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A Restaurant


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A talk with Yuval Ben Neria

What is your current culinary obsession?
Japanese rice!
Only in Japan can such special and high-quality rice be found. At home and work, I will pair rice with many dishes – from an omelette to simply accompanying it with seaweed. Every time I travel to Japan, I return with at least 4 kilos of rice. If someone close to me travels, I always ask them to bring me some rice. There is never enough.
Can you describe any parallels you see between cooking and Music?
Music gives me a lot of tools to produce better food. As a former musician and during my military service, I was part of the IDF orchestra and played the trumpet for many years. When I think of a dish and when I prepare it, like music I always look for the harmony and dissonances of the piece.
What are your sources of inspiration?
My sources of inspiration are Southeast Asia and, in recent years, I've been focused on Japan. It's amazing to see the similarities and differences between the cuisines. From kitchen to kitchen, ingredients are uniquely interpreted and integrated. Each country uses the raw materials in a completely different way. I am amazed every time how even the most basic ingredients like noodles for example vary from country to country.
What three things would you take with you on a desert island?
Without a doubt I would take a cooking pot, a chef's knife and a lighter. I believe that these are basic necessities for cooking and all the other raw materials can be found on the island, such as fish and coconut. With the help of these three items it is possible to cook a wide variety of dishes.
What was the most memorable meal you either cooked or ate?
Before I opened Taizu I visited Southeast Asia and settled in Udaipur. During that time, I fell in love with the city and did not stop thinking about dishes for the restaurant inspired by the ones I enjoyed there. At the time, the manager of the local hotel and I became friends and he told me that his wife loved to cook and he would be happy if I could join them for dinner at home. Of course, I said yes, and we cooked a wonderful dinner. To this day, I prepare some of the dishes we cooked together in the restaurant. It’s amazing how cooking connects people; this remains without a doubt one of the most inspiring experiences I have had as a chef.
Can you describe your first sip of Krug?
Thirteen years ago, I travelled with a local Chef in London who took me to Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. It was there that I was first discovered Krug. The Chef who was with me told me it was the best champagne he had ever tasted and that I must try it. The sip was clean, delicate, and precise – I have been in love with Krug ever since.
What is your favourite Krug food pairing?
I think that caviar with blinis is the ideal pairing for Krug Grande Cuvée.


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Krug Grande Cuvée
Krug Grande Cuvée
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