|Taking wine that little bit further with the Vineyard at Stockcross|
|Wednesday, 08 August 2012 14:48|
Yohann Jousselin MS, who, alongside executive head chef Daniel Galmiche (formerly of Le Gavroche), has moved the traditional goal posts to make wine the central part of the dining menu rather than the other way around.
He tells us why.
Many restaurants do take their wine as seriously, but there are many more where wine comes secondary to the food menu. We don't want this to be the case, we have a list of over 3,000 wines with more than 100 by the glass, so executive head chef Daniel Galmiche and myself have been working together to create a menu that ensures what comes out of the kitchen is all wine friendly and complementary, so the customer can gain the optimum pleasure from their dining experience.
We don't want guests to leave and just say "we had a great meal". We want them to be able to realise that the wine choice is an integral part of the experience and is as important as the food. We offer this service to every person that comes through our door, across every budget, so that we can make sure on a daily basis they are getting the best from what we offer.
Since doing this I have learnt a lot about food and wine combining, for instance what flavours can stay in and what should come out. The aim is to try and avoid complicated dishes with too many intense flavours, without at the same time simplifying the food. So we are concentrating on about three or four main flavours per dish. A dish can change its profile from a mere garnish, so there is something new to discover every day in food and wine combining.
Feedback has been great and the customers are positive about how seriously we are taking our wines. They are generally impressed with the wine list anyway, but because it is so large they are quite often scared to choose. By making wine an integral part of the menu, it makes the guests feel safer as they are always open to the suggestions put forward. For those who don't drink we now offer a non-alcoholic grape juice alternative, such as Chardonnay juice, so they can get a flavour of the wines they might be drinking.