How to make: duck foie gras with melon salad, mashed potato and brioche

Michelin-trained chef Romain van Durmen, who runs the Chef’s Palette cooking classes at Fairmont the Palm, Dubai, shows us how to make a four-in-one dish in just under 30 minutes

Romain van Durmen. Courtesy Fairmont The Palm
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For the salad

4 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 pieces star anise

Pinch of sugar

Quarter of a melon, cut in cubes

80 grams celery, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 bunch coriander, finely chopped

For the mash

150g mashed potato

100g cream

40g butter

Salt and pepper to taste

For the brioche

3 tbsp olive oil

4 slices brioche

1 clove garlic

20g butter

2 sprigs of thyme

For the foie gras

4 cuts of duck foie gras

2 cloves garlic

3 sprigs of thyme


  • Salad
  • Warm 3 tbsp of olive oil and add onions and garlic.
  • Add 1 tbsp oil on top and cook until light brown.
  • Stir in the star anise and add sugar to help caramelise the onions. Cook for one minute.
  • Add the melon, celery, salt and pepper, and let it rest. Add coriander just before serving.
  • Mashed potato
  • Put the mash over low heat.
  • Add the cream and butter, stirring slowly but continuously.
  • Once you've achieved a thick liquid consistency, add salt and pepper, then bring to a slow bubble.
  • Take the pan off the gas and blend the creamed mash potato, using a hand blender to get rid of lumps.


  • Heat the oil and place the brioche slices in a flat pan.
  • Cook both sides to get a golden-brown colouration.
  • Halfway through, add the crushed garlic, butter and thyme in the pan for added flavour.

Foie gras

  • Sprinkle the meat with salt and black pepper.
  • Place the meat in a well-heated pan, and allow it to cook in its own juices. Sear both sides until the skin is dark brown and crisp.
  • Add the crushed garlic and thyme sprigs to the pan, and cook for a few minutes or until the meat is cooked through the centre.
  • To plate, place the salad in the centre, with the foie gras on top, and then the mashed potato and brioche on the side.
Foie gras with melon salad, mashed potato and brioche.
Foie gras with melon salad, mashed potato and brioche.

The cheat sheet

  • Remove the star anise before serving the salad, so you or your guests don't bite into it by mistake.
  • Always use black pepper instead of white, even in mashed potato, as this has more flavour. If you have peppercorns, roast them for a few minutes before using.
  • Don't overcook the melon, in order to retain its freshness. Just wait for the water that the fruit gives out to get caramelised and remove it from the heat.
  • To get the best flavour from the garlic, crush it with the butt of a knife and use the blade to make a paste.


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