The culinary world is abuzz with excitement as the Gosset Matchmakers 2023 competition reached its final showdown at Le Cordon Bleu London’s Cord Restaurant on Fleet Street, with chef and sommelier pair, Gail Ge’er Li & Jiachen Lu from Dinings SW3, winning the title.
Competing against other outstanding teams from Killekrankie House Hotel, Perthshire, L’Enclume in Cumbria, Rebel Restaurant in Newcastle, and London-based Fallow & Ham Yard Hotel, the team swayed the judges with a beautiful Turbot and Scallop Puff designed to harmonise with Gosset Grande Rosé.
The finalists were also tasked with crafting a dish using a box of undisclosed ingredients, featuring Cassava, a root vegetable known for its mild nuttiness and sweetness that can be used in the same way as potato. The teams had only limited time to conceive and execute a dish that would harmonise with Gosset Millésime 2015. The winning team transformed the cassava into noodles with a fresh vegetable salad and champagne broth.
The judges marvelled at the varitery of dishes presented, with no two teams presented it in the same way. Killiekrankie served a risotto of cassava and potato, brown butter with lemon and thyme, pickled apple & champagne sabayon with crispy yukka trim. L’Enclume created cassava fritter with labneh and apple & radish salad picked in Grand Millesime 2015. Rebel made cassava gnocchi, toasted bread sauce, smoked apple and parsley oil. Ham Yard Hotel & Fallow offered up boulangère of cassava, champagne beurre blanc, rosemary smoked hung yoghurt, champagne pickled apple.
Melody Wong, the Director of Wine at the newly opened The Peninsula Hotel, London and Chair of the judging panel noted how hard it was to pick a winner as all the finalists showed remarkable culinary skills, inventiveness, and teamwork. She was accompanied by experts in the field including Luciana Berry, (a Le Cordon Bleu graduate and a winner of Top Chef Brazil winner), Ian Churchill (writer & restaurant consultant), Bertrand Verduzier, (Global Business Director at Champagne Gosset) and Will Oatley, (Managing Director of Louis Latour Agencies).
Bertrand Verduzier from Champagne Gosset commented, “Gosset Champagnes are exquisite wines, enriched with effervescence, making them ideal partners for great cuisine. All teams showed a great knowledge of this fact, and the winners truly demonstrated impressive thoughtfulness and creativity which elevated both the Champagne and the dish they served.”
Now in its eighth year, Gosset Matchmakers continues to celebrate harmonising fine wines with food along with this collaboration between chefs and sommeliers.
The two winners of Gosset Matchmakers 2023 join the distinguished ranks of the Matchmakers alumni. They are also awarded a magnum each of Gosset Champagne and a three-day trip to Gosset’s headquarters in Epernay. The visit will feature a full tour of the cellars and vineyards, as well as an exclusive blending session by Chef de Caves, Odilon de Varine himself.