Acclaimed Chef Maroun Chedid Partners with Les Caves de Taillevent
Over 1,200 people gathered on the evening of Wednesday, December 10, at Les Caves de Taillevent in Tabaris to celebrate the newfound partnership struck between the prestigious wine cellar and acclaimed chef Maroun Chedid. This collaboration marries premium viticulture with exquisite fine dining and will grace the entire year of 2015.
Les Caves de Taillevent is a wine shop whose flagship store is located in Paris. Based on the legendary restaurant Taillevent, named for the founding father of French gastronomy, Taillevent embodies the epicurean lifestyle. It is a gateway between excellence in eating and drinking which celebrates the flavors of the finest produce enjoyed at the peak of its seasonality, cooked to perfection and imbued with taste and daring.
The cellars in Beirut house up to 900 wine references and feature a wine bar and wine academy where courses are offered on wine, wine making, and wine appreciation. Maroun Chedid requires no introduction. Hailed as the “jeweler of gastronomy,” he was awarded Chef de l’année à l’international 2013 by the Toques Blanches du Monde gastronomical association and has been instrumental in developing and spreading the beauty of Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisines throughout the world. A native of Saghbine in the Bekaa Valley, Chedid is inclusive of nature in his edible creations and incorporates local and seasonal ingredients.
In 2012 Chedid established a catering company and consultancy that provides tailor-made menus for corporate and special events. His latest holiday menu was on display December 10 for all to admire and gorge on. Guests were presented with an empty wine glass upon arrival and left to circulate at their own pace among the various islands of hors d’oeuvres, filling their glasses with suggested wines for pairing as they went.
There was a stand boasting 48-month-cured Jamón Iberico, or ham from Spain, along with Parmigiano-Reggiano aged 24 months. Counting among the intricate canapés were bresaola, basil, and a dome of ricotta resting on an oven-dried Campari tomato. Also presented was tuna tapenade piped into puff pastries in the likes of a St. Honoré and ornamented with caper berries and basil. Duck lovers could relish in truffled duck liver verrine accompanied by tiny cubes of port jelly as well as quince chutney with brioche. One of the proposed wines was a white Chateau Martinon, Entre-Deux-Mers 2013.
Hot starters included a chorizo and onion quiche seasoned with aged Comté cheese, thyme and a hint of white truffle oil. Homemade pasta was represented in the form of buckwheat ravioli doused in a black truffle, Parmigiano and pecorino cream sauce, enhanced with white truffle oil. Small rolls of fried pigeon pastilla with candied lemon peel, foie gras and truffle veal jus could be savored, together with Gigondas red wine from Domaine des Espiers 2011.
The dainty miniature desserts were breathtaking and could be paired with a sweet moscato d’asti. Guests had a lavish selection of St. Honoré in rose-water and caramel flavors, baba au rhum starring 15-year-aged Zacapa rum, chocolate mousse with its Italian meringue, raspberry mascarpone tart, caramel pecan pie, a reinvented Mont Blanc, chocolate truffle, and a selection of macarons dipped in chocolate.
With such an extravagant spread to please both the eye and stomach, we imagine the Chedid-Taillevent partnership will bestow an exclusive sensory experience on gourmets and oenophiles alike!