“LE＆ OREXIS COLLABORATION DINNER”
| 日本語（Japanese） |
The Japanese delegation that experienced “LE&” at the house of Moët & Chandon in Épernay, located in the Champagne region of France, included not only chefs but also restaurant and café professional support staff, including sommelier, managers and garçon. Yuji Shundo, owner and sommelier of restaurant Orexis in Shirokane-takanawa, Tokyo, is one such professional. With long experience honed from offering hospitality at hotels and gastronomic establishments, he opened his own restaurant in 2007. Aiming to set the stage for a generation of young chefs, he now makes up one half of an exceptional team with the third grand chef Hayato Kobayashi.
But it was not so easy for Shundo to convey the “LE&” gustatory experience to Kobayashi, as the grand chef was unable to attend the event. After devising, testing and tasting numerous menus again and again, they finally decided on the menu the day before their special dinner.
“I experienced first-hand a toe-in-the-water experiment, the “cuisine cooked with salt uncontained in champagne, yet derived from ingredients, without adding solid salt,” at the Épernay event. Japan, a country surrounded by ocean, is a rich source of ingredients containing salt, so my intention was to try an approach focusing on these ingredients.” said Shundo. This challenge was richly and successfully reflected in the “Clam soup,” the first amuse paired with “Moët Imperial.”
The “Grand Vintage 2006” was then paired with two main dishes. Sweet Bretagne-grown Homard lobster came with a champagne sauce, and lamb cooked tender and juicy grilled over gentle heat was served on top a consommé with small onions, carrots and zucchini.
To close the dinner elegantly with the help of “Grand Vintage Collection 1999”, a dish of burdock root subtitled, “1999: Back to the source” was paired. While wine is typically served from old vintages to new throughout a dinner course, “LE&” surprised guests by serving “Grand Vintage Collection 1985,” the oldest vintage, just after “Moët Imperial,” the youngest vintage, as the second champagne. However, Shundo said, “The deep flavor of the aged champagne paired perfectly with the northern pike dish!” Inspired by this experience, he tried to express a profound flavor of winter evoking leaf soil by adding a lot of black truffle to the rich soup of burdock root to accentuate the ripe feeling unique to “Grand Vintage Collection.”
For guests who usually appreciate the exquisite marriage of wine and food offered by Shundo, this special dinner which paired exclusively with Moët & Chandon champagne was truly a rare experience. They treasured the opportunity to fully savor the flavor of “Grand Vintage” while discovering a wide array of new taste sensations.
This early summer experience of the palate offered at “LE＆” has subsequently linked sommelier with chef in an inspirational manner, sparking a synergistic creativity, and has consciously been conveyed to others throughout Japan.
English translation by Yuko Wada and Sean Gaston
More Info on MOËT & CHANDON:
MHD Moët Hennessy Diageo K.K.
Carm Court Shirokane-takanawa 1st fl.
2-3-3 Shirokane, Minato-ku, Tokyo
closed on Mondays and second Fridays
GRAND VINTAGE 2006 × LE& ───────────────────────────────────