Kombu-Brined Scallops with Kohlrabi, Herbs and Bella’s Sauce

I met my most recent sous chef, Isabella "Bella" Lin, a year ago at a party I was catering. She had an undeniable spunkiness that drew me to her. We easily became fast friends, sharing a good laugh over the fact that we had both made our acquaintance in French despite English being our more comfortable common language. We closed down the bar with her managing to talk me into belting out a few show tunes with the house band to end the night, a testament to her naturally contagious zest for life.

Little did I know that this budding friendship would also be the beginning of a very successful working relationship. Two weeks later, Bella joined me full-time in the kitchen at Pasdeloup. Her bright spark of energy and her broad culinary experience helped round out and complete our little kitchen family. Having been born in Taiwan, she was also able to help me express more clearly a lot of the flavours I had been interested in exploring and together we created some really exciting food. This recipe, featuring a Taiwanese-style cocktail sauce that is truly excellent served alongside any kind of seafood, is one of many examples of our work together over this past year.

This week sadly marks the end of Bella's time with us as she will be heading home to Taiwan for some well-deserved time off. I am now tasked with the (do I dare say impossible?) job of finding her replacement. So this recipe is dedicated to you, my dear Bella, and to all your hard work keeping our kitchen organized and keeping us all on track. Through thick and thin, you have always had my back. I could not have done it without you.

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