Krug Champagne’s latest book in its single ingredient series explores the relationship between Krug Grande Cuvée and mushrooms. From Forest to Fork is a compilation of mushroom-based dishes from Krug Ambassadors and Michelin star chefs around the world, all paired with the prestigious Grande Cuvée.
To celebrate the release of From Forest to Fork, Krug marked the occasion with a visit to Birmingham’s Lickey Hills to forage for mushrooms with chef and restaurateur Glynn Purnell, one of 18 Michelin star chefs featured in the book. A six-course pairing menu followed at his restaurant in Birmingham city center, Purnell’s, where all dishes were containing or inspired by mushrooms.
Krug prides itself on producing gastronomic Champagnes that complement food, joining the league of producers striving to banish the myth that Champagne is merely an aperitif. Carefully drawing on its extensive arsenal of 250 wines from the most recent vintage, as well as 150 reserve wines across approximately 14 different years and some 4,000 tasting notes, Krug Cellar Master Eric Lebel is able to build many layers of complexity that are brought to life with different dishes.
In this case, it’s the various angles that a mushroom dish can take. In the same way that Krug cultivates each plot as a single unique ingredient, Krug asked its Ambassador Chefs around the globe to be inspired by the single ingredient of the humble mushroom. Featuring in the book is Glynn’s version of the dish that goes back to his British roots, where Marmite and Montgomery cheddar are its key ingredients. Montgomery cheddar echoes the parmesan that was used as a food match the first time Krug came to Purnell’s restaurant. The cheddar’s umami flavor brings out the toasted buttery brioche notes in the Champagne, while the Marmite adds a secondary British element to the dish: “I wanted that romantic British feel to it, and to show that a humble thing like Marmite can bring out different flavors of such exclusive Champagne,” said Glynn.
“Every year I create a new Édition of Krug Grande Cuvée. Its unique blend can be composed of over 120 wines from more than ten different years. Blending so many different wines across so many years allows me to express a multitude of flavours and aromas,” explains Lebel in From Forest to Fork. Rather than pursuing a consistent house style Krug has fully embraced the idea of making the best possible Grande Cuvée each year, following the discovery of Joseph Krug’s winemaking manifesto in the archives. The multi-vintage’s slight variations in taste year on year make the wine—or rather, wines—even more versatile in terms of food pairings.
Eighteen international chefs from Paris to Tennessee, Birmingham to Hong Kong, comment on their personal expression of Krug Grande Cuvée and mushroom in the new book, including Robin Zavou, Konstantin Filippou, Michael Tusk, and Arnaud Lallement. Olivier Krug introduces the Krug x Mushroom compilation, which also includes excerpts from authors Tara Stevens, Robyn Eckhardt, Joe Warwick, Jay Cheshes, and Alexandra Michot. From Forest to Fork can be found in France and in the UK at all Majestic stores as a gift with any purchase of Krug Rosé (£265).
All images courtesy Jack Johns