Gala Black Tie Dinner Number 2
This was another brilliant meal from the master Korean chef with classic French training, Seo Song Ho. Some of his unreal dishes included the sea scallops with truffle slit in cabbage. It reminded me of a dish created by Daniel Boulud nearly 25 years ago. The steamed crab meat and tofu with angelhair sea grass sauce was pure classic Korean food that was a perfect foil for the 2010 Burge Family Semillon. The beef clear dumpling soup with a meringue top was similar to the soup en croûte created by Paul Bocuse for French president Giscard d’Estaing many years ago. This superb dish worked beautifully with the 2005 Artadi Vinas de Gain. Another great Korean dish, the grilled chicken breast flavored with red Korean ginseng over risotto worked fabulously well with the 2004 Clerico Pajana Barolo. This wine comes from a south-facing Nebbiolo vineyard near the famed village of Monforte d’Alba, close to an even more famous vineyard, Ginestra. The wine offers lots of sweet unsmoked tobacco notes intermixed with kirsch, raspberry licorice and plum sauce characteristics. It made for a delicious combination of Italian wine and classic Korean cooking. Another classic effort was the pan-seared Abalone, which was very tender. I am not generally a great fan of Abalone, but this was exceptionally well done. With the soy-braised beef short ribs we had the famed Penfolds Grange 2005, which was sensational as well as a huge hit with the Korean audience, and the brilliant 1986 Mouton Rothschild (which my daughter told me was just “okay”). I thought it was showing fabulously well, and it was slightly more evolved than other recent bottles I have had. It tastes more like a 7-8 year old wine than one that is nearly 26 years of age. A classic Mouton, it offers up notes of crème de cassis, a full-bodied mouthfeel, and a super-concentrated style. The Grange was more opulent, succulent, fleshy and obviously a much bigger wine. We finished with a terrific example of an underrated Sauternes vintage, the 1997 Château Rieussec. It worked wonderfully well with the aromatic, flavorful cinnamon ginger pudding with omija jelly. Lots of pineapple, honeysuckle, crème brûlée, toffee and caramelized orange characteristics could be found in this brilliant Sauternes.