unnamed-4On January 15, Sonesta and our new CEO and President Carlos Flores hosted a thrilling “Taste of Sonesta” event at the Tasting Table Test Kitchen in New York’s famous Soho neighborhood. The high-energy evening gave us the opportunity to showcase our unique Food Is Art and Liquid Art approach to dining for more then 20 New York media. But it was also a chance for Sonesta General Managers and executives from across the country to mingle, share best practices, and learn more from each other how to create unforgettable experiences for our guests nationwide.

Our own celebrity chef Brian Dandro, Executive Chef from the Royal Sonesta Boston, oversaw the mouthwatering menu. All eyes were on him as he took over the open-concept chef’s kitchen and skillfully prepared one of his signature scallops recipes, ideal for a winter evening. We’re delighted to share the recipe with you.

Pan Seared Sea Scallops

Parsnip Puree, Brussel Leaves, Crispy Bacon, Maple Chili Glaze

Serves 4 people

Parsnip Puree:


2 parsnips (around 8 ounces)
2 cups whole milk
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter (unsalted and room temperature)


  1. Peel parsnips and slice into ½” thick slices, discarding the ends.
  2. Place in a small pot and cover with milk and around 1 teaspoon kosher salt. The milk should just cover the parsnips.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until fork tender.
  4. Drain ½ the liquid from the pan and place in a food processor. Puree mixture until smooth, add milk until you reach the consistency of light mashed potatoes and then add the butter. Taste for seasoning and add as needed. Reserve until ready to serve, can be made a day ahead and reheated.



½ cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon dried chili flakes


Mix all and reserve, can be made in advance.

Brussel Leaves:


12 brussel sprouts
2 slices Applewood bacon


  1. Core the brussell sprouts and separate the leaves.
  2. Cut bacon into small ¼ inch dice sized pieces and place in a sauté pan. On medium heat, render the bacon until crispy and then remove the bacon pieces from the pan and onto a paper towel, leaving the fat in the pan.
  3. Just before you are ready to cook your scallops, turn the pan of bacon fat on high heat and once it begins to smoke, shut off the heat and add the Brussel leaves. Toss the leaves in the hot pan for about a minute until the leaves begin to soften but still maintain their bright color. Remove from pan. 



12 large sized sea scallops (10-20 per pound)
2 oz. olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (unsalted and room temperature)


  1. Clean the foot from each scallop and let soak for a few seconds in cold water to remove any potential sand or shell. Remove from the water and place on a paper towel and pat dry. Place the scallops face up and lightly season with salt.
  2. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom pan until the first sign of smoke and reduce heat to a medium flame. Add the scallops carefully, do not crowd them in the pan as they need some room to cook properly. Cook on each side for about a minute and a half.
  3. Add the cider glaze to the pan with the scallops. Add the butter and toss the scallops in the glaze until the butter is incorporated.

Plating suggestion:

Put a spoonful of puree on the plate with a bed of Brussel leaves beside it. Place 3 scallops on each pile of leaves and drizzle 1 tablespoon of glaze around the scallops. Top with a pinch of crispy bacon bits and enjoy.