Monday, 22 September 2014 16:01

Lunching like Sir Winston Churchill

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Bottles of Pol Roger in the kitchen of the Michelangelo Bottles of Pol Roger in the kitchen of the Michelangelo Photography by Marcel Sigg and Marieza van Zyl.

One of Sir Winston Churchill's most famous sayings about champagne was: "I could not live without champagne. In victory, you deserve it, in defeat, you need it". Of course he was talking about his favourite tipple, Pol Roger which, as legend has it, he consumed one bottle of per day!

Not all of us can afford to be as lavish as Winston, but when it is champagne season (which in my opinion should be all year round) one normally jumps at the chance of a champagne Friday lunch made by the fair hands of "champagne chef" Jacqui Brown and Michelangelo head chef Rob Creaser.

Never mind "Thirsty Thursday" or "Wine Wednesday" after all those years of slaving away in an office on Fridays there is no contest between savouring Pol Roger with all its "robustness, structure and maturity", paired with a sensational gourmet lunch, or staying in the office!

Chef Jacqui, who was recently announced the new national culinary arts executive for the International Hotel School in South Africa, runs foodie magazine Ginja.

Champagne can be drunk with every course but the flavours can never overpower the delicacy of the bubbles, so she expertly paired Pol Roger's four champagnes with her delectables dishes in a harmonious and happy marriage. Arranged marriages can sometimes be very good!

Not many chefs would tolerate a gaggle of foodies and media ladies trotting through their kitchen on a busy Friday afternoon, but Chef Rob and his team did not even break a sweat.

Here was our menu:

Amuse Bouche
Seared scallop, cauliflower
Cocoa & onion sprouts

Oysters & Samphire
Carrot & guava, brioche cous cous
& gruyere hollandaise

Butter, Honey Rock Lobster
Oat pollen crust, chai apple sauce,
vanilla pumpkin, edamame, & Parma ham

Grapefruit & Champagne Sorbet

Sous Vide & Champagne Smoked Apple Pork Belly
Minty pea puree, crackling “pop corn”

Deconstructed Berry & Champagne Pears
Vanilla bean ice cream & walnut praline

Coffee & Fraindaise

Oh my, the things you can do with champagne.

And what champagne: we drank Pol Roger Brut Reserve, Pol Roger Brut Vintage 2004, Pol Roger and Pol Roger Riche with our various courses.

Research has shown superb food actually triggers parts of the human brain to have a spiritual experience, for example the meal in Babette's Feast soothed the savage breast of the Calvinistic guests who intended to resist every bite. 

Denying the pleasures that food brings is, in actual fact, denying the soul.

But Chef Jacqui and Chef Rob's food was nourishment for our eyes, stomachs and souls. And if you don't believe me, ask Winston himself!

 

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