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Pairings: Krug & Pepper | Journal19 | Clos19 Germany

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Pairings

Krug x Pepper

Krug x Pepper

This year, a group of Krug Ambassade Chefs travelled together to Mexico, the birthplace of this year’s single ingredient, the pepper. Venturing off from vineyard to pepper field in Oaxaca, exploring the creative possibilities that - pepper - can inspire. Armed with a newfound appreciation for their single ingredient, each Chef has created a dish to complement the flavours and aromas of a glass of Krug Grande Cuvée or Krug Rosé. Method and inspiration varied greatly, as they selected their peppers to use in recipes influenced by their own unique cultures.

HENDRIK OTTO | Berlin, Germany

What does cooking mean to you?

Cooking has been my passion for the past 25 years. To me, it is a language that connects people and, through my food, I want to create unforgettable, joyful moments my guests will remember.

Which person made you love the job?

My first role was as a Commis de Cuisine under Chef Michael Hoffmann in Hamburg. His cooking style and philosophy inspired me to reach my own personal goal of attaining one star. Today I have two stars and believe you can only reach greatness by working with people who share your passion.

What is your earliest memory of an experience with the pepper in the kitchen?

My earliest memory of the pepper was when I was seven years old. A neighbour had given me a chilli, which I served to my father, who was not expecting it to be hot. This gave us a good laugh. Since then, I have grown to love the pepper for the fruit flavours and spice it can bring to my dishes.

Can you tell us of an unforgettable experience you have had with Krug Grande Cuvée?

A few summers ago, I was working on a big gardening project with family and friends. Although I spent every free minute I had there, it often felt like we would never be finished. When we did complete it in early December, I wanted to thank everyone in the most special way I could so I opened a Magnum of Krug Grande Cuvée for us to enjoy together.

If you could prepare a meal with a Krug pairing for anyone in the world, who would it be?

Mohammed Ali because he was my childhood idol from the age of four. My father was a boxer and my older brother still is. In the end, I chose to cook. Still, when I feel the pressure getting too high, I reach for my boxing gloves, which help me destress.

Pairing

SWABIAN ONION ROAST BEEF & KRUG ROSÉ 21ÈME ÉDITION

(JALEPEÑO, RED HABANERO, SWABIAN ROAST BEEF FILLET, ROSCOFF ONIONS, HERBS)

The chef’s inspiration

This is my signature dish. During my training in the Black Forest, I was fascinated by the traditional Swabian roast, or Zwiebelrostbraten, and wanted to reinterpret it into a new classic. Whilst I had only intended the peppers for this experience, I found them to bring such an exciting twist of flavours that I have now modified the recipe on our menu.

Pairing notes

The habanero and jalapeño peppers are expressed in both a parsley cream and butter sauce with tomato, tarragon and garlic. The braised onion adds sweetness, but also sharpness. The creation is rounded off by the beef and herbs. With the addition of the peppers, the roast has more freshness and spice, which makes it best-suited to Krug Rosé for its elegant and feminine aromas.

DANIELLE ALVAREZ | Sydney, Australia


What does cooking mean to you?

I believe food has the power to change people. For me, cooking comes from the home, the heart and the soul. I cannot imagine doing anything else with my life.

Which person made you love the job?

Chef Alice Waters has been a huge influence. Even before I started working for her, I admired her activism: she saw beyond the plate to how food can influence government, policy and even the environment.

What is your earliest memory of an experience with the pepper in the kitchen?

Being of Cuban heritage, food and the pepper were both big parts of my life growing up in Miami. Peppers are an essential ingredient in Sofrito – the base of almost every traditional Cuban dish – therefore, I have been enjoying sweet peppers my entire life.

Can you tell me about your experiences with the pepper around the world?

When I lived in California, I was exposed to a variety of dried peppers in Mexican food. I noticed how they were different from the fresh chillies I had in Australia, which I encountered mainly in Vietnamese and Thai food. Mexican chillies tend to have more build-up on the palate versus the straightforward spice of the fresh dishes.

Pairing


ROASTED AND GRILLED PUMPKIN WITH DATE AND CHILLI SAUCE & KRUG ROSÉ 21ÈME ÉDITION

(GUAJILLO PEPPERS, PASILLA PEPPERS, PUMPKIN, PEPITA SEEDS, DATES)


The chef’s inspiration

I was inspired by the complexity of Krug Champagnes, with so many different base wines coming together in perfect harmony. Like Krug Champagne, my sauce has several distinct components and, while you do not taste any one specifically, all the flavours come together in a balanced blend. Visually, my dish is inspired by simplicity, as my cooking is neither high-tech nor fancy.

Pairing notes

While spicy food and Champagne are not traditionally paired, this recipe bridges the gap between the two by adding a bit of sweetness to the chillies. The rich and unctuous nature of the dish, as well as the smoky sweetness that comes from oven toasting, are complemented by the elegance and depth of Krug Rosé, while the pepita seeds add crunch and texture.

YOSUKE SUGA | Tokyo, Japan


How would you describe your approach to cooking?

It is my means of expression and a way to organise both myself and my surroundings. I grew up in a culinary environment in which both my father and grandfather were Chefs. Naturally, when I started thinking about what I wanted to do professionally, I knew that cooking would become the meaning of my existence.

What is your earliest memory of an experience with the pepper in the kitchen?

During my holiday in Spain, I had padrón peppers with Joël Robuchon, for whom I worked at the time. It was one of his favourite dishes. As soon as France started importing them, we began using padrón peppers at our restaurant.

Can you recount any stories of the pepper from your culture?

I heard the pepper became popular during the Meiji period (c.1870s) in Japan, which was an important transitional era leading up to the modern Japan we know today.

If you could prepare a meal with a Krug pairing for anyone in the world, who would it be?

It would have to be Joël Robuchon, my dearest mentor, who passed away in 2018. I would have enjoyed preparing this dish for him – he loved the Shishito pepper so much that he would have it every time he came to Japan. These are wonderful memories.

Can you tell us of an unforgettable experience you have had with Krug Grande Cuvée or Krug Rosé?

I believe your surroundings and the company you share have an impact on the Krug tasting experience. I will never forget toasting with Krug Ambassade Chefs from around the globe during a trip to Seville in 2018. I am proud to be part of this family and to share experiences around delicious, inspiring food and Krug Champagne.

Pairing


FILLED SHISHITO AND JAPANESE TIGER PRAWN DEEP-FRIED & KRUG GRANDE CUVÉE 167ÈME ÉDITION

(SHISHITO PEPPERS, JAPANESE TIGER PRAWN, TOBIKO, PIMENT D’ESPELETTE)


The chef’s inspiration

Every month, I set off on a journey to discover great food culture and meet Japanese farmers around the country as I try to connect Japan with the world. It is my mission at Sugalabo to create new opportunities. I like to cook with an emphasis on each ingredient. The Shishito in this recipe comes from Kochi, Japan – an area that accounts for 40% of national crops. I first created this amuse-bouche during the summer of 2018.

Pairing notes

Deep-fried Shishito peppers go well with Krug Champagne and its bubbles as the bitter, sweet and lightly spicy notes of the pepper enhance the flavours and aromas of Krug Grande Cuvée.

ANDREAS BAGH | Copenhagen, Denmark


What does cooking mean to you?

I believe it is the Chef’s responsibility to make people happy. I cook to put a smile on the faces of my guests.

Which person made you love the job?

Chef Thomas Wal because he was my first teacher and his was the first restaurant in Denmark to earn a Michelin star. He gave me a great foundation and taught me to work hard and stay humble. I do not cook for ego, I cook for others.

What is your earliest memory of an experience with the pepper in the kitchen?

I have childhood memories of my father making a Portuguese dish with salted cod and slow-cooked red pepper, which he prepared often. I realised at a young age that the pepper is an interesting ingredient to use in the kitchen because it has so many flavours and textures to work with.

Do you remember your first glass of Krug?

One summer, my girlfriend and I were staying at a beautiful Danish inn. Before dinner, we sat on the beach under the night sky and shared a bottle of Krug 1998. It was different from anything I had tasted at the time and I will never forget it.

If you could prepare a meal with a Krug pairing for anyone in the world, who would it be?

Ernest Hemingway in Paris. He famously loved oysters and Krug, so I would prepare a seafood meal with a lot of oysters – maybe even our Oyster Bloody Mary, which is also pepper-inspired with piment juice and Tabasco. We would most probably have one bottle too many as I listened to his stories and we talked about life.

Pairing


LOBSTER WITH SMOKED PIMENT AND RED BELL PEPPER JUICE & KRUG ROSÉ 22ÈME ÉDITION

(SMOKED BASQUE PIMENT, RED BELL PEPPER FROM FRANCE, CHILLI FROM MEXICO, LOBSTER, RIPE RED BEEF TOMATOES)


The chef’s inspiration

This starter is made from juices extracted from the red bell pepper, which match very well with Krug Rosé. The red colour also beautifully matches the lobster, which makes this dish pleasing to both senses. In Danish culture, the pepper is still quite new and exotic. Fifty years ago, it did not exist in Denmark because the pepper cannot grow in our climate. Today, after a recent transformation when Chefs from Mexico brought different chillies and peppers to Copenhagen, we are now seeing some truly interesting creations in our kitchen. I decided to look for a non-traditional way to use this ingredient.

Pairing notes

In the kitchen, you have to change your approach in little ways to keep things interesting. The three expressions of different peppers in my dish echo the many facets of Krug Rosé, while the fruity notes of the bell pepper juice beautifully complement those of the Champagne.

CASSIDEE DABNEY | Walland, TN, USA


What does cooking mean to you?

Sharing passion for food with other people. At my restaurant, guests can walk through the garden where we grow our vegetables. I think if you taste something and then see where it came from, you will feel a connection to that ingredient.

Which person made you love the job?

Sam Beall, because he was exceptionally passionate about hospitality. He made everyone feel welcome and part of the group at our hotel restaurant. I think that this resonated with me because I am not from a background where drinking Krug and being able to stay at places like this would have ever been a possibility. I want all of my guests, no matter where they come from, to feel the same sense of belonging.

Have you always enjoyed cooking with the pepper?

Yes. Peppers have been a staple in my home because I grew up gardening. My favourite is the Aleppo pepper because it has just the right amount of spice and is delicious simply fire-roasted with salt. We are currently working on a big project with it.

Do you remember your first glass of Krug?

I remember being taken aback by the intensity of Krug Grande Cuvée the first time I tasted it. Like Krug, I work to transform exceptional ingredients into unforgettable experiences. The peppers of our farm and the grapes of Krug – it could not get any better.

If you could prepare a meal with a Krug pairing for anyone in the world, who would it be?

Barack and Michelle Obama – they are such interesting people. I have lived and worked all over the United States, including in Hawaii, where the former President was born. I thus could imagine creating a pairing inspired by The Aloha State, where ingredients often have a Polynesian influence.

Pairing


HICKORY KING GRITS WITH PRESERVED GARDEN VEGETABLES & KRUG GRANDE CUVEE 166ÈME ÉDITION

(LUNCH BOX PEPPERS, SMALL SWEET PEPPERS, GROUND CORN GRITS, PRESERVED GARDEN)


The chef’s inspiration

This signature dish was inspired by the bounty of summer and preserving its brightness and warmth for the colder months. Two years ago, we had a huge influx of vegetables from the garden and could not use them all immediately. We had worked so hard to grow them that we decided to keep the harvest preserved. Later, I created a vegetarian dish for which they were just right. Everything comes from our farm.

Pairing notes

This dish is rich and earthy. The grits are sweet, as are the pickled peppers while the green tomatoes add acidity and the garlic, an underlying spice. It is a comforting dish with an aromatic palate beautifully accentuated by Krug Grande Cuvée.  

JULIEN LEFEBVRE | Pauillac, France


What does cooking mean to you?

I feel that cooking is above all a means of sharing emotions. I like to tell a story with my dishes and take my guests on a journey. I care about the environment and promote eco-responsibility in my kitchen whenever possible by working with seasonal ingredients from nearby producers and using as little packaging as possible.

Have you always enjoyed cooking with the pepper?

When I was a child, I visited Espelette in the French Basque country, home to the eponymous pepper and have enjoyed this ingredient ever since. To cook with the pepper, you must be tuned into its aromatic nuances, as well as taste it and understand it. We all have our own preferences and limits when it comes to the pepper.

Do you remember your first glass of Krug?

Once at a family celebration, I decided to pair my recipe with Krug Rosé. When I had my first taste, I felt the Champagne was as sparkling and luminous as the holiday itself.

Can you tell us of an unforgettable experience you have had with Krug Grande Cuvée or Krug Rosé?

Last year, we organised an event at an authentic Carrelet, which is an Estuary-side fishing hut, in Pauillac, Bordeaux for the 2018 French chapter of Krug Encounters. Guests dabbled in fishing and tasted Krug Champagnes with Olivier Krug before attending a five-course dinner inspired by the fish at my restaurant. I found it so interesting to focus intently on the details of this single ingredient that I knew I wanted to participate in this year’s adventure around the pepper.

If you could prepare a meal with a Krug pairing for anyone in the world, who would it be?

It would be with Auguste Escofier, one of the forefathers of French cuisine. I would like to show him the magic of pairing fine French gastronomy with the elegance of Krug Champagne.

Pairing


BASQUE TACOS WITH ESPELETTE, SWEET GREEN PEPPER FROM ANGLET AND SWEET PEPPER & KRUG ROSÉ 21ÈME ÉDITION

(ESPELETTE PEPPER, ANGLET PEPPER, SWEET PEPPERS (RED, YELLOW & GREEN), VEAL SCALLOP, YELLOW CORNFLOUR SHELLS)


The chef’s inspiration

This dish is a mix of culinary experiences from Mexico and France, especially the Aquitaine region. I was inspired by street food and looking for a way to craft gastronomic tacos, connecting finger food and haute cuisine. It was a first for me. This reinterpretation of the iconic Mexican tacos is filled with Axoa, a typical Basque recipe made with veal. I decided to use three different kinds of peppers in this unique creation, which I made to measure for Krug Rosé.

Pairing notes

To pair with Krug Rosé, I created a dish that is, like the Champagne, a blend of many different flavours and aromas. The smoky, caramelised, acidulated and honey character of the tacos pair well with Krug Rosé’s depth and spiciness, underpinned with notes of berry and violet.