If Bordeaux is often blamed for not looking beyond its nose for food matched with its wines, the book is a befitting reply to those critics, with the current rendition dedicating to paring of wine from each of the 87 classified Châteaux of Bordeaux-from First Growth to the Fifth Growth with a food dish specially contributed by the international celebrity Chefs including Ferran Adrià, Juan Mari Arzak, Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller, Nobu Matsuhisa and Michel Roux.
Our very own Master Chef Manjit Singh Gill, Corporate Executive Chef of the ITC group of hotels and President of Indian Federation of Culinary Associations has lent a recipe of Barrah Kebab from their flagship Indian cuisine restaurant-Bukhara, of one of the top hotel groups in India.
The universally popular lamb- based dish, roasted in a hot-clay tandoor is one of the most popular items on the limited Menu. In the book it is matched by the chateau wine of the Fifth Growth winery in Pauillac-Chateaux Croizet Bages 2005. (Average Retail US $50- Source: wine-.searcher .com)
It is not only a beautiful book for coffee table or any other table or in an up-market wine bar that has discerning clients. It is a ‘Playboy’ of food and wine for gourmets- every picture makes you salivate and eat the dish. The vegetarians may not be too happy (the next edition may consider the plight of half a billion Indian vegetarians many of whom also love to drink Bordeaux wines with their food). But they may take solace for the moment that there are 26 dessert dishes paired with sweet wines from Sauternes that would delight even those without a sweet tooth and the most chronic diabetes patients.
‘Top Chefs of the World’ also offers an inside look at the history and philosophy of each chateau. There are over 400 photographs that focus not only on the wines and food dishes but also give a visual picture of the vineyards, wineries and the cellars and in some cases, their historical interiors.
An appendix offers practical details about the chateaux, including how to visit, making Grands Crus Classés a treat for wine lovers, foodies, and Francophiles alike.
The 384 pages book is written by a well-known and awarded recipe creator, author and journalist Sophie Brissaud and created by Cyril Le Tourneur d'Ison and Iris L. Sullivan who have shot the inviting photographs like the Playboy bunnies. Jancis Robinson MW and Nicholas Lander introduce the book.
‘Even if some of the world’s keener wine enthusiasts and students are tempted to open a great bottle of Bordeaux in a noisy bar night club or more intently perhaps in a classroom, these wines are designed as a foil for food-dishes carefully chosen to complement their intricacies,’ they write in the introduction, perhaps taking a dig at our affluent Chinese connoisseurs, and perhaps not. But the quintessential nature of these wines to be enjoyed on the dining table, well matched with the dishes presented by each of these food specialists is at the center of the philosophy of the book.
To the extent of matching thee wines with the food creations, creators of the book have chosen eight of the world’s best Sommeliers (wine waiters as the book refers to them) including the Swede Andreas Larsson, the Best Sommelier of the World (2007), Serge Dubs (1989), Markus del Monego (1998), Yoichi Sato, Best Sommelier of Japan in 2005 and Virginia Philip MS, voted as the Best Sommelier in the United States in 2002.
Virginia describes the Chateau Croizet Bages as a lighter style Pauillac with a perfumed nose of black fruits and dark flowers, on the nose. On the palate, the wine has overtones of blackberry, blueberry and cherry with a hint of earth and spice. The tannins are light bodied, allowing the wine to be drunk in a more youthful frame. Burrah kebab lovers and those who have had the occasion to relish the finger licking Sikandari Raan from this iconic restaurant that is on the must-visit of all 5-star tourists would appreciate that the wine is perhaps a heavenly match with the wine.
There is a lot of information about each chateau but it would have been nice to include the contact email addresses of the right persons in each Chateau and also possibly those of the Chefs and Sommeliers would have been welcome by many. At under $42 at which price this delectable book is available at Amazon.com, it is a great gift item for wine connoisseurs and gourmets as well as those who find Bordeaux to be the ultimate in wines. The refreshing, appetizing and crisp presentation from the Conseil des Grands Crus Classes en 1855 (Medoc and Sauternes) is equally recommendable for your personal wine library.
Our congratulations to Chef Manjit Singh Gill to be honoured by the Editors to have been selected as the Top Chef from India for this honour- Editor