Thursday, November 13, 2014

Moet Gourming Workshop at Starhill Culinary Studio - A Fun Bubble Filled Morning... And Afternoon

I knew I had heard that word somewhere before... Gourming... described by myself actually, in this post, here, as the unholy spawn of the words GOURMET and TASTING, a word created so that participants in a gourming workshop can learn how to pair various foods with Moet & Chandon Champagnes.  Perhaps my only grouse would be that the event started at around 11am, which meant drinking before noon, ah, the trials and tribulations of life that we have to put up with.  In addition to that, because I did not want to drive after the event, I would have to risk the stares of the pious and saintly on my journey back on the monorail....GASP....

Despite appearing reluctant to imbibe that wonderful beverage at so early an hour, I was secretly pleased, cos there are precious few bragging rights that can top an instagram post or fb status update showing one holding a glass of Moet at noon.  We gathered at the Starhill Culinary Studio, in ..Starhill, all set and ready for an afternoon of fun fun fun.  Bottles of Moet, good company, good location, gorgeous French lady hostess, what more can a person ask for.

The gorgeous French lady is question was Elise Losfelt, who despite feeling under the weather and having flown god knows how many hours the night before, looked like a glamorous beauty out of a society magazine.  She was the Oenologue (quiz question...NAME A WORD WITH THREE "O", none of which are together?!) of Moet and Chandon

There is something alarmingly distracting about that wonderful French accent...
Elise Losfelt was appointed Winemaker in September 2012 by luxury champagne house Moët & Chandon and works closely with Chef de Cave Benoit Gouez and his team of winemakers. She is also a spokesperson for the oenology department, communicating Moët & Chandon’s technical wine messages to the markets within France and abroad. She is based in Epernay.

The beauty and brains obtained a Masters of Engineering with majors in Life Sciences and Economics at Paris’ esteemed Agro Paris Tech in 2008, followed by a Masters in Viticulture and Oenology from Supagro in Montpellier in 2011. She holds a National Diploma of Oenology as well as having economics and financial experience gained whilst working for Prime View and for Mendoza’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry early in her career.

Elise is a sixth generation winemaker hailing from a family of talented female winemakers. She was exposed to the industry at a very young age at her family vineyard in Grès de Montpellier.

How I wish I could say that, I can only say I am the third generation booze appreciater hailing from a family (paternal) of equally appreciative booze lovers.

Drinks of the day!!! Actually the purpose of the day's event was to launch, promote and pair the Moet & Chandon 2006 Grand Vintage Rose 2006.  Juxtaposed with the Grand Vintage is the Rose Imperial, for contrast.

We take our places, and that Number you see at the bottom of the name card is the group to which we are assigned for Masterchef With Moet....I wasn't counting on having to WORK for my drinks actually, and was totally not dressed for it.

Thankfully, the wonderful organisers think of everything, and before you can say "chandon", we're kitted up in our battle gear.

Chef Wai briefs participants to help understand how the different flavours in a cuisine – bitterness, sweetness, sourness, saltiness – can be harnessed to complement and perhaps even enhance enjoyment of Moët & Chandon champagne

Chef Wai puts the finishing touches to his dish, which was fried prawn with a simple but delicious sauce.
The lovely Thrishie, who took pains to REMIND me about the event, seeing as to how I totally forgot about the previous one!!! (blush).

So anyway, we were divided into groups, and I had the good fortune of being paired with Cumi&Ciki (CC Food Travel), more so because of Cumi, who is a meticulous and organised cook in the kitchen.  Ciki just hovers around looking pretty, but to her credit, she did manage to fry some very delectable bread.
Our task was to prepare two dishes to pair with each of the champagnes.  The first being the Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial, which according to the tasting notes, is the most extrovert and seductive expression of the Moët & Chandon style. It reflects the diversity and complementarities of the three champagne grapes and the richness of the region’s best vineyards

Rosé Impérial’s assemblage is built on the intensity of Pinot Noir (40 to 50%, 10% of which are red wine), the fruitiness of Pinot Meunier (30 to 40%, 10% of which are red wine) and the finesse of Chardonnay (10 to 20%). The use of 20 to 30% of carefully selected reserve wines complete the assemblage and enhance its intensity, subtlety and consistency.

It's actually a very girly drink, the color is pink, almost a light purple, and to put it in layman's terms, the flavour, fruity.

We were dazzled by the array of ingredients, with smoked duck, raw scallops, prawns, chicken, an assortment of herbs, fruit, like peaches, mangoes, strawberries, raspberries and pears, spices like pepper, paprika, creme fraiche, mascarpone, salt, ...and no sugar.  (more on that)

As the Rose Imperial is very light and fruity, we thought it would complement the smoked duck, and within the dish itself, some peach puree to complement the saltiness of the duck, basil for that aroma and kick, and some seared peppers for crunch.  I have to say, it paired rather well.

Our second dish, scallops seared in butter, with a mango creme fraiche sauce.  Well, actually apart from looking pretty, Ciki does have gorgeous photographs taken by her able assistant, Cumi, so for a picture of our award winning seared scallops, click HERE....afterall, I couldn't be cooking as WELL as taking pictures.  These industrial kitchens can be quite daunting.

Clearly, paying rapt attention to Elise's discourse...

People from the "other" groups tumpang glamour.

Grand Vintage Rosé 2006 is the perfect embodiment of the Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage spirit, a spirit founded on three essential values:
- Freedom of interpretation.
- Selection of the year’s most remarkable wines.
- Individuality of the vintage to create champagnes distinguished by their maturity, complexity and charisma.

Oh, what the heck, there's so much champagne, let's just pour it into the food.

Wheeeeeeeee... look at the curry bubble!!!

As the Grand Vintage is a more "serious" champagne, more matured, it needed to be complemented by something a little bit more complex than just searing a scallop, or a prawn and plonking it on a piece of baguette.  So, we brilliantly came up with the idea of a curry.  Given the constraints in ingredients, as best we could, we used pepper and paprika for heat, onions and garlic sauteed for fragrance, (even Chef Wai commented, "wah, chee mutt yeh ah, kum heong geh" ..what are you cooking, so aromatic), pear for sweetness, olives and parmesan for saltiness, creme fraiche and mascarpone for thickness of sauce.  And of course, champagne for class.

Evidently, we were rather bubbly that day...

For our second course to pair with the Grand Vintage Rose 2006, summer berries with a cream cheese topping, sweetened by peaches and syrup to unthicken it...

Chef Jo putting the finishing touches.....

Ta dah, our final masterpiece.

The moment of truth, as the judges made their rounds, and tasting.  Clearly, as you see from Elise's expression, she was totally wowed by our curry....
Alright, so we didn't win Round 2, but obviously, it was all in the spirit of fun anyways.

And to wrap up a wonderful afternoon, a group shot for the road... and no, we didn't get to take home those sexy Moet aprons.

I wonder if she finally nicked those pink cushions.

More info on the Grand Vintage 2006 Rose
The year’s climate and harvest
After particularly cold winter, spring saw periods of frost and early summer brought hail, causing damage that, fortunately, was limited. Summer saw contrasting conditions: a heat wave in July followed by a cool, rainy August resulted in differing degrees of maturity across vineyards, but the hot, dry weather of early September facilitated ripening. Extending from September 7th to September 25th, the starting dates for the harvest indicate a determination to allow the grapes to reach a proper state of ripeness in every sector. The relatively abundant yield (13,000 kg/hectare) enabled selective harvesting and the avoidance of several areas affected by bunch rot as the end of the season turned rainy and grey. In the end, the sugar content of the grapes was relatively high (10.2% potential alc/vol) with an acidity level close to the average for the decade (7g H2SO4/litre), a balance similar to that of 2002.

The assemblage reflects the diversity and complementarity of the three grapes varietals:
the intensity of Pinot Noir: 47%
(of which 23% red wine)
the roundness of Meunier: 20%
the elegance of Chardonnay: 33%

Dosage: 5 g/litre (extra-brut)

Aging time in the cellars
7 years

Aging period after disgorgement
6 months minimum

Tasting Notes:
The House’s 40th vintage Rosé, Grand Vintage Rosé 2006 is a mature and generous wine. Initial notes of biscuit and spice bread preceding aromas of cherry, prune and damson plum enriched by botanical nuances of wild herbs, rosemary, saffron and dried rose petals, along with resinous, saline-inflected finish, come together to make this champagne a powerful, expansive, gracious wine.


Ciki said...

LOLOL!! I am also third generation booze appreciater! hehe .. so farnee. Anyway, glad u filled in all the missing blanks on the food and how we didn't have SUGAH etc etc. Life was hard but we made do. Oh and no.. i didn't nick any pillow .. chis should have.

Unknown said...

Aww.. Nice mention and great post! Thank you for joining us and having a good time :)