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No More Tears: Krug x Onion gives the unsung ingredient its due

Few ingredients do as much to satisfy our tastebuds as the humble onion. Chopped, raw, roasted, pickled, fried, carmelised — the list goes on — the onion takes many forms, all of them delicious, but rarely does it play a starring role. Outside of French soups and sour cream pairings, it barely even gets mentioned by name. Until now.

For the latest edition of their “Krug X Single Ingredient” campaign, the Champagne house founded by Joseph Krug demands that attention be paid to the long-overlooked allium. It follows a house philosophy that each onion, like each plot of vines in a vineyard, is itself a single ingredient worthy of celebration.

Krug x Onion is the sixth ingredient to be recognised in the ongoing campaign, which launched in 2015, first spotlighting the potato, with egg, mushroom, fish and pepper each getting their respective moment in the years that followed. But this time, it’s all about the onion.

To kick off Krug X Onion, 11 Krug Ambassade Chefs from nine different countries — including Hong Kong’s Uwe Opocensky of Restaurant Petrus at Island Shangri-La Hong Kong — travelled to India to explore the myriad delicious, delightful and unexpected ways the onion could be be enjoyed, and to better understand why it became a staple ingredient in every cuisine across the globe.

With Krug Cellar Master Julie Cavil and former Krug Cellar Master & Deputy Director of the House Éric Lebel, the group spent three days in Jaipur, letting the sights and sounds and flavours around them inspire their culinary creativity to new heights, with the onion, of course, celebrated at the centre of it all.

Because no celebration is complete without Champagne, each dish was designed to be paired with a Krug Grande Cuvée, a blend of over 120 wines from more than ten different years; or a bold and expressive Krug Rosé, uniting the meticulous care and attention to detail of the House with that of the Krug Ambassade Chefs and lovers of Krug.

While Opocensky was the lone Krug Ambassade Chef from Hong Kong to travel to Jaipur, he was not the only participant from the city in this year’s Krug x Onion campaign. A number of other local chefs have joined in to put their twist on the onion as well: Robin Zavou (The Krug Room at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong), Guillaume Galliot (Caprice at Four Seasons Hong Kong), Vicky Cheng (VEA) and Krug Lover Chefs including Agustin Balbi (Andō), Ricardo Chaneton (MONO) and Franckelie Laloum (Louise).

Best of all? The opportunity to taste each Chef’s individual expression of this complex vegetable is all yours. So no more tears: Let’s give the onion its due.

The Krug Room

The Chef: Robin Zavou

The Onion: Roscoff onion

The Dish: Roscoff onion puree, black onion powder, black truffle, chicken stock

Availability: Throughout September

Price: HK$3,998 + 10% as part of The Krug Room Tasting Menu

Caprice

The Chef: Guillaume Galliot

The Onion: Onion from Cevennes

The Dish: Onion Royale with saffron grapes, foie gras and crunchy brioche

Availability: Now

Price: HK$2,280 + 10% per guest as part of Caprice’s tasting menu

Petrus

The Chef: Uwe Opocensky

The Onion: Roscoff onion & banana shallots

The Dish: Onion tarte tatin

Availability: 17 September – 31 October

Price: HK$698 + 10% for dish + 1 glass of Krug Grande Cuvee

VEA

The Chef: Vicky Cheng

The Onion: White onion, red onion, shallots, Cipollini onion, chives

The Dish: French onion soup with grilled cheese

Availability: 17 September – 31 October

Price: Additional HK$680 for a dish + a glass of Krug Rosé as part of VEA’s tasting menu

Andō

The Chef: Agustin Balbi

The Onion: Red onion

The Dish: “Tardes es San Telmo” — red onion consommé, almond cream, carabinero prawns

Availability: Now

Price: HK$1,888 + 10% as part of Andō’s tasting menu

MONO

The Chef: Richard Chaneton

The Onion: Roscoff onion

The Dish: Roscoff onion, Paris button mushroom, black sesame condiment

Availability: From end of August onwards

Price: HK$1,480 (short menu) and HK$1,880 (long menu)

Louise

The Chef: Franckelie Laloum

The Onion: Cevennes onion

The Dish: Smoked and stuffed Cevennes onion with black truffle, 24 months comte cheese emulsion

Availability: 2 September onwards

Price: HK$328 a la carte, or part of the 6-course signature menu at HK$1,588

Missed your chance to taste one of the Chefs’ inspired creations? This year’s Krug x Onion book is available in all Krug Ambassades and partner restaurants, who will be celebrating the onion with menus and experiences through the end of the year. Portraits and recipes from the collection will also be featured on www.krug.com.

Nathan Erickson
Editor-in-Chief
Made in Seoul and based in Hong Kong, Nathan has covered food, fashion and music from New York to Paris to Oaxaca. He enjoys street photography, buying too many hooded sweatshirts and he'll never turn down a tequila soda. Catch him on weekends hiking trails all over Hong Kong in hopes of finding his idol, Chow Yun-fat.