Salmon Tartare with Date Foam


In my last post here, I harked back to an ambitious lunch at Montreal’s trendy boutique-school La Guilde Culinaire de Montréal, hosted by Natural Delights Medjool Dates. Rising to the occasion, local celebrity chef Jonathan Garnier concocted a 7-course menu around dates. And he was kind enough to share some of his recipes with me. You will find some of his starters here and here, respectively his Goat Cheese Samossa with Date and Maple Syrup Ketchup, and his Carrot Velouté with Dates.

As promised, here’s a recipe from that spectacular lunch. While I don’t have the recipe for the foie gras and date crumble, sniff, I’ve included the (amazing!) plating photos since they provide nice ideas for plate décor. Bon appétit.





Lamb Chops with Date Butter

Serves 4

Date butter

250 g (9 oz) unsalted butter

125 g (4 1/2 oz) Natural Delights medjool dates, pitted

½ bunch tarragon

Salt and pepper, to taste


16 lamb chops

60 mL (1/4 cup) Mycryo cocoa butter or canola oil

Salt and pepper, to taste


For the date butter, in the food processor or using a hand-held blender, purée all the ingredients until smooth and well-blended. Season to taste then chill.

For the lamb chops, in a bowl, sprinkle lamb chops with Mycryo butter, salt and pepper (or heat oil in a skillet). Over high heat, cook chops around 3 minutes per side depending on desired doneness.

When chops are brown and crusty, add a few spoonfuls of date butter to skillet and coat meat in it. Serve with your choice of sides.


Cooking and plating




First the fried polenta is placed on the plates, while lamb chops are getting a quick turn in the pan.



Then a fresh salad is strewn across the plate to counterpoint the fat lamb chops.


The final plates ready to roll! For the fried polenta, you will find plenty of recipes on the web, so browse away.


Extra date butter served on the side. I couldn’t help but imagine smothering it all over my morning baguette…


Foie gras plate dressing



First up, a smear of sauce and lime jelly cut into pretty shapes using cookie cutters (or so one imagines).


Crumble is added for crunch and texture.

mfoie gras

Foie gras au torchon, one of my favourite dishes even after visiting a tube-fed duck farm. (I’m a heathen. Or a gourmand, your pick.)


Date tile and tattoos—the latter a prerequisite to be a chef in Montreal, or so it seems…


The final dish, almost too pretty to eat. Almost.


  • 1. For the tartare, in a bowl, mix all ingredients. Season to taste and serve on croutons.
  • 2. For the date foam, in a pot, melt dates in water without exceeding a temperature of 70°C (150° F). With a hand-held blender, reduce until smooth and homogeneous, then strain and chill.
  • 3. Add soy lecithin to the date mixture.
  • 4. With the hand-held blender again, emulsify until you get a silky foam with plenty of air trapped in. Spoon over salmon and serve immediately.