International flavours abound on the greens from an award-winning kitchen star.
A native of South Africa, Paul Gindra left his home in Durban at the age of 17 and headed to the UK to pursue his dream of becoming a chef. He completed his apprenticeship at the five-star De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel, Southampton, and now has 17 years of kitchen experience under his belt.
Before joining the Royal Golf Club as executive chef, he spent seven years doing new openings for The Carlson Group and has also worked at a number of luxury UK hotels as well as some of the top restaurants around South Africa.
A fan of cooking competitions, Paul says the highlight of his career so far was representing his country as the logistics manager for Team South Africa at the Culinary Olympics in Germany in 2008, where the team took gold, silver and bronze medals.
He was also the national winner of the MLA Black Box Culinary Challenge in 2008, regional finalist at the Unilever Chef of the Year 2002 and 2004 competitions and a regional finalist of the Jeune Commis Rotisseur (Chaine des Rotisseurs) competition.
The multi-award winner is happy to share one of his favourite recipes for readers to recreate at home.
APPLE WOOD SMOKED SALMON AND LABNEH MOUSSE
– 300g fresh Scottish salmon (skin on) scaled and deboned
– 1kg apple wood chips (for the smoking) – available at Manazel
– 2g Maldon rock salt
– 2g white sugar
– Pinch chopped dill
– Pinch chopped parsley
– 150g labneh
– 50ml whipped cream (unsweetened)
– 2tsp gelatin powder
– 2tsp lemon juice
– Salt and pepper for seasoning
– Barbecue with a lid
Mix the salt, sugar, parsley and dill and spread it over the top of your salmon fillet.
Make a small wood fire in the corner of your barbecue. Once the wood is burning, spread half of your wood chips (pre-soaked in water for 30minutes) over the flames; this will create the smoke.
Place your salmon skin side down in the corner opposite the fire so there is no direct heat. Close the lid and let it smoke for 10 minutes. Add the remaining wood chips and smoke for a further five minutes. Remove from the barbecue and refrigerate for an hour. Once cooled you can slice to your preferred size.
To make the labneh mousse, place the labneh in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and season. Fold the whipped cream into the labneh. Follow the instructions on the packet of your powdered gelatin; add the gelatin to the mousse mixture.
Spoon the mousse into your choice of mould and let in set in the refrigerator for one hour.