As Christmas book season starts to gear up, I thought I'd share a beautiful book that was launched at the CIVB last week. Called 'Grand Cru Classes, Top Chefs of the World', it matches menus created by chefs such as Eric Briffard of Le Cinq in Paris, Joel Robuchon (of Joel Robuchon) and Andre Chiang of Jaan Par Andre in Singapore, with all 87 classified chateaux in the Medoc (plus Haut Brion) and Sauternes. The 'Meilleur Sommeliers du Monde' such as Olivier Poussier and Andreas Larsson then comment on the matches.


This is not a book to pop in the post as a stocking filler - it costs 65 euros, and is 372 pages, hard-backed and 24 x 31cm - but it's well put together, with a full page of good information of each chateau, followed by a full page of recipe and comments from the chefs and sommeliers on the wines.

Some of my favourites include:
Wok-fried Wagyu Beef Cubes with Morel Mushrooms, from Chan Yan Tak lf Lung King Heen in Hong Kong. This is matched with a Gruaud Larose (they don't give the exact vintage, I guess to make it easier for readers to have a hope of recreating the effect).

A deceptively simple Pears, Beans and Bacon from Nils Kendel of Dieter Muller in Germany, with Brane Cantenac. This seems to rest of making an intricate stock using cumin, caraway seeds, veal stock and coriander seeds, and a savoury mousse with a few tablesspoons of Riesling, and serving with fresh green and white beans, and a crispy bacon cube. Sounds gorgeous.

Pichon Longueville, gets a roast Bresse pigeon from Michel Roux, Chateau Kirwan an English saddle of Lamb from Neil Perry of Rockpool in Sydney. Yquem has an unbelievably tasty looking passionfruit and Tahitian Vanilla souffle from Dominique Ansel and Daniel Boulud of Daniel in New York, and the picture below is a crispy seared foie gras and star fruit, in a sweet and sour broth, ffrom Chris Salands of Mozaic in Bali, to accompany Chateau Lamothe Guignard.


The chefs who get the first growths are Yannic Alleno of Le Meurice (Lafite, squab breast), Eric Briffard of Le Cinq (Latour, shoulder of lamb), Pierre Carrier & Pierre Maillet of Hameau Albert 1er (Margaux, Lamb Saddle), Joel Robuchon (Mouton, caremlised quail) and Alain Passard of L'Arpege (Haut Brion, Challans Duck).

Impossible to read this book without getting hungry. Now I just need to set aside a few thousand pounds, and start working my way through it...