This gorgeous creation from the One&Only Reaching for Young Stars competition comes from the Hurst Campus team, who worked together with the Marriott Crystal Towers. Their dish won the Best Witlof Starter, and now you can try it out for yourself.

Gorgonzola Mousse

2 sheets gelatine
75g Lancewood Gorgonzola
80ml whipped cream

  • Over a double boiler, melt cheese and gelatine
  • Once cooled, fold in the whipped cream.

Witlof (Belgian Endive)

2 Witlof hearts
½ cup Rio Largo Olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
2 garlic cloves

  • Vacuum seal the above and place in a water bath at 80°C for 45 minutes
  • Allow to cool
  • Grill until golden brown

Compressed Pear

¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup Noble Late Harvest
2 lime leaves

  • Boil together until dissolved and then allow to cool
  • Place in a vacuum bag with cubes of peeled and de-seeded pear, and compress.

Pear Jelly

5 pears
Smoked Khoisan Sea Salt

  • Bake pears for about an hour
  • Blitz and pass through a fine sieve.
  • Measure out the amount of puree and add 1 sheet of gelatine per 100ml
  • Stir in gelatine and set.

Smoked Pear

2 Pears, halved
½ cup rooibos tea leaves
¼ cup walnuts

  • Smoke the pears for 30 seconds and then grill.


½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
¼ onion, sliced
½ cup flour
2 cups oil

  • Toss onion slices in the flour and fry in oil
  • Toast the caraway seeds and mix with the above ingredients.
  • Toss in a frying pan and cook until golden brown
  • Season to taste.