Want to recreate the Beverly Hills hotel’s famous McCarthy salad? To make up for the fact most people are having to cook at home during the pandemic, five-star hotel restaurants are sharing recipes for their most popular dishes. Samuel Ballard reports
With lockdowns forcing us to book virtual travel experiences and reminisce about past adventures by creating printed books of our photos, it makes sense to try and relive some of our favourite culinary moments from trips abroad. To lend a helping hand, many top hotel restaurants are sharing recipes of their signature dishes…
When Globetrender visited the Beverly Hills hotel in LA a couple of years ago, we were told that the Polo Lounge’s famous McCarthy salad generates US$1 million a year for the property and constitutes 40 per cent of all food orders, including room service.
Named after a polo playing millionaire named Neil McCarthy who, in the 1940s ordered the very specific salad to be made bespoke, the deconstructed dish is made up of finely chopped iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, chicken, beetroot, egg, cheddar, bacon, tomato and avocado.
How much does it cost? US$40. But the good news is, now there is a recipe for replicating it at home (see below).
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The Beverly Hills hotel, which is part of Dorchester Collection, offers the salad at all of its hotels as part of its “Taste of Dorchester Collection”. Other choices include garden vegetable soup from the Bel Air (also in LA), and bread and butter pudding from the Dorchester London.
Many of these are now available online, too, including buttermilk chicken by executive chef Adam Smith at Coworth Park, and cauliflower and lentil curry by Tom Booton, head chef at the Grill at the Dorchester.
Speaking to Globetrender, Christopher Cowdray, CEO of Dorchester Collection, explains why the signature dishes are so important. “Signature dishes often define a restaurant and are what guests come back for time after time. They allow people to connect with their roots and the history of the regions where they live or travel.”
He adds: “Restaurants often change their menus to keep pace with culinary trends, but signature dishes have the power to serve as anchors for loyal diners and evolve to reflect new trends, healthier eating habits, and the personalities and techniques of head chefs. Sometimes it’s the guests themselves that create the notoriety of the dishes, as in the case of the McCarthy salad.
“Similarly, at the Dorchester, in fewer than six months, we had customers coming to the Grill to try Tom Booton’s lobster thermidor tart and ‘Double Decker’ dessert due to word of mouth. Signature dishes engender tremendous loyalty and guests like to share these on Instagram, which adds further to their popularity.”
McCarthy salad recipe
- ¼ head iceberg lettuce
- ½ head romaine lettuce
- ½ cup diced, grilled free-range chicken
- ½ cup diced, roasted red beets
- ¼ cup free-range egg yolk
- ¼ cup free-range egg white
- ½ cup finely diced aged cheddar cheese
- ½ cup applewood-smoked bacon
- ¼ cup diced tomato
- ¼ cup diced avocado
For the dressing:
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 shallot
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 cloves roasted garlic
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and black pepper to season
- Canola oil
Method: Artfully arrange the salad ingredients in a bowl. Place the dressing ingredients in a blender and drizzle in the canola oil to emulsify. Add the dressing and enjoy!
Which other hotel restaurants are sharing their signature recipes?
The Baglioni in London has shared the secrets to its risotto alla Milanese and taglioni all’ amatriciana, while the Mandarin Oriental Marrakech has published how to make its famous chicken tagine (see below).
In the US, the Brown hotel in Louisville’s Hot Brown Sandwich is a decadent open-faced turkey sandwich with bacon and Mornay sauce, while the Sofitel Rome has revealed its version of the classic Italian dish of cacio e pepe pasta (see below).
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Chicken tagine by the Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech
Ingredients: (for four people)
- 1 x chicken cut into 8 pieces
- 500g chopped onion
- 30g garlic
- 1 x preserved lemon
- ½ bunch of parsley
- ½ bunch of coriander
- 250g green olives
- 2g of saffron
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 10g white pepper
- pinch of salt
- 10ml olive oil
In a bowl, mix all of the spices, garlic, parsley and half the preserved lemon. Add the chicken and marinade overnight.
Soften the onions in a pan for four to five minutes and then add to a traditional Moroccan tagine dish, add the chicken and cover. Cook for one hour on a low heat.
Five minutes before it is ready, add the olives and saffron with a little water and the chopped coriander. Serve hot.
Cacio e pepe by the Sofitel Rome
- 12 oz. of tonnarelli or spaghetti
- 1 tbs. of olive oil
- 5.5 oz. Pecorino cheese
- 3.5 tbsp. Parmesan
- 3.5 tbsp. Pecorino
- Salt to taste
- Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Bring 12 cups of water to a boil in a pot. Season with salt.
- Add tonnarelli to the pot and stir occasionally.
- Meanwhile, combine grated Pecorino cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and half a cup of the boiling water in a heavy skillet over medium heat, creating a cream. Grind black pepper to taste.
- Once the pasta is fully cooked, drain it in a strainer and add it to the skillet. Mix the pasta with the cream sauce. Add more olive oil or black pepper to achieve a lighter consistency.
- Finally, finish the dish with Pecorino.
Finally, the Carlton Hotel San Moritz has revealed its recipe for veal cheek, burrata and shrimp ravioli. However, given that the first three steps alone include leaving the cheeks overnight before braising them for at least eight hours on a low heat – if anything, it serves to highlight just why we enjoy fine-dining so much. (Let’s face it, no one is going to cook this at home.)
Tuna curry Don Riha from the Kagi Maldives Spa Island
Ingredients: (serves four)
- 600g tuna loin cut into 3cm Chunks
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1½ tablespoon olive oil
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 medium onion, chopped finely
- 1 or 2 fresh chili, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced finely
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 2 tomatoes, sliced in cubes
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1/4 cup fresh tamarind liquid (80g)
- 50 g fresh coriander chopped
- 60g fresh coconut ground
- 2 tablespoons Basmati rice
- 1 small stick cinnamon
- 3 cardamom seeds
- 4 dried chilies
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoon black pepper corn
- 200 ml Water
Marinade the tuna with 1 teaspoon turmeric and a little bit of salt for half an hour.
For the curry blend, roast the rice in a pan until lightly golden, add the cinnamon, cardamom, dry chilies, pepper, fennel, cumin and coriander seeds and roast until you start to smell the delicious aromas, then add the ground coconut and turmeric and roast it, while stirring continuously until everything is nice and golden. Add the water and place the mixture into a blender to create a curry paste.
Heat a frying pan with cooking oil at a medium heat and fry the curry leaves, onion, garlic, chili and ginger until golden.
Add the tuna with the curry paste and braise it until the meat pores are closed, then add the tomatoes and cover the pan. Cook on a low heat for about 8 minutes.
Once the tuna is tender, add the coconut milk, add the tamarind liquid, season with salt to your liking and bring it to boil again.
Sprinkle the Curry with fresh coriander. Serve the curry hot with boiled rice.