At this event in India, the onion was the ingredient of the year, showing surprising harmony with KRUG champagnes.
For Krug, individuality is the art of understanding that each plot, like each wine produced from it, is a unique ingredient in and of itself. Every year, in a tradition that began quite a few years ago, Krug celebrates this savoir-faire by inviting chefs from different Krug “Embassies” to interpret a Single Ingredient, giving rise to surprising dishes to pair with the Krug Grande Cuvée or Krug Rosé champagnes.
In previous editions, potatoes, eggs, mushrooms, fish and pepper were the stars of this sensory experience. This time, the protagonist was the humble onion.
I Gotta Peelin’ is the story of 11 chefs from Krug Embassies in 9 different countries who joined Éric Lebel (deputy director of Maison Krug) and Julie Cavil (cellar master) in Jaipur for a culinary experience starring the onion. There, they discovered the origins of the onion and participated in a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The 11 chefs who took part in this “festival of sensations” are all Michelin-starred celebrity or up-and-coming virtuoso chefs, but the link that unites them is that they are all self-confessed lovers of Krug and share its philosophy, injecting passion, determination and creative talent into everything they do.
Krug x Onion: versatile harmony
Combining their talent with the craftsmanship and experience of Krug experts Julie Cavil and Éric Lebel, this fantastic group of chefs took a journey to the heart of Indian culinary tradition that stirred their imagination and enabled them to create unique, onion-based dishes to pair with a glass of Krug champagne.
The oldest vegetable in history, the onion is believed to be native to the Asian continent. For three days, the chefs were able to experience first-hand how the Rajasthani (people from Rajasthan, a region of India) interact with the onion, a staple in their cuisine. This gathering of Krug lovers allowed the chefs to make new friends and catch up with old ones while learning about the growing techniques used by the local market gardeners and discovering inspiring new recipes.
New city, native ingredient
What is the best way to get inspired, to be creative? Immersing yourself in authenticity, diving deep into cultures, cities, people, and their cuisine. And what better way to do that than getting lost in the bustling streets and street-food markets of Jaipur, inhaling the primaeval aromas of the local market, and listening to the hustle and bustle of people at the different stalls? Later, after a train trip, the group of travellers, the chefs and the hosts (Julie and Éric), traded the commotion of the city for the serenity of the countryside, where they visited the Samode farm. There, they met with the local market gardeners who, as they do at Krug with their plots, work the fields according to the different “terroirs,” to use the viticultural term.
These different terroirs are used to grow the different types of onions, including red, yellow, white, and spring, that flavour various dishes in Indian cuisine.
At Krug, it’s no different... each terroir, each plot, offers unique nuances and gives rise to different base wines. Every year, cellar master Julie Cavil has a base of around 400 wines, each of which captures the essence of a single plot. Together with the Tasting Committee, she tastes around 250 wines from the year in question and 150 reserve wines from Krug’s extensive family “wine library” to recreate the founder’s dream of producing the most generous expression of Champagne every year, regardless of the variations in weather.
The pleasure of shared enjoyment
For three days, the chefs and Julie and Éric networked not only with each other but also with the Indian artisans they met on the trip. United by a passion for Krug and the culinary arts, they enjoyed the experience of a lifetime with an enriching exchange of ideas. The chefs experimented with the onion’s versatility, tenacity and modest virtue in their own creations.
Inspired by their experience in Jaipur and armed with vision, creativity and mastery of their craft, the chefs created a spectrum of creative dishes to pair with a glass of Krug Grande Cuvée or Krug Rosé.