Neil Ferguson


Allen and Delancey
115 Allen St.
New York, NY
(212) 253-5400


Chef Neil Ferguson

Allen & Delancey | New York

Behind Ferguson’s unassuming façade lays some serious talent and experience in the kitchen. Ferguson trained and worked around London and France, starting at the 3-star Le Gavroche, and spending a year at Marc Meneau’s L’Esperance in Burgundy and Alain Passard’s L’Arpege in Paris. He joined Gordon Ramsay as a sous chef at his eponymous London restaurant, and went on to spend 4 years as head chef at the Ramsay/Angela Hartnett restaurant at The Connaught before coming stateside to open Gordon Ramsay at The London. Now at Allen & Delancey, Ferguson is bringing mature, refined cuisine to the Lower East Side, an area that was, until recently, not known for dishes like caramelized bone marrow with caviar, veal cannelloni with trotters and sweetbreads, or scallops with candied grapes and verjus.

Sea Scallops, Celery Root Cream, Candied Grapes, and Verjus
Chef Neil Ferguson of Allen & Delancey—New York, NY
Adapted by

Yield: 4 Servings


    Celery Root Cream:
  • 1kilogram diced celery root
  • Milk
  • 100 grams butter
  • Salt

    Celery Root Dice:
  • 1 head celery root
  • Water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 60 grams butter
  • Celery leaves, chopped

    Candied Crapes:
  • 500 grams white grapes
  • 20 grams Maldon sea salt
  • 30 ml grapeseed oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

    Braised Cipollini Onions:
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cipollini onions
  • Salt and pepper
  • 60 grams butter
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 200 milliliters chicken stock

    Verjus Dressing:
  • 12 chicken winglets
  • 4 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250 grams crushed grapes
  • 250 ml verjus
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 50 ml hazlenut oil
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 50 ml honey
  • Pinch of Maldon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon chervil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon shallot confit

    To Assemble and Serve:
  • Olive oil
  • 12 U-12 scallops
  • Salt and pepper
  • 120 grams butter
  • 4 sprig thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic

For the Celery Root Cream:

Cover the celery root with milk, bring to a simmer, and cook until tender. Drain and reserve milk. Transfer root to a Vita-Prep and puree until smooth, adding milk as needed. Add butter and salt to taste, and pass through a chinois.

For the Celery Root Dice:
Dice the celery root to a ¼-inch brunoise. Place celery, water, salt, sugar and butter in pan. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Add celery leaves.  

For the Candied Grapes:
Preheat oven to 200°F. Cut the grapes in half; roll them in salt, oil, and sugar, and place in oven for 3-4 hours until shriveled and candied.

For the Braised Cipollini Onions:
Heat a film of olive oil in a heavy pan. Season onions with salt and pepper and brown in the olive oil until outsides are golden. Add butter and aromatics. Add chicken stock and allow to reduce to a syrup; the end result will be a beautiful glacée onion.

For the Verjus Dressing:
Caramelize the chicken winglets in hot oil until golden and crusty. Add shallots, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and salt. Hand-crush grapes and add to mixture; cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes until the juice becomes syrupy. Add verjus and reduce to 50 ml. Add chicken stock and reduce to 100 ml. Remove from heat and add oils and honey. Reduce heat to 90°F and cover for 1 hour. Pass through a fine chinois, and add chervil and shallot confit.
To Assemble and Serve:
Add olive oil to a hot pan. Season the scallops and place presentation side-down in the pan. Cook over high heat until golden. Turn onto opposite side and cook until colored. Add butter and aromatics and briefly turn the scallops onto their edges to lightly color the sides. To plate, place a couple of spoonfuls of celery root cream on the plate and scatter the glazed celery root dice around and on top. Place the braised cipollini onions on the celery root cream and place the scallops randomly on the plate. Place candied grapes randomly around the scallops. Spoon verjus dressing over top.

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   Published: September 2008