Moscow Good Food Club, Ritz Carlton December 2014

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When one receives an invitation to host the Moscow Good Food Club at the Ritz Carlton in the centre of Moscow, one accepts with great pleasure. My personal previous experiences in this venerable location had not been the best so I was most interested to see how it had changed. Some may think that making all the arrangements for the Moscow Good Food Club is all about food and wine tasting, actually its not, it’s many discussions and negotiations to ensure that our members receive exemplary service, superb food and well paired wines at an amazing price.

Having made the initial discussions with the Director of Food & Beverage, I had a meeting with a young lady to make the final arrangements. She was charming, clever and listened carefully to all my comments and requirements. Then on the evening everything had been organised perfectly. Congratulations to the management of the RC for this amazing young lady!

So with all arrangements made the invitations were sent and our 40 seats were soon fully booked with members eager to experience the hospitality of the Café Russe at the Ritz Carlton. We were welcomed with smiles, canapés and of course an excellent glass of Prosecco specially selected by Somelier Anton Galkin. After a little time to talk we were requested to take our tables.

Chef de Cuisine, Fabien Gailly then briefed us on the gastronomic experience that he and his team were preparing. This started with 3-ways marinated Salmon, warm blini and sour cream accompanied buy a fresh Pouilly Fume from Domaine Chatelain. Excellent flavours and a spuerb pairing.

This was followed by Scallop Carpaccio with a citrus, lemon dressing. The flavours were slightly disappointing but still enjoyable and the choice of the Pouilly Fuisse from Louis Jadot was superb.

After a brief respite the main course was served with many oooh’s and aaah’s to be heard around the room. This superb dish consisted of Braised Beef Cheek with a red capsicum ragout with crispy potatoes and natural jus. It was perfectly balanced with exceptional flavour. The main dish was well complemented with the rich Mas La Chevalier, Laroche a deep ruby red where we could appreciate the great concentration of red ripe fruits enhanced with the spicy aromas of nutmeg and cinnamon. A really elegant wine and ideal for the course.

Despite canapés and 3 courses so far our august members managed to keep space for the dessert, a light Vanilla Napoleon with a red berry Coulis accompanied by an amazing Chateau Lange Reglat Sauternes.

With our taste buds duly scintillated it was time for our Critique and regular questions. Fabien Gailly and Anton Galkin braved the comments of our appointed spokespeople and accepted the small criticisms as highly constructive. As expected the overall ratings were high and praise was certainly due to all at the Ritz Carlton who had worked so hard for such a memorable evening.

As is tradition our well imbibed members were asked to answer some questions. Our theme for the evening was “A rather challenging year is coming to an end and traditionally it is time to make a wish! If you could make 3 wishes from prominent Russian politicians who would they be and what would be the wish?” Many of the replies could not be printed for a variety of reasons, but amongst those that we can are 1) Return the exchange rate to 1:40, 2) ask the Minister of the Environment for lots of snow, 3)allow French cheese and European fruit back into Russia, 4) allow peace to the world so that we can all continue to enjoy Good Food, Good Wines and Great Company!

The Moscow Good Food Club would like to express its gratitude to the management and staff of the Ritz Carlton for a superbly organised and excellent gastronomic experience.

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