For a chef, having mentors like Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Ferran Adrià must be akin to taking music classes with Chopin and Brahms. Nuno Mendes' London restaurant demonstrates the qualities of ambition that most good protégés possess.
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Peel and large dice a cucumber, and place it on a fine wire rack above the the fresh hay
5 1/3 handfuls of fresh hay, large
Find a surface that won't burn and get a foil tent ready. Set the hay alight and then cover the tray with the foil to contain the smoke. Leave to rest for 20 minutes before removing the cucumber. Leave to cool
To make the pickled cucumber, peel and dice the cucumber
Place in a bag or container with the lemon juice and seal
juice of half a lemon
Make a vanilla syrup by mixing the water, sugar and vanilla pod together and bringing to the boil
200ml of water
100g of caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
Add the diced cucumber from the container and place in a sealed bag or container with the above syrup and leave to pickle until required
To make the cucumber jelly, soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Juice the cucumber in a juicer and mix 250ml of the juice with the soaked gelatine
2 sheets of gold gelatine
To make the mint oil, blanch the mint leaves briefly in boiling water before refreshing in iced water. Strain the leaves and dry on kitchen towel
250g of fresh mint leaves
Whiz the leaves in a blender with the grapeseed oil
250ml of grapeseed oil
Pour the mint oil into vacuum pack bags and cook in a water bath at 65°C for 10 minutes
To make the reduced milk ice cream, use a suitalbe sized pan and bring the milk to a gentle boil to reduce by half
5l whole milk
Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Into the reduced milk, mix the milk powder, sugar, glucose, ice cream stabiliser and gelatine leaves. Churn and freeze in an ice cream maker
5 sheets of gold gelatine
100g of milk powder
250g of caster sugar
50g of glucose
10g of ice cream stabiliser
To serve, arrange the smoked cucumber in the centre of the plate. Top with a scattering of the diced, pickled vanilla cucumber, then spoon over a helping of the cucumber jelly
Balance a scoop of the milk ice cream on top, before spooning small droplets of the mint oil across the plate. Add a garnish of wild sorrel, elderflowers and crushed black sesame seeds
2 2/3 handfuls of fresh wild sorrel
2 2/3 handfuls of elderflower
1 tsp black sesame seeds, crushed
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