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Uwe Opocensky

Petrus at Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong, S.A.R, China
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Long-time friend of the House and Krug x single ingredient veteran, Chef Uwe Opocensky is one of the original Krug Ambassade Chefs, and himself a Krug Lover for nearly two decades. Dynamic, curious and conscious of the world we will leave behind for future generations, he loves new recipes that give vegetables the attention they deserve. A devoted husband and father, Chef Opocensky believes you never stop learning.

A talk with Uwe Opocensky

Can you tell us about your journey as a Chef?
My grandmother and mother are excellent cooks who made everything at home, so when I was a boy, I spent a lot of time watching them in the kitchen as I did my homework. Every year they would make Christmas cookies and when I got older, I began to help them and became fascinated with the way you can transform simple ingredients: flour, sugar, egg and water into something completely different. I believe that food facilitates the social interaction of people, which is why I try to connect my cooking with conversation and take my guests away from the day-to-day. I want them to forget how busy they are and just talk around the table.
Through cooking, I have also been able to travel the world, bringing people together over food, enjoyment and Krug. I have seen the endless possibilities life can offer and am driven to build upon each milestone, always pushing the boundaries to achieve more.
How do you care for the planet from your kitchen?
I am creating more and more vegetarian dishes these days, as my wife and I are both eating less meat. Purely for the environment, it is important that we reevaluate our habits. Eating everything in excess harms the future of our planet, as well as our children and the generations to come. I would like to do my part in protecting that. As Chefs, we have a voice and can set trends. I think if you are an advocate of a more balanced, plantbased diet with less animal protein, it is a much healthier approach that people will follow. After all, humans were originally vegetarians, and this only changed with the discovery of fire. Vegetables are so beautiful, but they often do not get enough of the limelight. I think it is great that we are promoting the onion, a humble and simple ingredient.
Why is the onion special to you?
A pillar of German culinary culture, the onion is a key component to many of our traditional dishes from stews to cakes. At my family home growing up, we had onions in the garden, so I have always been around them. I even remember during my apprenticeship at a butcher shop, a colleague and I were tasked with chopping 100 kg of onions to make blood sausage – it was intense, and I have never cried so much.
This experience taught me that there is a good lesson in everything we do, and you can always improve your technique. As the onion is the base of so many things – stocks, sauces and dressings – to me, cooking without it is cooking without soul. Depending on the variety you use, the onion can bring a touch of acidity, sweetness or even colour to your dish. It also gives you beautiful aromas when roasted. All these flavours are completely natural, which is why I think it is such a versatile ingredient.
You have been a Krug lover for many years, what stands out in your memory?
A few years ago, I did a culinary exchange in Berlin with Krug Ambassade Chef Tim Raue. We bonded over four days of cooking side by side, discussing our philosophies and respective connections with Krug. One evening after work, he opened a beautiful bottle of Krug for us to enjoy together. It was a truly memorable experience. Thinking back, I witnessed Krug’s milestones concurrently with my own growth as a Chef and husband. On this journey with the House, each year, I am so excited to discover the latest Édition of Krug Grande Cuvée and present it to our fervent community of Krug Lovers who sometimes also bring Éditions from the 50s and 60s to our Bring Your Own Krug evenings.

Onion tea

  • STARTER
    10 SERVINGS
  • timing
    48 HOURS
  • preparation time
    1 HOUR
  • Cooking time
    36 HOURS

INGREDIENTS

STEP 1.

1 kg white onions, roasted with skin

1 kg brown onions, roasted with skin

1 kg shallots, roasted with skin

100 g dried barley koji

5 l onion soup

8 whole eggs

STEP 2.

200 g onion crème soup

100 g onion consommé

4 gelatin sheets

110 g whipped cream, salt & pepper

STEP 3.

300 ml onion consommé

2 whole eggs, 1 g salt

0,5 tsp white soy sauce, 0,5 tsp mirin

STEP 4.

200 g onion consommé

20 g vegetarian gelatin

Inside tea bag (stuffing) 

chive blossoms, garlic blossoms

mixed flowers

STEP 5.

125 g butter

2 g salt, 150 g flour

4 whole eggs, 250 ml water

STEP 6.

300 g Comté cheese, grated

475 g sour cream, 50 g crème fraîche

3 g xanthana

RECIPE DEVELOPMENT

STEP 1. ONION CONSOMMÉ

Mix the roasted onions and koji with the onion soup. Add the egg whites and bring to a slow boil until you have a clear and strong consommé.

 

STEP 2. ONION MOUSSE

Mix the onion soup and consommé. Warm up and add the gelatin then cool down and add the whipped cream. Fill contents into the deep plate.

 

STEP 3. ONION CHAWAMUSHI

Mix all ingredients and steam at 90°C for 15 minutes.

 

STEP 4. TEA BAG PAPER

Add the vegetarian gelatin in a very thin layer. Keep refrigerated and dry it out. Cut in the shape of tea bags and fill with the stuffing.

 

STEP 5. PUFF DOUGH

Bring all ingredients to a boil, add the flour, burn off from the pot. The paste will come off the bottom of the pan. After this, add the egg slowly with help of a mixer. Make sure the mix is not too hot.

 

STEP 6. COMTÉ CHEESE CREAM / FILLING

Mix the grated Comté cheese with sour cream, crème fraîche and add the xanthana. Then blend for around 5 minutes until you have a smooth texture.

 

SERVING INSTRUCTIONS

Open tea pouch of tea bag, pour hot consommé over tea bag and let infuse for 1 minute. Pour onion tea over onion chawamushi. Add Comté gougères to the side of the dish.

PAIRING NOTES
The colour of the consommé is a golden prelude to Krug Grande Cuvée, while the sweetness of the Roscoff onions complement its freshness. The koji adds a layer of umami to the chocolate and coffee flavours, which combine well with the onion. This is a pairing that melds beautifully on the tongue.
Krug Grande Cuvée 168ème Édition

The Most Generous Expression of Champagne

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United States, Wyoming
Heiko Nieder
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Bernhard Reiser
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Theo Clench
Portland, United Kingdom
Simon Davies
Illinois, United States
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Krug Grande Cuvée
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