Krug Kitchen at Aveqia

Jun 21, 13 Krug Kitchen at Aveqia

Posted by in Champagne, London

Last year I visited Aveqia in Farringdon and took part in a very fun evening, making dinner whilst being supervised by very friendly and helpful Aveqia chefs. So I was delighted to be invited back to preview The Krug Kitchen, a private cooking studio designed by Italian design studio Minotticucine and kitted out with Gaggenau’s state of the art appliances. I especially liked the wine fridge full to the brim with Krug Grande Cuvee. Of course the entire studio is overlooked by a golden K set on the background of  a burgundy coloured sign. I was there with a group of wine friends and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, cooking up a storm whilst sipping on Krug Grande Cuvee. The premise behind the Krug Kitchen is to match Krug’s champagnes with the 4 courses that we prepared. Aveqia prides itself on having a staff of Michelin starred chefs on hand and it’s certainly reflected in the quality and imagination put into each dish that we cooked up. We started with the Krug 1998 paired with Grapefruit cured salmon with a buckthorn dressing, salted pistacios and smoked mayonnaise. I really liked the ’98 with this dish as the grapefruit really stood out and the ’98 cut right thought the fatty salmon. A pleasure to eat and drink. The second course was one of my favourite dishes, foie gras – yum! Unfortunately, there was a very sweet verjus gelee, glazed pineapples and red grapes as garnish which in my opinion did nothing for the Krug 2000. I love the 2000, a rich and toasty wine, it was great with the foie gras by itself but was overpowered by the sweet accompaniments. The Krug rosé is one of my favourite rosés because it is so delicate yet full of intense flavours. I’m always happy to see it when it makes an appearance. It’s even better when you drink it with a meal and the roasted guinea fowl, vasterbotten cheese croquettes and morels were hearty but not too much for the rosé....

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Aveqia – Swedish cooking classes

Jan 28, 13 Aveqia – Swedish cooking classes

Posted by in Food and Wine

I seem to be going to cooking classes a lot lately. I don’t know if that’s because I need lessons or not but they are a lot of fun. Swedish cooking seems to be on a lot of radars these days and having recently visited Malmo, Sweden myself recently, I was very much looking forward to cooking at Aveqia. They call themselves a “new restaurant concept”. So, if you want to do more than just sit there and wait for your food, this is certainly for you. All kidding aside, it really is a great evening out. We started off with glasses of sparkling wine, so it can’t be that arduous. The venue of Aveqia is, while not exactly hidden, there is no outside signage to let you know you’ve arrived – only a red velvet rope. Hmmm, maybe that does mean you’ve arrived… They primarily focus on cooking classes as a corporate activity but Saturday nights are turned over to private parties. The evening I attended, there were mixed groups of people, from singles to groups of 3 to 4 friends. After welcome drinks, we were ushered into the dining area/kitchen space and given a tour and health and safety brief by the 3 chefs who would be supervising our cooking experience. Aveqia has been running in Sweden for the past 3 years and has proven very successful, with 2 sites in Sweden and now their third site here in London, in Farringdon. It was founded by entrepreneur Johan Kadar and Chef David Berggren, who has experience in both Michelin starred restaurants and 5 star hotels. Our chefs for the evening,Peter Hencz, Celine Fauvelle and Daniel Johanssen (you can read up on the chef bios here) all have been based in the flagship restaurant in Stockholm but have now relocated to work here in London. We paired off in groups, my friend Jeanne had come along with me, and we volunteered to make the starter of foie gras with winter apples, brioche and almond...

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Seafood and wine workshops at the Andaz Hotel

Oct 10, 11 Seafood and wine workshops at the Andaz Hotel

Posted by in Food and Wine, Hotels and Spas

7am on a Saturday morning is not the usual start time for events I attend, 7pm is more like it, but since Billingsgate market is only open early mornings, I had no choice but to be up at the crack of dawn to get down to the market for the new series the “Andaz Liverpool Street Seafood Workshops” in conjunction with Head Chef Martin Scholz of Catch Restaurant (part of the Andaz Hotel) is launching during the London Restaurant Festival. Catch’s Head Chef, Martin Scholz met us at the Billingsgate market and gave us a tour round, meeting suppliers, showing us the different species of fish the market sells and showing us how to select seafood as well as shop sustainably. The market was winding down but the time we got there (8am) but Saturday the market is open to regular punters and there was still plenty of people around and fish to buy. I’d never been to such a big fish market and it was eye-opening to see fish as something other than fillets. Frankly, they are not the cuddliest animals around. After our tour we headed back to the Andaz Hotel for our seafood cookery class in the Andaz Studio, a private dining room/workspace where we would be helping out Chef Martin and his assistant chef, Gavin. The space is great as it has an open plan kitchen at one end where guests can either watch the chefs at work or roll up their sleeves and pitch in. We got to slicing and dicing the ingredients for our lunch. Chef Martin was great, funny and friendly but a consummate professional at the same time. Cooking with the chef was not only fun but also educational as Martin had lots of little hints and tips. It took a few hours to get lunch ready but it was well worth the wait. A light and delectable bouillabaise to start, arctic cod with chorizo risotto and olive tapenade stuffed squid for the main followed by...

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Matching wine at Hashi’s cooking class

Lately, I’ve been doing lots of food and wine matching with Japanese food. I really enjoy the challenge of matching wine with this food. It’s not an easy thing to do, what with all the competing flavours coming at you, from the salty, umami-ish qualities of soy to hot wasabi and sweet soy, the food really can be a melange of flavours, certainly not a straight up Sunday roast, that’s for sure. I love Japanese food, whether it’s sushi or noodles, I never say no. So, when I was invited along to Reiko Hashimoto’s Hashi Cooking class in Wimbledon AND asked to match wines with the menu, I jumped at the chance. My friend Luiz (thelondonfoodie) is a huge fan of Reiko’s classes and thought it would be fun to get me to match some wines. My task was to give the other attendees a list of wines I thought would match and each could choose one to bring one along. First up, my suggested food and wine matches: Beef Tataki with Creamy Sesame Sauce paired with a rosé Gyoza paired with champagne Scallops with Creamy Spicy Sauce on sushi rice (my favourite) paired with sauvignon blanc Cold Noodles with Spicy Aubergine paired with an Italian carmenere I left it fairly open as to which wines to bring only specifying the type of wine. I was curious to see what the others would bring as they were all food bloggers. I brought along a 2008 carmenere from northern Italy, Vigna Dogarina from Campodipietra, Veneto.  I was intrigued by this wine because most carmenere I know comes from Chile so this was going to be a new experience in food AND wine tasting. I’d been told this wine was also known as cabernet franc in Italy and it did certainly have some of those cab franc characteristics. Red chili pepper, paprika, talcum powder even on the nose. It was more of the same on the palate, a quite savoury wine with a definite red chili...

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