The Epicurean Express: Lobster Thermidor


May 10, 2012 | BY Lynn Fung and Tyrone Wu

We visit JW’s California to get chef Jordi Villegas’ recipe for this retro and decadent seafood dish

Lobster thermidor is a staple of classic French haute cuisine. Supposedly created in 1894 at Marie’s in Paris to celebrate the opening of Victorien Sardou’s play Thermidor, it was particularly popular in French retaurants in New York during the 1980s. Since then, it has largely fallen off most menus, as its heavy ingredients (brandy, lobster, cheese, roux) meant that it was very much out of line with the lighter principals of nouveau cuisine and the modern French cuisine that is more in fashion nowadays.

However, what goes out must inevitably come back in, and if you’re throwing an extravagant dinner party this year, we think that serving each guest their own retro lobster thermidor, browned and sitting in its own shell, may just make you the talk of the town.

We visit JW’s California at JW Marriott in Admiralty where chef Jordi Villegas reigns supreme over all sorts of seafood dishes, from lobster thermidor to bouillabaisse. In the video above, chef Villegas gives us his tips on making the perfect lobster thermidor, from choosing the right sized lobster to finishing touches on plating.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

2pieces Boston lobster          

40g mixed mushrooms (shitake and white mushroom)

10g brandy

10g sliced shallot

1g chopped garlic           

1g Dijon mustard

0.2g chopped fresh tarragon

20g Béchamel sauce

10g lobster reduction

1each carrot, celery,  leek and whole onion

Béchamel Sauce:

0.5l milk

35g flour

35g butter

To taste: salt, white pepper and nutmeg

Bechamel Sauce Preparation Method:

1. Melt butter in a large pot, add in the flour and cook for 3 minutes.

2. Then add in boiled milk and cook until it thickens.