The Old Fitz's Seafood Gratin

Anna Ugarte is the head chef at Woolloomooloo’s The Old Fitz. She relishes in the little pleasures in life, and values simple yet precise cooking.

This dish is a fine example, and may one day hit the menu at The Fitz- a molten gratin base spiked with chunks of lobster, prawn, and scallop, finished with herbs and trout roe. To be enjoyed with a simple vinaigrette leaf salad and a large glass of cold rose.


1 leek
2 brown onions
100g butter
75g gruyere cheese
1 clove garlic
150g crème fraiche
2 egg yolks
Half raw lobster tail
5 large green prawns
5 scallops
Salmon/trout roe
Chives, cut into batons
Chervil, picked
Marjoram, picked


Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.

Finely slice the leek and onions. Melt the butter, and sweat everything down together with a pinch of salt. Leave the lid on the pot for the first 5 minutes, so that they begin to break down. Remove the lid and cook on low until almost molten and sweet.

Meanwhile, prep your seafood. Take the lobster meat out of the shell, and peel and de-vein prawns.

Chop your seafood into large chunks- this is supposed to be a bit luxurious.

Scallops in half, prawns into 2 or 3, and lobster into nice-sized chunks.

Set aside.

When your onions and leeks are done, remove from heat, and add gruyere, crème fraiche, and minced garlic.

Mix until cheese has melted, you may need to move on and off the heat.

Set aside until it cools down to closer to room temperature, and then mix in your egg yolks.

You need to make sure you do this once the mix is cool, or they will begin to cook prematurely.

Add prepped seafood to your gratin mix.

Transfer to baking dish and spread out into a thin, even layer.

Put in the oven, on a tray ¾ of the way up, closer to the grill element.

Cook for 4 minutes, and then turn the grill element on.

If you do not have a grill element, put oven to 250 degrees.

Cook for a further 3 minutes or so, checking often. You are looking for an even caramelisation on top.

Remove from oven, garnish with a few teaspoons of trout or salmon roe distributed on top, and sprinkle with your herbs.

Serve with a simple leaf salad dressed with vinaigrette.