During the annual celebration of “Mois Krug” (“Krug Month”), the prestigious Champagne House invites Krug enthusiasts around the world to discover their newest featured pairing: the Krug Grande Cuvee and the mushroom.
The Legacy of Joseph Krug
The elaboration of each bottle of Krug Grande Cuvee involves a careful selection of the perfect blend, one which often comprises over 120 wines spread over more than ten different vintages. It is the vast diversity of plots forming Champagne’s colourful topographical tapestry that inspires Krug Cellar Master Eric Lebel, to year after year compose a single wine in which the multitude of flavours and aromas lent by terroir are effortlessly expressed. This is the legacy of Joseph Krug, who founded the House of Krug in 1843 with the sole mission of capturing the true essence of Champagne. The House of Krug achieves this mission by treating each plot as a single “ingredient” in an elaborate and harmonious blend.
And just as each vineyard plot and each vintage plays a key role in Krug’s legendary blend, a single culinary ingredient can bring out a wealth of aromas and flavours in the champagne when paired at a tasting. Mois Krug series celebrates the incredible diversity of this very finest of champagnes by focusing on its pairing with a single ingredient and challenging the world’s most talented chefs to “blend” the latter into a signature dish.
Challenge Accepted by Krug Embassy Chefs
The Mois Krug series calls upon the chefs of Krug Embassies around the world to create signature dishes inspired by a simple ingredient and to pair that dish with the Krug Grande Cuvee. This year, the internationally respected Champagne House has chosen the mysterious mushroom as their featured ingredient. And while it might at first seem strange to pair such a distinguished cuvee with such a modest and earthy ingredient, we must consider the many ways in which mushrooms have enlivened the culinary world. The mushroom is an incredible versatile creature, growing all over the world in a wide range of sizes, colours, flavours and textures. It lends itself to a vast array of preparations and proves to be an ideal food pairing. Varieties like the matsutake have long been prized in Asia for their deep umami flavours, while the cep (porcini) reigns as king of mushrooms in Europe. Taking on this newest challenge, Krug’s Chef Ambassadors have put their creativity and talent to work and devised a splendid array of exquisite dishes that best capture the essence of the mushroom, forming an enchanted pairing with Krug Champagne. What did they come up with?
Chef Umberto Bombana of Otto e Mezzo in Hong Kong chose what he considers to be the “most prestigious mushroom,” the Alba white truffle, to create an abalone and chestnut gnocchi dish in which the earthiness of the truffle brings out the sweeter fruit and almond notes in the Krug Grande Cuvee. In her dish titled “Lost in the Rainforest,” Chef Vicky Cheng of Vea in Hong Kong combines a wide array of European and Chinese mushrooms to mirror the evolution of flavours from toasted brioche and hazelnut to sweet fruits that she notes in Krug’s star cuvee. And over at the Mandarin Grill, Chef Robin Zavou pairs the prestigious champagne to a dish of fermented ceps and roasted shiitakes. The notes of toasted bread and nougat in the champagne round off the complex umami flavours of the dish perfectly.
At Krug’s embassy restaurant in Birmingham, Chef Glynn Purnell has chosen a quintessentially British dish, which reminds him of the first Krug tasting at his namesake restaurant. Purnell’s creation pairs mushrooms popular in British cuisine with Montgomery cheddar, a local cheese. The robust and complex mesh of flavours brings out the sweet brioche and honey notes of the Krug Grande Cuvee, which, in the meantime, balances the umami elements of the dish beautifully.
Between the months of July and December, these Krug restaurant ambassadors, along with select others in Asia, Europe and North America, will be serving their creations, often inspired by the local variation of the chosen ingredient. These exquisite dishes display the different ways in which Krug Champagne can complement or harmonise with the mushroom, an ingredient that truly pays tribute to the bold and non-conformist spirit of the Krug House and its legendary founder.