Champagne and street food, a new mix of choices for chefs and sommeliers
Goldfish and rabbit mating. At first glance, this is what the idea of pairing a burger or taco with a glass of champagne evokes. However, this popular dish and noble drink has a lot to enjoy. To be convinced of this, we ask questions to Vincent Javaux, sommelier director of the Yannick Alléno group. In addition to his galaxy of starred restaurants, the Parisian chef transformed last year, with his son Antoine (who died last May), Allénothèque de Beaupassage (Paris 7th), rich in incredible cellars, into Father & Son, a restaurant devoted to quality hamburgers. “Street food or not, it’s rare that people still eat with champagne, unless it’s their birthday or something to celebrate. And with burgers, not pairing comes to mind naturally. Very few of our customers make this choice”, he admitted. But that hasn’t stopped her from imagining, with Nicolas Colliet, head sommelier Père & Fils, a series of smart pairings. “The exercise turned out to be very useful. »
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First of all, what better than extra brut champagne to balance the richness, fat and tenderness of meat, sauce or bread? So, with Arsene’s house burger, a reinterpretation of the bistro classic, pepper steak, the duo suggests Marie-Courtin Efflorescence, champagne blanc de noirs (2014): “This pure cuvée Pinot Noir, with great finesse, offers a nice contrast to the pepper steak. The power will then coat the crunch and delicacy of the homemade bread. Thanks to the roundness of Pinot Noir, this cuvée is ideal for bringing out the character of the meat. » To accompany their Neapolitan burger – minced beef steak au gratin with tarragon and parmesan butter, candied onions and basil – which is similar in complexity to a gourmet dish, make way for another extra brutal blanc de noir, Lombard: This champagne, made exclusively from pinot noir, offers a roundness that harmonizes well with caramelized onions and ground beef fat, while retaining the subtlety of this delicate product. Bubble quality, very fine, plays a role in enhancing basil and tarragon. » Whites, with a lighter profile, should therefore be avoided. “In general, with street food, the more we choose aged wine, very round, not too dry, which is similar to grapes, the better! » The finesse of the bubbles, meanwhile, accentuates the aromatic spices and herbs. The live bubbles go very well with ketchup. But rosé champagne also has its arguments. With Lupine, a veggie burger (beetroot steak, rice and semolina), the sommelier offers a 1998 Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Collection Rosé: “This autumnal cru is reminiscent of the aromas of wilted roses and raspberries, it will be the perfect accompaniment to a veggie steak and will underscore the sweetness of red beets like roasted venere rice. The broad, rounded palate completes the pairing with apples roasted in butter and curry oil. »
Like Vincent Javaux, a dozen great chefs willingly lent themselves to last year’s game, at our request, to imagine the pairing of symbolic and vintage street food dishes their choice. Therefore Anne-Sophie Pic, three-star chef from Valence who launched her Pic & Go gourmet burger food truckhe suggested Rosé de Saignée extra brut Leclerc Briant, 100% biodynamic pinot noir, whose structure, “with lots of red and black berries and a bit of liquorice”, is ideal for accompanying textured pulled pork burgers, homemade tomato sauce and sliced carrots. No offense to sommelier Yannick Alléno, it’s headed for a blanc de blancs chardonnay (L’Artiste by David Léclapart) which Olivier Bellin, cook of the Auberge des Glazicksat Plomodiern, to accompany the fish & chips he serves at Mersea, thanks to notes of candied fruit and citrus (echoing tomato sauce), mineral tension (revealing pollack iodine) and ethereal bubbles (reminiscent of fish tenderness).
Every chef has his favorite cuvées. However, many stars are diversifying into street food addresses: beyond the three mentioned above, Michel Sarran specializes in croque, Mory Sacko in fried chicken, Greg Marchand in US sandwiches… Hélène Darroze is gearing up to launch her burger brand at the start of the year 2023 in Paris. The code is more relaxed, while guaranteeing product quality (suppliers are often the same as the parent company) as well as recipe creativity. As the world of high gastronomy takes to the streets to meet a younger audience, why not grab some bubbles? “The new generation of burger consumers are the future customers for the champagne house… It’s up to them to seduce them!” »concludes Vincent Javaux.
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