Royal Tokaji
Royal Tokaji
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Douglas Blyde compares the culinary and wine delights of the Fat Duck and Fera at Claridge's
10 July 2014

Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck

Heston Blumenthal Fat Duck
Occurring within days, I was lucky enough to experience arguably two of England’s finest chefs calibrate dishes to complement complex ferment from noble estates. These were served in the presence of two of the trade’s most celebrated raconteurs.

“The Fat Duck” surrendered their sixteenth-century dining room of 42 covers (attended to by no fewer than 43 chefs) for an evening hosted by Hugh Johnson OBE of the Royal Tokaji Company, while “Fera” at Claridge’s was the just-beautified, art deco setting for a more intimate lunch for 12 hosted by Dom Pérignon’s chef de cave, Richard Geoffroy. Johnson founded Royal Tokaji in 1990 - the same year Geoffroy begun his authorship of Dom Pérignon.

Johnson, wine author, wine historian and tree expert, established Royal Tokaji to revive and celebrate the wines of arguably history’s most distinguished - and first - controlled wine appellation. In preparation for dinner, the Fat Duck’s head chef, Johnny Lake visited Hungary, first admiring a plethora of pickles at Nagycsarnok, Budapest’s central covered market, before journeying north-east to remote Tokaji. There, his sampling included 2013 Tokaji Aszu, which he described as: “just the beginning stages…”

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