Artist’s Palate: William Kentridge’s sole Véronique
Whether in charcoal-on-newsprint drawings or monumental sculptures, William Kentridge is a master of narrative, shining light on turbulent histories through hauntingly expressive forms. To mark a pair of retrospective shows in his native South Africa, we invited him to share his favourite dish, which comes with an appropriate dash of drama. Of the sole Véronique, an invention of the great Auguste Escoffier, Kentridge says, ‘In my childhood, when this was being prepared, it was always a sign of a grand dinner party. More recently, I have tried to make it, but it has never matched my memory of how it looked then.’
2 Dover or lemon sole, skinned and filleted
Salt and black pepper
150 ml fish stock
150 ml vermouth or dry white wine
150ml whipping cream
100g seedless green grapes, each sliced in half
Heat the oven to 180c. Season the fillets with a sprinkling of salt and a grinding of black pepper and roll them up as tightly as possible. Lightly butter a shallow ovenproof dish and place the fillets in it. Dot with pieces of butter. Pour the fish stock and vermouth around the fish, cover the dish with a piece of foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until just cooked.
Carefully strain the cooking liquid into a saucepan and cover the fish with the foil. Replace in the oven to keep warm. Bring the cooking liquid to a boil over a high heat and boil until reduced to about 100ml. Pour the cream into the pan and return to a simmer. Stir in the grapes and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Remove the fish from the oven and arrange on serving plates. Pour over the sauce and serve.