It's the first out of eight recipes that high level Chinese chefs dedicated to as much wines from both our partners Do Ville's and Cantina Rauscedo's white and red wines. Starting from now, in the next articles we'll highlight all of them.
Chef Chan's dish winking at Do Ville's Chardonnay
The refined recipe created by Will Chan for Do Ville's Chardonnay is fried mushrooms and razor clams in XO Sauce. A rejoicing of vivid Asian flavours, in which the razor clams are cooked with ingredients such as XO Sauce and high-grade Shaoxing wine.
XO Sauce is a typical seasoning from Hong Kong, made from dried seafood (usually dried shrimps and scallops), salty Jinhua ham, shallots, garlic, chili and oil. In the Hong Kong slang, XO stands for “high quality, prestige”, meaning that it gives the dish a definite twist of taste.
Shaoxing wine also is a common ingredient, and it's a sort of variation of the more used clear rice wine. What's the difference? It has a more complex and deeper taste, giving the recipe a stronger vibe. It's an esssential ingredient in traditional dishes like the Shanghai-style braised pork belly (Hong Shao Rou).
And it all matches perfectly with DoVille’s Chardonnay, which balances the “umami”* character of the mushrooms mixed with the sea flavour of the clams. The Chardonnay's exquisite notes of green apples, bananas and honey give a boost to the mingling of the different essences in the drinker's mouth. Its good acidity enhance the razor clam's taste and its closing vanilla notes leave a pleasant sensation after the mushrooms. It's made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, and its peculiarity is the “sur lie” method (on the yeasts), where the yeasts are not filtered after the fermentation, which gives more roundness to the wine.
Will Chan has more than 15 years of experience in the field, being a graduate of Master Chef Course in Chinese Cuisine at the Chinese Culinary Institute, and the Executive Chef for Greater China Club. He also worked at a Three Michelin-starred restaurant in Macau and has won several awards in international competitions. Chef Chan is renowned for his unique use of top quality ingredients and different cooking techniques.
About the 2020 "Zhong Can Yi Jiu" guide
It's the second edition of the guide, first published last year, which is part of a very interesting, wider project called “Chinese Cuisines meet Italian Wines”. Promoted by the Italian Wine Bank and produced by The I Factor (organizers of the Italian Cuisine and Wines World Summits and of the Italian Wine List Awards), the program involves 24 talented Chinese chefs from Beijing and Shanghai and is implemented thanks to a collaboration with the Italian Sommelier Association's Club China and the Hong Kong Chinese Culinary Institute.
* UMAMI: a Japanese word meaning “savoury”, explicitly referring to the taste of glutamate given by certain foods, which are rich in proteins.