GRAND VINTAGE 2006 × LE&（ル・アンド）Vol.2
A new taste and experience pioneered by Moët & Chandon
Jan 01, 1999
This year Moët & Chandon, one of the renowned Grandes Marques, established in 1743, who lead the champagne industry, offered a new gastronomic experience, “LE&” a collaboration between Benoît Gouez, Chef de Cave (cellar master) at Moët & Chandon, and Yannick Alléno, a chef representing the world of French cuisine. The event also became a stage to unveil their Grand Vintage 2006.
“LE&” consists of 4 kinds of taste experience: ”7 Salt Bar,” ”Cookooning Cellar,” ”Blind Shot Room” and ”Delice Club.”
”7 Salt Bar” was to start the feast with the house’s iconic champagne “Moët Imperial” as an aperitif. “Champagne has acidic, sweet, bitter and umami tastes, but not salty. So I invented appetizers focusing on salt to propose a paring that can highlight the flavor elements of each,” says Yannick.
Seven dishes, among them oyster with cucumber extract, and dim sum with mushroom pork extract were served. Yannick successfully cultivated the natural saltiness without using salt, but by merely skillfully combining the natural salt inherent in the ingredients themselves.
Guests then moved to the “Cookooning Cellar,” a room with an open kitchen at the center, after passing through a hallway displaying salt from all over the world. At this new stage, a live cooking performance was given by a team of Moët & Chandon’s house chefs and Yannick Alléno.
As some guests who also happened to be chefs were seated, Yannick called out, “Hey, come help us. We’re short on staff!” So they gamely put on their aprons and lent Yannick a hand in the kitchen, instantly forming a team of top chefs from Japan and France.
After serving the dishes, which included Terrine brioche of a northern pike paired with “Grand Vintage Collection 1985” and roasted lamb chop paired with the just-released “Grand Vintage 2006,” the feast moved to the next level.
Before dessert, guests were led to a small salon, the ”Blind Shot Room.” Parsnip extract in three densities shined white in a space with muted lighting. The guest palates were finely honed after the dish was paired with ”Grand Vintage Collection 1999” as they experienced how the flavor of the combinations changed along with the density of the parsnip extract.
And ”Delice Club” was the time for dessert when golden magnum bottles of ”Moët Imperial” closed the 4 stages with various desserts. Thus the curtain fell on this journey of the palate presented by Benoît and Yannick, leaving behind a kaleidoscope of impressions.
text by Yukino Kano
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