazelnuts
1255 grams sugar
5 grams instant miso soup powder
Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with non-stick pan spray or rub lightly with butter. In a heavy bottomed pot combine the sugar and the nuts. Place the pot over medium heat and let it cook undisturbed until the sugar melts around the edges and begins to form small bubbles. Using a heatproof spoon or spatula, stir the nuts and sugar until the caramel turns a deep amber. Remove from heat and add the miso powder, stirring well, Pour the hot caramel nuts carefully onto the prepared sheet tray. Set aside to let the nuts cool completely. Place the candied nuts in a zip top bag and use a paillard pounder to shatter the nuts into a coarse, crumbly texture and store in an airtight container until ready to use.
200 grams cooked, shucked and chilled mussels
2 grams Activa RM
Place the cooked mussels in a bowl. Sprinkle the Activa over the mussels and stir them to evenly coat the mussels with the powder. Divide the mussels between two vacuum bags and seal on high pressure. Use a meat mallet to flatten the mussels in the bag to an even 2mm layer. The pounded mussels will resemble a marble mosaic in appearance. Place the mussel sheets in the refrigerator and refrigerate at least six hours, or preferably overnight to allow the bond to occur between the mussels.
After the mussels have been bonded into a uniform sheet, cut them out of the bag and use a 7 centimeter round cutter to cut circles of the mosaic. Lay the mussel rounds on a flat tray, cover them with plastic wrap, and reserve in the refrigerator until needed.
400 grams cold pear stock
400 grams cold mussel juice
200 grams cooked, shucked, chilled mussels
Combine all three ingredients in a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer, place in a covered container, and reserve in the refrigerator until needed.
Pear Chamomile Foam base
Pour the soup in a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. While the soup is heating, whip the pear chamomile foam base in a standing mixer with a whisk attachment until it forms soft to medium peaks. Place the mussel sheets n a sheet tray, brush them with a thin layer of mussel soup and place them in a 95ºC oven to just warm through. When they are warm, place a mussel circle in the center of each soup bowl. Sprinkle the equivalent of 8 broken candied hazelnuts on the right hand side of the mussel mosaic. Top the hazelnuts with a spoonful of whipped chamomile. Once the soup is hot, place it in a heatproof pitcher. Serve the soup bowls with the mosaic, hazelnuts and whipped chamomile. Pour the soup into the bowls tableside, in front of the diners.