Chef Michael White's New Recipe Inspired by Sydney's Opera House

French brasserie, Vaucluse, opened on the Upper East Side in September.

When thinking about the site of the restaurant, the inimitable Sydney Opera House, a few things come to mind. The structure’s undeniable allusion to water – looking over Circular Quay, as well as the obvious architectural references to sails – inspired a natural choice of a fresh crude. I incorporated thick, juicy, orange segments to allude to both the shape of iconic building as well as the boldness of the design. While intricate and stunning, the interiors at Bennelong actually seem quite simplistic to me, with understated natural elements. I tried to reflect this through the plating of the dish, as well as the ingredients. Every part of this dish serves an essential purpose.

New York-based chef Michael White is the co-owner of Altamarea Group, which counts Italian mainstays Osteria Morini, in Soho, and Central Park South’s Marea as part of a 16-restaurant portfolio. His new French brasserie, Vaucluse, opened on the Upper East Side in September. 

Opera House Scallops


1       orange, cut into supremes
1       pound sea scallops, side muscles removed
juice of one lemon
3     tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
fine sea salt
1      tablespoon fennel pollen
1      small bulb of fennel, shaved

How To Make

  1. Use a sharp knife to slice the orange supremes clockwise into 3/4-ince-wide pieces.

    Put the scallops into a medium mixing bowl and add the lemon juice and olive oil.

    Season with sea salt and gently toss to coat the scallops.

    Divide the scallops among 4 chilled small plates.

    Top with shaved fennel, then the oranges.

    Finally, scatter one fennel pollen over each portion and serve immediately.
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