Two Michelin starred La Dame de Pic London are redefining the dining experience with the launch of Imprégnation Absolue, a new globally-inspired non-alcoholic drinks pairing menu. Imprégnation Absolue is a concept with meticulous detail that brings together several processes and formulations, and represents Anne-Sophie Pic’s core cooking philosophy in beverage form.
By means of steeping, steaming, smoking or marinating, aromas are enhanced, creating new surprising flavours in both the dishes and drinks. The innovative selection of alcohol-free options were sourced by the talented sommeliers and includes rare teas from across Asia; coffee sustainably grown in Africa and South America; and a locally produced kombucha beer – available at the restaurant as part of a new, innovative set pairing from Chef Pic.
The Imprégnation Absolue Experience
Working closely with Head Executive Sommelier Paz Levinson, Chef Pic has developed a menu grounded on the art of metamorphosis, or Imprégnation Absolue. As part of the dining experience, guests are invited to observe the process of transformation before dishes arrive through the ritual preparation of cocktails and tea, or the mixing of certain ingredients for the sauce, which takes place at the table.
This is an aromatic prelude to the dining experience and allows you to smell the aromas that will be blended into the dishes, stimulating all the senses. Drinks include Genmaicha Collins, a non-alcoholic cocktail using Genmaicha tea, lime cordial and cardamom, whose tart and earthy notes pair well with the Heritage Tomato marinated with Nikka whisky, a refreshing tagette and mint ice-cream.
Likewise, the aniseed notes in the Cornish Turbot glazed with pastis, bell pepper, agastache and lavender and curry sabayon are perfectly matched with the warm, aromatic blend of Allspice and Cardamom in the Seedlip Martini. The classic dish of Berlingots, delicate pasta parcels filled with Baron Bigod cheese and infused with smoked pine oil, are equally inspired and paired with the smooth, round and floral texture of warm Hon Gyokuro tea.
On the other end of the spectrum, the strength of La Dame de Pic London’s Geisha coffee, made with the Chemex method for a pure flavour, finds a natural companion in the Hereford Beef Fillet, which is also marinated in coffee and served alongside baby aubergine tempura, rich oxtail confit and fresh dill.
Imprégnation Absolue is also extended to the desserts, devised by Chef Pic and Executive Pastry Chef Eric Verbauwhede: the sweet notes of the seasonal White Millefeuille with Tahitian vanilla, Jasmine jelly and Voatsiperifery Pepper cloud foam are slightly lifted by the delicate aromas of citrus and chamomile found in the sparkling Bla tea.
Drawing influence from all corners of the world, the new non-alcoholic drinks offerings also includes a selection of rare teas sourced with the help of respected Tea Sommelier Kiona Malinka, who has chosen varieties such as Bai Yao Zhenis, a bespoke Chinese white tea made using only the young top shoots of the crop. Kiona’s deep cultural understanding of farming and terroirs brings to light the same subtle regional qualities typically associated with wine. Anne-Sophie Pic’s established partnership with Maki Maruyama of the Jugetsudo House of Tea also brings added harmony to the menu: premium Japanese tea has been carefully balanced with the chef’s favourite ingredients, from hojicha and cubeb pepper to genmaicha and tonka beans, creating a moment of unity between flavour and aroma.
On top of sourcing from premium suppliers, the new drinks from La Dame de Pic London use components that are the result of dedicated extractions, fermentations and infusions tried and tested at their lab in Valence, Southern France, where herbs and flowers, from Douglas pine to green cardamom to fresh Thai basil and lovage leaves, are given a contemporary twist using classic techniques.
The Imprégnation Absolue drinks menu is now available and priced at £95 with the six course Journey menu and £110 with the eight course Voyage menu.
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All imagery courtesy of Four Seasons.