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HALF MOON BAY (KCBS) – Meet Roland Passot the much celebrated Chef behind La Folie and Left Bank Brasseries. La Folie cel after 30 years in 2018. He is also a French master chef and joins Xavier Salomon, Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay and a recent winner of the French Master Chef of the Year Award, 2017 – for a special Saturday brunch and the launch of the first cookbook by the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France: Master Chefs of France: The Cookbook and will help raise funds for those affected by the recent Northern California fires.

The book brunch is this Saturday December 16th from Noon at Navio at The Ritz-Carlton – Half Moon Bay. Tickets $150 for the brunch and book.

The cookbook is the new standard for all modern French cookery and features recipes by seventy-seven members of the North American chapter (MCF-USA/Canada) of the elite organization with photography by world-renowned photographer, Alan “Battman” Batt.

The special French-inspired brunch will present cuisine by nine of the Bay Area’s foremost French Master Chefs. Joining Chefs Passot and hosting chef Salomon will be: Gerald Hirigoyen of Piperade; Claude Le Tohic of Alexander’s Steakhouse; Laurent Manrique of Café de la Presse and Aquitaine Wine Bistro; Fabrice Marcon of Berkeley City Club; Joël Guillon of Left Bank Brasserie; Eric Branger of The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles and Michel Blanchet of Michel Cordon Bleu.

The open format brunch will feature a selection of French dishes specially-chosen by each chef as inspired by their restaurant, region in France, or family heritage and may be included in the cookbook.

The featured menu will include:

  • Seafood Quenelles Lyonnaise, Sauce Nantua by Roland Passot
  • Black Cod, Caramelized Rainbow Cauliflower Bisque by Claude Le Tohic
  • Braised Beef Shortribs, Porcini and Pommes Fondantes by Fabrice Marcon
  • Dover Sole Normande by Joël Guillon
  • Civet of Duck Leg in Napa Valley Cabernet Wine Sauce, Mushrooms and Pyrennees Cheese Polenta by Laurent Manrique
  • Pacific Albacore Tournedos, Ventreche, Red Pepper Compote by Gerald Hirigoyen
  • Slow Poached Farm Egg, Sweetbreads, Potato and Black Truffle by Xavier Salomon

Enjoy my interview with Chef Passot and see you Saturday for this one of a kind brunch by some of the world’s top french chefs.

For tickets, click here to visit

Cheers, Liam!

Chef Roland Passot’s Lobster Pumpkin Bisque
Yield – 6 portions

For The Lobsters


  • 3 lobsters (1 ½ pounds each)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • ½ bunch celery, washed and cut
  • 1 tablespoon each anise seed, fennel seed, coriander seed, bay leaf, ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar

To cook lobster: Place the carrot, onion, celery, all the spices, and the vinegar in a pot large enough to hold the lobsters. Fill the pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Drop the whole lobsters into the pot and cook for five minutes. Remove lobster and immediately place in an ice bath to stop further cooking.

To clean lobster: Lay the lobster on a towel. Snap off the whole claws with the knuckles attached by twisting where the knuckle meets the body. Separate the claw from the knuckle. Grab the lobster firmly by the tail and twist to remove the tail from the body. Reserve the head with the legs attached for making the Americaine sauce.

To clean the claws: Lay the claws flat on a towel and cover. Gently pound with a wide mallet or heel of a knife to crack the shell. Use your fingers to gently push the meat through the large opening at the bottom of the claw.

To clean the tails: Lay the tail meat flat and cut in half lengthwise through the middle of the shell. Remove the vein running though inside the tail. Reserve meat on paper towel, cover and refrigerate.

To clean the knuckles: cut off top joint of each knuckle, use scissors to cut away the shell along the smooth outside edge of the knuckle. Use your finger to open up the shell and remove the meat.

To clean the reserved heads: pull the head back and apart from the legs. Discard the sack behind the head. Reserve the bodies and legs for the bisque. Discard everything other than the heads and legs.

For the Lobster Brown Butter

  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 2 lobster bodies, reserved from cleaning the lobsters

Combine the butter and lobster shells in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Heat over medium high heat until the butter is brown and smells nutty. Strain out the shells and reserve the butter.

For The Lobster-Pumpkin Puree

  • 300 grams pumpkin, peeled, large dice. Reserve the pumpkin skins for the lobster stock.
  • ½ cup water
  • Reserved lobster brown butter (approximately 400 grams), melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the pumpkin with olive oil and salt and roast until tender. Blend the roasted pumpkin with the water until completely smooth, then mount the melted butter while the machine runs. If the puree breaks, add a splash more water. Cool and reserve the puree.

For the Lobster Stock

  • Remaining reserved lobster heads and bodies
  • Reserved pumpkin skins
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup cognac or brandy

Roast the lobster heads and bodies in a heavy bottomed stock pot until caramelized and bright red. Add the pumpkin skins and shallots and continue roasting the lobster until the vegetables are also caramelized. Add the tomato paste and continue roasting for 1 minute, then deglaze the pot with the cognac. Cover the contents of the pot with water and bring to a simmer. Cook for one hour, then strain through a fine mesh sieve. Press on the bodies and vegetables with the back of a wooden spoon to squeeze out all the juice. Cool and reserve the stock.

To Finish The Bisque

  • 300 grams lobster stock
  • 500 grams lobster-pumpkin puree
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Bring the lobster stock to a boil in a 2 quart saucepan. Add the lobster-pumpkin puree and bring to a boil again to incorporate the puree. Blend the bisque in a blender (or in the pan with a hand blender) until smooth and glossy. Season to taste with salt and the lemon juice. Keep warm on the stove.

For the Beurre Fondue

  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon anise seed
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 bunch fresh tarragon
  • 2 pounds unsalted butter, diced into ½” cubes
  • Salt and Pepper

In a medium saucepot, sweat the shallots in the olive oil until translucent. Add all the spices and the white wine. Bring to a boil and reduce the wine by three quarters. Lower the heat so the wine is at a gentle simmer, and begin whisking in the butter cubes a few at a time. When each addition of butter is emulsified, add a few more cubes. Whisk constantly until all the butter is added. Steep the bunch of tarragon in the finished “beurre fondue” for five minutes, season with salt and pepper, then strain the beurre. Keep the beurre in a warm place until ready to finish the dish.

To Finish the Dish

  • Cooked lobster tails, claws, and knuckles
  • Beurre fondue
  • Reserved lobster-pumpkin bisque
  • 1 pound spinach, sautéed in butter
  • Pumpkin seed oil*
  • Small herb leaves, such as tarragon, chervil, dill, or parsley

Reheat the lobster pieces in the buerre fondue over medium heat. Reheat the lobster-pumpkin bisque. Place a small mound of the sautéed spinach in the middle of a warmed soup bowl and arrange the warm lobster pieces around the spinach. Garnish with the pumpkin seed oil and small herbs. Pour at least ½ cup of the warmed lobster bisque over the lobster and spinach (there will be extra—pour more if desired). Serve immediately.

*Pumpkin seed oil is available from most high end grocers

For more information, visit:
The Ritz-Carlton – Half Moon Bay
1 Miramontes Point Road
Half Moon Bay, California 94019
1 (650) 712-7000

  1. Sounds delicious! Congrats on your book Roland Passot!