Hubert Keller Owner/ Celebrity Chef of Fleur de Lys, Fleur, & Burger Bar. 2011 Forbes Four Stars, Michelin Star, Les Grand Tables du Monde, Gayot Top Ten Best Restaurant Winner.  Top Chef Masters Finalist. Bravo's Top Chef & Top Chef Just Desserts Judge.
recipes from Hubert Keller
Seafood        Crab & Avocado Sphere with Watermelon Gazpacho
Back to Recipes Listing           Episode: 308          Episode Name: Small Bites, Big Flavors       


Makes 8 Crab Spheres

3 cups watermelon, cubed
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
2 teaspoons fino vinegar
½ cup lump crab meat
1 tablespoon English cucumber, finely diced
1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon red bell pepper, finely diced
1 tablespoon red onion, finely diced
3 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
1 avocado
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice




  1. To prepare the gazpacho, combine the watermelon, salt, pepper, and vinegar in a blender, and blend until smooth.
  2. Remove and chill 1 hour, or until ready to serve.
  3. In a small bowl, gently break apart the crab meat with your fingers so that it is shredded. 
  4. Add the cucumber, parsley, bell pepper, onion, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, salt and pepper to the crab, and mix until combined.
  5. To prepare the avocado spheres, dampen your work surface with a wet rag, and lay down a piece of plastic wrap.  Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of lemon juice over the plastic.
  6. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit.  Gently, with your hands or a small knife, peel the skin off of the avocado. 
  7. Slice very thin slices of avocado, and lay them down on the plastic.  Using about 8 slices per sphere, overlap them so that the area is 2 slices wide by 4 slices long.
  8. Place a small spoonful of the crab salad in the center of the avocado slices.
  9. Lift the four corners of the plastic wrap together, and twist so that the avocado forms a ball in your hand.  Continue to twist the excess plastic wrap very tightly, until you hear a pop, and the plastic wrap literally snaps, leaving just the avocado sphere in your hand.
  10. To serve, spoon the watermelon gazpacho onto the plate and gently place the avocado sphere on top, being sure that you have peeled off all plastic wrap from the sphere.
  11. Garnish the dish with additional crab salad and cubed watermelon.


    • Any sweet vinegar can be used in place of Fino Vinegar.
    • Gazpacho is a chilled soup, so make sure that your watermelon mixture is cold when served.
    • Using the lemon juice and olive oil on the plastic wrap will keep the avocado from sticking, and will also keep it from oxidizing and turning brown.
    • Both the gazpacho and crab salad can be made a few hours ahead of time, but the spheres should be shaped just prior to service.