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Posted by David Eley on 12-09-2008
Cédric Béchade is a dynamic French chef and Samuel Ingelaere a first class sommelier: together they are developing a wonderful gastronomic centre in the heart of the French Basque country, close to Biarritz and St Jean de Luz. The concept is ‘Cuisinier-Sommelier' and their welcoming boutique hotel, l'Auberge Basque, is a place of the highest culinary standards and warm hospitality. Until two years ago Cédric was running the Michelin three star kitchens of the Plaza Athenée in Paris and Samuel spent five years as head sommelier working alongside legendary Michelin three star chef Marc Veyrat.
Auberge Basque: 21st century design blends with 17th
Auberge Basque is a place where great chefs from around the world simply drop by, and though only in its second year, has played host to the culinary elite: Paul Bocuse, Peter Goossens, Martin Berasategui, Pedro Subijana, Michel Guerard... from these great established names to cutting edge stars of the 21st century, including Tokyo top toque Yoshiaki Takazawa - the world's most enigmatic cook whose cult ‘two table' restaurant has recently generated many column inches.
Gault Millau nominated Cédric Béchade as Discovery of the Year 2008 and TV and press are fascinated by this modest, self-effacing young chef whose life is dedicated to pleasing his guests, partnered by a fine sommelier whose eclectic and intelligent wine list offers a breath of democratic international air. Cuisinier-Sommelier gives equal billing to fine wine within the restaurant environment, redressing the balance and helping diners with sound professional advice from only trained sommeliers.
Auberge Diary: later this year A Good Nose will launch its own occasional journal following the fascinating gastronomic life at Auberge Basque. We will meet Cédric and Samuel's producers and suppliers, sharing in some of their culinary adventures while gaining a true flavour of the glorious Basque country. To receive further details of this exciting content, subscribe to our electronic Newsletter .
Posted by David Eley on 06-09-2008
Yet another Douro grape harvest is under way and I will soon be in northern Portugal to record this year's frenetic activity amid the extraordinary vine-clad terraces. This seems like a good moment to announce the publication of our very first Symington Family Estates feature within the New Douro microsite. In this two-part illustrated essay, Rupert Symington provides a frank assessment of wine making in the world's oldest demarcated wine region and his cousin Charles reveals something of his immense viticultural responsibilities in managing nearly 1000 hectares of premium vines. S.F.E.'s steadily expanding stable of high quality D.O.C. table wines encompass the classic ‘Chryseia', a well-established Franco-Portuguese partnership with Bruno Prats and the much anticipated single Quinta wine ‘Vesuvio', to be launched early in 2009.
Given this summer's unpredictable weather in France and the UK, I am keeping my fingers crossed for some blue skies and clement conditions, all images and stories from this year's vindima will go online later in the autumn, for full details and regular updates subscribe to our electronic newsletter ‘Picture Post'.
Posted by David Eley on 03-09-2008
I am absolutely delighted to welcome John Stimpfig of Financial Times and Decanter fame to the pages of A Good Nose.Com. As an occasional contributor to our online features and the gradually expanding Wine Spy, he will share informed and direct observations on an assortment of vinous topics. John's Nose debut takes the form of a Champagne feature on the world's most exclusive and prohibitively expensive fizz, Clos d' Ambonnay made by Krug. John clearly likes to do things in style and is starting his professional relationship with A Good Nose at the very top of the bubbly ladder, though this comes as no surprise to me. In his other life, John Stimpfig frequently rubs shoulders with the wine world's most illustrious names, as a partner in the bespoke corporate and wine events company ‘Taste In'. Wine writers and experts including Jancis Robinson MW, Tim Atkin, Andrew Jefford, Robert Joseph and Charles Metcalfe comprise a veritable vinous spiterrati who regularly join forces with John and his business partner Sophie Jump, to share their vast wealth of experience and guzzling knowledge at privately hosted city and provincial functions. Wine-lovers might now cautiously aim at the same spittoon as their favourite wine heroes and heroines while having a splendidly bibulous time. The perfect way to educate your palate, in erudite and hopefully articulate company.