Academy chairman Martin Dibben invites 175 guests to pair fine food with rare Champagne in gilded surroundingsAmpersand’s Martin Dibben - this year’s Chairman of the Champagne Academy - invited an exclusive gathering of the most famous names in Champagne to its annual dinner, where an Anglo-French team sought to display the ultimate fine dining food and wine combinations at Goldsmith’s Hall. .
For more than 50 years The Champagne Academy has represented the 16 Grand Marque Champagne houses and still uses its collective knowledge to educate younger members of the wine trade and promote Grand Marque Champagne throughout the UK. Its annual dinner marks the pinnacle of its work each year.
Martin is Director of Operations at Ampersand - which offers bespoke catering and impeccable service for some of the most famous venues in Britain - and as Academy Chairman he set the team at Goldsmiths’ Hall the challenge to match fine Champagne and food to celebrate its annual dinner.
The menu was designed jointly by Kevin Mulkerrins, Chester Boyd’s Head Chef at Goldsmith’s Hall, and Karen Poynter, Chester Boyd’s Executive Head Chef to pair fine food with the complex flavours of Champagne. The result of this collaboration included: Wye Valley Asparagus, Pink Grapefruit Hollandaise and Soft Boiled Quail Eggs to match Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Blanc 2004.
To partner Heidsieck & Co. Monople Cuvee Imperatrice NV he created Pan Seared Breast and Confit Leg of Guinea Fowl with Petit Pois a la Francais, Girolles, Pomme Puree, and Sherry Jus. Pannacota Rhubarb and custard was paired with G.H. Mumm Demi-Sec NV.
Lastly Red Chester, smoked Haddock and Leek Tart was served with G.H. Mumm Cuvee R. Lalou 1999. Each wine was announced by a fanfare of trumpets from a Suite of fanfares entitled "A flourish for an occasion" composed for the evening by Ben Costello especially for the evening.
Commenting on this event Martin said: “Well done to Karen and the team who worked so hard in getting the balance of flavours correct in each dish to ensure the wines are shown at their best. Within our businesses we champion the finest standards in food and service standards every time, so this was an ideal showcase for the team. They did a wonderful job.”