David Alexander, executive chef at Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire, has created this wonderful seasonal recipe for Butter Poached Ballantrae Lobster with Fennel and Pink Grapefruit.

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For “Menus for Change” - part of Slow Food’s Food for Change campaign - David Alexander, executive chef at Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire, has created this wonderful dish. Through Menus for Change, Relais & Châteaux hopes to inspire people around the world to be more mindful about our food system, which is responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. Dishes showcase sustainable ingredients that will help combat climate change and protect biodiversity, highlighting the association’s commitment to preserving local heritage and the environment. The Food for Change campaign aims to create awareness of Slow Food’s mission to inspire change for good, clean and fair food for all.


  • 1 1.5 lb lobster
  • 8oz unsalted butter
  • 2oz samphire
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • Dill
  • 2 Pink grapefruit
  • Half glass of white wine


Butter Poached Ballantrae Lobster with Fennel and Pink Grapefruit

1. To prepare the lobster, place the live lobster in freezer for 30 minutes. Remove and split head with a sharp knife along longitudinal midline on its underside.

Place in boiling water for 15 seconds, remove and place in cold water.

Split the head from tail and claws and place the claws back in the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.

Turn off water. Cool and reserve for another time!

2. Remove the tail meat from shell by cutting away the back of the tail with scissors. Cut in half lengthways and remove digestive tract.

3. For the butter poach, place 2 oz of water in pan and bring to a simmer and whisk in 6oz of unsalted butter to make a poach bath for lobster. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice and poach the lobster meat over a low heat for 12 minutes.

4. To make the sauce, segment one pink grapefruit and juice the second grapefruit. In a pan, reduce the wine and grapefruit juice by half and whisk in 2oz of butter and seasoning.

5. For the garnish, wash the samphire in water and season with pepper. Finely slice the fennel wafer thin and place in iced water for 10 minutes to crisp up. Dry and season with lemon, olive oil, pepper and salt.

To Serve:

1. Warm pink grapefruit segments through the sauce and place on a plate. Add the samphire and poached lobster.

Finish sauce with chopped dill and pour over dish with the crisp fennel.


Lobster recipe


David’s Butter Poached Ballantrae Lobster dish will be available as part of their special menu, validated by Slow Food, from 4-7 October.

• You can find out more about “Menu’s for Change” here.

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