September's Seasonal Recipe

Posted on: 25 March 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Ian Webber, Head Chef at Gidleigh Park in Dartmoor explains how to cook this seasonal sea bass dish.

Ian Webber, Head Chef at Gidleigh Park in Dartmoor explains how to cook this seasonal sea bass dish.

Roast Cornish Bass With Cauliflower, Cumin, Cepes and Lemon Thyme

This month, Ian Webber, Head Chef at Gidleigh Park in Dartmoor, reveals how to construct all the components for a mouth-watering Roast Cornish sea bass with cauliflower, cumin, cepes (a type of mushroom) and lemon thyme.

This recipe is best done in different stages and compiled together at the end. 


Cauliflower Puree

1 head of English new season cauliflower
150g butter
Lemon thyme flowers
Maldon sea salt
White pepper
Lemon juice

1. Remove the outside leaves of the cauliflower

2. Cut four nice equal sized florets from it, retain for the cauliflower fondue. Cut the remaining into equal sized pieces.

3. Bring a suitable sized pan of water to the boil, 20g of salt per litre, and a sprig of lemon thyme.

4. Cook cauliflower until soft; remove and blend until smooth, pass through a drum sieve.  Heat the puree in a pan, whisk in the butter until the correct consistency is achieved.


Cauliflower Fondant

2 tablespoons of roasted cumin
4 cauliflower florets
75g butter
Lemon thyme
Sea salt and pepper

1. Grind cumin with sea salt in a pestle and mortar.

2. Melt butter in a pan, add cumin and salt.

3. Place cauliflower florets in pan, cover with a cartouche and gently cook until coloured and soft.


Potato Ragu

75g shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, spilt in two with the core removed
300g pink fir apple potatoes
75g butter
300ml vegetable nage (a type of stock)
Sprig of lemon thyme
25ml gewürztraminer wine

1. Bring vegetable nage with lemon thyme to a simmer.

2. Sweat the shallots and garlic in the butter until translucent.  Add diced potatoes, cook lightly until slightly sticky.  Add wine and reduce by 4/5th.

3. Now gradually add the vegetable nage whilst constantly stirring and occasionally adding a small knob of butter, maintaining an emulsion between the potato starch, butter and stock. Continue until cooked through.


Lemon Thyme Sauce

50g shallots
125g button mushrooms
30g butter
250ml white wine
250ml fish stock
250ml double cream
20g lemon thyme
salt and pepper

1. Sweat the shallots and lemon thyme until soft with a pinch of salt.  Add the mushrooms and sweat for a further 5 minutes.

2. Add the wine and reduce by a third.  Add the fish stock reduce by a half.  Add the cream and reduce until correct consistency is achieved to finish.


Putting It Together

1. Slice the cepes, season with a little salt & pepper and roast in olive oil. 

2. Pan fry the bass in olive oil until the skin is crispy and cooked med / rare.

3. Plate as desired finishing with a selection of different sorrels.


Ian Webber's talents were spotted by Michael at the ‘South West Chef of the Year competition jointly organised by Michael Caines and Taste of the West. Ian won the accolade in 2006 and as a result of this success, was shortly after offered the position of Head Chef at Gidleigh Park.

Gidleigh Park has gained wide acclaim as one of the world’s most highly rated country house hotels. It is set in 45 acres of magnificent, secluded gardens and woodland on the North Teign River, within Dartmoor National Park in Devon.  The Executive Head Chef, Michael Caines MBE became the youngest ever winner of two Michelin stars at Gidleigh Park in 1999, which have been held ever since.

For further information visit


Share with friends


You need to be signed in to rate.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned!