A Delicious Adventure in The Jura Awaits
As years pass and experiences accumulate, there are certain encounters that rise above the rest in terms of importance and impact. I have the pleasure of marrying two of those epiphanies in the “Chef-in-Residence” program we are launching in 2020 through Mad Rose Journeys.
More than 35 years ago, I made my first visit to the Jura, learning to ski on the modest, rope-tow-equipped slopes around Les Rousses after a disappointing snow season in the more challenging Chamonix-Mont Blanc area. There, at the hotel dining table in Les Rousses at the end of the day of icy runs, we came across the oddly named, and equally unusual, wines of Pupillin and Arbois and Etoile. These were the light colored reds and golden, nutty whites that remain a fascination to this day. Years later, having immersed myself in the customs of the Jura and being Pied-Piper for the wines of this region, I had a “coup d’amour” with a little B&B in Arbois, known as La Closerie les Capucines and purchased it two years ago.
La Closerie Les Capucines
With the Chef-in-Residence program, acclaimed chefs from around the world will root themselves at La Closerie. During this period, they will marry their particular culture, philosophy and style with local Jurassian products, customs and the local community itself. Come January, I am honored to welcome the inaugural participants of our Chef-in-Residence program at La Closerie, my dear friends from The Simone will be joining as Chef-In-Residence. The team at The Simone – husband and wife duo Chip Smith and Tina Vaughn – has earned a beloved reputation amongst Upper East Siders and discerning New Yorkers alike for their winning combination of exquisite yet comforting French fare and delightful hospitality. During their time at La Closerie, they will marry their own cooking philosophy and style with the local produce and culture of the Jura (and copious amounts of Rosenthal wine), integrating into the community with delicious results.
Fifteen years or so in the past, I met Matt Straus while he was assembling the wine list for Grace, one of the better restaurants in Los Angeles at the time. That relationship evolved slowly over these years and came to full flower once Matt decamped for San Francisco on his quest to create the perfect restaurant. Heirloom Café, Matt’s inimitable, and quite fabulous, joint in the Mission district is now a home-away-from-home for us when in the Bay area. Heirloom Café is where our wines sit most comfortably married to a deeply satisfying cuisine of grace and joy. Matt is a kindred soul who has followed the Rosenthal Wine Merchant portfolio of wines with an unmatched avidity. More importantly, Matt is a friend, one who shares the values that we bring to our mutual playground of food and wine. His care for his guests, his search for value and truth in the culinary and vinous worlds specifically, his clear-eyed devotion to principles of the highest order make him the finest of voices in praise of the virtues of tradition and terroir that are fundamental to our cause. Matt is unparalleled as a host, as his many Bay area followers will attest. As for the cooking, expect an unadorned purity of flavors, an homage to fine ingredients, a sublime marriage of food to wine, balance above all is king. To replicate the karma of Heirloom Café while he is at La Closerie is a gift that will mark the village of Arbois and all those who participate in this special fortnight with a spirit of wonder.
We invite you to join us in Arbois to discover the talents of these great chefs (and more to come) alongside the charms of this 17th century maison: to appreciate their respective cooking styles in the kitchen; to understand more profoundly the traditions upon which the best of the Jura wines rest; to enjoy the beauty of this rarely explored region; and to interact in the most intimate of ways with our merry band of vignerons. As a bonus, you will also glimpse the rarified world of the Burgundian Côte d’Or and the historically important and beautiful city of Lyon.
Chip and Tina from The Simone will be at La Closerie from January 13 - 18. Matt will be at La Closerie for two consecutive weeks: March 23 – 29 and March 30 - April 5, 2020; please click here for the full itinerary. We welcome your inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org