CHANTEL DARTNALL

A Virgin in the Garden of Eden

What happens when two passionate people - experts in their respective fields - join forces? You get the sublime, the sought after, the inspirational ... the best!

Eat Out's SA Chef of the Year 2014, Chantel Dartnall from Restaurant Mosaic, recently hosted Belgian winemaker Koen Roose of Spioenkop Wines in her kitchen to taste his Virginity 1-2012 vintage and, together with Roose, create a flawless food pairing.

Virginity 1 - 2102 is an unfiltered blend of wooded Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Viognier, and Roose explains the wine's name thus: “It’s a wine that is so pure, so fragile but with a defiant character - like an innocent virgin!”He adds: " I think every passionate winemaker must create a wine that reflects his own personality, a wine that you don’t want to make every year but if the time is right, and when it 'calls you', you make it."

Says Dartnall: "The wine’s surprisingly complex nose has a nutty undertone with a touch of lemon, pineapple, gooseberry and some farm-fresh honey. So I was excited to spend the day with Koen, sampling a variety of different ingredients until we found the perfect food and wine match."

And Dartnall's culinary masterpiece?

“I wanted to create the feeling of the 'Garden of Eden'," she says, "and in this dish I have combined sustainable farmed Ferme Marine de Mahebourg Mauritian seabass glazed with peach blossom honey and with a delicate tomato and lemongrass velouté.”

Garden of Eden will be on the Mosaic menu in the next fortnight.

So what was it like for Roose to be working side by side with Dartnall, going through the deconstruction tasting process and analysing each ingredient individually to come up with the perfect pairing dish?

"It's not the first time I have worked closely with a chef, but it is the first time that I have been involved in the process of creating the dish! Normally the chef creates the dish and then I find a wine that compliments that dish. But in this case I of course already knew the wine so it was fun to discover the ingredients that would compliment it perfectly."

Restaurant Mosaic can proudly lay claim to being the only cellar in South Africa to stock Virginity I- 2012 which is only avaiable in magnums.

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