A gastronomy straight from the garden? Yes please! Especially when "Grands crus" vegetables are paired with grands crus grapes, found in Veuve Clicquot's La Grande Dame 2012. Join us on a trip to the IN LAIN Hotel Cadonau, where we will dive into the fascinating world of Garden Gastronomy.
As Madame Clicquot famously said, "Our black grapes give the finest white wines." Over 200 years later, Veuve Clicquot's enduring love of Pinot Noir finds its ultimate expression in La Grande Dame, the Maison's prestige cuvée. It is composed principally of the historical Grands Crus of their terroir.
From this constant quest for excellence comes Garden Gastronomy - a new, gastronomic experience inspired by La Grande Dame. The experience expresses itself through inverted dishes. This time, vegetables, herbs, and fruits center stage, while meat, fish, and eggs are prepared like condiments.
Hailing from all over the world, Chefs that share Veuve Clicquot's philosophy were invited to interpret their vision of Garden Gastronomy. Their exclusive dishes, created with La Grande Dame in mind, are featured on their respective restaurants' menus.
In Switzerland, Veuve Clicquot has partnered with Dario Cadonau. He is a Michelin star chef and hotelier from the beautiful Engadin valley in Switzerland. He grew up here and has a deep connection with nature. "It gives me a lot of strength. Nature gives me inspiration for new dishes, our cuisine, and our daily life at the hotel," Dario says.
12 years ago, he opened the IN LAIN Hotel Cadonau together with his wife Tamara. The beautiful 450 years old traditional Engadin house used to be a farmhouse. It is where Dario's mother grew up. Today's it is the smallest 5-star superior hotel in Switzerland.
For his cuisine, Dario draws inspiration from the nature that surrounds him, working mainly with seasonal, local products from the Engadin, and boundless creativity. His grandfather already used to have wonderful vegetable garden (potager). Dario now continues this tradition. He grows his own vegetables and salads. Moreover, they also have a wonderful herb garden with around 60 different varieties of herbs right in front of the gourmet restaurant VIVANDA.
According to Dario, preparing vegetables in a way that all aromas can be appreciated to the fullest, is a form of art. "To do that, we need vegetables of the best possible quality. It must be Grand Cru vegetables," Dario says. Luckily, he finds these in their own potager which they foster and cultivate daily.
As of December 2022, one of the largest collections of Veuve Clicquot champagne can be found at Dario Cadonau's IN LAIN Hotel. Besides different formats, guests can enjoy many different vintages of the prestigious La Grande Dame and Cave Privée cuvées. The latter are particularly rare. Most of the bottles are numbered. Usually, only about 10'000 bottles have been produced of each vintage.
According to Dario, creating a dish that pairs well with La Grande Dame 2012 is a wonderful challenge. "La Grande Dame 2012 has a nice minerality, a wonderful freshness and a delicate acidity. It pairs marvelously with this tomato which is also slightly acidic," he says.
As we taste the different textures of his dish and indulge in the intense aromas of the tomato, we enjoy the wonderful freshness of La Grande Dame 2012. Dario is right, it is an excellent pairing!
Now, we can't wait to see what pairing he will come up with for La Grande Dame 2015, that is expected to be released in 2023.
Want to learn more about the IN LAIN Hotel Cadonau? Then read this article on our blog.