Leading sommeliers from two of the UK’s top restaurants, Gymkhana and Kitchen Table, have today announced a duo of ‘An Unexpected Pairing’ events designed to challenge preconceived ideas about what makes a great wine, a great wine pairing, and indeed about sommeliers themselves.
Sunaina Sethi, Co-owner and wine buyer for Mayfair’s Gymkhana, and Sandia Chang, Co-owner and sommelier for Fitzrovia’s Kitchen Table – both of which were awarded their first Michelin stars in the 2015 guide – will host the first evening at Gymkhana on June 1st. The pair will talk guests through a selection of interesting wines and grower Champagne as they pair them with a five course Indian menu. The menu will express Gymkhana’s signature focus on authentically spiced chatpatta dishes, using the best British ingredients and traditional Indian techniques, and Sunaina and Sandia will demonstrate that wines can not only be paired with spiced dishes, but can actively elevate their flavours to new levels.
Sunaina and Sandia themselves counter the preconception of the ‘middle-aged white male’ sommelier, whilst their experience and skills are first rate. A Zagat ’30 under 30’ award winner, Sunaina is also responsible for the wine at hers and her brothers’ first Indian restaurant, the Michelin-starred Trishna, in Marylebone Village and is widely recognised for her skill in matching fine wine to Indian cuisine. She is further admired for championing wines from emerging regions, such as Greece, Croatia and Slovenia. Sandia’s specialism lies with grower Champagnes, which are the focus of the drinks lists at both Bubbledogs and Kitchen Table, which she owns with her husband, Head Chef James Knappett. Sandia developed her wine palate working in some of the best restaurants in the world, including Per Se in New York and Noma in Copenhagen.
Sunaina commented; I am looking forward to working alongside Sandia, who is both a friend and someone I admire professionally. Our ‘An Unexpected Pairing’ events will be a great chance to collaborate, and share our knowledge with the guests and each other. On the night, we want to introduce guests some more unusual wines and Champagnes, designed specifically to bring out the complex flavours in the menu.
The sommeliers’ next collaboration will be held at Kitchen Table where they will pair Champagne and unique wines to the provenance-led contemporary European menu, with a date to be confirmed.
‘An Unexpected Pairing’ will begin 7pm at Gymkhana and tickets are priced at £150 per person, which includes a five course menu with paired Champagne or wine per course. To book please email [email protected] or call on; 020 3011 5900.