Chef Clare Smyth is becoming a member of forces with champagne home Dom Pérignon this night (1 November 2022) for ‘Second Life by Clare Smyth’, a particular eating expertise impressed by the creation of Dom Pérignon Plénitude 2 2004.
A number one gentle of London’s culinary scene, Smyth is the primary and solely British feminine chef to carry three Michelin stars within the UK. She served as chef patron of Restaurant Gordon Ramsay earlier than opening her personal restaurant, Core by Clare Smyth, in August 2017, which emphasises pure, sustainable meals sourced from British farmers and meals producers. Core achieved its third Michelin star final 12 months, and can play host to this night’s occasion.
Skilled achievements apart, Smyth is an apt option to orchestrate a celebration of Dom Pérignon due to her longstanding affection for its champagne. ‘It’s my favorite. I acquire it myself, and I at all times wish to work with individuals and issues I actually love – so it was a pure collaboration for me,’ explains the chef, whose very best weekend entails staying dwelling with a bottle of Dom Pérignon. ‘Clearly it’s nice as an aperitif. However on a wintery day, Dom Pérignon and fish and chips in entrance of the TV is the last word mixture of luxurious and luxury.’
Unusually for a paired tasting menu, the meals providing this night will encompass champagnes solely, and solely from Dom Pérignon too. It’s a daring determination, however one which aligns with Smyth’s affinity for experimentation and highlights the flexibility of Dom Pérignon, throughout completely different vintages and plénitudes. The latter refers back to the champagne home’s custom of setting apart a restricted variety of bottles of every classic in its cellars, supposed for longer maturation. The additional time lends itself to elevated internal exercise within the bottle, and thus, a second life (‘Plénitude 2’, or ‘P2’ for brief) for the classic, with wider and deeper flavours. As Dom Pérignon’s chef de cave, Vincent Chaperon, explains, ‘our wines proceed to develop into extra intense, complicated and streamlined with longer maturation.’
The menu, which contains 4 amuse bouches adopted by six programs, takes as its place to begin the thought of two lives. ‘I gained my popularity at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, the place I created a mode and identification that basically turned my very own,’ remembers Smythe. ‘However after I opened Core, I left all these dishes behind. This eating expertise is a chance to revisit these dishes that had been my best hits, to return again to them with my age and expertise now, and provides them a brand new lease of life.’
The amuse-bouches embrace a ‘caviar’ sandwich – a buckwheat crepe crammed with caviar and all of the condiments normally served with it – egg yolk, egg white, creme fraiche, shallot and parsley (‘one excellent chunk slightly than a multitude,’ summarises Smyth’); a white truffle and pumpkin gourgère; foie gras parfait and Madeira; and Rockefeller oysters. These are paired with a Classic 2012 – the identical 12 months Smyth started to gather Dom Pérignon.
In the meantime, the six programs vary from elevated takes on British staples, reminiscent of a ‘Beans on toast’ (with white truffle, coco de Paimpol and Fenton farm egg), to a decadent Cornish turbot with a crab and Ras El Hanout broth. Smyth is especially keen about this broth – comprising over a dozen spices generally present in north African cuisines. ‘It’s huge and aromatic, however it’s most likely probably the most profitable pairings. The character of the spices and the roundness within the dish pairs completely with the Dom Pérignon 2004 P2.’
Autumnal flavours abound on the menu – other than the liberal use of white truffle, Smyth can also be bringing again her ‘Rooster & the Hen’ as the primary course, that includes hen of the woods mushrooms, and served with salsify, thyme and rooster sauce. To drive dwelling the distinction that comes from an extended maturation on the lees, she is pairing this dish with two champagnes: a Dom Pérignon Classic 2002 and a Dom Pérignon 2002 P2, ‘so company can perceive the journey, and the way completely different two expressions of the identical champagne will be.’
After that, she serves up a ‘Notting Hill Forest’, ‘an earthy dish that’s created via strolling via the leaves in autumn, all these flavours that you’d get. It has cep mushrooms in it, it’s biscuity, so it feels such as you’re crunching via a pile of leaves.’ This comes with a Dom Pérignon Classic 1996, a rare classic that’s nonetheless extensively talked about greater than 1 / 4 of a century later. And eventually, a heat chocolate tart with champagne gums – an expensive tackle the widespread wine gum.
‘I like doing issues like this,’ displays Smyth. ‘It’s a chance to drink all of these champagnes that simply does not occur fairly often. The completely different vintages and expressions of Dom Pérignon offer you so many various issues through the meal. It is a good journey.’
Chaperon concurs: ‘There was only a pure synergy between the Plénitude 2 story and Clare’s unimaginable profession – ever evolving and constructing in culinary excellence.’