Last winter, champagne house Krug’s pop-up crêperie chalet in Covent Garden was a veritable highlight of the cold snap. This summer there’s a rather sunnier interpretation of the idea, Krug & Krustacean, a collaboration with Beast restaurant for a Norwegian dining experience that runs from September 3 to 7 on London’s South Bank (with bookings now being taken). Here, glasses of Krug Grande Cuvée will be served with fresh Norwegian king-crab claws or king-crab club sandwiches (both £40) in a match of epicurean hedonism.
Apart from the sheer luxury and gourmet delight, there is a rather more storied link that connects Krug Grande Cuvée champagne and Norwegian king crab – but not in a way that might be obvious. Each bottle of Krug Grand Cuvée has a personal identification code on the label, and the curious can enter this six-digit number into the Krug app or on Krug.com to pinpoint the varieties of wine that have gone into each bottle of this annually released special blend.
Similarly, after the crustaceans are plucked from Norwegian waters and before they are sent to the packing station – as a rule, less than two hours – a bar code is attached as a means of identifying the fisherman, exact location, name of the boat, weight and size, plus delivery time.
“We place huge importance on the story of our ingredients – from the people and the places where they are sourced to the journey they embark on – so that we can share them in our restaurant,” explains Mikhail Zelman, owner of the Goodman Restaurant Group, which includes Beast and the gourmet chain Lobster and Burger. “Traceability and quality are incredibly important to Beast and Krug – which has led to a natural partnership.” Sounds delicious.