Flying out tomorrow for the European sommelier of the year comp, not really sure what to expect, but I'm sure I'll enjoy myself.
On a slightly different note apparently in my absence the powers that be have decided that they want to have a trial of my wine and food tasting menu in December rather than the January date that I was expecting. Soooo, it's push on and get the thing finished time.
The original concept was to go month by month and explore the possibilities that are presented by various different ingredients, starting with Beef, as it's something everyone likes (those that don't I'm going to pretend don't exist) and it's also usually just Pigeon holed with red wines, particularly powerful ones. So here we get ot play a little with expectations and generally show off it's diversity within the confines of classic(ish) french cuisine.
Carpaccio with orange flower and jasmine flowers
What I'm looking to do here is show how delicate the uncooked meat can be, as all our beef is grass reared there is always a slight herbal character to it, esp when raw, this with some floral and perfumed dressing should go beautifully with a rich and opulent viognier... Guigal La Dorianne?
Blanqutte de Veau
Classic, very creamy, cooked and with a delicate rice, mushroom accompaniment, what I'm imagining here is a little loose tian, rice, then the veal, and the sauce topping it, just a baby version. I think that the cream, the mushrooms and the veal will go stunningly with a mildly aged white burgundy.
Pot au Feu Jelly - ideas including lavender flavour, saffron infused carrots substituted for the actual carrots, pos all the veg cooked separately
Red Burgundy (pos Sangiovese/Nieluccio)
Here I want to play with the ideal of the bouilli, the beef that's had collagen slowly cooked out, so that even though it was rich and tough to start with it's much more delicate after the cooking. I want to have it as a small gelatin terrine. So quite concentrated stock, but pos slightly perfumed, as I want to serve this with a nice Burgundy, so what I want is for the meat and the stock to provide the heart of hte dish, but the veg to provide the cues to the exotic spicing of the wine. Hence the original cooked veg being discarded and replaced with the same ingredients but cooked differently. Carrots cooked with some orange peel in the water and saffron, must think more about the other veg, celery, onions, turnips etc.
Beef Sashimi / Fillet v v rare, quite peppery on the edge
Quite light weight Northern Rhone Syrah
Possibly leaning towards a fillet here as I could serve it having been rolled in cracked black pepper, just maybe 2 slices, also involve some juniper?
Roast Beef injected with it's juices / wine that's been delicately infused with liquorice, then roasted with a salt herb crust. All this extra aromatics would be nicely complemented by a nice Priorat (pos look for some older vintage)
Priorat / Rousillon
or.... if the idea of injecting juices back into the meat is too much for the kitchen, then just the salt herb crust and then I'll serve it with some Bordeaux, or pos a Margaret River Bdx blend.
Bavette with a bone marrow and shallot sauce
Something quite rustic St Chinian etc more thoughts later..
Daube de Joue
Ribero del Douro