Friday, December 4, 2009

Caprice - A Journey into the Land of Cheese!

Just in case you don't know, Caprice at the Four Seasons Hong Kong was just awarded the Michelin 3-Star status. A big congratulations to the whole team! Only a few days after the announcement, I was back at Caprice for a cheese class taught by Jean-Francois Antony, son of the famous affineur Bernard Antony whose cheese can be found in many Michelin starred restaurants around the world, including Caprice of course. All I can say at this moment is that I had an amazing journey into the land of cheese. Not only were we able to try several types of cheese, they were accompanied by carefully selected wines to match them. As I mentioned before on my previous visit to Caprice, I am a newbie with cheese but I know for a fact that I have fallen deeply in love with cheese!

The class was held inside the cheese / wine cellar and as soon as I stepped into the room, I was surrounded by the wonderful scent of cheese. Sorry, I meant to say I was HUGGED by the scent of cheese all around me! I was indeed hard to concentrate on the history and details being taught when you are in a room full of cheese! In the middle of the room was a huge cheeseboard which I assume was cut directly from a very old oak tree. Each student was provided not just with lecture materials but ... o my, they have prepared sets of detailed description and history of each cheese we were tasting along with the pairing wines ... as well as Kodak pictures of the respective cheeses for our further reference! It is always the finer touch of things that made a world of differences in my opinion! Plus, we were all given a new Caprice apron! Woohoo! Time to put the apron to good use and start cooking more perhaps?

I am going to try my best to describe my experience because it is not easy to do so especially when all you can think about was more cheeseeeeee please!!!

(1) Selles-Sur-Cher (paired with Joseph Mellot Sancerre La Chatellenie 2008)
Strong scent with a creamy texture which melt in the mouth; and the cheese made the wine less sweet, balanced out the flavor very well.

(2) Mimolette (paired with Egly-Ouriet Champagne)
The so-called king of cheese by many but I personally find it rather hard to my liking. Flavor was about the same strength as Selles-Sur-Cher. It was hard but slightly brittle as well with a rather mellow aftertaste to it.

(3) Comte de Grande Garde Exceptionnelle and Mont d'Or (paired with Chateau Chalon - Vin Jaune 1999)
The Comte was the long triangular one which was quite solid yet brittle, carried a slightly salty taste. The Mont d'Or on the other hand was soft and creamy like ice cream. Wonderful flavors! I even had several scoops of it afterward. I can imagine myself sitting in front of the TV at home holding a box of Mont d'Or and scooping it away into my mouth! :)

(4) Munster (paired with Albert Mann Alsace Grand Cru 2005)
WOW, the scent, no i mean SMELL, was very strong!!! This can be one of those many called stinky cheese! However, to my surprised it gets better after several bites. It was actually quite addictive with this cheese that I had to get more to go along with some bread! Don;t be fool but the smell, once you tried, you can't stop, at least I can't!

(5) Roquefort Vieux Berger (paired with Mas Amiel Maury 2006)
There were tons of crystallization which made it rather salty but at the same time enhanced the addictive flavors of the cheese. In this case the sweetness of the wine balanced out the strong salty flavors of the crystallization so it would make you keep drinking more wine.

  • Wonderful Service especially with the lecture materials
  • a good variety of cheese types for tasting purposes
  • More cheese would be better perhaps? I know, I am being too greedy.
Avg Spending: Above HKD 500 per person

Four Seasons Hotel,
8 Finance Street, Central
Tel: 3196-8888

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Unknown said...

ohhhh what a cheesy experience (i meant it in the best best best way) :D

Jason said...

@Rita: yes indeed! I was a cheesy but savory experience indeed :)

Anonymous said...

Are these things run regularly? How do I get to know about them and book one?

And exactly how much "above $500" was it? (just so I can start saving up)

KennyT said...

Wow, this is fun!!

Jason said...

@smogblog: unfortunately it is not a regular thing. Jean-Francois Antony was invited by Caprice's GM, Mr Jeremy Evrard, to host the recent "cheese market" promotion and several cheese classes were offered. I have a feeling such event will be back very soon!

Re the cost, it was around HKD1K in exchange for the wonderful cheese class! The many days of detox / diet / light meals in savings were worth it! :)

Jason said...

@KennyT: it was, it was an amazing experience. I am glad I had the chance indeed. :)

Jodi said...

Yes you can sit in front of the TV holding a box of Mont d'Or and scoop in your mouth! It is available at the Oliver's at around $170 for a box. Make sure you do that in the colder months because it is only available from October till March. That's something to do with the law in Jura, where the cheese is produced. I can go on and on about Mont d'Or as this is my favourite cheese!

Babedolphin said...

Hi Jon Bon Jovi (that's Supersupergirl's nickname for ya!) :P

Was your Mont d'Or slightly warmed first? Kind of curious how they serve it as ideal. Its sometimes treated as a Dessert cheese... And guess what - I keep spelling the Antony family name wrong in my reviews lol as Anthony, stupid me!! :(

I think Monsieur Chatte and Cheese Room carries it too! Wanna try again 1 day? ^_^'

Jason said...

@Babedolphin & @Jodi, yeah, it was suggested that the Mont d'Or can be eaten at different stage to have a different texture. I am getting one soon to eat in front of TV lolz

Anonymous said...

wow...Jason...i'm so jealous!

Jason said...

@Anonymous: thanks for dropping by! It was an amazing experience indeed :)

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