Taittinger Champagne Dinner at Luton Hoo Hotel
20th December 2016
Aimee Reddick, chef at Luton Hoo Hotel tells us how she creates a pairing menu.
When creating a pairing menu for our Champagne Dinners, the first thing I need to do is taste the Champagnes that will be served with each course. Sampling each of the Champagnes with my team of chefs and the sommelier helps to give me an understanding of the flavours and build an idea of which foods would best compliment them.
The first Champagne being served was the Taittinger Brut Reserve, so I decided on a nod to the classic combination of oysters and Champagne. The oysters lend themselves well to the high Chardonnay content in the Champagne and the taste is enhanced by the citrus notes.
The Taittinger Prelude Grands Crus NV works equally well with shellfish so I thought serving scallops as the starter would compliment it perfectly. To balance the beautifully rich taste of the Champagne, I finished the dish with clementine.
Pairing a main course with Champagne is always more challenging as I don’t want the ingredients to overwhelm it. I opted for the lighter flavour of guinea fowl and served this with cepes for a creamy note. There were two vintage Champagne’s that paired nicely with the main meal. I sampled both again and slightly favoured the 2003, it had a more robust taste and I felt it held up stronger against the truffle and chestnut flavours in the dish.
When considering the recipe of the desert to pair with the Taittinger Nocturne Sec NV, I found myself very fortunate with the timing of this event as it worked so well with autumnal berries. Here I let the flavour of the fruit take centre stage and finished the dish with crisp brioche and buttermilk for richness.
I love to try new pairings and combinations all the time, however Gillardeau oysters with lemon and nothing else is hard to beat with a glass of Champagne.
Glass of Bubbly
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