The essential oyster

La Ostra Esencial
Quique Dacosta Restaurante
Chef: Quique Dacosta
Country: España
City: 03700 Dénia
Address: Las Marinas, km. 3
(+34) 965784179

Without quite reaching the artistic magnitude of his Guggenheim oyster, the “Essential oyster” confirms Quique Dacosta’s grandeur when it comes to preparing this sublime shellfish. It also confirms his architectural inspiration, with glimmering tones reminiscent of the first recipe – a personal tendency that sets the savoir-faire of this brilliant chef apart. On this occasion, the exterior embellishment shines with a mother-of-pearl tonality (he uses the nacre from the oyster shell itself in a complex preparation process), giving light and color to the gelatinized seawater that envelops the piece. An oceanic jelly of wakame reinforces the flavor of the oyster, giving it further identity with a julienne of the same seaweed; both are served as beds on which the oyster is presented. A smoked tea of wakame adds a sophisticated touch to the sapid essence of the dish, profoundly marine and sublimely delicate.

The Recipe

For the Oyster:

  • 130 g of oyster water
  • 70 g mineral water
  • 2 gelatin sheets, 2 g each
  • 1g vegetable gelatin

For the codium tomentosum jelly (Seaweed):

  • 200 g codium tomentosum (velvet horn)
  • 50 g mineral water
  • 2 g aloe vera

For the wakame:

Fresh wakame.

For the smoked wakame tea:

  • 60 g China Terry tea (smoked black tea)
  • 30 g powdered wakame seaweed


The Oyster (Esencia 2007)
Nourish oneself on a single flavor, a single aroma, and a Taste, to interpret a dish.

“Essence” is a new kind of work and investigation.
The essence of certain products or preparations, with a very defined gustatory gene that establishes a link with other products, provides an added strength of its flavors in a single taste.

For the Oyster:

1st step:

Open the Gillardeau Oysters number 0
Open them with supreme caution to avoid breaking, piercing or deforming the Oysters.
Arrange them on a perforated tray to allow the water to drain.
Repeat this process for all the Oysters.
Set aside 130 g of Oyster water.

2nd step:

Melt the previously soaked gelatin sheets in the mineral water and vegetable gelatin.
Once cold, mix with the oyster water.
Leave to sit and gel, then break with a utensil to wrap the oyster sous-vide in this water.

3rd step:

Place the Gillardeau oyster in a retractable bag with 12 g of Oyster water jelly (2nd step).
Seal the small bag, place in boiling water for a moment, then cool in an ice water bath.
Follow by placing the bag in the Roner at 55ºC/131ºF for 2 minutes and then remove and cool in the ice water bath again.

Set aside until assembly.

For the codium tomentosum jelly (Seaweed):

Blend the codium in a Thermomix with the water and aloe vera.
Pass through a sieve and move to a pastry bag. Set aside until needed.
This seaweed has an identical flavor to the oyster, allowing it to strengthen the flavor like no other.
Obviously all seaweed has more than just this flavor, but this one and the wakame present an especially wonderful oyster flavor.

For the wakame:

Fresh wakame.

Cut into a julienne, crosswise, of the same size as the wakame.
Place in cold water for a few minutes before serving to rinse and help maintain the volume.
Arrange at the base of a dish with the codium jelly.


For the smoked wakame tea:

Dry the wakame leaves in the oven at 35ºC/95ºF. Blend and pass through a sieve.
Mix with the smoked China Terry tea, which we used in 2003 for the prawn with vegetable charcoal.
At serving time, sprinkle a very small amount of this smoked seaweed tea over the oyster jellied in its water.


At the bottom of a cold dish, place the codium jelly and wakame julienne. Place the oyster on top, freshly out of the retractable bag.
Sprinkle with the smoked seaweed tea.