The Triton

Editor's Pick

Top Shelf: Sunchoke Vichyssoise with Smoked Salmon and Golden Quail Egg


Top Shelf: by Chef Timothy MacDonald

All that glitters is not gold. But when in desperate need to elevate a dish to new heights, gold, silver and bronze leaf is the way to go.

With Indian sweets, it’s common to garnish with silver leaf – to impress guests, I assume. In essence, it’s a sign of respect for guests, and its use in the megayacht industry is well-suited.

I have two standbys for which I use gold and silver leaf. The first, the Mittel Thunderball, is a white chocolate sphere filled with a potent green chili and coriander paste, wrapped in silver leaf and served with frozen yogurt and cilantro cress. The guests are presented with a silver Thunderball. An explosion occurs, then there is the post-diffusion cooling element of the frozen yogurt.

The second dish is the Golden Quail Egg. The already harmonious smoked fish and egg are teamed with the earthy and often-neglected sunchoke. The nutty earthiness of the cold sun choke vichyssoise is in perfect company with the smoked-fish shavings and quail egg. The presentation of the bird’s nest with the golden egg and pea shoots is perfect charter fodder to begin an evening on a balmy night at anchor.


500 milliliters of chilled sunchoke soup. The soup is a vichyssoise preparation of mirepoix, sunchokes, potato and water. Allow to chill for service.
6 slices of smoked salmon, Scottish if available,
6 quails eggs, cooked soft, peeled and wrapped in gold leaf. (Good luck with that one – it’s easier to read than do.)
6 (approximately 50 grams each) scrunched muffs of pea-shoot tentacles. If you are in Antigua, try Joanne Lighthizer`s farm for these.
60 milliliters yuzu oil


Flood the sexiest main/soup bowl you have with the sunchoke soup.

Add the pea-shoot scrunch, then wrap around the smoked salmon to form a bird’s nest.

Add a golden quail egg, and drizzle with yuzu oil.

Tim MacDonald ( has more than 20 years experience as a chef. He was named Concours de Chefs winner for Yachts over 160 feet at the 2011 Antigua Charter Yacht Show. His recipes are designed for  owner and guests. Comments are welcome below.

Related Posts

  • Top Shelf: Anna Pavlova
  • Top Shelf: Thai immersion yields tasty results
  • Top Shelf: Sweets’ Violet Gelato Gingersnap Short Stack
  • Share This Post

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Please answer the question below to leave a comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Editor’s Picks

    Which of your tasks on a yacht would you prefer not to do?

    Which of your tasks on a yacht would you prefer not to do?

    It comes as no surprise that the least liked tasks on yachts have to do with the sewage system. Jerold MacKinnon: Replacing black water …

    Taking the Helm: First step for a good leader is staying quiet to listen

    Taking the Helm: First step for a good leader is staying quiet to listen

    Taking the Helm: by Capt. Paul Ferdais Something more and more common today is an inability or unwillingness to genuinely listen to …

    Pinmar starts trial of sprayable filler

    Pinmar starts trial of sprayable filler

    Yacht finishing company Pinmar, paint manufacturer AkzoNobel and surveyors Wrede Consulting have partnered on a research project to …

    Captain builds tender for users’ comfort

    Captain builds tender for users’ comfort

    Story and photos by Tom Serio He’s a big guy, with a big voice, and with big miles under his keel. Now he has big goals. Capt. …