Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Upside-down quenelle


Ever since I first saw Heston Blumenthal's "The Big Fat Duck Cookbook", I have been unhealthily obsessing over one thing and one thing only: the standing quenelles. If you have not seen the book, then you have no idea what I am talking about so I will try to explain: when you spoon a quenelle onto a plate or a dessert component, whatever it may be, it lays flat or it is at a gentle incline, leaning on something to keep it in place. A standing quenelle, or upside-down quenelle, is quite a novel idea, at least to me. So, how the hell did they do it? I want to think that they didn't cheat and scoop the quenelle ahead of time, blast-froze it, then stood it on a plate. Maybe they did, and there's nothing wrong with that, after all, dealing with ice cream in photo shoots is a real pain that I know a thing or two about.

But what would you do if you had to spoon an upside-down quenelle during service? I looked at one of my treasured silver quenelle spoons and I found the answer: the spoon part would have to be upside down. I asked one of the maintenance guys on campus to cut the spoon off the handle, flip it around and weld it back onto the handle. They had it ready in less than an hour. I took it out for a test drive and it worked very well as you can see by the video above.


  1. That is very cool, Chef.

  2. My friends and I were debating the same thing. I came up with an idea that would involve the help of a metal designer. I want to make a spoon with a rotating head. So you could scoop your quenelle like normal and then rotate the head of the spoon (on a swivel). I wish I could draw a picture on here. Your idea works well too. Does it take some practice to scoop backwards?

  3. not really, it is practically the same method

  4. They do have spoons that allow you to quenelle backwards, we had them at cafe Boulud. Dont know where we got them though.I found them to be difficult to quenelle with though.

  5. That's because you still need practice grasshopper. Ha!

  6. holy crap! I was wondering the same damn thing! Definitely a cool idea.

    p.s. nice choice for the video soundtrack

  7. Hello,

    I was searching for a quenelle spoon on google, and came across your blog. Where did you get your quenelle spoon from? I can't seem to find any online. Btw love your pictures of your desserts.

    Nancy :)

  8. i found a designer (robert welch) that actually does such spoons... they are not that expensive (i paid around 5 - 7 pound per spoon - depending on the size)

    available in all sizes...