Chefs’ Valentine’s Day exotic meals recipes


Valentine's Day is often an opportunity for couples to reaffirm their love and commitment.

To celebrate this seasonal indulgence, top chefs share their favourite recipes to ensure that you make a memorable meal for your loved one.

1. Crispy roast duck with whiskey marmalade sauce

Recipe by Wayne Walkinshaw, Executive Chef, Radisson Blu Upper Hill


· 1 whole duck (gutted, cleaned ready for use)

· 1,000 ml fresh chicken stock

· 2 x 450g all gold Seville


· 60ml whisky

· Salt & pepper

· 1 orange cut in half

· 10 sprigs fresh thyme

· Tinfoil

· Baking tray


· Set oven to 180 degrees

·Make sure the duck is dry, and season the duck with salt (make sure you season all parts of the duck, also sprinkle salt into the duck cavity)

·Take the thyme and 2 orange halves and stuff it into the duck cavity

·Move duck to roasting pan

·Cover with tinfoil (shiny side facing inwards) and crimp the foil tight around the baking tray edges to ensure that it is properly sealed

·Place in oven (covered with foil) for 80-120 minutes

·Check the duck after 80 minutes of being in the oven… if you can pull the legs away from the body with ease then the duck is cooked. If not… cover with foil and continue roasting.

·Check again after 120 minutes… if the legs pull away from the body with ease. the duck is cooked. The duck will have some nice brown roasted areas and some not-so-nicely brown roasted areas. don’t worry. will address this later.

·Remove foil, leave duck in the pan to cool


Chef Wayne Walkinshaw, executive chef at Radisson Blu Upperhill. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG


·While the duck is roasting away in the oven make the sauce

· Pour chicken stock together with marmalade in a saucepan

· Put on stove top, bring to boil, then reduce heat to a rolling boil, you want to reduce the liquid until a sauce consistency.

· Once you are happy with the reduced liquid consistency… and YOU are happy to call it a sauce... pour in the good stuff(whisky) while the pan is still on the heat. it will sort of foam/bubble up

· When the whisky hits the sauce, give it a bit of a stir and let it simmer for a while longer, remove from heat, set aside to cool

· Sauce will thicken more when cooled

Back to the duck

· When the duck has cooled enough to handle, remove it from the roasting pan onto the cutting board

· If the duck is cooked as it is supposed to be then you should be able to remove the duck leg 1/4 (thigh and drumstick) pulling it the body.

to remove the duck leg 1/4 (thigh and drumstick) pulling it through the body.

· Break the skin between the body and thigh with a knife, move your hand down the thigh of the duck to where it joins the back, and push up with your four fingers, while pulling the leg part down with your thumb this should give you a nice whole intact duck leg.

· You should be left with two breasts still on the carcass remove the breast (boneless) discard the bones or use them to make stock, soup, terrines, etc.

· Place your duck portions skin side up on a baking tray, spring with some Maldon salt(or table salt) make sure you hit all the parts of the skin with the salt

· Re-heat marmalade sauce

· Switch oven to grill (from top only)

· Place duck under the grill (leave the oven door open) and grill till duck skin is nice and brown

To serve

Roasted garlic mash, charred baby marrow, marmalade sauce and marrow bone

Ps the better the marmalade the better the sauce will be.

2. Pan-roasted tilapia darne cooked on the bone with fennel croquettes and pernod velouté.

Recipe by Chef Wilcofread Kivungi, Executive Chef, Argyle Grand Hotel.


· 4 Tilapia, on the bone.

· Flour

· Olive oil

· 25g of butter, chilled

Fennel croquettes

· 2 large Kestral potatoes

· 1 shallot, peeled and chopped

· 1/2 bulb of fennel, trimmed and finely diced

· oil

· 1 knob of butter

· 1 pinch of fennel seeds

· plain flour for dusting

· 1 egg, beaten

· 100g of Panko breadcrumbs

Gourmet-style fish treat with a Japanese sauce. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Pernod velouté

· 1 banana shallot, finely sliced

· 1/2 bulb of fennel, finely sliced

· 1 knob of butter

· oil

· 150ml of dry white wine

· 1 dash of Pernod

· 400ml of fish stock

· 200ml double cream


Pernod velouté,

· Sweat the shallot and fennel in a pan with a little oil and butter until soft.

· Add the white wine as well as a splash of Pernod. Bring to the boil and reduce

· Add the fish stock and reduce by half before finally adding the cream.

· Bring back to the boil and reduce until thickened slightly.

· Strain and adjust the seasoning if necessary

Fennel croquettes

· Bake the potatoes in the oven until soft and fluffy in the centre.

· Scoop out the flesh into a bowl

· Sweat the shallot and diced fennel in a little oil and butter until soft with a good pinch of fennel seeds.

· Add this to the potato and season well

· Roll out the mix into 20g balls and lightly roll in plain flour, then in beaten egg and finally in Panko breadcrumbs

· Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6. Dust the tilapia in seasoned flour shaking off any excess,

· Fry in a little olive oil on the dark skin until starting to crisp,

· Turnover and transfer to the oven to roast for 5-7 minutes or until slightly springy to touch

· Add a small amount of butter to the pan and then baste the fish well

· Wash the spinach well. Wilt in a hot pan, then add the butter and season.

· Keep warm. Lightly blanch the fennel and leeks then drain.

To serve

· Place a mound of spinach onto the serving plates

· Fry the croquettes in a little oil and arrange on the plate with the Tilapia

· Reheat the sauce and spoon around the plate.

· Scatter the blanched vegetables and cobnuts across the plate.

3. Grilled beef medallion with french onion red wine sauce.

Recipe by chef Keya Wensburg, executive chef, Keekorok Lodge Maasai Mara


· Sirloin steak

· Olive oil

· Minced garlic

· Crushed Black pepper

· Fresh thyme

· English mustard

· Red wine

· Beef stock

Nyama choma plate of beef medallion, baby chicken, sausage and lamb. FILE PHOTO | NMG


· Pat the medallions dry.

· Marinate with olive oil, Crushed garlic, and English mustard.

· Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.

· Sear the Marinated medallions browning for two minutes on each side to develop the dark mahogany crust.

· Add the French onions, saute then add the red wine. Let it reduce by half.

· Add the beef stock and thyme.

· Cover and allow to sit for five minutes with the heat turned off.

To serve

· Serve with a choice of accompaniments but most preferably Garlic mashed potatoes and tossed asparagus.

PAYE Tax Calculator

Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.