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Chefs Recipe: Rivea Salad by Alexandre Nicolas, Rivea London at Bulgari Hotel

Inspired by the many years Alain Ducasse spent visiting the vibrant food markets in Italy and Provence, Rivea London offers French and Italian cuisine in a chic, convivial and relaxed setting with informal yet impeccable service.

Alain Ducasse is championing his protégé Chef Alexandre Nicolas who is at the helm of the restaurant.

Executive Chef Alexandre Nicolas’ menu incorporates the classic flavours and vivid colours of the Riviera, with a focus on simple creations and the best ingredients, particularly vegetables. Alongside a myriad of local produce, specialist products including cured meats and olive oil from Italy are part of the experience.

We are delighted to share with you his recipe for Rivea’s signature starter dish, Rivea Salad.

Ingredients for the Socca

  • 150g chick-pea flour
  • 450ml water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 5g salt

Ingredients for the garnish

  • 1 romaine lettuce
  • 1 red pepper
  • 30g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 fennel
  • 1 cucumber
  • 10g stoned black olives
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley
  • 1/2 bunch of basil
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 5g anchovies in oil
  • 20 g canned tuna in oil
  • 5g salt
  • 2g white pepper

Preparation for the Socca Batter

Add the chick-pea flour to a bowl and whisk in the water, salt and olive oil. Let the mixture rest at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preparation for the Garnish

Wash the vegetables and salad. Chop the lettuce into 1 cm strips starting from the top of the leaves and working your way down. Cut the red pepper, cucumber and fennel, into sticks of 1cm x 3cm. Cut the tomatoes into quarters. Pick the leaves from the basil and the parsley, roughly chop them.

Place the eggs in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Cool down the eggs under cold running water. Peel them. Cut the eggs into 1/2 cm slices.

Drain the olives, tuna, anchovies on to a paper towel removing the excess olive oil. Cut the olives in half. Roughly chop the tuna and the anchovies. Carefully mix all the ingredients in a bowl.


In a hot non-stick, 22cm diameter pan, pour a dash of olive oil. Pour in a ladleful of the chick-pea batter: It should be the same thickness as a French crepe. Cook until you see the top of the socca beginning to bubble and the bottom turning golden brown. Place the pan in the oven at 220° for 3 minutes to cook through. Remove the pan from the oven and turn over the socca. Return to the hob and sear it for 30 seconds.

Repeat for 8 socca. Do not place them on top of each other.

Dress The Plate

Season the garnish with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to your preference. Place the garnish on the warm socca, wrap it.  Season again finally with pepper.

Serve 2 warm garnished socca per person.

The Chef: Alexandre Nicolas

Having spent more than ten years under the tutelage of Alain Ducasse in London and Paris, French chef Alexandre Nicolas is the natural choice to head-up the Rivea kitchen. Drawing on his experience of working with the freshest garden, market and artisan produce, the chef is translating his personal passion for this honest, simple cuisine using the best of British and Mediterranean produce, with an emphasis on vegetables.

Alongside traditional recipes, he places his own personal interpretations on this vibrant, colourful cuisine with one of his culinary trademarks being the creation of pesto and condiments to accompany his dishes.

The Restaurant: Rivea London, Bulgari Hotel London, 171 Knightsbridge, London, SW7 1DW | www.rivealondon.com | 0207 151 1025

Rivea Bulgari London

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