Festive Canapés With Chef Alessandro & Chef David 

By will adams -

There’s no time that tests your culinary skills quite like the Christmas season. With a myriad of get-togethers, gatherings, and parties throughout December, you’ll want to impress your guests with only the tastiest of treats. Here at PV&E, we’re passionate about food and truly believe in creating a sensational experience in every mouthful. Earlier this month, we went behind the scenes at the Royal Academy of Arts and asked our culinary duo Chef Alessandro & Chef David about what’s trending this festive season.  

Whether you’re hosting a Christmas party or simply looking for something delicious to elevate your dinner table, canapés are crowd-pleasing bites that everyone will love. Responsible for delivering some of the most incredible and spectacular events for PV&E, our Executive Chefs Alessandro and David show us how to build show-stopping festive canapés to wow your guests this Christmas. See the full recipe below.  



Serves 60 


  • Malden rock salt – 1 cup  

  • Sugar - ½ cup 

  • Crushed black peppercorns - 3 tbsp 

  • Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp 

  • Mustard seeds - 3 tbsp 

  • Curry powder - 3 tbsp 

  • Black treacle - ½ cup 

  • Caraway seeds - 1 tbsp  

  • Cayenne pepper - ½ tsp  

  • Sweet smoked paprika - 1 tsp  

  • Bay leaves - 3  



Fry the coriander seeds, ground coriander, caraway seeds and peppercorns in a small dry frying pan set over a medium heat for 2-3 mins. Tip into a spice grinder or small food processor along with the bay leaves, and blitz until finely ground. Stir the spice mixture into the salt and sugar mix. Pat the spiced salt mixture all over and around the salmon, so it’s well packed onto the flesh. Wrap tightly in cling film, then set a plate or board and something heavy on top to weigh the fish down. Chill for 48 hrs. 

Heat the paprika, cayenne and black treacle in a pan until loosened, then remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly until just warm. Brush the excess salt off the salmon and rinse the fish under cold running water. Pat dry with kitchen paper, then transfer to a clean dish. Brush with the warm treacle mixture until well coated (you may need to generously brush the fish several times before the coating covers the fish well), Then spread a thin layer of course grain mustard over the top nice and thin let it dry then wrap in a fresh sheet of cling film. Chill for another 24 hrs. 

When you’re ready to serve, set the salmon on a board and thinly slice with a sharp knife, avoiding the layer of skin at the bottom. Serve on a croute with crème fraiche caviar and dill  


Serves 60 


For the salmon: 

1 side salmon, pin-boned with belly removed 

400g table salt 

200g caster sugar 

50ml gin 



Place the salt and sugar into a bowl and mix. Line a large baking tray with several layers of cling film. Pour half of the sugar and salt mixture into the tray, making sure it is spread evenly over the tray. Place the salmon on top then cover it with the remaining mixture and sprinkle over the gin. Wrap tightly in cling film and leave in the fridge for 24 hours. Remove the cling film and rinse under cold running water to wash away the sugar and salt; pat the salmon dry with a tea-towel. 




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