Jumeirah’s chief culinary officer Michael Ellis reveals his favourite personal recipes

The former global head of the Michelin Guide is now showcasing his own kitchen skills
Michael Ellis
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Michael Ellis

He was once the global head of the Michelin Restaurant and Hotel Guides, working with the most famous, talented, and acclaimed chefs in the world, but now Michael Ellis is showing off his own skills in the kitchen.

Now Jumeirah Group’s chief culinary officer, Ellis is taking part in the company’s #StayHomeWithJumeirah initiative by revealing some of his favourite recipes to cook in his own household.


Every Thursday he’ll be revealing new recipes and revealing top tips picked up from years of working alongside the world’s finest chefs.

We have a few of his recipes for you to try out below.

Pax Served: 4

• 800 grams of boneless, skinless salmon with the dark park of the flesh that runs under the skin removed, cut into cubes the size of dice
• 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
• 4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs or finely crushed biscuits (salty not sweet)
• 1 teaspoon of finely ground cayenne pepper
• ½ cup of finely chopped cilantro
• 1 large or 2 small eggs, beaten
• 2 large lemons cut into quarters
• 500 grams of fresh spinach leaves
• 2 tablespoons of butter
• 1 tablespoon of sunflower, canola, peanut or other cooking oil

1. In a large mixing bowl, add the salmon, which had been cut into dice sized cubes, with the breadcrumbs, and mayonnaise. Mix until blended, then sprinkle to cayenne pepper evenly over the mixture while continuing to mix, then add the beaten egg. Finally add the finely chopped cilantro and the juice of ¼ of a lemon. The mixture should be slightly gooey without being too liquid; add more breadcrumbs if there is excess liquid in the mixture.
2. Wash and stem the spinach, and cook quickly by steaming or in boiling water, just until the spinach has completely wilted and turned dark green. Take off the heat and keep warm in a covered bowl.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon and butter and one tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan on medium heat until the butter and oil is foaming but not smoking. Using a coffee cup as a mold, fill the coffee cup with the salmon mixture and turn over into the pan so as to create a round cake (you can do this in your hand if preferred). Once the four cakes are in the pan, turn the heat up to medium high until the cakes are sautéing briskly, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure the cakes are not smoking as this means they are burning. Then turn down the heat back to medium for another 3 to 4 minutes. The cakes should start to cook through towards the middle.
4. Carefully turn the cakes over with a spatula (and fork if needed) and make sure each cake holds together in one piece. The just cooked surface should be a deep golden brown. Turn the heat to low and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
5. During this time, drain completely the spinach of all excess water (you can press in paper towels if needed) separate the spinach into 4 equal portions, and in your hand compress each potion to make a round disk as thin and wide a possible. Place each spinach “disk” on a plate, and either heat the plates up one by one in a microwave or place into a heated oven at 180 degrees.
6. Being careful with the heated plates, place a piece of butter the size of a grape in the middle of the spinach, and then place a salmon cake on the spinach.
7. Serve the plates with a lemon quarter to be squeezed on the salmon before eating.
8. This dish can be accompanied by mashed or sautéed potatoes.

Pax Served: 4

• 4 Salmon filets, about 250 grams each, bones removed, with or without the skin
• 6 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
• 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
• Salt and pepper

1. Heat oven to 200 degrees centigrade
2. Lightly salt and pepper the salmon filets
3. Mix well the brown sugar and mustard in a bowl
4. Place the salmon filets on aluminum foil covered baking sheet
5. Spread the mustard/brown sugar mixture evenly over the top of the salmon filets
6. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes depending on how well you want the salmon cooked.
7. Serve with a green salad and steamed vegetables.

Pax Served: 4

• 4 lean trimmed steaks, 200 to 250 grams each, it can be flank, ribeye, entrecote, tenderloin or any other good cut of quality beef.
• 1 tablespoon of cooking oil, preferably sunflower or peanut
• 25 grams of butter, a piece about the size of a medium strawberry
• 2 tablespoons of finely diced shallots
• 20 cl of French style crème fraiche or liquid thick cream
• 1 tablespoon of Dijon style mustard
• 4 tablespoons of coarsely ground freshly black pepper
• 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley

1. The steaks should all be of more of less the same thickness, about 1 to 1 ½ inches (2.5 to 4 cm) thick.
2. Take 2 tablespoons of the pepper and sprinkle on both sides of each steak; then press in so the pepper is embedded into the meat.
3. Heat the cooking oil in a large frying pan over high heat until very hot, but don’t let the oil smoke.
4. Place each steak into the pan and let cook for about 2 minutes; move the steaks with a fork so they don’t stick. After 2 minutes turn the steaks over and turn the heat to medium.
5. Continue to cook for 2 minutes or longer depending upon how well done each guest likes their steak cooked.
6. Remove the steaks to a warmed platter and cover with aluminum foil.
7. Keeping the juice in the pan, turn up the heat to medium and add the butter, sautéing for about 2 to 3 minutes until the shallots wilt and turn translucent.
8. Add the cream, and turn up the heat to medium high, stirring vigorously so the cream reduces and releases the shallots and juices stuck to the pan.
9. After a couple of minutes, when the cream has thickened but remains liquid, lower the heat to low and pour the meat juice that will have accumulated on the plate where the steaks were placed, and then add the remaining pepper and the mustard. Stir quickly blending all the ingredients.
10. Place the steaks back in the pan with the sauce, turn them over so as to coat each steak with the pepper sauce.
11. Serve each steak on a plate and spoon some of the remaining sauce onto each steak, and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

This dish can be accompanied with a green salad, any type of bean or potatoes.

Pax Served: 4

• 4 chicken thighs with bone and skin on
• 4 small yellow roasting potatoes, about 500 grams, cut into 2 cm cubes
• 50 grams of crumbled Feta cheese (about ½ cup)
• 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped dill
• 3 tablespoons of olive oil
• 2 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 garlic clove, finely minced
• ½ teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon coarse salt
• ½ teaspoon ground pepper

1. Make a marinade by mixing well in a large bowl the following ingredients: 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, finely minced, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, ½ teaspoon ground pepper
2. Add 4 chicken thighs into the marinade, mix and cover, marinate for one hour at room temperature or up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.
3. Heat the oven to 220 degrees centigrade. On a foil-covered baking pan, place the potato cubes and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper; mix well and move the potatoes to one side of the baking pan.
4. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade, pat them dry with a paper towel, and place them, evenly spaced apart, on the other side of the baking pan, next to but not touching the potatoes.
5. Roast for 15 minutes, then toss the potatoes, return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken thighs are golden brown. Check the potatoes to see if they are tender, if not remove the chicken and let the potatoes cook for 5 to 10 minutes more.
6. Place the chicken and potatoes on a serving platter, sprinkle the chicken with the remaining lemon juice, scatter the dill and Feta over the potatoes and serve very hot.
7. Serve with steamed green vegetables.

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